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Trunyan village, Bali: A burial site that inspires travel

Trunyan village (also called Terunyan) is a quaint village located on the banks of Lake Batur in central Bali, Indonesia. If you are a fan of all things quirky, this one should be on the top of your list. The reason being, this village practices one of the most unusual forms of burial rites where the deceased are left out in the open.

Yes, the residents do not bury their dead nor do they cremate them. They give a new meaning to “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return”.

Trunyan village is inhabited by the culturally isolated Bali Aga people. The residents are also called the mountain Balinese. For the Bali Aga people, their ancient rituals are of great importance, and these rituals even predate Buddhism or Hinduism in Bali.

The most remarkable thing about this community is their unique burial rites. When somebody dies in Trunyan, you can rest assured that everybody knows who died. This is because their dead are neither buried or cremated. Instead, after all necessary rituals before laying the dead to rest are done, they leave the body near Taru Menyan tree (taru meaning tree, and menyan meaning nice smelling) with just a bamboo cage or canopy as cover. But this ritual is only for married people.

Unmarried ones get the good old normal burial.

But what about the putrid stench? Surprisingly, there is no stench emanating from the corpses lying there in the open, thanks to the big Taru Menyan tree. This particular species of banyan produces a very pleasant fragrance that gets rid of any stench coming from the natural process of decomposition. The tree has to be really big and really fragrant to mask the stench completely. One can hope.

It actually doesn’t come as a surprise that a lot of tourists make a bee-line for Trunyan village just to see the burial site with their own eyes. Curiosity is, sometimes, a very strong motivation behind travel.

Source: Times Travel