Image from: Reynald Christian Tjandra
Borobudur Temple was built by Sailendra dynasty between 750 and 842 AD. In terms of world wide religious structures, it was very early, it would be 300 years before Cambodia’s Angkor Wat was constructed, 400 years before work began on the great European cathedrals.
UNESCO added the monument to its list of World Heritage Sites in 1991, and has been of great influence in restoring the monument to its former glory.
The temple is a massive step pyramid structure made from giant stone blocks, built on a hill, surrounded by valleys and hills. The levels rise up representing the stages of enlightenment.
Borobudur is located 40 km northwest of Yogyakarta, 1 - 1.5 hour from our Hotel. Ticket box is open from 06.00 AM to 05.00 PM. The most recommended time to go is early in the morning, or before sunrise, where you can enter from the borobudur's Hotel complex.
Borobudur is the place where Buddhist from all over the world gather and celebrate Waisak. Waisak, with the lanterns and prayers chanted for the whole night, is an event you should experience.
To see the stunning sunrise of Borobudur Temple, Setumbu Hills is the right place. It is located 4 km west of Borobudur Temple. People will usually spend their morning at Setumbu Hills before continuing their journey to Borobudur Temple.
The temple complex was most likely built in stages. Estimated to have been commenced during the late 9th and early 10th Century, by either Rakai Pikatan or Balitung Maha Sambu the Sanjaya king of the Mataram Kingdom. It is suggested that it was built as a Hindu response to the Buddhist Borobudur, which was built by the concurrent Saliendra dynasty.
The temple is dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as The Creator (Brahma), The Preserver (Vishnu), and The Destroyer (Shiva). The temple compound, a UNESCO World Heritage, is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia, and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. It is characterized by its tall and pointed architecture, typical of Hindu Temple Architecture, and by the towering 47-metre-high (154 ft) central building inside a large complex of individual temples.
The temple is exactly located in the border of Jogjakarta and Central Java, and it is on the way from the Airport to our Hotel. The journey will take 25 - 30 minutes from our hotel to Prambanan Temple.
Lesser Temples around Prambanan: Candi Sewu, Candi Bubrah, and Candi Lumbung
Within the Prambanan Park, 800 metres north of the Hindu Prambanan temples is the Candi Sewu Complex and is the second largest Buddhist temple in Java, Borobudur bring the largest. The name Candi Sewu means 1000 temples, which links it to the legend of Loro Djonggrang. In fact this complex has 253 building structures.
Additionally four ‘vanguard’ temples were placed in the compass positions at around 300m from the central rectangle. One of these remains, and is called Candi Bubrah, and is located between Prambanan’s Hindu complex and Candi Sewu. Bubrah means broken, as it has been in a state of ruins for many years.
Image from: Borobudur Park
Candi Lumbung is a Buddhist temple built around 850AD by the Mataram Dynasty, which consists of a single central temple surrounded by 16 smaller temples. The temples house niches and altars for carved imagery. In all, the temple complex was built to house over 120 images. Female deities grace the exterior of the central temple.
Ratu Boko Palace
On a hillside plateau, overlooking Prambanan temple complex and with a view to Mount Merapi behind Prambanan Temple complex, lie the remains of a once grand palace. The palace (kraton) is named Ratu Boko after a King Boko of local folklore, but the real owner of the palace is more likely to have been a king of a local dynasty.
This story connects the Ratu Boko Palace with the Prambanan and Sewu temple complex. The name of King Boko comes from Javanese Folklore, in which King Boko was the father of Loro Djonggrang. A prince named Bandung desperately wanted Loro Djonggang to marry him and she refused, as she he had killed her father. He insisted, and she finally agreed on one condition. He must build 1000 temples in one night. Prince Bandung summoned up spirits to help him, and close to dawn, much to the dismay of Loro Djonggrang they had completed the 999th temple. Loro Djonggrang ordered all of the servants to light a large fire, and begin pounding rice. The roosters were fooled into thinking it was dawn and began to crow, the spirits fled, and the final temple was left unbuilt.
Prince Bandung was furious and turned Loro Djonggrang into stone, representing the final temple. According to the traditions, she is the image of Durga in the north cell of the Shiva temple at Prambanan, which is also known as Loro Jonggrang or the Slender Virgin.
Ratu Boko is located at the hillside of Prambanan Temples. It is best to go there for the sunset.
Jomblang Cave is one of the most famous cave in Jogjakarta, where we have to go down for 50 - 60 m. Inside the cave, we can see the sunlight through the ceiling, where it is a very famous photo spot.
Jomblang Cave can be reached 1.5 - 2 hours from our Hotel. It is best to go in the morning, and arrived at the center of the cave at 11.00 AM to 12.00 PM. The path will be quite muddy, but rubber boots is provided. A sock is reccomended to prevent irritation from the rubber boots. After Jomblang, you still can go and relax at Pindul Cave River tubing.
Pindul Cave river tubing, located near Jomblang cave is a famous place for locals. Unlike rafting where you need efforts, river tubing enables you to enjoy the scenery, go with the river flow, without any efforts. There are two sections, which are the caves where you can see the stalactic and stalacmite, and the river, where you are allowed and safe to jump from a 10 m waterfall.
Pindul Cave can be reached 1.5 - 2 hours from our Hotel. You can go either in the morning or afternoon. Bring some spare clothes since you will be wet.
Merapi Mountain Lava Tour
Merapi Mountain is an active volcano mountain located in the north of Jogjakarta. I was erupted in 2010 and destroyed one of the village located near the volcano. Now, the village become a tourist destination, where tourist can go around with a Jeep to visit the village reliefs, and the beauty of active volcano.
Merapi Mountain is located in the Kaliurang area, near Ullen Sentalu museum, and Merapi Mountain museum. It can be reached 1 - 1.5 hour from our hotel.
Beaches in Jogjakarta: Parangtritis, Indrayanti, Siung, Baron, and Timang
Located in the south of Java, and facing the Indian Ocean, Jogjakarta has a lot of beaches, with different kind of activities to do. In Indrayanti, Siung, and Baron, you can relax and enjoy the scenery. In Parangtritis, you can play ATV, kite, ride a horse, and try the unique sandboarding with the locals. In Timang, you can try the traditional gondola used to go to the rocky island where the locals catch lobsters.
These beaches are located in the south of Jogjakarta, and can be reached 1 - 1.5 hour from our hotel.