Places of Interest in Trunyan, Bali

Trunyan is another ancient village inhabited by
people who call themselves the “Bali Aga” or old Bali who live in ways
that are vastly different from other Balinese. The Bali Aga's temple in
this village is named Puser Jagat, meaning Navel of the Universe. Its
architecture is highly unusual, and stands in the protective shade of a
massive banyan tree.

The Bali Aga has a strange way of burial. Instead of cremating
their corpses, the Bali Aga simply places them under this banyan tree.
The odor is mysteriously masked by a special arboreal fragrance emitted
by the banyan tree.

The village of Trunyan is squeezed tightly between the lake and
the outer crater rim of Batur, an almighty volcano in Kintamani. This is
a Bali Aga village, inhabited by descendants of the original Balinese,
the people who predate the arrival of the Hindu Majapahit kingdom in the
16th century. It is famous for the Pura Pancering Jagat temple, but
unfortunately visitors are not allowed inside. There is also a couple of
traditional Bali Aga-style dwellings, and a large banyan tree, which is
said to be more than 1,100 years old. At Kuban sub-village close to
Trunyan is a mysterious cemetery that is separated by the lake and
accessible only by boat, there is no path along the steep walls of the
crater rim.

Unlike the Balinese people, Trunyan people do not cremate or
bury their dead, but just lay them out in bamboo cages to decompose,
although strangely there is no stench. A macabre collection of skulls
and bones lies on the stone platform and the surrounding areas. The dead
bodies don't produce bad smells because of the perfumed scents from a
huge Taru Menyan tree growing nearby. Taru means 'tree' and Menyan means
'nice smell'. The name of Trunyan was also derived from these two
words. The women from Trunyan are prohibited from going to the cemetery
when a dead body is carried there. This follows the deeply rooted belief
that if a woman comes to the cemetery while a corpse is being carried
there, there will be a disaster in the village, for example a landslide
or a volcanic eruption. Such events have been frequent in the village's
history, but whether women had anything to do with it is a matter of

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