Borobodur and Prambanan are two famous temples located in Central Java. Both are easily visited in a day trip from Yogyakarta (pronounced Jogjakarta, or Jogja, for short). Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world, and Prambanan is one of the largest Hindu temples in south east Asia. Both are very touristy with fancy grounds and entrance way, and huge carparks for the large number of buses bringing in hourdes of local tourists on a daily basis. Both are considered holy sites and tourists should dress modestly – i.e. women should cover knees and shoulders. Note that many of the local tourists from around Java have had very little contact with foreigners, so expect to be inundated with requests for photos.
Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. It is the number one tourist attraction in Indonesia. It was built in the 9th century, but was abandoned shortly thereafter and remained hidden under volcanic ash and vegetation for centuries. It was rediscovered in the 19th century when Java was under British rule. An expedition cleared vegetation and unearthed the monument. It was fully restored under the Dutch in the early 20th century.
Many people get up super early to catch the sunrise. I was in Java in the rainy season and there had been no sunrise the whole week, so skipped the early start.
Prambanan was also constructed in the 9th century, probably the Hindu kingdom response to the building of Borobudur. It was said to mark the return of power in the region to Hindu from Buddhist. The temples were abandoned in the 10th century and fell into disrepair. They collapsed completely in an earthquake in the 16th century. It was restored fully by the Dutch in the early 20th century.
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