Borobudur Temple is a spectacular 9th century Buddhist temple. Most tours leave at 4am and include watching the sunrise behind the temple, but I chose a 5am departure time for a lower price. And an extra hour of sleep.
I rolled out of bed at 4am to get ready, and fell back into bed for a long nap as soon as I arrived home — so the whole temple visit happened to me as if in a dream, in the middle of the night!
I was still in a sleepy fog as we drove past towns and rice fields for about two hours. I perked up when the landscape changed. Purple mountains appeared in the distance, and palm trees were silhouetted by the mist around us. The place had a sacred energy, something I’ve come to recognize in spiritual spots as diverse as the Incan temples of Peru or the caves of Elephant Island off the coast of Mumbai. I always wonder whether worshippers were drawn to that energy or created it.
Our driver took us to get a simple breakfast at an outdoor restaurant, then he led us to the admission gate. We were each given a welcome drink and a blue batik sarong to wear into the temple. The driver told us to meet him back at the restaurant at 8:30, and then we were on our own.
The other people in my group weren’t very friendly, so I set off on my own. I left the admission area and wandered along many paths and outdoor patios, following signs toward the temple. It was a longer walk than I’d thought, and I didn’t see many other people. My hip was already beginning to ache, and I was glad I was on my own and could rest whenever I liked. But when the temple finally came into view in the distance, I forgot all about my body and my aching hip. I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story.
(note: I used Kresna Travel on Prawirotaman. Their price was very reasonable at 85,000 rupiah for transport and breakfast (just over $6), and the service was adequate. Admission to the temple is an additional $20US or 18 Euros.)
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