The island of Java, Indonesia’s fifth largest, home to more than 130 million people, or in other words, 65 percent of the entire country’s population. It is only fitting that the capital, Jakarta is here. It is also fitting that two of the country’s most prized religious artifacts are here, thee Buddhist Borobudur and the Hindu temple of Prambanan. These are truly prized possessions and warrants individual visits if you are around and about in Java.
First, let’s get to the Buddhist structure. This is both a shrine for Buddha and an important pilgrimage site for followers of the religion. It is only fitting that this structure’s history is shrouded in mystery. There is no written record of who built this temple and what its intended purpose is. What we do know is that it was built sometime in the 800’s AD and may have took 75 years to complete, judging from the reliefs.
The journey for pilgrims at this UNESCO temple begins at the base of the monument and follows circular path around the sacred monument while ascending to the top through the three levels of Buddhist cosmology, namely Kamadhatu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formless meditation). The trip up takes you through 1460 relief panels and the iconic stupas containing Buddha images.
Not too far from the UNESCO Buddhist structure is another UNESCO temple, this one though is of the Hindu faith. In all, 224 temples decorate the complex almost all of which pointy (almost like rockets ready for takeoff), a common trait in Hindu temples. Built in the 9th century, this collection of jagged structure features three main inner shrines dedicated to the Hindu trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
These are fairly impressive structures. But the question remains, why were they abandoned? Perhaps it was because of the Merapi volcano eruption? Maybe the empires and dynasties at the time shifted their headquarters? Or could it be that people were converting to Islam and have merely ‘forgotten’ about these relics? These are all very good reasons and may have all contributed to these temples’ eventual abandonment.
Want to view these two awesome sites in one day? Look no further than Exotissimo’s Piper Cheyenne to Borobodur day trip program. Just a short drive from Jogjakarta and you’ll be taken to two fascinating worlds of intrigue, wonder and amazement. This day trip is the perfect complement to our Indonesia tours. Get ready for some rejuvenating travel.
Get it touch
Take adventage of