Candi Prambanan is a magnificent Shivaite temple which derives its name from the village where it is located. Locally known as the Loro Jongrang temple, or the temple of the "Slender Virgin" it is reputed to be the biggest and most beautiful Hindu Temple in Indonesia.
The temple 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 Ramayana story. There are 224 temples in the complex; three of them, the main temples are Brahma Temple in the north, Vishnu Temple in the south, and the biggest among the three which lies between Brahma and Vishnu temples is Shiva Temple (47 meters high) which houses the magnificent statue of Shiva's consort, Durga.
The Prambanan Temple Compounds was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1991.
It is believed the name "Borobudur" is derived from the Sanskrit words "Vihara Buddha Uhr" the Buddhist Monastery on the hill. The Candi Borobudur was built in the eighth century by King Samaratungga from the dynasty of Sailendra.
Borobudur rises to seven terraces, each smaller than the one below it. At the top is the Great Stupa, standing 40 meters above the ground. The walls of the Borobudur are sculptured in bas-relief extending over a total length of six kilometres. It has been hailed as the largest and most complete ensemble of Buddhist reliefs in the world and the oldest in South East Asia. Built with more than 2,000,000 cubic feet of grey andesite stone, Borobodur is the largest ancient monument in the Southern Hemisphere.
During the 10th century, the temple was less and less visited and was being progressively covered by volcanic eruptions and tropical growth. In 1814 Sir Thomas Stanford Raffles, a British colonel, discovered the monument. In 1855 Borobodur was cleared and the long process of restoration begun.
The monument has been completely restored and was officially opened on 23 February 1983. The restoration took eight years to complete, funded by the Government of Indonesia with aid from UNESCO and donations from private citizens as well as from foreign governments.
You can spend hours walking up and around this beautiful temple. Every wall tells a story with its intricate carvings. When you reach the top you will feel like you are on top of the world looking out at the greenness surrounding you.
At over 2300 meters above sea level, Mount Bromo is the only active volcano inside Java's spectacular Tengger Caldera national park.
You can appreciate the wonder of the volcano at a safe distance or if you're game enough, rise at 3:30am for the trek over the sand by foot or horse before climbing the stairs to view the sunrise while standing on the edge of the crater itself.
Yes, it was a wonderful experience but I will have to admit to being quite terrified. At times you are standing on a space about a meter wide looking down into what looks like hell and this is after all an ACTIVE volcano!!
Postscript: On 8 June 2004 the volcano erupted, killing two people. Two tourists, one an Indonesian and the other from Singapore, were killed and five others injured when Mount Bromo hurled rocks the size of footballs. Indonesia sits astride the geologically active Pacific 'ring of fire.'
Borobudur means Buddhist monastery on the hill.
One you get past the hordes of hawkers and get up the hill , you capture the spirit of the temple.
Get a guide to show you around. They are inexpensive and they can tell you the story of the sculptured panels.
Candi Shiva Mahadeva, the temple dedicated to Shiva. It is the largest of the temples in the complex and architecturally the most perfect.
It is lavishly carved.
If you like volcanos and so, there is a sulphure lake with astonishing colours but do not touch it its hot and letal.