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Mount Ramelau (Foho Tatamailau)

Mount Ramelau (Foho Tatamailau)

Instagram / @pedrovargas360

Mount Ramelau, Mount Tatamailau or, in Tetum Foho Tatamailau, is the highest mountain on the island of Timor and the highest point of Timorese, with a height of 2,963 m.

The mountain is located approximately 120 km south of the capital Díli, in the sub-district of Hatu Builico, district of Ainaro. It is easily scalable in three or four hours from Hatu Builico.

You can virtually see the whole country from this point on a clear day!

Tatamailau means “Grandfather of all,” in the Mambai dialect, one of the many dialects of East Timor and the native language of Ainaro.

According to local belief, when a native of this region dies, his spirit goes to the top of Tatamailau.

The designation “Ramelau” was given by Indonesia during the occupation (1975-1999). Ainaro means in Mambai, high tree and Hatu Builico, loose stone.

During the colonial period it was the highest mountain in Portugal, today the Tatamailau is the highest point of all Portuguese ex-colonies, except for Brazil (with Pico da Neblina with 2,994 m).

Ramelau: The Way to Heaven by José Ramos-Horta

Instagram / @7ennifer_tl

“Ramelau: The sacred Mountain where the souls of the dead gather before journeying on to Heaven. It is also there where our deceased Leaders gather when a crisis befalls Timor to explore possible paths back to Peace.”

“When someone dies, the soul is released from the body and flies to Mount Ramelau. There in Mount Ramelau he/she will wait for a minute or two, or an hour or two, and if the soul had been cleared of any capital sin, the Good Angel will descend from Heaven and lovingly hold by the hand and guide him/her to Heaven. However, if the person had committed profane sins and died in sin, it will be the damned Satan who will drag the sinful soul to the eternal flames.”
June 20, 2016, José Ramos-Horta in Facebook Page