Tourists have been warned to stay away from a sacred Balinese cemetery where visitors can hit the skulls of bodies left outside to rot in the open air.
The cemetery at Trunyan, two hours north of Denpasar, has become popular with Australians looking for places off the beaten track – as & # 39; dark tourism & # 39; becomes more popular.
A worried tourist urged others to avoid the cemetery and argued that poor Trunyan villagers & # 39; were exploited & # 39; were
& # 39; The locals get tired of people popping up and tramping everywhere & & # 39 ;, he wrote online.
& # 39; Various Balinese people I have spoken with, including guides, strongly advise people not to visit this site.
& # 39; Some locals who need the money reluctantly take tourists on the boat across the lake, but this causes friction in the local tourist scam community and aggressive behavior of non-local greedy tour operators. & # 39;
Tourists are divided as to whether it is ok to visit a holy Balinese cemetery where visitors can touch the skulls of bodies (pictured) that have been left out to rot in the open air
Tourists can touch and even hold skulls and are welcomed by villagers who want to share their culture with the outside world
A married woman appears to have recently been laid to rest in a bamboo cage. Only married people have the honor of this funeral, while unmarried people are buried underground
Others claim that the local population wants to share their culture with the outside world.
& # 39; When we arrived we felt very welcome and I can't explain how serene and reassuring it was at the cemetery, & # 39; said a person.
The comments show the mixed bag of experiences that people had when they visited the cemetery.
Another tourist replied: I have been there, but out of respect I have never considered touching anything.
& # 39; The man from the actual village encouraged me to take close photos, but I thought that was too far. & # 39;
& # 39; Only a small number of locals operate this site as a tourist site, despite the wishes of the majority & # 39 ;, said a tourist.
& # 39; You have your opinion, try not to be ashamed of others who feel different &, said a woman who visited the site.
The cemetery has bodies in various states of decline. Some still have skin and hair, such as the man pictured, while others are more skeletal
The bamboo cages are arranged under a Taru Menyan tree (pictured), a special species that gives off a pleasant scent that neutralizes the rotting odor.
Once the flesh is rotated, the skulls and bones are added to an ever-growing cartilage scissors (pictured) under the tree, which is said to be 1,100 years old
People leave offers such as money and even cigarettes in addition to skulls. A visitor described it as a & # 39; poorer area & # 39; and encouraged tourists to pay for their visit
Villagers from Trunyan are settled in bamboo cages under a sacred tree, where their bodies are dissolved in the smoldering Indonesian heat.
Once the flesh is rotated, the skulls and bones are added to an ever-growing cartilage scissors under the tree, which is said to be 1,100 years old.
Visitors can only access the village by renting a boat to cross Lake Batur and reach the settlement at the foot of Mount Batur volcano deep in the jungle.
Only married people have the honor of this funeral, which is practiced only in Trunyan, while unmarried people are buried underground.
The bamboo cages protect organisms against animals that are looking for a free meal and are arranged under a special tree species.
The Taru Menyan tree, which translates to & # 39; pleasant odor & # 39 ;, emits a pleasant odor that allegedly neutralizes the odor of rotting.
If all the cages appear to be full, the person who has been there the longest is removed to make room for the next one and to put them in a pile.
Only when a body is completely skeletonized is the skull removed to place on the stone steps of the altar.
Funeral training is only practiced in this region of Bali. People in Trunyan believe that they are the original Balinese people
A photo of a deceased man in front of his above-ground grave. An Australian woman said that Trunyan Cemetery is a & # 39; must do experience & # 39; is in the Bali Bogans Facebook group
The bamboo cages (pictured) protect the bodies against animals that are looking for a free meal, so that they can fully decompose
Death's Head Island: Trunyan lies deep in the jungle at the foot of Mount Batung volcano in northern Bali
There is a strict rule that only men may deliver the body to the graveyard after the preparation ritual – whereby the corpse is cleaned with rain water and wrapped in cloth, leaving the head uncovered.
Women are not allowed to enter the cemetery when a body is worn, but may enter at other times.
It is believed that an earthquake or volcanic eruption will be caused if women venture into the cemetery during the delivery of a body.
The villagers of Trunyan believe they are the original Balinese, since the Majapahit migration from Java began in 1340.
Tourists who want to visit Trunyan themselves can do so by taking a boat from the mainland, three hours from Denpasar.
Bali is notorious because it is full of Australian tourists, but many visitors are hungry for sights off the beaten track.
An Australian woman said that Trunyan Cemetery is a & # 39; must do experience & # 39; is in the Bali Bogans Facebook group.
& # 39; There was a real ceremony today and we were able to see the villagers celebrating a life and creating a special ceremony of offering to their god & # 39 ;, she wrote.
& # 39; I know this sounds pretty morbid, but it was such a meaningful experience that we will never forget.
& # 39; If this is something that you would like to do, please note that this is an old village that must be respected.
& # 39; In addition, they are a poorer region and there are costs associated with visits. & # 39;
Hundreds of years of skulls (photo) are scattered throughout the cemetery
Welcome to the jungle: there are skulls at the entrance to the cemetery of Trunyan (photo)
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