Trunyan Village, 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 have unique burial rites. Their deceased aren’t cremated in lavish funerary ceremonies as the majority of Balinese Hindus do, 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. The crossing provides you with panoramic shots of the lake and mountain. Also a highlight is the village’s Pancering Jagat Temple with its towering statues.

Trunyan Village in Bali - one of the highlights of 12 Weird and Unusual Places to Visit in Bali and 10 Best Spiritual Experiences in Bali (Read all about Bali here)

photo by Paracetamol (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

Highlights of Trunyan Village

The main gravesite of Trunyan Village lies an approximate half kilometer 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 that's believed to only grow here. The tree is referred to by locals as taru menyan (the origin of the village’s name) which loosely translates to ‘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 if you fancy. Going to Trunyan with a local guide is highly advised, and opting for a pre-booked tour will insure smoother and convenient access.

Trunyan Village in Bali

Location: Trunyan, Kintamani, Bangli, Bali, Indonesia

Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveler