When we went to Yogyakarta
last June, going to the World Heritage Site of Borobudur Temple
in Bahasa) is on top of the itinerary after the conference. Who wouldn’t? It is one of the most visited landmarks in Indonesia
You haven’t been to Java if you haven’t been to Borobudur as some said.
However, I didn’t knew that what I was about to experience was one of
the best I’ve seen in this side of the planet—watching the sun come up
in this thousand year old temple!
|Tranquility at dawn|
Recently, I read a CNN article
that watching the sun rise in Borobudur Temple in Indonesia
is one of the “beautiful sights to see” in this world. I said “I was
blessed to see it, experience it with my very own eyes!” Indeed,
Borobudur’s sunrise is a must at least in your lifetime.
|When good ol Sol woke up|
It was 3:00AM. We woke up. Good thing our bus was arranged—so many of us
want to experience it. We would just sleep all the way from Yogya to Manohara Hotel
where we’ll pay for more or less IDR300,000 (more or less PhP1,000+) as
an “exclusive entrance” to Borobudur. For a cash-strapped traveler,
it’s an “ouch” compared to IDR190, 000 (or PhP700 more or less) during
ordinary hours for foreigners, and the way cheaper IDR30, 000 (PhP100+!)
As we walked towards Borobudur in the darkness of dawn with our
flashlights, one would see the awesome silhouette of the temple from the
base. We were awed with its size—and it was just a silhouette.
|Just like Merapi and Merbabu|
We went up to the topmost level of the temple. The stairs were steep and
uneven. It was dark and some of us need assistance in climbing.
However, reaching the top before the sun rise was already an achievement
for most of us.
|Imagine this: The sun rising, the mist covers the plain, the volcanoes
guard, a thousand year old temple, and simultaneous call for prayers of
the Muslims echo all over the valley. Goosebumps!|
Winter solstice just passed that day in the southern hemisphere, and the
sun is taking a bit longer to rise. We waited as the horizon brightens
up. We went around and look at these humongous bells with Buddhas inside
while a few of the tourists were just there—waiting.
|When everyone tried to get a piece of this magical experience.|
Then we heard the people awed…
|Hey, good morning!|
The sun has risen between what seems to be the two guardians—The active
volcano Merapi and sleeping Merbabu. Some of our Japanese companions
started to pray, others took photos, while the rest was taking a video.
As for me, I have no idea back then whether to take a photo or just
experience it personally.
|Misty Kedu Plain|
The sun rose and the adhan
or the Muslims’ call to prayer
lingered in the plains and the hills of Central Java, as we witness a
new day unfolding in a seemingly spiritual place. Surrounded by Buddhas,
standing on a thousand-year old temple and adhans
all over…the beauty of the experience in Borobudur in all its tranquility, majesty…no words can really describe.
|Bells with Buddhas inside|
If you will be visiting Yogyakarta for once, you have to experience this one. The pay was all worth it
aside from free tea and cookies and a batik Borobudur shoal at the
hotel, by the time the clock struck sometime beyond 6:00AM, a hoard of
tourists came in to the temple. There goes the tranquil experience that
|When tourists (students here) start to flock in, good bye tranquil morning!|
CNN and the reviews were right about it. Maybe it depends on the
perspective. As for me, watching the sun rise in Borobudur is both
surreal, spiritual, and a wonderful experience to behold.
|Peace in the morning|
How to experience the sunrise tour in Borobudur?
The nearby Manohara Hotel
serves the Borobudur Sunrise Tour. It has different rates for guests and non-guests alike. You may visit their website at http://manoharaborobudur.com/package/
If you prefer going to Borobudur and watch the sunrise, it is
recommended that you arrange your transport with a travel agent or take
an accredited taxi (but for an expensive fare) or stay at nearby
hotels/hostels in Borobudur or Magelang. Yogyakarta is about an hour
away, more or less 40 kilometers from the temple. You may check WikiTravel
and Lonely Planet
for some tips.
|Buddha welcomes a new day!|
This article was first posted in 2014.