The rice terraces at Jatiluwih in central Bali cover 19,500 ha., flank the slopes of a volcano, Gunung Batkaru, and are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Even so they are not particularly easy to find, especially if you are trying to get there on your own.  For one thing, the volcano, a useful landmark, tends to disappear in clouds before noon.  Directional signs are few, villages blend together indistinguishably, and roads leading promisingly in the right direction twist and turn, become one-ways, and bear no relation to what they look like on a map.  Even so it is well worth the effort.  Jatiluwih is a magical landscape.

I took a lot of pictures of Jatiluwih.  The problem is choosing a favourite.  By the time we got there the clouds had rolled in, and at times it was raining heavily.  Even though the landscape is lush and green, most of the paddies were newly flooded, and the water under the overcast was dull.  With the beautifully-abstract geometry of the terraces, it became effective as a monochrome.  Apart from an unfortunate line of telephone wires, the only mechanical element in the picture is a “mechanical buffalo” a tiller with paddles for turning up the paddy, which becomes a nice focus of interest and scale.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *