Published/Last edited or updated: 22nd November, 2016
If really big megaliths are your thing, Anakalang district is the go-to spot in West Sumba. Twenty kilometres east of Waitabubak, and 55 west of Lewa, Pasunga, Gallu Bakul and Ana Bura are among several villages with fantastic, over-scale megalithic tombs.
Megalithic central, Pasunga is easily the most accessible, sitting right by the main east-west road. Other villages can be found along the road leading south from the junction near Pasunga. A low stone wall separates Pasunga village from the busy road. Two muddy lanes lead north from the entrance, with two long rows of more than 20 “modern traditional” houses. Rusty corrugated iron roofs, albeit in the age-old pointy style, give a shanty town impression rather than that of the royal village that it really is.
Due to its easily accessible position, the people of Pusanga are somewhat blasé towards tourists. The guest book will come out, and they’ll be pleasant enough, but you’ll be pretty much left to your own devices to wander around and look at the tombs.
A number of tombs line the long corridor between the houses, but the real business is roadside in the western corner as you enter. The most impressive of these has a large rectangular stone about three metres high and more than one metre wide, carved with two figures at the front, and other smaller figures and symbols, fronting a heavy slab tomb. There are other large tombs here, but none so monumental. Take a walk through the smaller tombs between the houses and you’ll find very nice carvings (on a much smaller scale) there too.
Four kilometres along the road south from Pasunga, the tiny village of Gallu Bakul has one large tomb to see and boy is it tremendous.
The massive construction has what looks like a stone pointy roof house sitting on top, and a large carved headstone featuring symbolic designs with male and female heads at the apex. The slab part of the tomb is about five metres long by four metres wide and 50 centimetres thick — it’s really impressive.
One hundred metres further on, turn left into the village of Ana Bura. Not as impressive as the previous villages, a couple of nicely carved headstones and large tombs are found here.You could continue down this road for hours looking at large impressive tombs, as there are many more in this area to be discovered.
If you are travelling the Waitabubak-Lewa route by private transport, Anakalang district is a good short detour. If travelling by public bus, you could jump off and (hopefully) hail another later to continue your journey. We suggest combining a visit to this area with a trek to the magnificent Mata Yangu Waterfall, 15 kilometres southwest of Pasunga, where in dry season you can trek all the way to La Popu Waterfall in the Wanokaka region.
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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