BOROBUDUR & PRAMBANAN
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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.
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
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 in Borobudur Temple, Prambanan
was abandoned when the Buddhist and Hindu Javanese inhabitants moved
to East Java.
kilometers east of Yogyakarta, it is believed to have been built
by King Balitung Maha Sambu in the middle of the ninth century.
Its parapets are adorned with a bas-reliefs depicting the famous
The first open-air theater on the southern side of the temple was
built in 1960 and the new theater on the western side of the temple
in 1988. During full moon evenings in the month from May to October,
the Ramayana ballet is performed right here. The temple complex
of Prambanan lies among green fields and villages. It has eight
shrines, of which the three main ones are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu
and Brahma. The main temple of Shiva rises to a height of 130 feet
and houses the magnificent statue of Shiva's consort, Durga.
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