Cremation Ceremony in Ubud with Eight - Story Building Platforms

Soon the streets of Ubud will be filled with a huge number of people eager to witness the Pulebon Ageng, the royal funeral ceremony. Thousands of locals will participate in the Bade Ageng procession.
Pulebon Ageng is a traditional Balinese ritual held in honor of the deceased to guide their soul to the afterlife. The Puri Agung Ubud palace is preparing the cremation for the late member of the royal family, Cokorda Bagus Santaka, from the dynasty residing in Ubud. He held a high position in the local community and was an important figure for the residents, so he will be bid farewell with all the honors inherent in Balinese society.
The Pulebon will take place on Sunday, April 14, on the day of Redite Umanis Meraki. This is one of the five days used in the Balinese calendar for special events and rituals.
It is expected that the funeral platforms will reach a height of 22 to 25 meters (approximately like an eight-story building), and their weight will exceed 5 tons. They will be adorned with Nagabanda – a symbolic dragon figure from Hindu mythology. This tall structure is called Bade Tumpang, and the process of its construction is currently underway. Only royal towers can have 11 tiers. Lesser castes make do with nine or seven.
In every elaborate cremation ceremony, a sarcophagus in the form of an animal is used to contain the remains. Sarcophagi for the highest castes of Balinese people are called lembu. The most revered is the figure of a bull.
But it's not just about that for the Balinese: a prominent figure, Dr. Cokorda Gede Raka Sukawati, a professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business at Udayana University, will serve as the bearers of the Bade. The professor is coordinating the construction of the platforms. "We are receiving assistance from experienced local craftsmen who have been working on making platforms for royal ceremonies for many years, with all the knowledge of the craft," he said.
Interestingly, during such events, wheeled devices are never used to move the heaviest structures. The procession will cover a kilometer-long path from Chatu Pata – the place where everyone will gather at the beginning of the religious event – to Setra Dalam Puri – the royal residence located in the banjar of Tebeseiya, Peliatan village. Some participants of the procession will be involved in escorts – they will have to raise them to avoid hitting the tall cremation tower.
Ordinary people and tourists will be allowed to attend the ceremony. Balinese people believe that one should not skimp on funerals because after death, the soul of the deceased family member can become a sacred guardian endowed with the power to help or punish. Therefore, a cheap funeral ceremony is not the best start for a relationship with one's guardian, especially when it comes to a member of the royal family. The higher a person's caste, the more extensive a ngaben (cremation ceremony) is deserved.
Cokorda Bagus Santaka passed away more than two months ago, on February 2, 2024. It is known that the deceased was the eldest son of Cokorda Agung Suyasa, the previous representative of the royal dynasty.
If you are currently in Bali, be sure to come and see! You will immerse yourself in the world of ancient customs and encounter the incredible cultural heritage of this island.
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