Monday, February 7, 2011

An Early Vacation Part 2

Our second night in Jogjakarta (pronounced Dyogdyakarta there but Yogyakarta for non-Indonesians) was spent at the Manohara Hotel, only five walking minutes to the Borobudur Temple. We arrived there at about 4 pm with grey skies and rains, but it did not deter us to approach the foot of the temple which closes at 5 pm. Good thing that we are prepared with hats, umbrellas, raincoats, dry bags and camera covers.

At 4:30am the following morning we started our walk to the temple for the sunrise shots. Manohara Hotel provides guides and flashlights for the resident tourists. The stairs are a bit steep, but there are stainless rails added lately to avoid accidents. There are nine levels, but the 2 top levels are still closed due to the destruction by the recent eruption of Mt Merapi. The temple really depicted the visualized Path to Enlightenment. The first levels show wall-stone carvings of the mundane things, including human vanities and pursuit of worldly happiness. As the level rises the carved pictures lessen, with the topmost and biggest stupa already devoid of any human or animal depictions. This show the disappearance of worldly concerns as the consciousness approaches enlightenment. Literatures say that the biggest and topmost stupa is open and contains nothing both inside and out. Several stupas in the lower levels contain the bust of the Buddha.

Above and Below: The Manohara Hotel complex

The approach to the Temple of Borobudur before sunrise in a really foggy cold morning

      I am sorry i still don't know how to merge photos, the topmost protruding stupa is the topmost center of the Borobudur Temple. Besides, my wide angle is not as wide to capture it in just a click!

 The Path to Enlightenment is very steep, and the symbol to get that is steep too! At the right is the moon on top of the central dome

Top left: Mt Sumbing at the background, the highest volcano around Borobudur. Top right: the side walls along the pathways upward the temple.

Those stupas have Buddha's bust inside, and at the top right is an open stupa showing the Buddha

The central dome or Stupa is already devoid of carvings, signifying the clean consciousness after undergoing the travails of life and diligent cleansing and good deeds. At the right shows details of walls at the mid levels of the temple, of people in meditation pose, to be one with the Divine.

Left: the walk at the mid-level of the temple. Right: the gargoyle serves as water spouts

 The wide angle view taken from the grounds of Manohara Hotel.

For a more detailed description of the places and events we saw in Indonesia in this trip, i would like to recommend you see this link from my journalist friend. He writes and photographs better and even put the cost and prices for hotels, entrance fees, and transport, hahaha.


  1. Again I have to say the architecture is amazing. This is so much a place I would love to visit. Your photos are wonderful and make me wish I was there taking them.

  2. Andrea,
    This place is amazing! Glad you were able to bring us there! How old is this place?

  3. Awesome photographs, Andrea! Thanks for sharing this trip to a very exotic world. That temple is amazing!

  4. what a beautiful, holy and divine captured it beautifully too...thank you for this incredible journey!

  5. Your pictures are just beautiful. They make me long to visit there.

  6. What a beautiful and special place! Great pictures

  7. Its breathtaking view of the famous temple. Always wanted to go there to experience the festive scenes when the local brought offerings to the temple in their colourful costumes and high-above their heads, their magnificently decorated offerings! Thanks for the journey.

  8. Looks like one has to be very fit to climb those steep stairs. I like the hotel better. :)

  9. I am really enjoying "our" vacation seeing sights I would never see if I wasn't traveling with you. Amazing photos, especially with the mountain in the back.

  10. You took good pictures of the temple. Thank you to the narrative, I almost feel as though I have been there :-) Thank you for sharing your vacation with us.

  11. An amazing journey, Andrea. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Nids, thanks for the plug. My post on Borobudur is coming up next week. :D


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