|Dawn at Borobudur Temple|
|"Borobudur Sunrise" Signboard|
At 430 am, we arrived at the reception area to purchase our tickets. Surprisingly, there was no queue. We were provided with torch lights and directed to follow illuminated signboards to the temple. It was still pitch dark and finding the temple would not be an easy task. Fortunately, I had done my homework the day before and surveyed the route to the site. Borobudur had always been in my bucket lists for the longest time. I was glad to have ticked it off but witnessing the sunrise at this holy site would be yet another totally different experience.
As we walked to the temple, we could hear chanting being broadcast in the compound. It sounded a bit eerie but yet strangely comforting to hear this in the darkness. It also reminded me of the similar chant we heard during our sunset visit to Pura Tanah Lot at Bali.
|Stairs to the top of Borobudur|
At the temple gate, the security guards would perform a check through our belongings before letting us in. We could see a number of people already making their way into the temple ground. We were puffing and panting as we clambered up the steep stairs to the top tier of Borobudor. It must be the morning dense air(and of course our lack of exercise :-p).
There was a commotion when the golden rays started to appear behind the still smoking Mount Merapi. I could finally comprehend why the sunrise view at Borobudur was considered one of the twenty-seven places to see before you die. The yellow rays filtered through the still active volcano and cast upon those on the top of Borobudur. If "Enlightenment" has another meaning, it might actually refer to this moment of time. The scene was stunningly beholding. Although the sun was covered by the cloudy sky, it did not mar the beautiful moment.
|Golden Ray of the Sunrise|
|Sun Ray on the Buddhas#1|
|Sun Ray on the Buddhas#2|
|Family Photo with the Stupas|
|The Main Stupa|
|Myself with the Bas-Reliefs|
|Gallery with Bas-Reliefs|
The day crowd began to arrive in number at around 8 am. It was also getting hot and we felt it's time to leave the temple. I have been wanting to visit the temple on numerous occasion but did not do so due to various reasons. There was a sense of achievement when I could finally stand upon the temple and witnessed the famous sunrise. Borodudur did not fail my expectation. It shall also meet yours if you wish to visit it someday :-).
|Fun Family Photo|
1. Stay at Manohara Resort for convenience. It is the nearest hotel to Borobudur temple (around 5-10 mins ) and inexpensive. The stay includes unlimited accesses to the temple and a discounted rate for the sunrise and sunset tour. But remember to book early (few months before) as rooms are limited and always taken up fast!
2. The sunrise tour is a must. After that, grab the time to take great photos before the day crowd arrives.
3. If you have the chance, visit the temple once before the sunrise tour. It will help you locate strategic spot for your sunset view especially if you are preparing to capture the golden moment. The "site survey" will also help you save time to locate other good spots for photo taking.
4. Note that the entrance and exit of the temple are two different gates. Ensure you oriented yourself and do not get lost after coming out of the temple.(I nearly did ;-) !)
5. Read up before visiting. Otherwise, the temples are just like big rocks and stones to you and can get very boring. A guide will be helpful. Manohara Resort provides a free video presentation about Borobudur which helps me to understand more on the temple background.
6. It gets very hot in the noon. Come in the early morning or late noon if possible.
7. Bring lots of water. Wear comfortably and bring a hat.
8. A sarong is needed to wear around your waist but not strictly enforce. You can get it free near the ticket booth after paying the entrance fee.
9. Take note of the vendors near the entrance and exit of the temple. They can be very aggressive to sell their stuff to you. Just say a firm "no" and walk away if you are not interested. If you want to buy some souvenirs from them, press down the price to a quarter of their quoted price. Settle no more than 50% percent of what they ask for. You shall get what you want as competition is stiff among them.
10. I use yogyadriver for my trip around Yogyakarta. Write a comment and drop your email address (I will reply you) at the comment column below to enjoy up to 10% discount off the normal rate if you decide to use their service.
Have you been to Borobudur yet? Share your great experience here!
|For Your Pinning|
|The Borobudur Temple|