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30 April 2011

Sunrise Watch at Borobudur, Yogyakarta

By Aris

I think Yogyakarta is one of the most popular tourist destination together with Bali and Jakarta as the main foreign tourist destination in Indonesia. Situated in the center of Java Island, this city is grown as very well develop tourist city that very welcome to visitors. Broad range of accommodations and tourist facility are very easy to find starting from Bed and Breakfast, Traditional boutiques up till Four and Five Stars International Chain Hotels such as Novotel, Sheraton and Hyatt hotels.

This cities has unique long cultural history from Ancient Mataram Kingdom which was prosperous and high civilized. This kingdom start on 1558 when one person called “Ki Ageng Pamanahan” was awarded a piece of land in “Mataram” from Sultan of Panjang named “Adiwijaya” because he may defeat Panjang enemy named “Arya Penangsang” and the Kingdom history start afterthen since “Ki Ageng Pamanahan” start building his own Castle in Kotagede in 1577 and finally Defeats the Kingdom of Panjang itself on 1587 after Kingdom of Panjang intended to invade this prosperous land, then Mataram become very wealth country after then until the year of 1830 and defeated by Kingdom of Netherland trough 5 years war against Prince Diponegoro.

Currently remaining of Kingdom Culture and heritage still maintain on this city, Yogyakarta are one of two special distric who has unique independent disctric-ruler which are their “Sultan” and awarded as Province Governor by Government. The Sultan Palace still remaining there in the center of City and become one of tourist destination together with some others Historical heritages such as “Taman Air Palace” which is Sultan Water-playground alongside with several artifact such as Borobudur, Prambanan and Ratuboko.

Borobudur itself is one of the biggest Buddhist temple in the world besides Angkor Watt in Cambodia, constructed as ten-terrace building which ahas 42m height above the ground level, The first six terrace are in square form, two upper terraces are in circular form, and on the most top of them is the terrace where Buddha statue is located and facing westward. Each Terrace Symbolizes the stage of human life.

Each terrace has very beautiful relief panels and in order to understand the story written on them, you have to walk clockwise from entrance of the temple.

But one thing that very interesting for me of this place that I can go for Sunrise photography tour from on top of Borobudur temple. This is very unique experience since in normal Borobudur may only be open start from 08.00 in the morning.

We flown from Jakarta to Yogyakarta by AirAsia QZ 7340 on 06.00 in the morning so that we may reach Yogyakarta one hour after then, so that we may have plenty of time for City-Sightseeing and Photography tour in several places such as Beringharjo Market, Sultan Places, Taman Sari and several other places, just before we depart to Mungkit where is the Borobudur situated to overnight there, just because we have to get up earlier in 04.00 in the morning to have Sunrise Tour.

This tour was created by”The Manohara resorts” that situated inside Borobudur complex and start on 04.30 in the morning. We have to enter Resort Lobby to buy entrance ticket was cost IDR 200.000 or about USD 28 / person to get into the top, the cost is inclusive light breakfast and coffee in “Manohara Resort” after Sunrise session. You will company with one person local guide that will escort you to temple complex and may provide you with the Borobudur story along the way up to top of the temple.

Once we reach the best photo-spot, one thing to do is to prepared our photo-gear and wait until the sunrise come, lucky we have very good weather today, the sky is clear and Sunrise are appear very astonishing, round bright orange and very beautiful. Seems that what we did to get up in the morning and travelling so far away from Jakarta to this spot is worth, thanks to Airasia that may this journey become reality.