When you go anywhere in Indonesia, where it’s away from the crowds, the busy streets and the rows of hotels and resorts, you will be able to see land hills full of greenery. This is the other economic workhouse of the region – agriculture. In Bali, rice farming has a long history which is more than a business or one’s profession. It is deeply interrelated to its local culture. If you would like to better understand this side of the Balinese life, then keep on reading.

Explore Bali's Agricultural and Irrigation System at Subak Museum
Photo Courtesy: TheKencana/AryaPutra

The Subak Museum in Bali is where you can learn about the irrigation and agriculture that has existed in Bali for many centuries. This is an ethnographic museum that showcases the centuries-old Balinese agrarian way of life. This place has become one of the top visited tourist destination, including the students for educational purposes. The Museum has been appointed as a world heritage by UNESCO, located in the village of Banjar Anyar in Tabanan Regency.

The term “Subak”  is from the Balinese language, which refers to the agriculture and farming tools, and the traditional irrigation system. The implementation of Subak irrigation systems can be seen in almost all the rice fields across Bali. The Subak Museum was inaugurated on October 13, 1981, by the then Governor of Bali, Prof. Dr. Ida Bagus Mantra.

Photo Courtesy: TheKencana/AryaPutra

Entering the museum area, you can feel the shady atmosphere produced by the big trees around the museum. In the Museum Subak there is a miniature Subak irrigation network, a museum consisting of exhibition halls and audio visual buildings for those who watch movies, traditional Balinese houses, and real rice fields.

 

 

Photo Courtesy: TheKencana/AryaPutra

The museum is divided into two separate parts: the enclosed and the open-air museum. The enclosed museum consists of two main buildings where you can find the information center and the exhibition hall, as well as the audio-visual room, a library and replicas of the historical Subak irrigation system. Visitors get to know and learn everything related to agriculture and the traditional equipment used. For the visitors interested to know more, the library consists of complete collection of books, manuscripts and carved copper plates. It also provides a collection of literature on Subak Abian.

You will be able to see how paddy is processed from start to finish, something you won’t learn just from reading a text book. See it with your own eyes and have a feel of how our ancestors used to do it.

Photo Courtesy: TheKencana/AryaPutra

Based on historical findings, it shows that farming with a plantation and paddy system has existed in Bali since the eighteenth century. This was reinforced by Prastasi Sukawana, the Sukawana inscription, and the irrigation system in Bali began in the first century. Subak serves as a social organization, and has existed and developed since the reign of King Wungsu in 1071 AD.

 

Photo Courtesy: TheKencana/AryaPutra

When you walk into the Subak Museum, you will explore a variety of information of Subak, the sculptures associated to farming, the tools, the diorama of rice paddy fields. You will learn the history, the organizational tools, irrigation network construction, infrastructure, rice cultivation, and so much more.

 

If you have an interest in agriculture, then this is a great place for the opportunity to find out what has been done over the years. Bring your family, the children or come with your friends for an educational tour and to gain some insights.

 

THE KENCANA RUNDOWN
Destination Subak Museum
Price Range/Entrance Fees Domestic: IDR 10, 000

Foreigners: IDR 15, 000

Opening Hours Mondays – Sundays: 8 AM – 4.30 PM

Fridays: 8 AM – 12.30 PM

Location Jl. Gatot Subroto No.5b, Banjar Anyar, Kediri, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 82121, Indonesia
Contact +62 361 810315