ANCIENENCE OF HERITAGE
Who does not know Borobudur? This Buddhist temple has 1460 relief panels and 504 Buddha effigies in its complex. Millions of people are eager to visit this building as one of the World Wonder Heritages. It is not surprising since architecturally and functionally, as the place for Buddhists to say their prayer, Borobudur is attractive.
Borobudur was built by King Samaratungga, one of the kings of Old Mataram Kingdom, the descendant of Sailendra dynasty. Based on Kayumwungan inscription, an Indonesian named Hudaya Kandahjaya revealed that Borobudur was a place for praying that was completed to be built on 26 May 824, almost one hundred years from the time the construction was begun. The name of Borobudur, as some people say, means a mountain having terraces (budhara), while other says that Borobudur means monastery on the high place.
Borobudur is constructed as a ten-terraces building. The height before being renovated was 42 meters and 34.5 meters after the renovation because the lowest level was used as supporting base. The first six terraces are in square form, two upper terraces are in circular form, and on top of them is the terrace where Buddha statue is located facing westward. Each terrace symbolizes the stage of human life. In line with of Buddha Mahayana, anyone who intends to reach the level of Buddha's must go through each of those life stages.
The base of Borobudur, called Kamadhatu, symbolizes human being that are still bound by lust. The upper four stories are called Rupadhatu symbolizing human beings that have set themselves free from lust but are still bound to appearance and shape. On this terrace, Buddha effigies are placed in open space; while the other upper three terraces where Buddha effigies are confined in domes with wholes are called Arupadhatu, symbolizing human beings that have been free from lust, appearance and shape. The top part that is called Arupa symbolizes nirvana, where Buddha is residing.
Each terrace has beautiful relief panels showing how skillful the sculptors were. In order to understand the sequence of the stories on the relief panels, you have to walk clockwise from the entrance of the temple. The relief panels tell the legendary story of Ramayana. Besides, there are relief panels describing the condition of the society by that time; for example, relief of farmers' activity reflecting the advance of agriculture system and relief of sailing boat representing the advance of navigation in Bergotta (Semarang).
All relief panels in Borobudur temple reflect Buddha's teachings. For the reason, this temple functions as educating medium for those who want to learn Buddhism.suggests that you walk through each narrow passage in Borobudur in order for you to know the philosophy of Buddhism. Atisha, a Buddhist from India in the tenth century once visited this temple that was built 3 centuries before Angkor Wat in Cambodia and 4 centuries before the Grand Cathedrals in Europe.
Thanks to visiting Borobudur and having supply of Buddha teaching script from Serlingpa (King of Sriwijaya), Atisha was able to improve Buddha's teachings after his return to India and he built a religion institution, Vikramasila Buddhism. Later he became the leader of Vikramasila monastery and taught Tibetans of practicing Dharma. Six scripts from Serlingpa were then summarized as the core of the teaching called "The Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment" or well known as Bodhipathapradipa.
A question about Borobudur that is still unanswered by far is how the condition around the temple was at the beginning of its foundation and why at the time of it's finding the temple was buried. Some hypotheses claim that Borobudur in its initial foundation was surrounded by swamps and it was buried because of Merapi explosion. It was based on Kalkutta inscription with the writing 'Amawa' that means sea of milk. The Sanskrit word was used to describe the occurrence of disaster. The sea of milk was then translated into Merapi lava. Some others say that Borobudur was buried by cold lava of Merapi Mountain.
With the existing greatness and mystery, it makes sense if many people put Borobudur in their agenda as a place worth visiting in their lives. Besides enjoying the temple, you may take a walk around the surrounding villages such as Karanganyar and Wanurejo. You can also get to the top of Kendil stone where you can enjoy Borobudur and the surrounding scenery. Please visit Borobudur temple right away...
Prambanan Hindhiâ€™s Temple
Prambanan temple is extraordinarily beautiful building constructed in the tenth century during the reigns of two kings namely Rakai Pikatan and Rakai Balitung. Soaring up to 47 meters (5 meters higher than Borobudur temple), the foundation of this temple has fulfilled the desire of the founder to show Hindu triumph in Java Island. This temple is located 17 kilometers from the city center, among an area that now functions as beautiful park.
There is a legend that Javanese people always tell about this temple. As the story tells, there was a man named Bandung Bondowoso who loved Roro Jonggrang. To refuse his love, Jonggrang asked Bondowoso to make her a temple with 1,000 statues only in one-night time. The request was nearly fulfilled when Jonggrang asked the villagers to pound rice and to set a fire in order to look like morning had broken. Feeling to be cheated, Bondowoso who only completed 999 statues cursed Jonggrang to be the thousandth statue.
Prambanan temple has three main temples in the primary yard, namely Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva temples. Those three temples are symbols ofTrimurti in Hindu belief. All of them face to the east. Each main temple has accompanying temple facing to the west, namely Nandini for Shiva, Angsa for Brahma, and Garuda for Vishnu. Besides, there are 2 flank temples, 4 kelir temples and 4 corner temples. In the second area, there are 224 temples.
Entering Shiva temple, the highest temple and is located in the middle, you will find four rooms. One main room contains Shiva statue, while the other three rooms contain the statues of Durga (Shiva's wife), Agastya (Shiva's teacher), and Ganesha (Shiva's son). Durga statue is said to be the statue of Roro Jonggrang in the above legend.
