As one of the oldest villages, Trunyan Bali has a unique and very traditional daily life from the rest of the Bali Island. It is also known as the home for Bali Aga people, the mountain Balinese people. This Trunyan Bali itself is located in the eastern shore of Batur Lake, Kintamani Regency Bali, which can be accessed within 2.5 hours from Denpasar by car.
A special ritual in Trunyan Bali, which differs from the rest of Hindu Balinese, is their culture to not cremate the dead. This way of cemetery to not burn the body was once believed to be related with the active volcatno of Mount Batur. Since the active volcano of Mount Batur – identified as the Brahma, the Hindu God – surrounds the village, then burning the body could cause a problem to the volcano.
In Trunyan Bali, the body whose life journey is considered complete and “normal”, such as, those have been married when they died, or those have been sick when they died, etc, usually cleansed with rainwater and placed under a bamboo frame under the Taru Menyan Tree, exposing the dead to rot in the open air. This special and magic tree is believed to overpower the rotting smell of the dead because once put under this tree, the body which has smell at home would strangely have no smell at all – therefore, it is also called as the “fragnant tree”.
On the contrary, according to the Trunyan Bali people belief, the people who die before they get married, or drown in the lake, or die due to accident – everyone with ‘abnormal death’ – are all buried.
To reach this special place of Trunyan Bali, you can reach it only by small-motorized wooden boat shortly from its parent village; this trip can also be arranged during a Trunyan cemetery tour. You can contact any local tour agency in Bali for a Trunyan cemetery tour to get more insights about the Trunyan’s local beliefs.