5 World Heritage Sites in Bali 2013.09.19

world heritage 

The complex irrigation system known locally in Bali as "subak" was recognized by Unesco and added to the World Heritage list in 2012.

This innovative water management system dates back to the 9th century and diverts water from sources in the mountains to water-sharing communities lower down, thus ensuring equal distribution to all and not just those at the water-rich source.

The subak reflects the Balinese outlook and philosophy on life called Tri Hita Karana, a harmonious lifestyle that includes maintaining a balance of the spiritual and physical worlds - Human to God, Human to Human, and Human to Nature.

In this post we'll introduce you to Bali's rice terraces and their water temples that were registered as World Heritage sites.

Jatiluwih Rice Terraces


Jatiiluwih, literally meaning "really beautiful", is where you can view the picture postcard terraced rice fields Bali is so well known for. The area uses an impressive community-based water control management system and is located in the central coastal regency of Tabanan.

At 700 m above sea level, it's a refreshing change from the beaches of the south. The 18 km road winds its way through rural countryside and quaint villages, with local warungs where you can stop for lunch and take in the scenery.

Pura Taman Ayun

This temple is believed to ensure the harmonious circulation of water from the mountains to the rice fields, to the sea, and then back again to the mountains. Built by a King of the Mengwi dynasty, the inner temple is surrounded by a moat on three sides and features 11 towers known as merus.

Taman Ayun is located about 18 km north of Denpasar in Badung regency, heading towards Singaraja.

Pura Ulun Danu Batur

Pura Ulun Danu Batur is the second most important temple in Bali, after Besakih, due to its association with Lake Batur which supplies water to much of Gianyar and Bangli through a series of underground springs. The temple is dedicated to Dewi Danu, goddess of lakes and rivers and is completely surrounded by the lake.

The original temple was located down in the crater before the eruption of Mount Batur in 1926, after which it was rebuilt higher up. There are a number of shrines, but the most significant is the 11-roofed meru in the inner courtyard which is dedicated to both the goddess of the lake and the god of Mount Agung.

Lake Batur

bali_bedugul (18)
Lake Batur, known locally as Danau Batur, rests 500 m below the crater rim created by a volcano that erupted thousands of years ago, and together with Mount Batur, is one of Kintamani's most scenic views. It is the largest lake in Bali, measuring 8 km long and 3 km wide.

The lake is especially sacred to the Balinese and is home to Dewi Danu, the goddess of the lake.

Pakerisan Valley

This area in the Gianyar regency continues to practice the ancient irrigation system in Bali known as subak. The ravine is also known as the "Valley of Kings" and is home to incredible stone carved shrines that honor 11th century royalty.

The holy springs at Tirta Empul are located in this basin, attracting Balinese devotees who come to spiritually cleanse themselves by bathing in the holy waters.

Suggested World Heritage Site day trip itineraries


Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Kuta, Seminyak

8:30 Depart hotel
10:00 Arrive at Taman Ayun temple

(time required: 20-30 minutes)

11:30 Travel to Jatiluwih rice terraces.
Have lunch in one of the cafes overlooking the rice terraces (time required: 60 minutes)
13:15 Arrive at Lake Batur (time required: 15 minutes)
13:45 Continue to Ulun Danu Batur temple

(time required: 10-20 minutes)

15:00 Pakerisan Valley (time required: 20 minutes)
17:30 Return to hotel

<Traveling Time: About 9 Hours>


8:30 Depart hotel
9:00 Pakerisan Valley (time required: 20 minutes)
10:15 Arrive at Lake Batur
Have breakfast at one of the restaurants overlooking Lake Batur (time required: 60 minutes)
11:30 Travel to Ulun Danu Batur temple

(time required: 10-20 minutes)

12:30 Arrive at Jatiluwih rice terraces.
Take a break at one of the cafes overlooking the rice terraces (time required: 30 minutes)
13:40 Continue to Taman Ayun temple

(time required: 20-30 minutes)

15:00 Return to hotel

<Traveling Time: About 6 Hours 30 Minutes>

Kura-Kura Bus Bali


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