Batak Graves

Danau Toba

Amid the fertile rice fields between Simanindo and Pangururan are these large multistorey graves decorated with the distinctive miniature Batak-style house and a simple white cross. Batak graves reflect the animistic attitudes of sheltering the dead (who are dug out 10 to 15 years after their original internment and reburied after the polishing of the bones).

Cigarettes and cakes are offered to the deceased as memorials or as petitions for favours. Typical Christian holidays, such as Christmas, dictate special attention to the graves. Some of the newer graves are particularly showy.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Danau Toba attractions

1. Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo

1.99 MILES

At Samosir’s northern tip, in the village of Simanindo, 15km north of Tuk Tuk, there’s a beautifully restored traditional house that now functions as a…

2. Stone Chairs

9.49 MILES

In the village of Ambarita, 5km north of Tuk Tuk, is a group of 300-year-old stone chairs, where important matters were discussed among village elders…

3. Rumah Bolon

11.83 MILES

Located between Berastagi and Danau Toba, this impressive, well-tended palace complex sits on the edge of the village of Pematang Purba. It was the home…

4. King Sidabutar's Grave

12.03 MILES

Located 5km southeast of Tuk Tuk, near the Tomok ferry terminal, is a complex of royal Batak tombs and houses. At the entrance you'll pass sarcophagi of…

5. Air Terjun Sipiso-Piso

17.93 MILES

These narrow but impressive falls cascade 120m down to the northern end of Danau Toba, 24km from Kabanjahe and about 300m from the main road. It's worth a…

6. Dokan

22.94 MILES

The charming village of Dokan is around 16km south of Kabanjahe. Some half a dozen traditional houses can be found here and they're all occupied, which…