The rugged, mountainous nature of the island, closely furrowed by deep ravines, makes irrigation in Bali extremely difficult. Water is led from the mountains to the various levels of cultivated land by an elaborated system of canals, dams, bamboo pipes, and even long tunnels cut through solid rock, to the dikes that permit the rice field to be flooded or drained at will.
Subak is the name of this water management (irrigation) system. It is agricultural co-operative societies that control the equitable distribution of water to their members, to make sure that the small agriculturists will not lack water. It also prevents strangers from diverting the water supply, settles disputes, and attends to the communal rice festivals.
Like many other social rituals and social structures in Bali, subak organization has been lasted for hundreds of years ever since the rice culture in Bali began. There are endless magic-ritual acts to make the rice grow big and strong, or so the water shall not be lacking, or to prevent the pollution of the land and the loss of seed by theft, birds and mice.
Thus, paralleling the physical system of terraces and irrigation works, the Balinese have also constructed intricate networks of shrines and temples dedicated to the goddess of the lake (who lives in Lake Batur), the rice goddess, the earth mother and other agricultural deities.
Visit Komaneka and let us take you to experience by yourself the unique side of Bali with a healthy and invigorating 2 hours trekking through rice field and rural village!
See you soon!