Following our previous installment on the royal cremation, with this photo essay we take a look at the big day, the peak of all the preceding rituals. For more details please see our two previous blog posts.

 

By Rio Helmi, with  thanks to photographer Agus Suka Adi Surya for his additions.

 

 

 

 

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A priest consecrates the sarcophagus and the tower prior to the procession. photo©Agus Suka Adi Surya

 

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Members of the military guard of honor assigned to the cremation. photo©Agus Suka Adi Surya

 

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The body is carried out of the inner courtyard gate and turned over from the military guard, to waiting members of the community. photo©Rio Helmi

 

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Tjok Gede Raka Artha Sedana, a close relative, holds the bird of paradise emblem on the ramp to the tall tower, which he will ride alongside the remains for the procession to the burning grounds. The 5-meter tall bull sarcophagus is below. photo©Rio Helmi

 

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And off we go: siting astride the coffin, three relatives are perched high above the ground for the trip to the cremation grounds. photo©Rio Helmi

 

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While hundreds of bearers actually carry the massive cremation tower, a symbolic rope is attached for relatives to ‘pull’ the tower to the cremation ground. photo©Agus Suka Adi Surya

 

Royal Cremation in Ubud, Bali

A sense of scale from above…  photo©Rio Helmi

 

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And a sense of reality on the ground. photo©Agus Suka Adi Surya

 

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Carrying the bull is no easy matter either. photo©Rio Helmi

 

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No funeral procession is complete without a couple of young princesses….  photo©Rio Helmi

 

DSC_0710Members of the military guard of honor, with an image of the deceased. photo©Rio Helmi

 

DSC_0734Finally! Reaching the cremation grounds.  photo©Rio Helmi

 

DSC_0763Celebrating the accomplishment with a splash of holy water…. photo©Rio Helmi

 

DSC_0831Preparing to bring the coffin down from the tower. photo©Rio Helmi

 

DSC_0850Bringing the heavy coffin down the steep ramp was a tricky affair. photo©Rio Helmi

 

10834652_10202322697782779_1708738320_oGetting the bull positioned properly was no piece of cake either. photo©Agus Suka Adi Surya

 

_RIO5425Loads of photo opportunities for tourists and locals alike.  photo©Rio Helmi

 

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A member of the military guard of honor wears a traditional “destar” out of respect – in camouflage of course. photo©Rio Helmi

 

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A Salvo in salute to the achievements of this Son of Ubud.  photo©Agus Suka Adi Surya

 

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And finally the fire. photo©Rio Helmi