Best things to do in Central Java and sightseeing in Central Java
Borobudur Temple - Central Java
Borobudur Temple, located near Magelang in Central Java, is purported to be the largest Buddhist temple in the world. It is both a shrine and a place of pilgrimage. It didn’t feel that large to me. However, it is impressive and because of its location within a very verdant valley it draws both those seeking the beautiful in nature and the beautiful in man’s creation. The primary source of its physical draw is the intricacy and sheer magnitude of its 2,672 relief panels. A pilgrim could easily believe that the temple’s layers are a sort of stairway towards heaven. There is a constant feeling of reaching ever higher. At the top one finds a main dome and 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupas which are in addition to the 504 Buddhas that already dot the lower layers of the temple. Though the temple was constructed in the 9th century, it may have been abandoned in the 14th after a decline in Buddhist and Hindu tradition once Islam began to take hold in Java. British ruler of Java in 1814, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, was alerted to its existence which then led to it being officially preserved, and provided for restorations to begin. It was in the early 1980′s that Borobudur was then listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a status it still retains today. It is Indonesia’s most visited tourist attraction. To visit for yourself, check out Indonesia’s resources page here.
Borobudur - Central Java
Borobudur was a moment in which I was able to be still and not just learn but actually apply, in the moment, the lesson of peace and stillness; which brought about joy. It must be no coincidence that the t-shirt I put on to wear the morning we rose before the sun, was from the #FindYours campaign I did with Expedia. It says, “Find Your Joy.” And in the moment that this photo was taken, that — and more — is what I had found. et, at Borobudur, sitting in wait for the sunrise to blind me and thrill me, having nothing else to do but wait, amongst a place of physical beauty (a characteristic that always excites me) — peace, stillness and joy are exactly what filled all the rooms I had for rent.
Alun-Alun Tegal - Central Java
Next journey was to see the edelweiss flower. I knew about this flower just from one of my favorite childhood movie, “The Sound of Music”. Eager to see and touch the real flower, our group started walking to Tegal Alun. The track was quite difficult. There were many steep steps, Finally, after almost a 1.5hour journey, we arrived at a 80 hectare land filled with Edelweiss flower. Our group leader warned us not to bring the flowers home because it’s declared as a cultural heritage. So, the best thing to do besides exploring the area is taking pictures. Taking 10 to 20 pictures was not enough. Every corner, every flower we saw had unique details. I eventually got tired of taking pictures, and decided to sit on the ground and think about my journey. This was my first time hiking. It was the kind of hikes for which one had to be fully prepared. No basic facility such as tap water or toilet, no prepared food, and no access of heat or fire all of which made me feel very grateful to live in Jakarta despite how messy and chaotic it can be due to the traffic. The opportunity to meet people that are outside of my friend’s circle was very interesting. Listening to their stories and grasping their way of thinking about life was one of the most important experiences I had. Our group stayed in Tegal Alun for 1.5 hours. Before deciding to go back to our camp, our team leader took out a folded cloth from his pants pocket. Turns out it is Indonesian flag. He tied the flag to a long branch and then we gathered to take our group picture. Happy from the different poses we did for the pictures, then we decided to head back to the campsite. As I walked slowly, I decided to look at the whole area of Tegal Alun for the last time. At that exact moment, it struck me how I have never done something so great before.