Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Prambanan and the hidden temples tour

Prambanan temple as seen from the north
Today we took ViaVia's "Prambanan and hidden temples" tour. We started the tour with a drive through rice fields, small side-streets, and tiny villages on the way to the Ijo hindu temple.

Our guide Vita was a fountain of knowledge and more than happy to tell us about the symbolisms of Hinduism, Buddhism, even Animism as practiced in Java, as well as lots of background about life in Indonesia in general, and Yogyakarta in particular.

Loaded up with knowledge we continued to Barong temple for a short photo stop.

We continued to Sojiwan temple where Vita taught us more about Buddhism's symbolism, numerology, and things we didn't quite notice while we were at Borobodur, e.g why are the holes in the stupas on one level diamond-shaped, while on the next higher level they are square? And there are no holes in the stupa at the top.

Next up was Prambanan, the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia. Vita and our driver stayed behind while we explored the various temples located in the complex.

The reliefs all around the temples are impressive, as is the sheer size of the buildings.

Taking photos took patience and some luck, as the sun was either hiding behind clouds or creating very strong contrasts that made it hard on the camera sensor. Nevertheless, Tatjana prevailed.

We walked to the far end of the temple complex to see the Sewu temple, also known as the site of the thousand temples, a name which originates from the local legend of Roro Jonggrang.

While Sewu is not quite as big as Prambanan, the solitude and relative lack of people made up for it.

Finally, we met our guide at the exit and headed back to Yogyakarta, for some yummy cake and coffee at the ViaVia cafe. This was an excellent tour and heartily recommended to anyone traveling to the region.

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