No trip to Jogja would be complete without at least one meal that included Gudeg and of course, a visit to Borobudur.
This magnificent Mahayana Buddhist temple was built in the 9th century and was a site of worship and pilgrimage for many, many years until suddenly it vanished. For hundreds of years it lay under a huge pile of volcanic ash and thick jungle growth until one fateful day in 1815 as Sir Stamford Raffles was out having a post-prandial walk in the jungle, he suddenly tripped up over a pile of stones and, Bob’s your Uncle, he re-discovered the hither-to forgotten temple.
Actually, I’ve just made that bit up. I don’t really know how Sir Stamford found it – I’ve looked all over the Internet and couldn’t find a thing about it but I thought I could use some artistic license plus add my own theory on this subject.
After good old Stamford had recovered from his stubbed toe and sore knees, no time was wasted in getting the site cleared and making plans for getting the temple restored to it’s former glory. This didn’t happen overnight of course, in fact it took 158 years and in 1973 when the restoration project was at last finished UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site.
If you have a moment, please check out this excellent link.
Not only will it articulate better than I, the history and restoration of Borobudur but it also has some stunning photographs. I found Borobudur an impossibly difficult place to photograph A, because of it’s immense size and B, because it’s built in tiers in the shape of a mandala so it’s hard to give an overall picture of the place.