Posted on 18/04/2023
Tana Toraja is a district located in South Sulawesi Province. The natural beauty and culture of the Toraja people have made Tana Toraja a tourism destination in Indonesia.
The word Toraja comes from the Bugis language, To (people) Riaja (highlands) which means "people who live in the highlands". This word is used by lowland people to refer to the Toraja people who live in the highlands. Another source says the word Toraja comes from the word 'toraya' which means a big person or noble. The Toraja people are one of the four main ethnic groups in South Sulawesi. Others are the Bugis, Makassar and Mandar tribes.
The Toraja people are known as an agrarian society who inhabit mountainous areas in the north of South Sulawesi Province. The original belief held by the Toraja people is animism and dynamism, known as Aluk To Dolo. Although now most of the Toraja people adhere to Christianity, the Aluk To Dolo belief is still carried out.
Initially, the Toraja people were divided into small autonomous villages based on kinship. The name of the village is taken from the name of the tongkonan (ancestral home) and each had its own government prior to the formal administration of the Tana Toraja Regency government.
The development of the times has caused changes to the lifestyle of the Toraja people, who were originally engaged in the agricultural sector, now relying on the growing tourism sector. Starting from 1984, tourism in Toraja was widely introduced to foreign countries by the government. The development of tourism apart from changing the economic conditions of Toraja, has also changed the conditions of the people there.
Then what are the interesting tourist attractions in Toraja?
1. Kete Kesu
Kete Kesu tourist village is one of the tourist destinations located in North Toraja. The location is about 4 km from Rantepao (the capital of North Toraja) in an area of rice fields and hills with a beautiful atmosphere and beautiful views. In this tourist village there is a traditional house complex with 6 tongkonans, 12 rice barns, and ceremonial land with 20 menhirs. In Kete Kesu there is also a stone grave where the bones and skulls of people who died long ago are stored on a cliff.
2. London Tourism
About 7 km southwest of Rantepao, there is a grave complex located on a large rock cliff and in a cave called Londa. When at the mouth of the cave, we will be greeted by a line of Tau Tau statues depicting corpses while alive. Rows of coffins are on the wall of the hill because it is believed that the higher the coffin, the higher the degree of the spirit so that it quickly reaches nirvana. Londa Cave itself is up to 1 km long and in it are bones and skulls. Even though it looks scary, Londa is one of the favorite tourist destinations for tourists in North Toraja. Its location, which is surrounded by mountains and lots of trees, makes Londa's atmosphere cool and refreshing.
3. Museum Ne' Gandeng
Ne' Gandeng is a community leader of the Toraja people in Lembang Malakiri. His figure inspired the establishment of this museum as a means to disseminate information about Toraja cultural knowledge to the general public. The Ne' Gandeng Museum consists of several buildings with tongkonan architecture. Apart from storing historical objects, this museum is also used for traditional Toraja events. The Ne' Gandeng Museum is located in Palangi Village, North Toraja, about 8 km northeast of Rantepao.
4. Statue of Jesus Dead Burake
The statue of Jesus Blessing Toraja on the Buntu Burake hill, Makale, is one of Toraja's icons. This 45 meter high statue is the tallest statue of Jesus in the world. This statue is visited by many tourists as well as tourists with religious purposes. Located at an altitude of 1,700 meters above sea level, we can enjoy the beautiful view of the city of Makale from the location of the statue. The statue of Jesus Blessing Toraja is also equipped with a glass bridge about 100 meters long which visitors can use to take pictures and enjoy the natural beauty of Tana Toraja.
5. Pango-Pango Agrotourism
Located at an altitude of 1,600 – 1,700 meters above sea level, the Pango-pango tourist attraction is better known as the country above the clouds. Originally known as a lookout point by the Japanese colonialists because of its high position, Pango-pango is currently a must-visit tourist spot in Toraja. You can enjoy agro-tourism in Pango-pango by exploring the beauty of the pine forest or taking a walk in a Toraja coffee plantation. In this plantation you can learn about how to grow and care for coffee plants. For those of you who are also Toraja Coffee connoisseurs, Pango-Pango is the right place to explore Toraja Coffee further while traveling.
Those are some tourist destinations in Tana Toraja that can be your choice to enjoy your vacation. Apart from these places, there are many other interesting tourist destinations in Tana Toraja. For those of you who are fond of agro-tourism, you can also visit the Toraja Sulotco coffee plantation in the mountains of Rantekarua, Bolokan. The coffee plants in the Sulotco plantation are cultivated organically at an altitude of 1,500 – 1,700 meters above sea level. In this 1,200 hectare location, you can enjoy the natural beauty and fresh mountain air while learning more about Toraja coffee and its processing from upstream to downstream.