Sunday, September 14, 2014

First Day in Jogjakarta - Prambanan

As we arrive in Yogyakarta Airport, it was already 1230 pm hence we first went for lunch.  Since the dining place was on the way to Prambanan temple, which is the nearest tourist spot from airport, so we decided to see this first after our lunch.

Satria Restaurant is along Jl.Yogyakarta-Solo road, its outdoor cottages are the dining area, which is overlooking a  rice field

The food was good though pricey which is expected in this area where most diners are tourists.  I love there beef soup and fish in sweet spicy sauce.

After lunch we continue to Prambanan Hindus Temple, the entrance per adult was 180,000 IDR.  We also hired a local guide (30,000 IDR) to explain this UNESCO World Heritage sites.  Although its raining, there were still several visitors, mostly local students having their field trip.

This Hindu Prambanan temple complex is noticeable by the height and pointed architecture of the temples gives an impressive welcome.

Entering the compound, there were several stone relics scattered around, its evident that the restoration is still undergoing, pretty much similar to Angkor Wat. 

The exteriors of the temples and the balustrade areas within the central square are dense with carvings, and in particular, the Siva temple is famous for the 62 relief depictions of the Ramayana Ballet, telling the story of King Rama and his wife Sita.

Built in the 10th century, this is the largest temple compound dedicated to Shiva in Indonesia. 

These pattern is the shape of inverted lotus flower bud, which you will also find it later in the Borobudur temple.


Rising above the centre of the last of these concentric squares are three temples decorated with reliefs illustrating the epic of the Ramayana, dedicated to the three great Hindu divinities (Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma) and three temples dedicated to the animals who serve them. 

Within the Prambanan's Siva temple is a series of chambers, dedicated to Ganesha, Bhatare Guru; a bearded priest, Siva himself, and importantly, Durga, who local folklore claims as the depiction of Loro Djonggrang, the slender virgin.


Each of the towers houses these images of Hindu Goddesses. 

The local guide with couple of Education Students who joins us to improve their english speaking skills with tourists.

After 2 hours of walking around the compound, every one was tired hence we had a good sleep in the car on the way to our hotel that night.  There was a heavy traffic congestion that evening on the way to Magelang area.  Hence, we arrive almost 8 pm already.  

We spent the night at Manohara Hotel Borobudur - it is the only hotel located nearby the 9th-century Buddhist sanctuary of Borobudur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This sanctuary hotel is located within a natural amphitheatre, with the limestone Menoreh Hills rising gently behind, the Kedu Plain in front and four volcanoes (Sumbing and Sundoro to the West, Merbabu and Merapi to the East) on the horizon.

We book our accommodation using Agoda, which provides us reasonable price since I was able to utilize an affiliate credit card promotion for further discount, so we paid 95 SGD for a twin room.  At this price In-House guest (who staying at Manohara) have free unlimited access to Borobudur temple and museums.

They also have a small theater that plays film showing about Borobudur history, I find this really useful if you want to understand the story behind the sculptured walls of the temple.  

At night there was some performance at the dining hall,

Staying here was the best decision we had, because we do not have to wake up very early the following day to catch the world famous sunrise in Borobudur!

Read the next article for our exploration in Borobudur temple.

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