Visiting the Borobudur


Spending part of my childhood living in Indonesia, I always dreamed of visiting the Borobudur. The name alone made it sound like this mysterious place in some fairy tale.

But our holidays were mostly spent visiting relatives in the Netherlands. So when I went back last year on my nostalgic tour of Indonesia, visiting the Borobodur was of course at the top of my list.

Visiting the Borobudur
Photo by F H Mira off Flickr

I booked a tour with a friendly guy sitting out front of my guesthouse playing the guitar. He kindly offered to take me there on the back of his motor bike early the next morning, before all the big tour buses get in. So off we went. It wasn't a comfy ride there, as sitting on the back of a motorbike for an hour and a half does seriously strain your bum muscles. But the pain was well worth it.

Visiting the Borobudur
Photo by F H Mira off Flickr

I walked around for about two hours, taking in this mystical place and its stunning setting, listening to my private guide while she talked about its history, its symbolism and its significance. Time has not been kind to Borobudur. It was built in the 9th century during the Buddhist Sailendra Dynasty, left to the hands of mother nature when Java converted to Islam after which it was rediscovered by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles in the 19th century. It has seen bomb attacks, volcanic eruptions and earth quakes. Soil erosion, and  vandalism the thousands of pilgrims and tourists that come here throughout the year are not doing much for conservation either.

Fortunately it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which hopefully means that many more generations will be able to enjoy this piece of Indonesian history.


Comments

  1. I can totally relate to what you said here that as a child you always dreamed of visiting the Borobudur. Me too and I hope I'll make it there soon. Absolutely breath-taking!

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  2. It was really really nice. Just go really early before all the tourist buses get there.

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