Aside from Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism are two of the most popular religions in the country of Indonesia. Temples of these denominations are found across the archipelago, but it is in Central Java where two of the oldest, most impressive and most visited temples can be found. They are the Buddhist temple of Borobudur and the Hindu temple of Prambanan.
HOW TO GO HERE
As these temples are relatively near the city of Yogyakarta, it is wise to visit them while you’re already at the area. After our beach-hopping in Yogyakarta during Day 1, we went temple-hopping during Day 2. We asked our tour guide/driver if he could accommodate us again for another day and he happily agreed. We used his Toyota Innova to tour the temples.
INDONESIAN GETAWAY DAY 2
4:30 AM – Wake-up time
5 AM – Head to Punthuk Setumbu (Setumbu Hill) for sunrise viewing
6:15 AM – Climb up the stairs towards the top of Setumbu Hill
6:30 AM – Sunrise Viewing
7:30 AM – Head to Borobudur Temple
8 AM – Explore Borobudur Temple
11:30 AM – Head to Prambanan Temple
1 PM – Explore Prambanan Temple
3 PM – Head back to homestay, wash up, prepare things and go to the airport.
WHAT PLACES TO EXPLORE
SETUMBU HILL (Indonesian: Punthuk Setumbu)
Setumbu Hill is the perfect place to be if you want to catch the sunrise overlooking Borobudur Temple. While it is bombarded with many tourists and travelers, locals and foreigners alike, the place is still a haven for nature lovers as plants, flowers and trees bound the area. You can even see and hear birds chirping during your time here!
While going up the hill can be tiring, it is very much worth it when you get to see the view up above!
Small shops and stores can be found along the trail of the hill. They sell snacks as well as drinks. They also sell souvenirs such as shirts, key chains, ref magnets and small caricatures of Borobudur Temple and other Indonesian icons.
Location: Kedu Valley, southern part of Central Java, Indonesia
Borobudur Temple is one of the United Nations’ World Heritage Sites in Indonesia, along with Komodo National Park, rice terraces of Bali that use the subak system and the Prambanan Temple Complex. It was one of the places we were really looking forward to seeing during our visit in this country. Suprisingly, Borobudur was visited by a lot of people even during the weekday we were there! I guess it really is that popular I shouldn’t really be surprised!
FACTOIDS: Touted as the world’s largest Buddhist temple in the world, Borobudur Temple was constructed between the 8th and 9th centuries. The whole Borobudur temple complex was built in three tiers: a pyramidal base with five concentric square terraces, trunk of a cone with three circular platforms and a monumental stupa at the top. Around the circular platforms are 72 openwork stupas, each containing a statue of Buddha.
According to UNESCO, the vertical division of the temple into base, body and superstructure perfectly fits the conception of the Universe in Buddhist cosmology. More so, the whole structure of Borobudur is said to show a unique blending of the central ideas of ancestor worship related to the idea of a terraced mountain combined with the Buddhist concept of attaining Nirvana.
The temple has been used by the Buddhists from its construction until sometime between 10th and 15th centuries when it was abandoned. It was rediscovered in the 19th century and then restored during the 20th century. Thanks to the people of Indonesia, we are now able to visit it and experience for ourselves its beauty and magnificence.
On our way for the exit after visiting the temple, we were surprised to find out that vendors were selling animals like these owls. Shouldn’t they just be in the wild or even at the zoo? They’re wide awake in the middle of the day! Tsk.
Location: Bokoharjo, Prambanan, Sleman Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta
After visiting the Borobudur Temple, we then headed to Prambanan Temple. Just like Borobudur, Prambanan is a beautiful and impressive structure!
Factoids: Built in the 9th century, Prambanan Temple is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia. It is dedicated to the Hindu trinity: Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Preserver) and Shiva (the Destroyer and Transformer). The temple is characterized by tall and pointed architecture and by the 47-m high central building inside a large complex.
The Prambananan Temple Compound consists of the main Prambanan Temple (also called Loro Jonggrang), Sewu Temple, Bubrah Temple and Lumbung Temple.
It is said that since the reconstruction of its main temples in the 1990s, Prambanan has been reclaimed by the Hindus in Java as an important religious center for their rituals and ceremonies.
WHO TO CONTACT (same as the contacts that we had in Day 1)
For homestay: Mr. Agung – 082242321100
For car rental: Busro Trans: Rental Mobil Dan Motor – 081903725501, 087839942403, (0274) 513-473
LIST OF EXPENSES:
15,000 IDR (individual) – Entrance fee to sunrise deck in Setumbu Hill
540,000 IDR (individual) – Temple tour (Borobudur and Prambanan)
500,000 IDR (group) – Whole day car rental
TOTAL (per pax): P2,427
Thanks for reading, guys! Watch out for my next blog post, which will feature our travel to one of Indonesia’s most popular, most beautiful and most active volcanoes: Mt. Bromo!