Borobudur in Silence

As stated before, we have been visiting Java extensively last July. An absolute must see is the amazing buddhist Borobudur temple complex on Java, not only for its historical and architectural value, but simply because it’s just amazing.

Built over a natural hill, measuring on its base 123 by 123 m (403.5 x 403.5 ft) and standing 35 m (115 ft) tall, it may seem like a large heap of stone, but this is the most intricate decorated heap of stone you will ever see.

Built as a giant mandala, it symbolizes the path to Nirvana. In fact it is built more like a stupa than a temple. The walls of the five lower terraces are decorated with bas-reliefs (the ground level is hidden, so you can see only four), the top three terraces are dotted with the well-known "lace like" stupas with Buddha statues inside.

As like every building this size, the best photo opportunities come at dusk and dawn; the light is softer, the shades are more forgiving and there are less tourists. So we skipped the rush hours and concentrated on the early mornings and late evenings, and got some nice shots. It is easy to obtain a so called sunrise or sunset pass that gives you the right to stay a bit longer after the crowds have gone, or to come early before they even arrive on the scene.

A magical spot to see sunrise over Borobudur is nearby Punthuk Setumbu Hill. It’s not guaranteed you will see the sun actually rise. Do not get disappointed on a misty morning, but be patient and wait halve an hour or so, when other early birds are gone, you can witness the stupa waking up between the misty hills all on your own and in silence.

Although Borobudur is one of Indonesia’s top tourist attractions it is still a living religious monument, and the atmosphere is divine....