Monday, June 13, 2016

Jogjakarta: Borobudur Sunrise Tour: Borobudur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

This famous Buddhist temple, dating from the 8th and 9th centuries, is located in central Java. It was built in three tiers: a pyramidal base with five concentric square terraces, the trunk of a cone with three circular platforms and, at the top, a monumental stupa. The walls and balustrades are decorated with fine low reliefs, covering a total surface area of 2,500 m2. Around the circular platforms are 72 openwork stupas, each containing a statue of the Buddha. The monument was restored with UNESCO's help in the 1970s.
(Picture taken from the internet)

Borobudur, or Barabudur, is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist Temple in MagelangCentral JavaIndonesia. The monument consists of nine stacked platforms, six square and three circular, topped by a central dome. The temple is decorated with 2,672 reliefpanels and 504 Buddha statues. The central dome is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues, each seated inside a perforated stupa.[1] It is the world's largest Buddhist temple,[2][3] as well as one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world
source: Wikipedia

We chose the Borobudur Sunrise Tour so we had to get up at 3.30 in the morning and meet the van driver and guide at 4 in the morning to catch the sunrise at 5.  Breakfast was already pre-packed for us:
 Noodle, vegeables, chicken, sausage and keropok
 croissant, buns and pastries
 rice, chicken, vegetables, sausage and keropok! We had to eat in the van.
 It was chilly when we arrived and of course, pitch dark!!!
 Manohara: center of Borobudur study, and directions to the sunrise tour.

We were given a torch each and walked towards the gate. Later we could exchange the torch for a batik mini shawl.

On reaching, the sun was just about peeking over the horizon
And we were surprised to see lots of tourists already stationed at vantage points with gigantic cameras to capture the sunrise!
hordes of eager tourists! not moving their butts from their chosen seats!
 We moved around capturing everything, and everybody, including ourselves!
Beautiful and breathtaking!
 after many hours...sun was rising between the symmetrical mountains!

soon, the tupas were all bathed in beautiful hues of the sunrise.
this is the way to capture the sunrise of Borobudur in all its grandeur!

 Now the sun has fully risen!
ethereal and sublimal view of the hills from the stupas
Now it is bright and we took photos wherever we could find space!!!
" Around the circular platforms are 72 openwork stupas, each containing a statue of the Buddha."

"Borobudur stupas overlooking a mountain. For centuries, it

 was deserted."

"Built in the 9th century during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty, the temple was designed in Javanese Buddhist architecture, which blends the Indonesian indigenous cult of ancestor worship and the Buddhist concept of attaining Nirvana"

 "Borobudur Temple Compounds with its stepped, unroofed pyramid consisting of ten superimposing terraces, crowned by a large bell-shaped dome is a harmonious marriage of stupas, temple and mountain that is a masterpiece of Buddhist architecture and monumental arts."
We have conquered Borobudur and that is one off our bucket list!!!
General information
Architectural stylestupa and candi
Town or citynear MagelangCentral Java

Completedc. AD 825
Design and construction
Official nameBorobudur Temple Compounds
other scenery views were just as breathtakingly beautiful!
The following texts in inverted commas are lifted from the internet.......
"The top consists of three circular platforms, with each stage supporting a row of perforated stupas, arranged in concentric circles."
Each stupa contained a Buddha.
"Candi Borobudur was built  between 760 and 830 CE, the peak of the Sailendra dynasty rule of Mataram kingdom in central Java,[22] when it was under the influence of the Srivijayan Empire. The construction has been estimated to have taken 75 years and was completed during the reign of Samaratungga in 825.[23][24]"

"Borobudur is constructed in such a way that it reveals various levels of terraces, showing intricate architecture that goes from being heavily ornamented with bas-reliefs to being plain in Arupadhatu circular terraces.[75] The first four terrace walls are showcases for bas-relief sculptures. These are exquisite, considered to be the most elegant and graceful in the ancient Buddhist world"
"The bas-reliefs in Borobudur depicted many scenes of daily life in 8th-century ancient Java, from the courtly palace life, hermit in the forest, to those of commoners in the village. It also depicted temple, marketplace, various flora and fauna, and also native vernacular architecture"

There were lots of bas reliefs and some of the stories depicted in the reliefs are:

 "Of the original 504 Buddha statues, over 300 are damaged (mostly headless), and 43 are missing. Since the monument's discovery, heads have been acquired as collector's items, mostly by Western museums."
"Headless Buddha statue in Borobudur, since its discovery numbers of Buddha's head has been stolen and ended up in museums abroad."
"Head from a Borobudur Buddha statue in Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam."
On leaving the Candi Borobudur we were surrounded by vendors and I managed to buy one of the replica stupa with a buddha inside!
 Borobudur in the distance.
Tea and cakes were offered back at the Manohara Study centre.
Yummy cheese covered cakes.
 A spot of calm after all the excitement of waiting for sunrise and climbing all the stupas.
even light entertainment and soothing ethnic music.
 my miniature stupa 
 with an image of Buddha inside, a nice momento of our visit.
We are so glad we managed to view Candi Borobudur and glad too that we chose the sunrise tour for the spectacular views and cooler climate!

Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage; once a year, Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument, and Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited tourist attraction

Map of Borobudur
Temple in Indonesia
Borobudur, or Barabudur, is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist Temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument consists of nine stacked platforms, six square and three circular, topped by a central dome. Wikipedia
Opened825 AD
Area26,910 ft²
Closed now 

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