Sunday, September 05, 2010

Yogyakarta - Sunrise at Borobudur

Evil (a song which sometimes serves as an alarm, and has the tendency to cause a certain degree of alarm, no doubt) woke me up at the unearthly hour of 3 in the morning. As I tried to organise my thoughts (where was I?, why is my alarm set at 3 freaking am?, why is it so bloody cold?), it finally hit me... I was going to see the sun rise from Borobudur!

We left the hotel premises at about 4 am, with our breakfast boxes and backpacks, Sleep deprived and tired for some reason, we nodded off comfortably as our van took us to our destination, with our poor guide trying to make some conversation with some trivia about Borobudur, where we would occasionally respond with an 'ok'. Yes, we are terrible people, but we live in the region and actually know the general stuff about Borobudur because we all read. A lot.

We finally reached our destination and were given a torchlight each to navigate up the 'stairs' to the top of Borobudur right before dawn. It was dark and crowded - everyone wants to see the sun rise up from Borobudur, I guess. You could hear muffled conversation and some groaning from some people as their unaccustomed muscles protested against the climb where the stairs were almost knee high. We picked a spot near the top overlooking the area below, adjusted our camera settings, took some photos in the dark (where we all looked a tad bit mysterious and ghostly) and waited for the sun to rise.

A less than enthusiastic sunrise

The sun did rise, but a little less enthusiastically as it hid behind the clouds, secretly laughing at us for thinking that we'd get a good sunrise, I presume. As it got brighter, we went to each level to look at the carvings in granite which tell the story of the birth of Buddhism. When you look at it, you do wonder how the people from the olden days (9th century!!), without the aid of cranes and modern machinery could build something so majestic looking. And the time and effort it would have taken for them to carve all the stories into stone. It's simply amazing. We got down to the base later in the morning, had a late breakfast (from our box) and some coffee and some local cakes. For some reason, travelling gives you an excellent appetite!
The carvings on the stone

An almost complete sideview of Borobudur


  1. that sideview is so beautiful

  2. You're going to be showing me Malaysia someday, just not at 4 in the morning. I tell you what!

  3. nursemyra: yeah... it is...

    orhan: No problem! 4 am wouldn't be such a big deal for you though... given our time difference :)

  4. That's very early. But what a beautiful place.

  5. Yes, it is a beautiful place. Funny thing is, there were lots of people there to catch the sunrise...

  6. It is amazing that people could build such breathtaking monuments without all today's technology. And ironic that when such technology IS used it so often produces such hideously ugly results.

  7. Yes, just trying to think how they lugged the rocks across the terrain is enough to amaze us.

  8. Borobudur is amazing and I also went there very early in the morning.Our guide told us that the mountains surrounding it resembles a sleeping Buddha and it did .

  9. We missed that... I hope it wasn't due to ignorance, though... That would be just sad.


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