Bali 57 The Goddess of Rice


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The temples of north Bali differs from those of the south. Every crevice of the temple in north Bali is gaily earned in curves flames and spirals, cascading a light ebullience everywhere. A fine example of this northern style in Pura Beji (Beji Temple) in the village of Sangsit, the district of Sawan, Singaraja. Pura Beji, a subak temple dedicated to Dewi Sri, goddess of agriculture. Naga snake form the balustrade of splendid gate way fantastic beasts and devilish guardians appear from the entangled flora. Rows of stone towers set maze of pink sandstone. The court yard is spacious and decorated only by a few frangipani trees.

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  • Ulun Danu Bratan Temple by OtroPX, on Flickr
  • 1.Cili, a Balinese Dewi Sri effigy from lontar leaf 2. dewi sri 3. Bali-Tabanan dewi sri
  • Pura Beji, the temple of the Goddess of Rice
  • Bali 57 The Goddess of Rice

    1. 1.
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    3. 3. Dewi Sri, or Shridevi (Dewi literally means goddess) goddess of rice and fertility, still widely worshipped on the islands of Bali and Java. Despite her mythology is native to the island of Java, after the adoption of Hinduism in Java as early as first century, the goddess is associated with the Hindu goddess Lakshmi as both are attributed to wealth and family prosperity
    4. 4. Pura Beji, the temple of the Goddess of Rice, rarely visited by tourists and travelers, the temple is located in the north of Bali in Sangsit around eight kilometers east of Singaraja and if you didn’t know of its location one could easily pass right by it.
    5. 5. Pura Beji Sangsit represents a perfect example of the northern rococo style of temple carving, with strange off-angle symmetry. The temple was built of easily carved soft pink sandstone and its walls are decorated with sculptures of demons, snakes and devils. The temple was built in the 15th century during the Majapahit period and is considered to be one of the oldest temples in Bali. Being a subak temple it means that it is dedicated to the goddess Dewi Sri who protects the irrigated rice fields. The temple was actually built on the site of a well.
    6. 6. The temples of North Bali are built in a different style. Instead of small shrines and Meru towers of the southern temples, they are terraced shrines with steep steps in the center as in Java. A fine example of this is the temple dedicated to Devi- Sri (Lakshmi) at Pura Beji in Sangsit. Devi-Sri is revered as the Goddess of agriculture and fertility.
    7. 7. Subak is the name of water management (irrigation) system for paddy fields on Bali island which has been developed more than 1,000 year ago.
    8. 8. For Balinese, irrigation is not simply providing water for the plant's roots, but water is used to construct a complex, pulsed artificial ecosystem. Paddy fields in Bali were built around water temples and the allocation of water is made by a priest.
    9. 9. Paddy fields in Bali were built around water temples and the allocation of water is made by a priest.
    10. 10. Upon entering the temple you are advised to wear sarong with a sash tied around the waist
    11. 11. Subak is a traditional ecologically sustainable irrigation system that binds Balinese agrarian society together within the village's Bale Banjar community center and Balinese temples. The water managements is under the authority of the priests in water temples without forget about Tri Hita Karana Philosophy which is relationship between humans the earth and the gods Since the 1960s, Bali has attracted travelers and tourist worldwide as part of Indonesian tourism. Estimates indicate about 1,000 hectares of paddy fields are converted into tourist facilities and housing annually threatening the age-old system
    12. 12. On June 2012, Subak has eventually been enlisted as a UNESCO world heritage site Subak is an organization of farmers in an area where rice fields are located to manage water to irrigate their rice fields, includes water supply, and to build a temple.
    13. 13. The temple (pura in local language) is called Pura Subak. Every month the subak members will come together in the temple to discuss matters concerning the subak, water supply, the harvest and the celebration of the anniversary day of the subak temple. They worship Dewi Sri, the rice Goddess.
    14. 14. Bali has four lakes, they are: Batur, Bratan, Buyan and Tamblingan from where the water flows especially to the south part of the island: Tabanan, Badung, Gianyar, Klungkung, and Bangli regencies. While the north and east part is dry, they are: Buleleng and Karangasem regions. There are thousands of subak in Bali.
    15. 15. Some carvings of Dutch musicians which is quite unusual.
    16. 16. One of the tourist attractions in Bali is the rice terrace. The beauty of rice terraces is caused by Subak organization that attracts the members to have terracing from mountain, as high as possible as long as the water is there. On dry soil they plants corns, sweet potatoes, peanuts, beans, and other plants that need not much water.
    17. 17. To keep the top soil on its place terraced rice field have artistically carved lines as dikes that enhance the beauty of country side
    18. 18. Periodically, usually every 5 or 10 years after a good harvest, subak of the district organizes a “Nusaba Nini” a big celebration or thanks giving that usually lasts for at least three days, takes place in a Pura Bale Agung, a village temple with a large and long “bale”, a building of wood.
    19. 19. They decorate granaries and invite the Goddess of all subak temples and rice Goddess of all farmers to be in Bale Agung and stay there for the duration of the festival. It will be a parade with colorful symbols, dresses and offerings in the village. You can also find a “Subak Museum” located in Tabanan regency.
    20. 20. Subak Museum keeps any kind of utensils relationship with activities of farmer in Bali. In this place you can learn how and why the “Subak” organization is very important in Bali.
    21. 21. A fine example of a subak temple - a temple associated with rice paddy irrigation systems - dedicated to the goddess Dewi Sri, forming part of the socio-agrarian and religious fabric of this culture.
    22. 22. Northern Bali's colourful Baroque style is in evidence, with its stone lacework façade formed by wings of mythological beasts. In the courtyard are numerous roofless little altars (differing from the meru which distinguish the other temples on the island) which also have exuberant carved decoration.
    23. 23. UNESCO world heritage site - Bali Subak system The Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy comprises five sets of rice terraces and associated water temples. The Subak System refers to the thousand year old self- governing associations of farmers who share the use of irrigation water for their rice fields. Water from volcanic lakes is diverted through rivers and channels to end up in the rice terraces.
    24. 24. UNESCO world heritage site - Bali Subak system The included areas are: • Supreme Water Temple of Pura Ulun Danu Batur • Lake Batur • Subak Landscape of the Pakerisan Watershed • Subak Landscape of Catur Angga Batukaru • The Royal Water temple of Pura Taman Ayun
    25. 25. Text: Internet Pictures: Nicoleta Leu & Internet Copyright: All the images belong to their authors Presentation: Sanda Foi oreanuş Sound: Gamelan of Peliatan - Dancers of Bali - Angkatan