Amidst the Rice Fields
A one-stop center to discover art, culture, and spiritual journeys...
Watching a Balinese dance performance in the middle of the rice fields, visiting a number of holy places and studying farming – if you’re up for all of those activities, then all you need to do is head to Subak Klawanan, a new tourist destination at Blahbatuh in Gianyar. Officially opened in 2017, Subak Klawanan is born from the ideas of Ketut Sudirawan, who is also the owner of Sudi Dance School, based on his love of art and his vision to support the art, culture and nature in Blahbatuh.
Blahbatuh Village is an area with great potential to develop as it has unique socio-cultural values and beautiful natural views of rice paddies. “I believe that our culture can make this area more alive and help preserve our way of living,” Mr. Sudirawan stated. “And I want my sanggar (a dance studio) to be in synergy with subak (Bali’s traditional irrigation system) and pakraman (the traditions in the village).” That’s why Mr. Sudirawan holds on to Tri Hita Karana, the Balinese basic concept of having a harmonious relationship with God, with the society and the surrounding nature, to run the Subak Klawanan. In fact, he wishes this site to reach satyam siwam sundaram, a deeper value of living in harmony among various aspects of life.
“I intend to develop the Subak Klawanan as a harmonious space between art, nature and culture which are often found in a temple. This concept is born from various inspirations, and has been getting approvals from local farmers,” Mr. Sudirawan continued. “And that’s why we hope that this program will soon to be widely known by the public.”
Closer to Bali
Subak Klawanan takes guests closer to the Balinese culture by providing a number of classes and workshops, from traditional music like gamelan and rindik to Balinese dance and wayang-making. This place also offers a spiritual journey using the Balinese concept of tirta yatra by the Petanu River where 11 springs believed to have a high spiritual level are located – this is where the yogis usually go to pray. These springs have waters flowing in from Subak Segana which is unique on its own with a relic that dates back to the time when Gadjah Mada, the renowned knight from the Majapahit Kingdom, first arrived in Bali.
Your experience here will surely be marvelous as during break time you can indulge in megibung, a Balinese family-style meal, for lunch together with the local dancers and farmers. The dining experience will even be more perfect with a view of the rice fields to please your eyes. A glass – or more – of fresh coconut drink is the best choice to accompany your lunch to help you recharge and reenergize.
Aiming to raise awareness on the importance of preserving the agricultural environment, Subak Klawanan will soon be introducing several new interesting activities, like planting rice and plowing rice fields. These activities will let you experience the struggle of the Balinese people in plowing rice fields using cows, which must be quite challenging in today’s era as most people now use tractors as the main tool in farming.
Tourists can tour around the Subak Klawanan by running or trekking – it’s your choice. Participants will depart from the sanggar, then walk or ride a bicycle through the rice fields to reach the art and cultural center in the middle of the paddies. For those of you who like a little bit of adventure, you can reach Subak Klawanan by walking or cycling through a one kilometer path from the main road. Another option to get to the place is by riding a motorbike. Either way, Subak Klawanan is definitely a must-visit location as its programs offer an extraordinary experience for everyone, even for an urban Balinese person like me.
WANT TO BOOK A TOUR?
If you want to join the program, reserve your place one week prior to arrival. This program is available during daytime. A half-day tour is also offered for a group of 10 to 20 people.
Contributor : Freandy David
Magazine issue > Craft&Culture