Yogyakarta & Borobudur
Welcome to the center of Javanese Arts & Cultures!
Here in Jogyakarta you will
find much that is quintessential Indonesia: Towering volcanoes, verdant rice
terraces, royal palaces, anciente temples, intricately patterned batik and
graceful dances. Impressive archaeological sites remains such as the temples of
Borobudur which is still the world's largest Buddhist Monument, and the
magnificent Hindu Temple at Prambanan.
The province of Central
Java, around the city of Jogyakarta, is the most famous part of Java and is, in
fact, its cultural centre. This is in part because of the presence there of a
variety of religious influences-Buddhist, Hindu, and other indigenous beliefs,
which resulted in the construction of the impressive temples of Borobudur,
Prambanan and the Dieng temple complex.
The 300 year old city of Jogyakarta is the cultural heart of Java. Here also is Indonesia's oldest palace
'The Kraton,' still the domicile of Jogya's royalty. Even now the current Sultan
of Jogyakarta retains remarkable political prestige. Jogyakarta offers an
abundance of Javanese art, painting, silverwork, batik handcraft, traditional
Javanese dances, as well as contemporary art. The city is the cultural centre
not only of Java, but of the whole of Indonesia. From Jogyakarta one can travel
easily to the Borobudur and Prambanan temples, which are half-day trips from the
city. Jogyakarta is situated between the foot of the still-active Merapi volcano
and the mystical Indian Ocean, home of 'Loro Kidul,' Queen of the South Seas.
The most famous of
Indonesia's temples is this huge Buddhist pyramid. This is a Buddhism's largest
shrine in Indonesia, built in the 9th century. Located north west of Jogyakarta,
Borobudur was completed in the second half of the ninth century. Like the Hindu
temple complexes Prambanan and the Dieng plateau, Borobudur was unknown and
neglected for almost a thousand years, covered under thick layers of volcanic
ash. From a far Borobudur looks like a huge but ordinary stone construction. But
from nearby we can see that it consists of hundreds of wonderfully detailed
statues and sculptures, representing Buddhist teachings mixed with images of
Javanese life of a thousand years ago.
Perhaps the finest
temple complex in Indonesia, Prambanan is a ten-century old Hindu temple. This
temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, locally called Candi Loro Jonggrang,
which means 'slender virgin.' From an architectural point of view this
beautifully sculptured spire, fifty meters high, indeed resembles a 'slender
virgin.' Like the Buddhist stupa Borobudur, Prambanan was abandoned when the
Buddhist and Hindu Javanese inhabitants moved to East Java