Candi Ijo – Yogyakarta

Candi Ijo, the GreenTemple, is perched at the top of a hill, 410m above sea level, and is thus the highest temple in the region of Yogyakarta. Perfect panorama vista of sunrises and sunsets, Candi Ijo consisted of 17 buildings divided into 11 terraces. If the major elements of this temple are Hindu, Buddhist symbolism scattered throughout the site suggests that at similarly served both regions, though perhaps at different times.

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The Affandi Museum – Jogja

The Affandi Museum lies in Jalan Laksda Adisucipto 167. on the main road connecting Yogyakarta and Solo, on the west bank of GajahwongRiver. The whole complex siyuated on a 3500 square meter of land consisting of the museum and another where Affandi lived himself.

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There are three galleries that permanently exhibit a collection of paintings. The first was opened in 1974.

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The paintings consists of sketches on paper, watercolors, pastel, oil paintings on canvas and a number of selected reproductions.

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The second gallery was built with the aid of the Indonesian government and officially opened in 1987. This gallery is used as an exhibition hall for the museum’s painting collection from various famous artists.

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The third gallery was built by the Affandi Foundation and finished in 1999. It was built to fulfill Affandi’s last wish to have a sufficient storage for his collection.

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Three storied building was built with the same basic idea as the other buildings. Curved and spiral shapes can be seen through the entire complex as well as the banana leaf shaped roof. From the top of the roof you can see the GajahWongRiver as well as the road.

www.affandi.org

Opening Hours: 9am – 4pm daily except on public holidays.

Candi Sewu (Thousand Temples)

The Temple of Love and Betrayal.

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When coming to Jogja, the Prambanan temple complex is one of the highlights to visit in the area. This Hindu temple compound is the largest in Indonesia and dates back to the 9th century. Most tourist go straight for the main temple complex however just 800 meters north lies Candi Sewu. My favourite.

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They temple dates back to the 8th century and was likely completed by the Medang King, Ratai Pikatan, who married a Buddhist princess. However nobody seems knows the real story behind these magnificient temples.

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To visit Candi Sewu, you enter through the main gate at the Prambanan temple compound. Follow the signs to the bicycle rental and train tours, you could take any of these however if you have time and its not too hot I would recommend walking. Before you reach Candi Sewu you will see a row of temples that are no longer intact and temple stones piled everywhere. The complex was severely damaged during the 2006 earthquake.

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The main temple in the centre is the largest one in the complex and has been completely refurbished, and you can go inside safely. Iron framing is embedded in the structure, and some stones have been replaced with newer ones. But overall the temple looks beautiful and majestic, with the shape and reliefs maintaining its authenticity.

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Candi Sewu is the second largest Buddihist temple in Indonesia after Borobudur.

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Hope you enjoy Candi Sewu as much as I did.

Prambanan Plain- Yogya

Prambanan Plain is a patchwork blanket of sun-spangled paddy-fields and vast plantations of wheat, maize and cane, sweeping down from the southern slopes of the volcano. As well as being one of the most fertile regions in Java, the plain is home to the largest concentration of ancient ruins on the island. Over thirty temples and palaces, dating mainly from the eighth and ninth centuries, lie scattered over thirty square kilometer area. Though many of these are little more than heaps of rubble lying forgotten behind thick groves of sugar cane or amongst the lush forest of the hills, a number have been restored to something approaching their original state. As you drive east along Jalan Adisucipto from Yogya, your eye will be caught by three giant, rocket shaped andesite temples, each smothered in intricate narrative carving that suddenly loom up by the side of the highway. This is the Prambanan complex, the largest Hindu complex in Java and a worthy rival of Borobudur.

Prambanan PlainPrambanan Plain

Prambanan PlainPrambanan Plain

Happy Traveling!

Yogya to Dieng

The road between Yogya and the Dieng plateau, home of the oldest temples in Indonesia, is punctuated with dozens of small towns and surrounded by some really beautiful scenery. All of which I missed cause I fell asleep.

Dieng PlateauDieng Plateau

The Dieng plateau lies in a volcanic caldera formed by the collapse of underground lava reservoirs. It is thought that the plateau was considered sacred by the Hindi Sanjaya dynasty. The combination of the temples and the strangeness of the landscape makes Dieng and unusual and rather rewarding tourist stop.

Dieng PlateauDieng Plateau

The eight temples left on Dieng today are a tiny fraction of what was once a huge complex built by the Sanjayas in the seventh and eighth centuries. Of these temples, the five that make up the Arjuna complex lie in the fields immediately to the west of Dieng village and are believed to be the oldest. The temples are named after heroes from the Mahabharata tales, although these are not the original names. Three of the five were built to the same blueprint, square with two storeys and a fearsome kala head above the main entrance.

All of this failed to compare next to the Teletubbies that were on the plateau that day. Three Teletubbies and their mean looking master was waiting on the plateau for school kids and grown ups to take pictures with them for cash. He got poor Tinky Winky, Laa-Laa and Po doing all sorts of poses in order to keep the kids interested. I’m convinced that he killed Dipsy for failing to do his job.

Dieng PlateauDieng Plateau

Happy Travelling!

Pasar Ngasem – Jogja

The bird market’s old location use to be part of Taman Sari (standing on a half acre lot that was once part of the boating lake), it has now been moved to about 3km outside the tourist area. It’s busiest on Sunday, although whenever day you arrive you should see all manner of birds, dogs, lizards and rodents for sale. This market is definitely not for the faint hearted.

Bird marketBird market

Bird marketBird market

Happy Travelling!

Borobudur – Jogja

Forty kilometers west of Yogya on the fertile Kedu Plain is Borobudur, Java’s number one tourist attraction. It is the biggest Buddhist temple in the world.

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Borobudur for me was a little underwhelming and disappointing.  I expected it to be bigger and have more detail instead it was rather squat and obscured by trees.

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 Most people choose to see the site on a day trip from Yogya. Plenty of agencies and hotels offer all inclusive tours We hired a car for a day ( Rp. 600 000) and did Borobudur and Dieng in a day. The next day we hired the same driver for Rp.400 000 and saw Prambanan and most of the surrounding temples.

Happy travelling!

Ps: Naming Borobudur

One of the greatest mysteries surrounding Borobudur is the origin of its name. One theory suggests it’s derived from Sanskrit Vihara Buddha Udhr (Buddhist Monastery on a Hill), while others claim that Budur is actually a place name, and that Borobudur means – “Monastery of Budur”. The most likely explanation, however is found in a stone tablet from 842 AD on which is inscribed the word Bhumisambharabhudara (Mountain of Virtues of the Ten Stages of the Boddhisattva). It’s believed that the name Borobudur is derived from bharabhudara, the last part of this tongue twister.

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