Saturday, March 12, 2011

Borobudur – Parangtritis

Borobudur – Parangtritis, Yogya 14/2/11

Ah, it's Day 3 already. As usual, after breakfast, we headed to Borobudur temple, about 38 km or an hour's drive from our hotel. We arrived Borobudur quite early, but there were many people already, mostly local school students. Lesson learnt from yesterday's Prambanan trip – this time we hired a guide for IDR 75K (RM 26) – we got Aishah as our guide. Entrance fee cost another IDR135K (RM 46) each. Parking is another IDR5K (RM1.70)

Back to Borobudur. It is also a Unesco Heritage Site, no. 592 in the list. It is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist monument. It is a shrine to the Lord Buddha. There are 1,460 narrative relief panels on the wall and the balustrades, each depicting a different story. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage; once a year to celebrate Vesak.

Unesco Heritage Site: No 592

Borobudur was built between 760 and 830 AD, during the peak of the Sailendra dynasty in central Java, when it was under the influence of the Srivijayan Empire based on the carved reliefs and inscriptions used in royal charters during that period.

Borobudur is built as a single large stupa, and when viewed from above takes the form of a giant tantric Buddhist mandala, simultaneously representing the Buddhist cosmology and the nature of mind. It has 9 platforms - the lower 6 are square and the upper 3 are circular. The upper platform features 72 small stupas surrounding one large central stupa. Each stupa is bell-shaped, statues of the Buddha sit inside the stupas.

Borobudur temple complex

One of the Buddha statues

Some Buddha statues missing its head

Stupa. There is a statue of Buddha in each stupa.

The relief panels (the picture carvings) are grouped into 11 series, which can be divided into 5 types of story:

Karmavibhangga - The law of karma which illustrates cause and effect. e.g. depiction of blameworthy activities, from gossip to murder, with their corresponding punishments .

Lalitavistara - The birth of Buddha

Jataka - stories about the Buddha before he was born as Prince Siddhartha

Avadana - similar to jatakas, but the main figure is not the Bodhisattva himself. The saintly deeds in avadanas are attributed to other legendary persons

Gandavyuha – tells about Sudhana's search for the Highest Perfect Wisdom. Sudhana was a youth from India who was seeking enlightenment. The pilgrimage of Sudhana mirrors that of Gautama Buddha

Relief panels

Borobudur lay hidden for centuries under layers of volcanic ash and jungle growth. The monument was not forgotten completely, through folk stories - Babad Tanah Jawi (or the History of Java) and Babad Mataram (or the History of the Mataram Kingdom). During the British administration after the Anglo-Dutch war in Java, Governor-General Thomas Stamford Raffles, was collecting Javanese antiques. In 1814, he was informed about a big monument deep in a jungle near the village of Bumisegoro.He was not able to make the discovery himself and sent H.C. Cornelius, a Dutch engineer, to recover the monument. In 1973, UNESCO funded renovation for the site. In 1985, 9 stupas were badly damaged by bombs planted by extremist groups. Last Nov '10, it was closed to clean up the ashfall from the Merapi eruption – this was the original schedule that we were supposed to go to Yogya, but our flight was eventually cancelled.

To know more about Borobudur, read here


Us with Aisyah

We were now already hungry and ready for lunch. But before we could go out of the compound of Borobudur, we had to walk through quite a long stretch, and so had to endure the throngs of street peddlers persuading us to buy their souvenirs for very cheap prices. But we couldn't buy them, or more of them would be swarming us.

Lunch was at Boyong Kalegan restaurant, about 32km from Borobudur at Pakem Sari (about an hour's drive) which was quite a nice restaurant with huts and a very big fish pond with very big fishes. We had gurame bakar, bawal asam (which was more like sweet sour), tumis kangkung, sayur asem , and lalapan. All costs us IDR211.2K (RM72). Taste was just so-so. By the time we finished, it was already raining.

Fish pond @ Boyong Kalegan

L-R: Bawal asam, tumis kangkung, tauhu, gurame bakar

We then set out to Kota Gede, an area with silverware shops. We didn't stop here, only passed by otw to Parangtritis beach, which would take about an hour ( about 45 km). We planned to ride the horse and catch the sunset there. But then, it was raining, so probably the sun would be shy. I couldn't resist the beautiful scene of the rice fields, so I asked Tri to stop by the roadside and we took some photos. We then resumed our way to Parangtritis.

Paddy fields otw to Parangtritis

We were greeted by a main gate upon reaching Parangtritis, and paid IDR14000 (RM4.8) for entrance. I wonder how residents come and go to Parangtritis daily? Did they have to pay too? Probably they know how to differentiate visitors from residents I guess.

