Temple of death with legendary annual warrior procession
Temple of death
Pura Dalem is a temple dedicated to Shiva, the destroyer; the temple for all rituals surrounding death. For the Balinese, cremations are a time of celebration to guide the soul of the dead to a happy afterlife.
Going out on a high
A cremation - Ngaben, Palebon - is the most spectacular of all religious ceremonies and takes three days. Day one is to purify the corpse, day two for offerings and on the third day the body is placed in a funeral tower - up to 12 meters tall - to be carried to the place of cremation.
When you see a procession of men dressed in dark colours on the way to Matahari Beach, it’s a funeral procession. The beach is one of Sanur’s designated cremation sites.
Visit Pura Dalem at Odalan, the annual temple festival, a magical myriad of offerings, music and dance. Highlight is the ‘warrior procession’ with the famous ritual topeng dance in a high state of trance.