Borobudur

Borobudur is probably the most famous and largest Buddhist temple in the world, located in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. Erik and I actually went sightseeing in this area about two weeks ago, back in Jogja (we're back in Jakarta now because our wedding is tomorrow). But we left Jogja at around 1 pm and after stopping by Sendangsono (photos from Sendangsono will probably be up later tonight) and arrived at Borobudur just in time to see the sunset.

These domed structures are referred to as "stupa", and in Buddhism, they are shrines. The Buddha is portrayed meditating within the stupa. (If you see the other stupa in the background--there are statues of the Buddha inside each of them, too).

We climbed like hell to get up to the top of the temple before the sunset. It was incredibly crowded, but we were lucky because Waze helped us take an alternative route. If we had stayed on the route we were originally on, we would've been late. We actually bought tickets to get in about 15 minutes before the ticket booths closed. (For reference, tickets into Borobudur are about Rp. 30.000 iirc). 

He's probably going to be jokingly annoyed with me for posting what he considers to be lame pictures of him, but...

Featuring all the selfie sticks.

This is one of the only stupas I saw in which the top of the stupa was missing. The Buddha statue inside was exposed.

In case photos of Borobudur bore you, here are photos of me which will hopefully inspire you to be less jaim and to have more fun in life. I'm pretty sure I was getting weird looks from people around me.

Honestly, I still don't know why anyone would ever be intimidated of me when they first meet me. I swear to you, I am not cool. I was making weird faces the whole time (I'm sure my grandma would be disappointed that I didn't take any anggun photos). She's already disappointed enough about the ear plugs.

Here's your typical, non-weird, touristy photo. I think this picture would be about 100x better without me in it...because then you can see the stupa. But the park was closing and the security guards were rushing us all off the park.

Before I arrived in Indonesia, I really wanted to learn traditional Indonesian dancing (there are actually a lot of different styles, so I don't think that's an appropriate/fitting term). I still don't really have that opportunity, but maybe someday I'll be able to learn.

Borobudur's walls are decorated with narrative reliefs which tell the story of the Buddha. These reliefs were created in Javanese style. (You can see another example of Javanese architectural style if you stop by the Church at Ganjuran). Anyways! Borobudur apparently contains the most Buddhist reliefs of any monument in the world. There are 2,676 panels like this one and 504 Buddha statues in all, and then there are 72 stupas.

Indonesia has such a rich religious history, steeped in Buddhist and Hindu beginnings and eventually blooming into a nation with a Muslim majority. We don't know who built this temple, but archaeological studies date it to the 9th century. Seeing the reliefs reminds me of  Ngkong (my late grandpa), who was a Buddhist. Mak (my grandma) is also a Buddhist, as are two of their children (ie, two of my mom's siblings). Buddhism is a part of the culture that I inherited, so coming to Borobudur is just as powerful for me to coming to Sendangsono.

A lot more foreigners know about Borobudur than about Sendangsono, pictures from which I'll post later. Borobudur is the most visited tourist attraction in this country! If you're ever in Indonesia, make sure to stop by and watch the sunrise. Plan a lot of time here because you can (1) catch a whole lot of Pokemon and stop by a lot of Pokestops in the park/trail area of Borobudur and (2) get lost in all of the shops also situated on the grounds. Of course, you could come here for the culture and spend your day enjoying the reliefs and the architecture of the monument. (Cough, nerd).

So! I'm getting married tomorrow. I was expecting this post to be done earlier, but I got distracted. So I will probably post pictures from Sendangsono on Monday and then later in the week share some photos from the wedding with everyone! Thank you so much for all of your congratulations and, as always, may your day be filled with joy and blessings.

Love,

Theodora