September 02, 2011

Saving Our Heritage | Travel To The Past - Candi Exploration

When I go places, I find something to do.
Lebaran Holiday had arrived at our front door, and the family decided to go for a trip to our Dad's homeland. I figured, it's been so many times that I visited this land, at least once a year. What more could I do at this place. It all started with me trying to take pictures of sunrise/sunset from Borobudur Temple. I always see this sugoi pictures at google image when you keyed in "borobudur", and always wonder, how did they get that? So one afternoon after celebrating Hari Raya with the family, I tapped my dad on the shoulder. "Dad, let's go visit Borobudur Temple this afternoon". I packed my bro's DSLR camera *btdub, still a newbie at this*, and hopped on to the SUV. 
We decided to go from Klaten to Magelang through the road less traveled. And finally getting passed the Jumoyo Village at least what's left of it. A village right on the banks of Kali Putih. The one flooded with cold lava during Merapi eruption last year. Arriving at Borobudur, I just can't help but to love this place. Looking at the site, is like travelling to the past. This was and is a religious site for Buddhist. The site may not be as extravagant as China's Great Wall, but still, in the era when you got no buldozer and any other machinery stuff, you can carve a stone diligently, and then set it up block by block. It's like playing LEGO but in real size. After I got the satisfying pictures for an amateur photographer, I went back to Klaten, and wonder, what more can I get out of this. Then I decided to go for some more picture hunting to cultural sites. As always, I went to Google for some more suggestion. And 5 minutes after, I got a list of recommended small Candi (temple) to visit. I was not interested to visit the big ones or the really famous ones. Because I've been there for too many times. This time, I'd like to visit the never seen by me before. And so the adventure of the cultural heritage begins. 
1. Candi Plaosan 
The first to visit by me would be Candi Plaosan. It is a Buddhism temple located at Bugisan Village, Klaten, Central Java. The temple was located not far from the Prambanan complex. The temple was divided into two sites, Candi Plaosan Lor (North) and Candi Plaosan Kidul (South). The Northern sites have the main temples reconstructed already, with little temples all around it. As for the Southern site no main temples are located yet. Although a Buddhist temple (with almost complete Bodhisatvva statues inside) you'll find the temple has a Hinduism architectural style. When first founded, it is told that the temple was actually filled with bronze statues and ornaments. Where it is now? A Museum in Leiden. *I almost laugh in agony when I heard this* 
2. Candi Kedulan 
I actually told my rented car driver to take me to Candi Barong. But somehow he took me to a Candi site where all the stones are in rumbles. The Candi is still under reconstruction. And only God knows, when the reconstruction of this candi will finisih. I almost thought that it IS Candi Barong. But after I went home, I did some internet investigation, and find out that it is Candi Kedulan. Not much known about this temple yet. Hopefully the reconstruction will be done soon, and we'll find out more of the stories from the past. 
3. Candi Kalasan 
Located at Kalasan, Sleman, Jogjakarta if you travel from Jogja-Solo passed the Jogja-Solo Mainstreet, you'll see this temple right beside the street. Although if you don't pay enough attention it could be a bit hidden by the houses and kiosks surrounding it. Candi Kalasan is also a Buddhist temple. What I love most about this temple is that it's partly ruined. You can see the half reconstructed stupa at the top of temple. It will never be finished as not all the stones are found. And also you can find very fine and detail carving on the stones. In each window you can find a Batara Kala carving. It is said that the Candi Kalasan we see today, is actually a building on top of another Candi built before. The temple was built to worship Tara (a female Bodhisatvva). From several inscriptions, it is believed that the temple was built during Syailendra dynasty's expansion to the land of Java. 
4. Candi Sari  
This temple is located not far from Candi Kalasan. You can say, if Candi Kalasan is on the right side of the mainstreet, then Candi Sari would be on the left side. If you look at the architectural design, you'll find it not much different with Candi Kalasan, therefore it is assumed that the temple is built almost at the same time. Unlike most other temples, this Candi is built 2 stories high. It is believed that this temple was built as a learning centre for the monks. Each chambers were used for monks to meditate. 
5. Candi Sambisari  
The only Hinduism temple I visited the day (that is if Candi Kedulan also proven as Buddhism temple,, :P). What's uniques about this temple is that it doesn't have a foundation like any other. Moreover the site is lower than the surroundings. This temple was found not long ago. It was in 1966 when a farmer was hoeing his paddy field and accidentally hit a carved rock. Studies on the rock was done, and it is believed that the temple was buried down during Merapi eruption in 1006. The main Candi is accompanied by three little temples at the front gate. If you went inside the Candi, you'll see that the two side walls and back wall is guarded by Durga, Ganesha, and Agastya. In the main chamber you'll find Lingga Yoni the symbol of male&female. Well, I guess that's some of the Candi I successfully visited for the day. Sure will come back for more, as there are more to explore. For more pictures you can just click below slideshow. One more thing, you'll also find pictures from Candi Ratu Boko (which is actually more of a palace instead of a temple), view of the infamous Merapi and his sister Merbabu.

Travel to The Past Slideshow: Mayankcat’s trip from Jakarta, Java, Indonesia to 5 cities , Desa Bugisan (near Yogyakarta), Boyolali (near Solo), Desa Jumoyo (near Borobudur) and Magelang was created by TripAdvisor. See another Indonesia slideshow. Take your travel photos and make a slideshow for free.



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