Tuesday, December 11, 2012
These days, I have been talking too much about Japan considering I wanted to use this blog to talk about our trips around the world! Therefore, today I will come back to Java in Indonesia. Some weeks ago, I talked about Prambanan. Today, it is the turn for Borobudur, one of the great ancient sites in the world!
If I am not mistaken, Borobudur and Prambanan were built at the same time. At that time, there were two kingdoms in the area of the current Jogyakarta. One of them was Hinduist and the other one, Buddhist. Prambanan was built by the Hinduists and Borobudur by the Buddhists.
Borobudur can be described in one single world: amazing! It is a Buddhist temple located in a valley surrounded by volcanoes in Central Java. It is a huge temple with many floors and it represents the Buddhist image of the world. The closest you get to the top, the closest you are to enlightenment.
The lower floors have beautiful relieves showing teachings of the religion and also the life of Siddhartha. Then, the upper levels are built with a higher simplicity with Buddha statues and small stupas to make a difference with respect to the previous levels. The temple is crowned with a simple stupa representing perfection.
The temple can be visited from Jogyakarta and most hotels there can organize tours in the morning. However, to see the sunrise, something Borobudur is famous for, you really need to stay around the temple. The Sunrise Visit is actually managed by a hotel in the temple premises: Manohara hotel. The price of one night in this hotel is a little expensive compare to other hotels in Jogya. However, it is a really nice hotel and the expensive ticket to the temple is included in the room price, which actually makes the price really competitive. We decided to stay there and enjoy the temple as much as possible and we did not regret! The stay in Manohara and the visit to the temple in the early morning were probably the highlights of our trip to Indonesia!Staying in the hotel also allows you to have a second look at the temple later in the day, so you can visit this amazing place twice. And you can also see it at night with nice illumination!
The sunrise tour starts really early, at around 4.30 am. It takes a lot of effort to wake up at that time! you are given a torch and join the pack of tourists heading towards the temple entrance. At night, everything is pitch black. Entering the temple in absolutely darkness in the calmness of night and with everybody so sleepy that cannot make noise and break the atmosphere, is simply amazing. You feel you are getting into somewhere really special. And then, the Sun slowly starts making its way up, and the shadows and shapes of Buddhas and stupas start showing up in clear contrast to the sky being lit up with thousands of colors.
The mist and the volcanoes in every direction, wherever you look, contribute to the atmosphere.
Borobudur, definitely one of the most impressive places I have ever visited!