Yogyakarta's Hindu and Budddist temples

The Star’s travel feature on the two must-visit places when in Yogyakarta – Prambanan and Borobudur.

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photo credit: hildo trazo

The temples of Yogyakarta have it
The Star, 04 September 2010

When in Yogyakarta, you don’t want to miss Java’s twin gems of Hindu and Buddhist treasures — Prambanan and Borobudur.

A lot of restoration work has gone into Borobudur and especially Prambanan which suffered extensive damage after the May 2006 earthquake in Java. In fact, many of the inner temples are still out of bounds to visitors because they are not structurally safe.

Borobudur still impressed. Sure, it is nowhere as extensive as Angkor Wat but it has a certain charm of its own.

This 9th century Mahayana Buddhist monument has six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. The main dome located at the centre of the top platform is surrounded by 72 Buddhas.

Borobudur was restored between 1975 and 1982. The temple is 40km northwest of Jogja, and the view you get from the top is incredible. The whole valley sprawls below it as you take in the fantastic 360° view. There were many visitors when we were there but not too many. We still got that sense of calm and peace at the top.


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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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