visit Prambanan! (Java)
visit Prambanan! (Java)
photo by Luca Invernizzi Tettoni
Pramabanan temple is a Civa complex and represents the largest historical remains found in the Prambanan area. Administratively, the Prambanan temple is situated in the village of Bokoharjo, Sub Distric of Prambanan, Regency of Sleman, approx. 16 km from Yogyakarta on the way to Solo, at the North side of the road.
Based on the God statue and the relief, could known that Prambanan complex was the place of the Hindusts worshipping.
An inscription that could be related to the Prambanan temples, was Siwagrha inscription (778 C / 856 M). The Inscription mentioned about inauguration a holy building for the God Civa. Then the name of King Jatiningrat (Rakai Pikatan) in which has to fight against Balaputra, and after he won the war he gave the Kingdom to Dyan Pitaloka (Rakai kayuwangi 851 - 852). In that inscription was also detailly said about the Hinduists holy building, as well as mentioning about Dwarapala; drainage system on the temple and the river's flow replacement down to the sides of the temple yard.
All was measured by the discovering of white, black and red short writings paint, that mentioned the name Pikatan at the temple's stone.
The sulphurpeople of Kawa Ljen
Kawa ljen produce 10 tonnes of liquid sulphur (pluss a variety of other materials) every day. This crop are collected by locals via some tubes almost in the bottom of the crater The liquid stuff are tapped on the ground where it get solid. Then it is harvested and ccarried in baskets down to the waiting trucks at Pos Paltuding, they take it to a factory in Banyuwangi at the coast.. The collectors recieve 300 rupees per kilo, and some carry as mutch as 110 kilo per trip. They make 2-4 trips a day. It is a backbreaking work, beside all the unhealthy gases they have to breath when they collect and carry the sulphur to the top of the crater. No wounder that even the youngest look old. Despite this, many of them has not forgotten to smile, and no wounder they take see the economical potential of tourists. They pose for a small sum of money, or they sell sulphurpieces allowed to harden in dripstoneshapes and stored easy acsessible just in case. Also the standardquestion is rokok (cigarettes). You are free to visit them at the tappingtubes at the bottom, but then you must be prepared for an acking throat afterwards. The fumes are overwhelming. It is a trip you should do anyway, i think.
Heart of Indonesia
Indonesia as a Whole
While this page is mainly for the island of Java, I have decided so leave that as-is despite it being only one of the thousands of islands of Indonesia.
I have also spent time on:
Lombok Island for some quiet rest and relaxation.
Bali Island - Nusa Dua, Kuta, Ubud, etc. for some tourist centered holidays.
Sulawesi Island and the town of Makassar.
Papua Island - scuba diving in Raja Ampat, using the towns of Sorong and Kaimana as stepping points.
Timor Island - Kupang as a day stop on my way to East Timor.
"Java - Heart of Indonesia"
I worked in Surabaya for nearly two months and then another two months in the more isolated area of Balongan, Cirebon and Indramayu (central north coast). Also I ventured out to Pulau Seribu for some diving and recreation. A few other weekends were spent in Jakarta and Yogjakarta.
(for more pictures, feel free to visit my Indonesia Gallery. If you enjoy the pictures, please leave a comment.)
The people here are friendly, wearing more smiles than any other people I can remember. Of the 200,000+ islands here (with 3,000 local dialects), the vast majority of them are Muslim, some are Hindi and others are Christian. Different islands are more or less conservative, but major cities have a friendly mixture.
Some of the other islands have some political issues. Anyone who watches the news or reads the news papers knows this. Java for the most part is free of any visible problems that would affect travelers. But as a precaution, even within the cities, military and security checkpoints are visible and places like hotel entrances are regularly manned.
I planned to visit the Temples of Boroburdur (Magelang) and Prambanan in central Java. I previously mentioned these places to my local inspector and he said he would also like to go. I quickly realized how advantageous it was that he opted to go to these temples, because if I went on my own like I was planning to do, it would have been quite an adventure to get around in these small towns, with no maps, signs, or other comforts for western travelers.
"A bit of reflection:"
The people here are wonderfully nice and courteous. I thought about deleting the following paragraph because I thought it might sound too jaded, but in an effort to be honest, here's a thought I'd like to share:
People here are mostly Muslim, but have a mix of other religions also. For the most part, they all get along. Workers, families and business settings all have an amicable mix of religions. The ethnic discrimination on the other hand is much more observant. While there are no open policies of discrimination, there are mainly three groups here, Indonesian, Indo-Chinese and Chinese. The Chinese, while they have their share of dirt-poor populations, control the majority of the businesses, covering all economic levels from street vendors, small shops to large department centers. This causes a lot of resentment from the local, indigenous people. Even second and third generation Chinese immigrants, whether pure or mixed, have difficulty getting respect, service or equal treatment. For example, one time while at a shopping mall, a group of Indo-Chinese were walking and talking Indonesian in the hall. As soon as they (and I) got in the elevator, they began speaking Chinese, and then when the doors opened again and another person entered, they started back in Indonesian. Many of the half-Chinese are so self conscious about this that they try make up or hair fashions to mask their appearance and speaking Indonesian in order to avoid any negative attention.
Monastery on the hill
Built from nealy two million blocks of volcanic stone, Borobudur is shaped like a stepped pyramid.
The base is 402 feet long from north to south, 383 feet long from east to west, and the height is 95 feet above the ground.
The monument consists of six rectangular terraces topped by three concentric circular ones.
Each bell-shaped stupa has ,or did have, a meditating Buddha image inside. There is also a large statue of a Buddha image. From the top level of the temple you can see Mount Semeru in the background.
There are more than 1,300 narrative panels illustrating the life of Buddha and Buddhist texts, the largest and most complete collection of Buddhist relief in the world.
In the top panel there are people around some type of carriage.
This suggests that there were four wheel carts/carriages back as far as the 8-10th century.
Originally there were 432 statues of Buddha seated in the lotus position on the square terraces. Several have now lost their heads and will need replacing.
Borobudur is a place of pilgrimage rather than of worship, a training center for those who wiish to achieve Enlightenment.
In the 1970's, with the help of the United Nations Educational,Scientific and Cultural Organization, money resourses and professionals from twenty - seven countries were gathered together for the monumental effort to save this ancient temple.
The monument was closed to the public for 10 years. The restoration cost twenty-five million dollars.
Today, the work of archeologists and local stone carvers continues, using traditional Javenese methods to repair and replace the many damaged sculptures.
On the last three circular uppermost terraces, 72 stupas circle the huge main stupa on the top of this monument. The circular form represents the eternity without beginning and without end, a superlative, tranquil, and pure state of the formless world.