Jogyakarta Temple Day

A couple days ago we were in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. I have always wanted to go to Indonesia. Even more so after I did a country study on it. In this post, I’m going to write about two temples that I saw there: Prambanan and Borobudor. I’m also going to talk a bit about an active Volcano called Mount Merapi that we saw the same day.

The walk up to Borobudur

The walk up to Borobudur

The first temple we saw was Borobudor temple. This temple is the biggest Buddhist temple in the world. People still worship in and around this temple. The temple itself has lots of carvings everywhere. Because people couldn’t read back when the temple was built, they used carvings to express feelings and tell stories. I found the carvings very detailed and had many hours put into making them. They were more amazing then any carvings I’ve ever seen. They have carvings of food, people, animals, buildings and much more.

Jogya Temple Borobudur carving 3

A big story scene

Jogya Temple Borobudur carving 2

Another carving

Borobudur carving

Borobudur carving

A little stone house

A little stone house

There were about five levels to the temple Borobudor. Three of them had carvings telling stories and the other two had Buddhas in these little stone house like things. You couldn’t go inside, but you could see the Buddhas through the openings. In the centre top of the temple, there is a big cone shaped building. Well, it’s not really a building because it is solid all the way through.

Inside the little house

Inside the little house

My new college friends

My new college friends

While we were on the top of the temple we ran into a bunch of 17 year old girls. All of them wanted to take pictures with us so we took a bit longer than expected. The pictures looked kinda funny for two reasons. One, we had to wear sarongs to go into the temple so we looked kind of silly. Two, I was the same height as all of them and I am only 11. Some of them even came up to me later and asked which class I was taking in University!

My Dad the giant

My Dad the giant

Always the animal lover...

Always the animal lover…

Next we went to Mount Merapi. Mount Merapi is the most active volcano in all of Indonesia. It erupts every 4 years on average. The word Merapi translated to english is Fire, so Mount Merapi means Mount of Fire.

Mount Merapi in the clouds

Mount Merapi in the clouds

We didn’t actually hike to the top of the volcano but we did go to the lookout point. I found the lookout point an amazing view of the volcano even though it was a cloudy day. The view of the surrounding countryside was almost more amazing, it was a breath-taking sight.

A thirsty little monkey

A thirsty little monkey

A bit of countryside leaving Mount Merapi

A bit of countryside leaving Mount Merapi

A view of the main temple complex

A view of the main temple complex

Last, but not least, we went to Prambanan. This temple complex is a collection of Hindu temples. It is still used for worshiping their gods.

After we got there, we met a couple girls who were learning to be tour guide. They wanted to give us a tour for free so they could practice. We said sure.

Putting on another sarong!

Putting on another sarong!

The temple square

The temple square

In Prambanan there are different temples for the different gods they worship. In the main temple area they worship three major gods. Each one rides a different animal. In the main temple square, there is one temple for each god and one for each of their animals. The three gods they worship are Vishnu (rides Garuda, a bird-like creature), Brahma (rides Hamsa, a bird) and Shiva (rides Nandi, a bull).

Shiva's temple

Shiva’s temple

The dark insides of a temple

The dark insides of a temple

We went inside all the temples. All of them have different carvings. People know what some carvings mean, but most are a mystery. I found the structure of the temple very different from Borobudor. At Prambanan they are skinny and tall where it Borobudor they are wide and tall. We also had to wear sarongs in Prambanan, just like at Borodudor.

A hard hat to protect from falling stones

A hard hat to protect from falling stones

Many of the surrounding temples are in ruins after a major earthquake

Many of the surrounding temples are in ruins after a major earthquake

I had a great time looking at all the temples showing Indonesia’s history. I think I’m going to have a great time in the rest of Indonesia.

From Shiva's looking at Vishnu's

From Shiva’s looking at Vishnu’s

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