In Vishnu temple, to the north of Shiva temple, you will find only one room with Vishnu statue in it. In Brahma temple, to the south of Shiva temple, you find only room as well with Brahma statue in it.
Quite attractive accompanying temple is Garuda temple that is located close to Vishnu temple. This temple keeps a story of half-bird human being named Garuda. Garuda is a mystical bird in Hindu mythology. The figure is of golden body, white face, red wings, with the beak and wings similar to eagle's. It is assumed that the figure is Hindu adaptation of Bennu (means 'rises' or 'shines') that is associated with the god of the Sun or Re in Old Egypt mythology or Phoenix in Old Greek mythology. Garuda succeeded in saving his mother from the curse of Aruna (Garuda's handicapped brother) by stealing Tirta Amerta (the sacred water of the gods).
Its ability to save her mother made many people admire it to the present time and it is used for various purposes. Indonesia uses the bird as the symbol of the country. Other country using the same symbol is Thailand, with the same reason but different form adaptation and appearance. In Thailand, Garuda is known as Krut or Pha Krut.
Prambanan also has panels of relief describing the story of Ramayana. Experts say that the relief is similar to the story of Ramayana that is told orally from generation to generation. Another interesting relief is Kalpataru tree that - in Hindu - the tree is considered tree of life, eternity and environment harmony. In Prambanan, relief of Kalpataru tree is described as flanking a lion. The presence of this tree makes experts consider that Javanese society in the ninth century had wisdom to manage its environment.
Just like Garuda, Kalpataru tree is also used for various purposes. In Indonesia, Kalpataru is used as the logo of Indonesian Environment Institution. Some intellectuals in Bali even develop "Tri Hita Karana" concept for environment conservation by seeing Kalpataru relief in this temple. This tree of life is also seen in the gunungan (the puppet used as an opening of traditional puppet show or wayang kulit). This proves that relief panels in Prambanan have been widely known throughout the world.
If you see the relief in detail, you will see many birds on them; they are real birds as we can see on the earth right now. Relief panels of such birds are so natural that biologists can identify their genus. One of them is the relief of the Yellow-Crest Parrot (Cacatua sulphurea) that cites unanswered question. The reason is that the bird only exists in Masakambing Island, an island in the middle of Java Sea. Then, did the bird exist in Yogyakarta? No body has succeeded in revealing the mystery.
You can discover many more things in Prambanan. You can see relief of Wiracarita Ramayana based on oral tradition. If you feel tired of enjoying the relief, you can take a rest in the beautiful garden in the complex. Since 18 September 2006, you can enter zone 1 area of Prambanan temple. The damage caused by the earthquake on 27 May 2006 is being reconstructed. Please come and enjoy Prambanan temple.
Mendut Temple (Candi Mendut)
Candi Mendut (Mendut Temple) is 3 kilometers eastward from Borobudur Temple. It is a Buddhist temple, built in 824 A.D. by King Indera of Cailendra dynasty.
There are three big statues inside, they are:
Cakyamuni sitting in cross legged pose with dharma cakra mudra (= turning the wheel of dharma hand pose)
Awalokiteswara, a bodhi satwa as human being helper.
Awalokiteswara is a statue with Amitabha on her crown, Vajrapani. She is holding a red lotus and put on her palm.
Maitreya, a savior of human beings in the future.
There are stories for children on its walls.
Candi Mendut (Mendut Temple) is frequently used to celebrate the Waisak day every May full moon and the pilgrims from Indonesia and all parts of the world come to this ceremony.
It is older than Candi Borobudur. Its architecture is square, and having an entrance on its steps. Its roof is also square and terraced. There are stupas (= bell-shaped structures) on it.
Pawon Temple (Candi Pawon)
Pawon Temple is one and half kilometers westward from Mendut Temple and eastward from Borobudur Temple, it is also a Buddhist temple. When appreciating in detail, its sculpture is the beginning of Borobudur sculpture.
Pawon Temple is not a grave but as a place to keep King Indra's weapon namely Vajranala. This temple was built with volcanic stones. Architecturally it is a blend of old Javanese Hindu and Indian art. Pawon temple is exactly in the central point of the straight line stretched from Borobudur to Mendut Temple.
Perhaps it was built for kubera. It is on a wide rather terrace with steps. All parts are decorated with stupa(s)on dagoba(s) and its outside walls with symbolic pictures.
On the fifth day of the fifth month of Chinese calendar, you will be able to see Peh Cun ceremony procession in Parangtritis. Peh Cun, originating from the word Peh that means oar and Cun that means boat, is Chinese expression of gratitude to God. This rite is also meant to commemorate Khut Gwan (Qi Yuan), a loyal patriot as well as a minister who was once betrayed by his colleague so that he committed a suicide.
Peh Cun ceremony is unique since there is no festival of dragon-decorated boats rowing like in other regions, instead there is an attraction of standing egg. The attraction begin at 11:00 a.m. and by afternoon, according to the myth, the egg will stand upright with no means of support are needed. By 01:00 p.m., however, the egg will suddenly fall down and no one can erect it anymore.
To get to Parangtritis Beach, you can take either one of the two routes. One is the route of Yogyakarta-Imogiri-Siluk-Parangtritis with the river and coral reel scenery on the way. The other is Yogyakarta-Parangtritis route that is easier to take with quite smooth road. It is suggested that you do not wear green clothes to respect local people who believe that green clothes will bring misfortune.