Borobudur Travel Blog› entry 24 of 54 › view all entries
Yogyakarta is definitely my favourite city in all of Java. It has everything. What it doesnt have, it has good access or jumping off points for.
There are temples a plenty and mountains of fire a plenty too. We had already been impressed with the temples of Prambanan. I had been made breathless by Dieng which many use as a trip from Jogya (short name locals give to Yogyakarta). Tomorrow we would attempt to summit the very active Vulcan Merapi and Bromo would be a few days off.
Today we were going to see Borobudur Temple. The largest Buddhist temple in the world and it dates back to the 9th century. It consists of 6 square platforms at the base and then 3 circular platforms as the upper levels.
The reliefs on the wall stretch right around the building on each platform telling the story of some epic Buddhist tale along with many other daily teachings that if you learn from each panel as you ascend to the top you will have reached Nirvana. Unfortunately I did not quite have enough time nor the understanding of the Buddhist teachings to follow each relief to the top but I did admire much of the intricate craftmanship that went in to the temples construction and "decoration".
The top is covered in many stupas built to resemble the lotus blossum being a very symbolic plant to Buddhists. Inside each stupa is a Buddha, apparently if you reach inside and touch the statue, your wish will be granted.
The view from the top of the temple was beatiful finding ourselves in the middle of a valley surrounded by mountain ranges. It almost reminded me of the view you get in some temples around Angkor Wat when you get above the tree line and it feels as though you have been transported back to a time long ago.
This temple nicely impressed me. There has been alot of damage done to it over the years by de-heading some of the statues and breaking many of the stupa. It is still such a sight to behold. I am also happy I did this before Prambanan as the Prambanan complex would have been an anti climax after seeing this one first. Thats not to say that Prambanan is not worth it, its just not as brilliant as Borobudur.
Once again myself and Matthew found ourselves to be the centre of many Indonesian photo targets. We were highly sought after. Not to sound like I have a large ego, I still did not fully understand it, but it did start to feel good to have many photo taken by so many. It did however bring us back down to the ground when we witnessed other foreign tourists also having their photos snapped up. There were also many Indonesians that were interested in talking to us just to help with their English....in some countries this might be seen as the precursor of a scam but here it felt all to genuine and it was.
What a great day. Back in Yogyakarta had a couple of beers and some lovely mie goreng ayam, not a big night out as tomorrow we would be heading off to tackle the Mountain of Fire....