Sightseeing in Indonesia: Borobudur and Prambanan Temple - Vikingess Voyages

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sightseeing in Indonesia: Borobudur and Prambanan Temple

The main things Yuma and I wanted to see while in Yogyakarta, the former capital of Indonesia, was the two ancient temples Borobudur and Prambanan. Both are located not too far from the city, and our hostel arranged a day trip to both of them which we decided to go on before leaving for Bali. The trip started early in the morning, and with it we hoped to see the sunrise over Borobudur temple, our first destination.
Borobudur: Ready to climb the temple. Note the skirts; these are mandatory, and they'll lend you one when you enter the area.
But getting there by car took quite a long time; the temple was far from the city center and we also had to pick up some other tourists on the way. When we finally arrived the sun was already up. I have to say though, that although we didn't arrive in time to see the sunrise we wouldn't have been able to see any anyway since it was a bit cloudy in the morning.. 
We had a couple of hours at both the temple complexes, and although some people prefer to use a day at each of the temples we had no problems going through both Borobudur and Prambanan in just a day.
Below I have written a short summary about each of the temples, and added some of my own photos as well.

Students: If you are planning to visit Borobudur and Prambanan do not forget to bring your student ID. You'll get a nice discount on the entrance fee.

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur is a Buddhistic temple which is believed to date back to the beginning of the 8th century. It was abandoned some time during the 14th-century, but although nobody knew exactly where it was there were folk stories about the temple which were passed on for generations. Borobudur lay hidden in the jungle for centuries until it was rediscovered in 1814. The restoration of the temple also took many years. For example, when the temple was found it was covered in layers of volcanic ash, and overgrown by trees. Throughout the years after its discovery the temple was also the subject of various thieves and souvenir hunters, and the monument's unstable condition almost led to it being entirely dissembled by the government, who suggested that its reliefs should be placed in a museum instead. However, various restoration projects were undertaken to restore Borobudur to its former glory, and in 1973 the Indonesian government and UNESCO agreed on a plan. The restoration took place from 1975 to 1982, and had the neat price of 6,901,243 US Dollars. As a result of the restoration Borobudur finally made it to the UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1991.
Looking up at Borobudur 
Borobudur seen from the side 
Yuma and a stone guardian.
One of the arches of Borobudur temple
...And don't worry if your phone runs out of battery; in Borobudur they even provide free electricity!(?)
If you look closely you'll see that in almost all of the stupas there are sculptures of Buddhas like this one. The main stupa is however apparently empty.. 
Enjoying the view from Borobudur temple
Some stone reliefs in Borobudur
Borobudur seen from the garden

Prambanan temple

Candi Prambanan, or Prambanan temple, is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia. Just like Borobudur the temple is quite old; it dates back to the 9th century. and just like Borobudur this temple was also abandoned for centuries before it was rediscovered during the years of British rule. By then the temple complex was already heavily damaged, particularly by an earthquake in the 16th century, and additionally much of the stonework from the temples has been stolen after the discovery of the complex. Originally there were 240 temples in the Prambanan complex, but as a result of among others these thefts most of the smaller temples remains unrestored. Prambanan was also heavily damaged by the 2006 earthquake, but thanks to restoration efforts the temple complex remains an impressive sight, and this popular tourist attraction is also included in Unesco's World Heritage List.

Prambanan temple
Entrance to one of the temples

The temples in Prambanan is characteristically tall and pointed

A statue in one of the temples

The staircase to the temples are steep!

A relief in one of the Prambanan temples
Holy cow!
Candi Prambanan

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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