BOROBUDUR TEMPLE JOGYAKARTA
province of Central Java, around the city of Jogyakarta, is the most famous part
of Java and is, in fact, its cultural centre. This is in part because of the presence
there of a variety of religious influences-Buddhist, Hindu, and other indigenous
beliefs, which resulted in the construction of the impressive temples of Borobudur,
Prambanan and the Dieng temple complex.
The 300 year old city of Jogyakarta
is the cultural heart of Java. Here also is Indonesia's oldest palace 'The Kraton,'
still the domicile of Jogya's royalty. Even now the current Sultan of Jogyakarta
retains remarkable political prestige. Jogyakarta offers an abundance of Javanese
art, painting, silverwork, batik handcraft, traditional Javanese dances, as well
as contemporary art. The city is the cultural centre not only of Java, but of
the whole of Indonesia. From Jogyakarta one can travel easily to the Borobudur
and Prambanan temples, which are half-day trips from the city. Jogyakarta is situated
between the foot of the still-active Merapi volcano and the mystical Indian Ocean,
home of 'Loro Kidul,' Queen of the South Seas.
The most famous of Indonesia's temples is this huge Buddhist pyramid. This is
a Buddhism's largest shrine in Indonesia, built in the 9th century. Located north
west of Jogyakarta, Borobudur was completed in the second half of the ninth century.
Like the Hindu temple complexes Prambanan and the Dieng plateau, Borobudur was
unknown and neglected for almost a thousand years, covered under thick layers
of volcanic ash.
From a far Borobudur looks like a huge but ordinary stone
construction. But from nearby we can see that it consists of hundreds of wonderfully
detailed statues and sculptures, representing Buddhist teachings mixed with images
of Javanese life of a thousand years ago.
Perhaps the finest temple complex in Indonesia, Prambanan is a ten-century old
Hindu temple. This temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, locally called
Candi Loro Jonggrang, which means 'slender virgin.' From an architectural point
of view this beautifully sculptured spire, fifty meters high, indeed resembles
a 'slender virgin.' Like the Buddhist stupa Borobudur, Prambanan was abandoned
when the Buddhist and Hindu Javanese inhabitants moved to East Java.
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