The Wonders of the Ancient Heritage, Yogyakarta
The Wonders of the Ancient Heritage, Yogyakarta

November 30, -0001

1. BOROBUDUR TEMPLE

Borobudur Temple is the world's largest Buddhist temple. Built in the 9th century, Borobudur Temple today has turned into a tourism magnet that attracts millions of tourists every year. Find unique facts, history, and pictures of Borobudur Temple here.

Jogja's rent car drivers have, among others, one particular joke. It is said that Indonesians would visit Borobudur Temple at least four times in their lives. The first visit to Borobudur Temple is usually during high school study tour. The second is with their boyfriends/girlfriends during college. The third is with their parents after they graduate from college. The fourth is with their spouses and children when spending holidays in Jogja.

Borobudur Temple has been somewhat like a must-visit destination in Jogja. Situated in Magelang, Borobudur Temple is only 1.5 hours by private/rent car from Jogja's downtown. Public Transportation to Borobudur is also available.

2. PRAMBANAN TEMPLE

Prambanan Temple was built in the ninth century. Soaring 47 meters into the sky with all of its alluring ornaments, the beauty of this Hindu temple is beyond compare. It is located 17 km to the west of the center of Jogja and can easily be visited by bus.

"To America and back," said my taxi driver jokingly while pointing towards the odometer on his car—a Ford—that showed 300,000 km. We both laughed. Knowing that I could have easily taken a Trans Jogja bus instead of a taxi to get to Prambanan Temple made me regret taking a taxi, but the kindness of this driver made me feel lucky.

3. MENDUT TEMPLE

Mendut Temple is a Buddhist temple built by King Indra of Syailendra Dynasty. Mendut Temple niches became the throne for a large Buddha statue.

A variety heritages that reflects the glory and splendor of the past scattered across Nusantara (the archipelago). One of the rests of the past greatness is Mendut Temple located about 3 km east of Borobudur Temple. Kayumwungan inscriptions found in Karangtengah mentioned that Mendut Temple was built by King Indra of Syailendra Dynasty. Rectangular temple with multistoried roofs decorated small stupas were built earlier than Pawon Temple and Borobudur Temple which are located in on straight line. Different from Borobudur Temple that facing the rising sun, Mendut Temple entrance faces westward.

In the morning, when YogYES visited the temple, they saw some female high school students and foreign tourists climbing the stairs of the temple. From the distance, Mendut Temple looks graceful and sturdy on its temple foot as tall as 3.70m. Arrived at the yard, YogYES walked around the foot of the temple and found some relief panels which tell about the bird and turtle, monkey and manyar bird, Brahmana dan crab, as well as a number of other fables. At a glimpse, the reliefs that describe Jataka story give a moral message for all those who visit Mendut Temple. Up to the body of the temple, YogYES found 8 reliefs of Bodhisattva with a variety of hand attitudes with much bigger size than the panel reliefs in Borobudur Temple.

Stepped into the chamber of the temple, fragrant scent of flowers mingled with the aroma of incense could be felt clearly. Three 3-meter-high statues illuminated with golden light welcomed YogYES. Large statues in the temple room are statue of Avalokitesvara, and a statue of Bodhisattva Vajrapani. Dyani Buddha Cakyamuni statue is located in the middle sitting with both feet down and the hand attitude turning the wheel of dharma. Being carved out of stone with high accuracy makes the three statues look elegant and dashing. In front of Buddha statue, there are flowers, hiolo, and hio.

Being satisfied enjoying the beauty of Mendut Temple and its giant statues, YogYES left the temple gate passing a row of souvenirs stalls. Not far from the temple, there is a Buddhist monastery which is quiet and open to public. Lotus flowers blooming in the pond and a number of stupas lining in a row decorate the entrance of Buddhist monastery. Every night starting at 19:00 - 20:00, the place is used for chanting ritual or meditation conducted by listening to music and singing. You don't have to be Buddhist, anyone can follow chanting ritual. However, unfortunately, when YogYES visited the Buddhist monastery at night, the chanting ritual was just ended. YogYES started to leave Buddhist monastery and Mendut Temple which are standing gloriously in the midst of darkness.