12 December 2012
Borobudur an amazing experience
We drove through the countryside of Central Java, Indonesia past lusciously green rice and tobacco fields and we ate lunch at one of the fanciest hotels I’ve ever been called “Amanjiwo”. Princess Diana and the likes of David Beckham had all stayed there previously and got to enjoy the fabulous view of the famous Borobudur temple from their suites. Sadly we weren’t spending the night at that hotel however we were going to get to see and climb the famous Borobudur Temple the next day.
Said to be the largest Buddhist Temple in the whole world, I was surprised to see such a feat of architecture and craftsmanship in a country that is said to be 90% Muslim. (Obviously it was built way before the countries conversion to Islam.) We were told that from the top of Borobudur you could see a gorgeous sunrise and so we found ourselves waking up very early to experience it for ourselves.
I was a bit worried about having to climb to the top of the temple as I am slightly out of shape and am healing a broken ankle however I was happily surprised to find it not such a hard task once we arrived. The steps however, like many steps in Indonesia were very tall to me (each step was higher than what I am use to), definitely a good thighmaster work out.
To see Borobudur at sunrise you must book tickets especially since they only allow a certain number of people to be there at that time. Not only do you get to see the sunrise from a top this magnificent structure but you are also there when it is less crowded as we were told in the middle of the day it can get very, very busy.
Our sunrise was a bit washed out due to too many clouds but it was still a spectacular site. After the sunrise was over our guide took us on a tour around the temple, explaining to us everything from the history of the temple, completed in the 9th century to interesting facts like after an earthquake in 1006 people moved away from the area and the temple became almost completely forgotten until the early 1800s. We also learned about the Stupas surrounding the temple and that inside each one was a Buddah and each stupa was made from his personal belongings, his cane, his cup, plate and clothing garments.
I feel like I could of spent days walking around the temple looking at all of the intricate stone work and seeing all of the stories that were depicted. I also found it interesting to know that all carvings were done on site. After each rock was placed Artisans would then carve out the sculptures and stories on the walls.
Borobudur definitely had an aura of spirituality surrounding it and was a very special place. If you have a chance to visit Indonesia I highly recommend Borobudur being one of the first places you stop.
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