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BOROBUDUR - The World’s Heritage in Java, Indonesia

BOROBUDUR - The world’s treasure in the island of Java, Indonesia

Safari Gajah Borobudur Dusun Jowahan

Borobudur Temple is a very famous archaelogical building, not only among Buddhists but also around the world. Borobudur Temple was built by Syailendra Dynasty in the 8th century. Not much is known about how it started, but clearly, it involved workers in huge number to carve out 60,000 cubic meters of volcanic rock. On Borobudur Temple walls, reliefs were carved which contain the teachings of Buddha throughout 6 km! It is hailed as the largest Buddha reliefs ensemble and the most complete in the world, incomparable in artistic value, each scene is a complete masterpiece (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/592).

In addition to the teachings of Buddha, Borobudur reliefs also recorded the progress of Javanese society at that time. One of the reliefs illustrates the form a ship used by the sailors from Java to sail to the continent of Africa in the 8th century, long before the Portuguese sailors did. On the initiative of Philip Beale from the UK in 2003, the reconstruction was conducted to build a replica of the ship based on the relief which was then used sail along the cinnamon route from Java to the continent of Africa. Now the ship is known as Borobudur Ship and stored in the museum of Kapal Samudraraksa which is located in Borobudur Temple complex.

Close to Borobudur Temple, there are two other temples, which are Mendut Temple and Pawon Temple. Those three temples were built in the same period and located in one straight line. Mendut Temple is famous for having a large Buddha statue and reliefs that contain animal story or fable. Pawon Temple lies between Mendut Temple and Borobudur Temple.

Widely stretched paddy fields stretching up into the foothill of Menoreh Hill reaffirm the name of Java Dwipa, on the land where these temples were born. Adventure along the road which divides the area of paddy field and plantation using a bicycle or horse cart tour can be the right choice. While enjoying a typical fresh air of countryside, watching the process of making various household appliances made clay (pottery) as well as learning directly from Klipoh villagers will become an enjoyable traveling experience. Then, the journey can be continued by a stop at an antique Joglo (Javanese traditional house) that is more than a century old in Jowahan Hamlet. Special warm hospitality and greetings of the villagers will welcome the visitors.

If you want a more exotic and challenging adventure, riding an elephant around Borobudur Temple complex or hiking Dagi Hill located in west of the temple is an interesting choice of activities to do. Still less challenging? What about the elephant safari (riding an elephant safari) around the rural areas and along Sileng River? It is guaranteed that elephant safari experience will be a memorable and unforgettable moment.

Another thing that must be done during a visit to Borobudur is to see Borobudur sunrise and sunset. The dawn and dusk are the best time to see the splendor and serenity of the temple because there is no souvenirs vendors passing by and disturbing. The rows of stupas, relief and halls of the temple that have been exposed by orange golden light will leave a deep impression on mind. Beside watching the sun rising moment from Borobudur Temple, Punthuk Setumbu Hill also becomes the right place to enjoy the silhouette of Borobudur Temple in the middle of a stretch mist and the dim of morning light.

Sightseeing and eating are two things that can not be separated because it is not complete if we visit Borobudur without any culinary tasting. Mushrooms and tongseng on Jalan Balaputeradewa can be an option for dinner. If you do not like mushrooms, there are still other options such as Noodle Stall Pak Parno. Although located in the alley, Pak Parno Noodle Stall is quite popular because of its good taste.

As a "dessert" to close this extraordinary tour, Suroloyo Peak located in Menoreh Hill becomes a place worth visit. From a height of 1019 m above sea level, Borobudur Temple looks tiny surrounded by 4 strong and mighty mountains, Mount Sindoro, Sumbing, Merapi and Merbabu.

From Yogyakarta to Borobudur

Borobudur (42 km northwest of Yogyakarta) is very easily reached by public transportation or private/rental vehicle. For those of you who choose the main route, you can leave from Jombor Bus Station or Giwangan Bus Station in Yogyakarta.

  • Jombor Bus Station (Yogyakarta) - Borobudur: IDR 10,000
  • Giwangan Bus Station (Yogyakarta) - Borobudur: IDR 10,000

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