Trunyan Village, oftentimes also spelt ‘Terunyan’, is a remote mountain village on the eastern lakeside of Mount Batur, in central Bali’s Kintamani highlands. The settlement is known for its indigenous Balinese community, known as the Bali Aga, who most notably have unique burial rites. Their deceased aren’t cremated in lavish funerary ceremonies as like the majority of Balinese Hindus, but rather laid out on the ground within the village’s literal boneyard.
Getting to Trunyan Village usually requires a boat ride from a local dock in the village of Songan, on the caldera lake’s more accessible western side. Going with a local guide is much advised, and opting for a pre-booked tour will ensure smoother and convenient access. The crossing will provide you with great panoramic shots of the lake and mountain. At the village itself, highlight attractions include the village’s Pancering Jagat Temple, with its towering statues.
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The main graveyard site of Trunyan Village lies an approximate half kilometre north of the main settlement. When a villager dies, their remains are wrapped and brought by boat to this site, then laid out on the ground around a large old tree believed to only grow here, referred to by locals as ‘taru menyan’ (the origin of the village’s name) that loosely translates as ‘myrrh tree’). The locals say this tree, together with the cool mountain air, miraculously neutralises any odour from the decomposing bodies. In another part there are mossy stairs piled with stacks of skulls and bones – a truly macabre backdrop for selfies.
- Location: Trunyan Village, Batur, Kintamani