Category: Borneo, Indonesia, 2017


June 1. At 4:30 this morning, we meet Eka and our driver, Kamto, and set off for sunrise at Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist monument and the largest human-made structure in the southern hemisphere. It predates Angkor Wat (in Cambodia, which Carol and I will visit next February) by 300 years and Notre Dame by 200 years. Rediscovered in 1815 by Sir Stanford Raffles, it has been excavated and returned to its original glory. The stone relief panels offer a clear glimpse into Buddhist doctrine and Javanese life 1,000 years ago. We spend the early morning hours exploring this fabulous complex with Eka. The climb to the top of the temple, nine stories high, while not a walk in the park, is not as challenging as each of the four of us had feared.  The people watching up on the monument (including Eka) was excellent

After exploring the temple, we have a wonderful a picnic breakfast at Dagi Hill, overlooking Borobudur.

We return to our resort to rest up and have lunch (in our new hats, given to us by Amanjiwo).After lunch, we went back to our rooms to relax.  Later, Michael played tennis, Valerie and I swam and Carol read.

Around 7PM, Michael and I were driven to Mendut Monastery, where we had a great session, meditating for an hour with some monks, and listening to them chant.  After, we chatted briefly with two of the monks.

 Carol and Valerie met for a drink, and we all reconvened for a terrific dinner at the Amanjiwo.

7 comments to Borobudur

  • Cathy

    Looks amazing. Did you go early for the light or the temperatures? Love those hats….

  • lauri pollack

    Sounds like a wonderful day. What an adventure.

  • Kathie Dean

    Sounds wonderful….

  • Psaul Woo

    This appears to be one of your best days on this journey. I imagine it really awakens the senses when you experience one of these ancient religious monuments.

  • Gil Cornfield

    Arnie: I have not received your reply to my earlier inquiries. Gil.
    Is this fabulous site only maintained for historical reasons or does it have religious significance for contemporary buddhists? The fact that you spent time at the monastery and with the monks appear to answer my question–buddhism is still practiced and possibly the major religion in Java.
    The photo of the lady in the high heels sitting on the monument is great.
    When you and Carol “meditated” with the monks did you assume some special position and expressions (oral and/or visual)?
    What did you and the monks talk about. Did you share with them your friendship with the Buddhist religious leader from Bhutan?

  • Kay M Osborne

    I’m enjoying every bit of it. More. More. More.

  • arnie

    Gil. Your questions are great, and would be happy to discuss when we get together. Borbodur is historic, not active. Monastery where Mike and I (not Carol) meditated is definitely active, including ancient temple right near by. Did not have opportunity to discuss a Bhutan with monks.

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