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Tana Toraja, Visiting a Magnificent Place and Rich of Cultures in South Sulawesi

Tana Toraja is protected by mountains and granite cliffs. This is a place, where residents of Toraja live in a fertile area, terraced rice field and coffee farming. Its enchantment comes out when you see human skeletons at the tombs. There are has been dozens of pigs and buffalos slaughtered to a death ceremony in one of ritual of ‘living dead’. In this place, you can visit a site of carving tomb in Lemo, cave of ancient tomb in Londa, and Menhir in Rante Karassik. Those tombs are well-maintained in a frame of culture because society very respect to the ancestor and keep the existence of tombs.
When you come to the plateau of Tana Toraja, you will get start to adore the beauty of panorama. It is because the residents have been defense tradition into their life cycle, which is eternal and after death. The road from Makasar to Toraja can be reached around 130 km and it will end in the mountain. When you enter to Tana Toraja, you can see a perfect beauty of green scenery. In there, the noble of Toraja is believed as a descent of God.  
In order to keep the power of land and people, Toraja’s residents believe that the land must be kept through ritual to celebrate their life and ancestor. In this place, life is kept very straight by death ceremony. That is why the death ceremony can be held for many days and involves all of the residents. They come not only to send condolences, but they will join to entertainment ritual and fraternal community.
The death ceremony is held after harvest and usually on July and September, while life ceremony is held during planting season on October. At that time, the burial process doesn’t do soon, but the family will delay it for months or even years. The dead body will be kept inside the house until the family preparing enough budgets. Most of visitors who visit Toraja will have interest to the uniqueness of culture and rituals.

To reach Tana Toraja, you have to take a flight to Sultan Hasanuddin Airport in Makasar, the capital of South Sulawesi Province, Indonesia. There are many flights to and from Makasar. You can start from Manado, Bali, Jakarta and other cities in Indonesia. From the airport, you can select two ways of transportation to bring you to Tana Toraja. By taking a plane, you will arrive at Pong Tiku Airport in Tana Toraja, which is takes 45 minutes. The flight is available twice a week, Tuesday and Friday. When you select public transportation, you will arrive at Tana Toraja after 8 hours. There are many buses to Rantepao from Makasar. Usually, the bus will depart at 07.00, 13.00 and 19.00 local time from bus station. 

When you come to Tana Toraja, you do not need to worry where you will stay overnight because there are many hotels in this place. If you like to stay in the center of city, you can choose big and small hotels, which is can be reserved through travel agent, i.e. Toraja Prince Hotel and Hotel Heritage Toraja. Differently if you have adrenalin to challenge the nature, you can stay overnight in the people’s house.

Strolling to Tampang Allo, Lemo and Londa will give you a change to witness popular tomb in the world, which is placed in the wall of the rock and caves fulfilled by coffins and skeletons. You do not need to be afraid to come inside as long as you don’t have intent to take their skeletons. When you come to Tana Toraja on June, July and December, you will witness the slaughter of buffalos and pigs colossal by butchers. You will see the uniqueness and a sacred moment of the place. For the residents of Tana Toraja, buffalo is a sacrificial animal of death ceremony. They believe that the soul of buffalo can be medium of transportation for the spirit of the death. 
If you interested to see traditional house of Toraja’s residents, you can visit Ke’te Kesu’ Village. When you arrive there, you will find ranges of Tongkonan with beautiful decoration and barns. Tongkonan itself is a traditional house of Tana Toraja, which is has roof resembles to saddle, or it will remind you to buffalo’s horn. Tongkonan has stratum of noble in society, such as golden stratum, bronze, iron, and brass.
It is not complete visiting Tana Toraja without bringing souvenirs. For this, you can visit Palawa. This is a center of woven cloth. In Rantepao, you also can purchase dress, bags, wallets, and other hand-made. It will be fun to stroll around Tana Toraja because you can learn about traditional life.
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