Jogyakarta & Borobudur Journal I
Last month melchan and I had the chance to go to Borobudur Temple...or what we call Candi Borobudur, near the city of Jogyakarta. We went to Jogya only for a 1N1D trip...and hurried back home...melchan skipped school for a day...ssshhhh ! ...not so loud ! Yup....for a chance to see an awesome sight...I agreed when she asked if she could go with her dad and I....and I informed her homeroom teacher of her absence ^^ This is the first for her, but the 3rd time for me. Chub couldn't come along coz he's studying for his finals :(
Will be posting this journal in installments, as there's too many things to take-in in this super short trip. Also, me got exhausted just uploading the pics into Photobucket..LOL. I'll try to explain a few things about Borobudur but please bear with my ignorance of architectural and historical terminologies and just enjoy the view ^^ me happy that melchan has lifted the ban of posting her picture [above the age of 5] in this blog ...coz lots of the pics have her in it....she says it's too bad if the magnificence of Borobudur Temple don't get posted just b'coz of her face hehehe....she hopes you just pretend she's not there and look at the awesomeness of Borobudur :)
Additional rules at the top :
no climbing on Stuppas !
We arrived in Jogyakarta in late afternoon and went straight to our hotel, we stowed our bags in our room and immediately went out to stroll on the sidewalk of the famous Malioboro Street.....and after getting tired of walking, and ogling artworks, handicrafts, carvings, batik, t-shirts and people [ oh my, it's a haven for tourists...believe me ! ] we were famished and made our way to the "lesehan" or side walk restaurants where you eat while sitting on the floor behind low tables [just like the Korean traditional way of eating]. The traditional dish of Jogya is "Gudek"....a dish made from Jack-fruit, egg, chicken, spices, coconut milk and "krecek" [aka buffalo skin...hahaha] ...and of course...chilli paste...a must. We enjoyed the performance of street musicians while we ate....hey, some of them are no joke...while most musicians strum guitars while singing....there's a musician holding a violin and another one who was dragging a cello along he he he.
We had shopped a bit and had bought some snacks and water for our trip to Borobudur the next morning, so we went back to the hotel [me glad the hotel was on Malioboro street] and put them away, it was already 10 pm...but before the night was over, melchan wanted to go somewhere else !! Yup....we went to the Keraton [Sultan's Palace] area by Becak [sorta a pedicab]...had a great view of everything as the Becak is open aired hahaha. At one of the Keraton's square, you can go through a ritual called Masangin by walking through two sacred ancient banyan trees in the middle of the square.... blindfolded ! melchan didn't want to go back to the hotel until she succeeded in carrying out Masangin. It wasn't easy ...we saw people who went round and round in the middle of the grassy square...the ones watching suppressing their giggles with difficulty....some veered off course so much...they end up far from the trees ! So, people tried again and again. Luckily both of us made it on our second attempt :) Me was afraid melchan would try till morning ^^
What's so great about walking between two banyan trees blindfolded ? Well..there's a belief among Javanese people [specially in Jogya] that there is an enchantment placed on the twin trees, if enemy force or people with evil intention comes and try to pass between the trees, they will not be able to get to the palace but instead disappear from sight and enter another world [where they will find it difficult to return to this world]. But people with pure heart and mind with no evil intentions will have no problem passing between the twin banyan trees. Now people are blindfolded ...the eyes must be closed as a symbol that only people with the power of vision [third eye] could pass . Nowadays they believe if you can pass between the trees, you have pure heart,you will be blessed and your wish will come true. As time passes, the belief of Masangin begins to fade and a new legend is told about these trees, click here to read it...it's romantic ^^ ...oh, scroll down.. there's a video at the bottom.
ps. when I said the banyan trees were ancient...I meant it..
We woke up in the morning refreshed...took a shower...went down for breakfast and got ready to go. The trip from Jogya to Borobudur takes more than an hour. I made sure that melchan wore suitable foot-wear for walking and climbing, and fussed so much about hats and sunblock lotion for her....that I forgot about myself and climbed the 150 steps of the temple in heels !! Only realized it when I climbed down coz my knees started shaking LOL. I was totally enthralled by the temple ...and didn't remember about my Baker's cysts !!. Borobudur was hidden from view from the road by a cluster of trees, we couldn't see it even though we already passed a sign saying "Welcome to Borobudur"...melchan kept asking, "Wherisit...wherisit?? The first glimpse of Borobudur impressed melchan so much that she couldn't help jumping up and shrieking while pointing to it, "Look , there it is !!! " he he...I was so happy to see her reaction [and couldn't help thinking that I MUST get her brother to see this too !!].
Okay, I'll shut up now and let you enjoy the pictures :)
The Lion Guard at the entrance said :
Hail travellers !
You may walk through Borobudur,
though you must be respectful
and follow the rules.
One of the 2.672 relief panels of Borobudur
They look like they are waiting to hear a lecture or a sermon.
Built without cement /concrete....without nails or screws....
these are the formations used by builders...
placement and position of hand carved stone blocks,
in the form of T, L and U
A key, a stone inserted in the middle of these two stone blocks.
Very detailed....exquisite stone art....
Below is my tryout at reconstructing of the temple using the photos I took.
- First : Oops....a piece missing in the middle.
- Second : Left side too big.
- Third : Left side still looks strange.
- Fourth : Still not even but the best I could do.