Parangtritis beach has black sand, unlike the white sandy beach of Malaysia. It is surrounded by an open sea – the Indian ocean – so the sea was rough – the waves were high and swimming is not allowed here. Liza was excited to see the horses and couldn't wait to ride them. There were also ATV rides available.

Open sea: Indian Ocean: No swimming here

Black sand

Horse carriage by the sea

After dipping our feet in the seawater, we rode the horses – individually – with the guides following closely by the side. It was quite an effort to climb up the horses lol! But eventually we managed to, and soon we were riding the horses by the beach! The horse ride cost us IDR20K each (RM7) and lasted about 15 minutes.

Riding horses :)

We then chilled out by the beach, eating jagung bakar and drinking air kelapa muda, taking in the gentle sea breeze. But just before sunset, it started to drizzle, so we had to make a move.

Sipping air kelapa muda

Sunset @ Parangtritis

Since this was our last night in Yogya, and we still had money, we asked Tri where we could buy nice t-shirts. So Tri brought us to kedai kaos Unit Gawat Dagadu (UGD), a neat t-shirt shop at Jalan Pakuningratan. I was so impressed with the cute designs, I forgot to take a picture of the shop. According to this website, Dagadu originated from a group of architecture students from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Yogya who designed creative Yogya t-shirts back in 1994 when they opened their first stall at Malioboro mall. I particularly liked the United Nations logo which was changed to the state of Yogya, and another one with Colonel Sanders (yes, the KFC mascot) wearing the topi jawa. I wanted to buy it, but then I thought I might be shy wearing it in public I didn't.

Dagadu t-shirt shop

That t-shirt looked like this: Colonel Sanders with topi wak
Image taken from here

The rest bought loads of t-shirts for their family members – Liza being the winner and had to gesek her kartu here ;-)

After getting the t-shirts, it was time to nom nom again yeah! But it was raining quite heavily, so Tri dropped us at the same spot the previous night we had our lesehan dinner, and end up eating there again! This time we ordered gurame bakar (again!), udang goreng, ayam goreng, ayam panggang, and lalap. All cost IDR 186K (RM 64).

Our lesehan

Ikan gurame

Ah, a group of pengamen (buskers / street musicians) came to our stall, so Liza requested her favourite songs –Kenangan Terindah (Samsons) and Demi Cinta (Kerispatih). The group was complete – with a drummer, guitarist, violinist, double bassist and a banjo-ist (hehe no such word). But before the band came, an mbak came, singing in classic Javanese, that even our own Professor Jawa couldn't understand :-p

The pengamen band

After the pengamen group finished, the solo pengamen from the previous night came, whom Liza wanted to make a request too, but couldn't because the patrons beside us were hogging him (non-stop request) until we had finished eating! So this time, Liza asked for Tapi Bukan Aku (Kerispatih). We requested only 1 song, then he went to the next table, and I heard he played Yogyakarta, yeay! (I forgot to request that song)

The solo pengamen

Since it was raining, we decided to go back by trishaw (beca). We had to take 2 becas as each could only carry 2 persons. I wanted to go to the biggest roundabout in Yogya, which was nearby, but since it was raining heavily, we cancelled the plan.

We chatted with the bapak, he told us that he has a brother working in Shah Alam as a driver, that he lived about 30 minutes away from Jl Malioboro, that he does double jobs to earn a living, he would go back in the wee hours of the morning, rest for a few hours, and be back again for his day job. And it was raining so hard, he was drenched from top to toe...poor him. Makes us feel thankful with what we have.

That night we had a nice hot shower after a long day out. And sob sob it's the last night here in Yogya. I will surely be coming back for some unfinished business ;-) The next day we would be going back home via Solo, so it's another 2 hours drive there after breakfast. Our flight was scheduled at 1215 WIB. See you soon Solo / Yogya!

Us with Trihan

Pulang ke kotamu, ada setangkup haru dalam rindu
Masih seperti dulu
Tiap sudut menyapaku bersahabat penuh selaksa makna
Terhanyut aku akan nostalgi saat kita sering luangkan waktu
Nikmati bersama suasana Jogja

Di persimpangan, langkahku terhenti
Ramai kaki lima menjajakan sajian khas berselera
Orang duduk bersila
Musisi jalanan mulai beraksi seiring laraku kehilanganmu
Merintih sendiri, di tengah deru kotamu



Blogger agip roslan said...

bait2 lirik lagu yogya tu...benar2 memanggil-manggil aku saat ini.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Ayul said...

my dream place to visit...

10:11 AM  

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