Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Borobudur La Grande Temple

Waking up early for our second day in Yogyakarta.  I woke up quite early at 6 am, and went out to catch the sun rise on Borobudur Temple,

Those staying in Yogyakarta city, will usually wake up 4.30 am to depart the city and take an hour ride to Borobudur compound. 

Borobudur Sunrise fee -
  • Domestic Visitor : IDR 250.000 per person
  • In house guest (who staying at Manohara): IDR 230.000 per person (with free breakfast voucher)
Staying in Manohara Hote was indeed a right decision,

Borobudur is best seen at dawn, when the air is fresh and full of birdsong. As the mist begins to lift, the sun scales the surrounding volcanoes and terraced fields, and highlights the stone reliefs and the many faces of Buddha. 

At first glance from the bottom of the hill, it was indeed a magnificent sight.

Glimpsing Borobudur for the first time is often a deeply felt emotional experience.

A panoramic scenery and a very beautiful morning at Borobudur especially those moments when the sun would appear from the horizon. A truly enlightening experience!

The Mount Merapi Volcano is facing the Borobudur temple, during sunrise it was a breathtaking view,

In Indonesian, ancient temples are referred to as candi; thus locals refer to "Borobudur Temple" as Candi Borobudur.

The origins of the name Borobudur, however, are unclear,although the original names of most ancient Indonesian temples are no longer known.

The name Borobudur was first written in Sir Thomas Raffles's book on Javan history. Raffles wrote about a monument called borobudur, but there are no older documents suggesting the same name.  Incidental, Raffles is also the founder Singapore, indeed he has an eye for beauty!

The name Bore-Budur, and thus BoroBudur, is thought to have been written by Raffles in English grammar to mean the nearby village of Bore; most candi are named after a nearby village. If it followed Javanese language, the monument should have been named "BudurBoro". 

Raffles also suggested that Budur might correspond to the modern Javanese word Buda ("ancient")—i.e., "ancient Boro".  However, another archaeologist suggests the second component of the name (Budur) comes from Javanese term bhudhara ("mountain").

The construction and inauguration of a sacred Buddhist building—possibly a reference to Borobudur—was mentioned in two inscriptions, both discovered in Kedu, Temanggung Regency. 

The Karangtengah inscription, dated 824, mentioned a sacred building named Jinalaya (the realm of those who have conquered worldly desire and reached enlightenment), inaugurated by Pramodhawardhani, daughter of Samaratungga. 

The Tri Tepusan inscription, dated 842, is mentioned in the sima, the (tax-free) lands awarded by Çrī Kahulunnan (Pramodhawardhani) to ensure the funding and maintenance of a Kamūlān called Bhūmisambhāra. Kamūlān is from the word mula, which means "the place of origin", a sacred building to honor the ancestors, probably those of the Sailendras. 

Casparis suggested that Bhūmi Sambhāra Bhudhāra, which in Sanskrit means "the mountain of combined virtues of the ten stages of Boddhisattvahood", was the original name of Borobudur.

Approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) northwest of Yogyakarta and 86 kilometres (53 mi) west of Surakarta, Borobudur is located in an elevated area between two twin volcanoes, Sundoro-Sumbing and Merbabu-Merapi, and two rivers, the Progo and the Elo.

According to local myth, the area known as Kedu Plain is a Javanese "sacred" place and has been dubbed "the garden of Java" due to its high agricultural fertility.

During the restoration in the early 20th century, it was discovered that three Buddhist temples in the region, Borobudur, Pawon and Mendut, are positioned along a straight line.  A ritual relationship between the three temples must have existed, although the exact ritual process is unknown

Borobudur was heavily affected by the eruption of Mount Merapi in October and November 2010. Volcanic ash from Merapi fell on the temple complex, which is approximately 28 kilometres (17 mi) west-southwest of the crater. 

A layer of ash up to 2.5 centimeters fell on the temple statues during the eruption of 3–5 November, also killing nearby vegetation, with experts fearing that the acidic ash might damage the historic site.

It was believe that whoever can touch the Buddha from one of the wholes will be lucky!

Sad to see other statue heads of Buddha were stolen.

Imagine if we went up here during normal hours 9am onwards, see those throngs of people occupying the whole temple!

After checking out from the Manohara hotel, we had a short stop at a nearby small Buddhist temple, Mendut Temple.

Mendut is a ninth-century Buddhist temple, located in Mendut village, Mungkid sub-district, Magelang Regency, Central Java, Indonesia. The temple is located about three kilometres east from Borobudur. Mendut, Borobudur and Pawon, all of which are Buddhist temples, are located in one straight line.  

Since we had a heavy buffet breakfast from Manohara hotel that morning, we still proceed to another interesting sight.  Read the next post to know the other places we visited in Yogyakarta.

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