22 May 2010

Borobodur, Jogjakarta

We arrived at Borobodur actually 2 days ago, after landing at the Jogja airport some time on Thursday. Then it being only about 10 am and rooms not yet available for checking in we decided to go for a short tour of the Solo area. Solo is quite well known in its own right - it being the place of that old well known song " Bengawan Solo" sung by Sang Saimon originally and later by a number of other artistes. We visted some craft shops and also an old palace - what the Indonesians call a Kraton. It was built sometime during the 17th century by the Sultan HeMangku Buwono. But when the Dutch took over Java he was deposed

Right now  we are in Borubodur. Its a really great place - my daughter has banned me from using the word "awesome" because she says I'm too old to use it. There must be a law somewhere that I dont know  about which says I must not use words meant for kids, perhaps?
 Anyway it is  awe-inspiring, tremendously so. Not just the vastness of the temple complex but the fact that it is so well kept. Although some of the statues of the Buddha were missing, and some of the heads too, most of the temple is quite intact.
The hotel we stayed in is the Manohara Hotel or the Princess Manohara Hotel. It's situated right within the temple grounds so its only a few metres to visit the temple. I was quite impressed with the temple - its huge - its about 2 and a half km to walk right around the temple according to the guide, and its about 10 stories high. It was built sometime during the 7th century, by the Buddhists. There are more than 500 statues of the Buddha within the temple, on every story. However it was only discovered late in the 18th century during the Dutch era. It seems that most of the temple had been buried under volcanic ash during one of the earlier volcanic eruptions and lay undisturbed by Man for a number of centuries. This probably accounts for the fact that most of the temple is quite intact.

Other interesting sites in and around Jogjakarta are the volcanoes. There are a number of them, the most active of which is Merapi. Mount Merapi erupted sometime in 2007 and more than 5000 people died in that explosion, mainly because of the mudslides and earthquake that followed the erruption. Most of Jogjakarta consist of lowlying buildings, maybe because of this. Geographically most of the island of Java lies in the earthquake zone and the whole island is quite prone to earthquakes, but Jogjakarta is more susceptible to them than any other city in Java.

On the other hand, because of this, the soil here is also one of the richest in the country. As we drove upwards towards the Dieng Plateau, about 5300 feet above sea level, we could see the panaroma all around us - fields and fields of green - potatoes, beetroot, carrots, cabbages and others. From what I could see, the earth is so rich you can plant almost anything anywhere. Any land that is wider than 2 feet is planted and utilised. You can see terraces of potatoes, right up to the peak of the mountains.

                                                                    Fat sheep grazing in one of the pastures - no its not in New Zealand but in Indonesia!


naida said...

Fantastic photos Kat! Thanks for sharing.
those sheep are so cute :)

Borubodur does sound 'awesome'!
The temple does sound like an amazing sight to see.

Kat said...

Thank you Naida for your comments!

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...



I had a surgery but am coming along beautifully.

Hugs, JJ