Sunday, April 4, 2010

Why I came to Java

My fifth time in Indonesia and at last I make it to Borobodur. It's a quiet little village which just so happens to have one of the largest Buddhist monuments in South East Asia. As a result it attracts it's fair share of tacky souvenir sellers who have a steady stream of tourists to pester with their wares. Welcome back to the main tourist trail.Most visitors to Borobodur come on a day trip from Yogyakarta, so staying a night not only affords you an early entry at 6 am, but for $40 (a small fortune in Indonesia) you can be one of those to gain an entry before dawn to watch the sun rise from the top of the temple. It's a wonderful experience, and visiting the temple before the heat of the day really sets in is a must.I can't really describe Borobodur, it's like a massive mandala with numerous terraces carved with bas reliefs of the stories of Buddha and Buddha's teachings. In alcoves everywhere are statues of Buddha looking out over the landscape and the upper terraces have stupas with buddha statues inside. I dutifully reach in and touch Buddha's feet, which honours me with good luck.Let's hope so, as next stop is the tourist jungle of Yogyakarta, but first I visit two more smaller temples, one with 3 Buddhas inside and the site of a meditation centre. I am now suitably chilled and it is time to hit town... I make no apologies, there are lots of pictures of Borobodur here, and for pictures of the smaller temples of Pawon and Mendut, here.

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