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Waruga are stone sarcophagi used by the Minahasa tribes to place their dead in a squatting position. The Waruga park is located in the village of Sawangan, and at the Airmadidi sub-district, some 40 kilometers from Manado.
Based on local belief, these graves are made of carved stone that are shaped like a house, a tradition kept since 1600AD. The graves vary, depending on the profession or social status of the person buried.
There are 144 “dotu” or clans gathered together at the waruga park in Sawangan, whose original locations were previously spread out throughout several villages in the Minahasa district, but these have now been gathered in the waruga compound at Sawangan and nearby Airmadidi.
Since this heritage which originates from the megalitic era is notable, several heads of state have come to view them , among others Queen Jualiana and Prince Bernard, as well as Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and many more.
If you are not familiar with this place, it is best to ask people around.
Since the park is in fact a cemetery, you can walk around to explore every corner of this tourist site. A cemetery for the local community is situated near the main entrance. The gate is always locked by the Waruga guard who lives near the location. It is best to visit this site between 08.00 am to 06.00 pm .
This Waruga site is located some 40 kilometers from Manado, capital city of the province of North Sulawesi. To reach this location, you can take a private car or taxi from Manado, which will take less than one hour.