Showing posts with label temples. Show all posts
Showing posts with label temples. Show all posts

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Second Sunshine and the Prambanan Temple

the Shiva (Siwa) temple towers at 47 meters
We arrived in Prambanan Temple at 2:06PM, after more than 30 minutes of traveling from Mount Merapi. As usual, we paid for another parking fee of 5,000 rupiahs, which to my recollection was one of the hidden expenses in going to Yogyakarta’s tourist spots. I could have accounted them better less my ignorance. So, to you my dear soon-to-be-traveler-to-Yogya, take note of it, although it’s already considered dirt cheap.

Winning the game of adventure on my second day in Indonesia had been permanently welded in my mind. Two-thirds of my second sunshine trip had already been crossed out in my itinerary. Before it ended, I already prematurely claimed to have had rocking personal feats, and I couldn’t get away with an awkward dancing (excuse me, there’s a lump in my throat).

Significantly a lower price than in Borobudur, visitors pay 117,000 rupiahs.

Finally, seeing the most beautiful Hindu temple in the world was amazing. I felt the indescribable, most awesome kind of feeling in the world (oops, I apologize for sounding redundant, not again). But seriously, that’s how I felt at that very moment, as if I was channeling myself into the rugged years of great worship of gods of early religions, myths, architectures of the old, wars and the warlords, and their soldiers. I was literally in a trance. And then I thought of Angkor Wat (my ultimate temple destination, eh).

The Prambanan Temple is actually a large compound of temples. It is also known as Rara Jonggrang complex. According to Wiki, there used to be 240 temples in the compound consisting of:

1. Three Trimurti temples – the main temples dedicated to the Hindu triad – Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Keeper), and Shiva (the Destroyer)
2. Three Vahana temples – in front of Trimurti temples dedicated to the vahana (vehicle) of each god; Nandi, Garuda, and Hamsa
3. Two Apit temples – located between the rows of Trimurti and Vahana temples on north and south side
4. Four Kelir temples – located on 4 cardinal directions right beyond the 4 main gates of inner zone
5. Four Patok temples – located on 4 corners of inner zone
6. Two hundred twenty-four Pervara temples – arranged in 4 concentric square rows; numbers of temples from inner row to outer row are: 44, 52, 60, and 68

     Source: Wiki

But the temples standing today, as I have sketched in here, are the 3 Trimurti temples, 3 Vahana temples, 2 Apit temples, 3 Kelir temples, and 2 Patok temples. Only 2 of the 224 Pervara temples were reconstructed – they stand in the east side. Much in the compound are ruins of Pervara temples.

bas-reliefs telling the epic Ramayana
my own sketch of the temples currently standing in the complex
In the north, you can see the smoking Merapi volcano, and in the west, the Ramayana Open Theatre, where the Ramayana Ballet is staged.

Mount Merapi
the Ramayana Open Theatre 

We left Prambanan at 5:39PM and arrived in Jalan Sosrowijayan at 6:08PM. My second sunshine in Indonesia finally ended. Yes, tired and exhausted, but the day left an indelible travel experience I will carry for all of my life. Mission accomplished!

P.S. When I told the intern tourism students I am Filipino, the thought of it sent the now-exposed-Indonesian-fans into frenzy. I had just become an immediate medium of their greeting, them wanting me to say hi to Christian Bautista. J I enjoyed talking to them while waiting for the sunset, which I didn’t really get to witness, because it was probably shy forever and then, oops, I suddenly remembered my driver.

thank you, Baim!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Second Sunshine and the Borobudur Temple

I had sensed that so many things were yet to be accomplished, with so little time and so little rupiahs left in my pocket on my second day in Indonesia. It meant a whole lot even more when the location of Merbabu Hotel was a maze, I thought.

The moment I found out where the hotel was, after being lost right away from Tugu station to street after street, to those small alleys, I was approached hastily by a travel-and-tours pitchman. If you get to see him, you can't see him any air of credibility. Physically, he’s not typically someone who really means business, if you know what I mean. But he was convincing enough that we negotiated anyway because the sun was already up for hours, and it was almost 7AM, and he seemed to be seriously with clean intentions. The minimum number of persons in a van was two. But there was no one else at our agreed timing that fated morning, but me and my kicking feet only. So the whole thing arranged would cost me 400,000 rupiahs for a whole day trip to already three sites – Borobudur, Mount Merapi and Prambanan (my personal itinerary). I thought a roughly 55 Singapore dollar equivalent trip was fair enough since I was about to spread distances away from the city for hours. Nevertheless, I told him to just wait for me outside of the alley near Jalan Sosrowijan, as I needed to ‘semi-check-in’ first.

Merbabu is a 21-room 1-star hotel, quite popular among backpackers, for it is just footsteps away from Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta’s shopping district. So you get to feel the pulse of the hustle and bustle of the city as you step out on the road.

I went to the receptionist, introduced my name, yes, as the boy from Agoda, as on their whiteboard. Merbabu’s check in time is 1PM, so I had to wait for a few hours. But the receptionist, who looked more of an old grumpy owner (nah, he’s not really), suggested to leave my belongings inside the reception area. Brilliant, I thought, so I could tour lightly, leaving more than half of my pack. Then, I asked where I could book for a trip to those three sites mentioned. He handed me over a Bromo Tour & Travel leaflet and told me to wait for a while as if he’s looking for someone outside. He came back with someone who’s going to arrange my tour (later I would know he’s the owner of Bromo Tour & Travel). Finally, everything’s on the go for the day, yes, exactly for 400,000 rupiahs, exclusive of entrance fees. And I saw the pitchman scratching his head (seriously hoping he had a fair share after that).

I was introduced to my driver Baim. What surprised me was that he spoke without a heavy accent and had a good command of the English language, one of the good things about the tour.

At 7:20AM, we speeded our way to our first stop – Borobodur temple. Excitement was painted all over my face, and I just wanted to screech at that moment because I knew the temple was within my reach. That same adrenalin actually stemmed a long time ago from when my uncle gave us a Reader’s Digest book that features Borobudur. That was the first time I got to know about the temple.

While listening to a local radio, MYMP’s ‘Especially For You’ was suddenly played, which jolted me with surprise.

We arrived in the biggest Buddha temple in the world, after exactly one hour and paid for a parking fee of 5,000 rupiahs.  Entrance ticket for international visitors is 15 US dollars or 135,000 rupiahs. Everyone, save the locals, has to don the sarong/sarung.

I left the temple 3 hours later, forgetting my driver who told me he would wait for me for 2 hours. Ha ha. I was just awestruck seeing what I thought I could only see on pages of books. Sure, the sight of an 8th century temple was so commanding, as if lording over the plains of Central Java.

I was on my way to accomplishing the rest of my Second Sunshine mission!

the temple and its garden
read the procedure in visiting the temple:
1. enter Borobudur temple park from east entrance.
2. go up to the temple from east gateway and walk around clockwise every stair (called pradaksina).
3. go down the temple from south, west or north gateway; exit Borobudur temple park to north gateway.
foreigners donning the sarong/sarung

Carved reliefs