Friday, 29 November 2019

Carvings Of Prambanan

What's a Hindu temple without endless carvings that detail the Indian epic poem, the Ramayana? Besides that opus, there are plenty of smaller moments to enjoy among the temple facades.

Excitable monkey.

Hindu gods, birdlike and graceful.

More excitable monkeys.

There seems to be a Noah's ark-like parade of animals tucked into little window carvings. How about some goats and lovey Doves?

The cutest genre scene, mice with giant ears. Did Walt Disney pay a visit?

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Mighty Prambanan in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Sure, the Buddhist temple Borobudur is the heavy of temples in the Yogyakarta area. Who's going to be foolish enough to challenge a nine-tiered monolith? On the other side of the city sits the Hindu temple complex Prambanan and, while it may not be seven wonders of the ancient world worthy, it could slip into the top 20. Worth a visit.

Behold, mighty Prambanan. The main compound consists of eight temples, the largest one reaching 154 feet tall. A big boy.

The scale is big and the central area had been completely rebuilt. Intricate details.

Oh, right, it's all about you. The reality of today, grand relics are simply a social media backdrop.

Craning and gawking at the design of the main temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. All that stonework and what's inside a temple? Not much.

Prambanan also looking good in silhouette.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Small Details Of Borobudur, Indonesia

Wandering the countryside, seeing what sticks out.

Rural 7-Eleven.

Fantastic balustrade. Rivaling the famous Porch of the Caryatids that's found at the Erechtheion temple on the Acropolis.

Humble brooms for sale.

Paintings and pictures in unusual places on houses.

Rural green mosque.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Mendut Temple

If you've had enough of Borobudur, which is basically impossible, there are a handful of other temples you can visit in the area. One of the nicer ones is Candi Mendut. It's a 9th century Buddhist temple, about three kilometers from Borobudur.

A bit of a square monolith.

Carvings on the exterior surround the temple. Some assembly required? Piles of stones at the site.

Inside, the main attraction is three large statues. The center figure is Dhyani Buddha Vairocana, liberator of your bodily karma.

Here's Boddhisatva Vajrapani. He'll take care of your thought karma. Another area of stones, complete assembly required.

Another look at the big, boxy boy.

Monday, 25 November 2019

Out In The Sticks Of Indonesia

What's nice about visiting the Borobudur temple in Indonesia is the chance to stay nearby in its rural location. After the tourist crush at the landmark, some time to relax among the locals and rice paddies.

Boys river swimming.

Rice paddy living. Yes, we stayed in that structure planted among the rice.

Wearing the Union Jack with the sun setting over the rice.

What passes for a road through the rice crop. Play time means hitting the volleyball court.

Another beautiful, stormy day ends in Southeast Asia.

Friday, 22 November 2019

Details Of Borobudur

The Borobudur temple is overwhelming and it's tempting simply to sprint to the top to say you made it. Which would be a shame. A slower ascent allows time to enjoy the endless details found on all the levels of the temple.

The bell-shaped stupas at the top of the temple are the stars. Hidden inside, the Buddhas.

Along the lower, square levels, an infinity loop of friezes. Buddha with a perfectly rolled coif.

A closer look at a frieze. The carvings contrast a life of human desire with the life of Buddha. After 1,300 friezes, it's clear who comes out ahead.

Corner drain. About that desire. A few party animals make appearances.

Getting moody, sans head.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Big Ol' Borobudur

Asia has a handful of must-see temple complexes and one place that always makes the list is Borobudur in Java, Indonesia. It's easy to understand why: the temple is a behemoth and perfectly restored like a stone cupcake. Time to eat it up.

Sign in at the front desk.

Borobudur does not disappoint. The first six levels are square and heavily carved, each section its own endless corridor of friezes and zig-zag turns.

The star of the show is the top, which consists of three round levels that are dotted with little lattice stupas. Good morning, Borobudur.

Each bell-shaped stupa contains a Buddha statue. They've left a handful of stupas open, for the claustrophobic Buddhas.

The architecture and environment are flawless.

The temple in moody blue, sunrise in the rain. Another angle on a Buddha and the stupas.

Someone communing with Borobudur.