A 9th Century Throwback to Prambanan in Yogyakarta | Indonesia

After achieving a zen state of mind at the 9th century Buddhist temple complex of Borobudur, we proceeded to another throwback landmark from that century–this time, the Hindu temple called the Candi Prambanan. My interest level in seeing more temples that day fluctuated below the .50 mark since I've already had my house-of-worship fix. However, upon stepping out of our van, the sight of the sharp tips of Prambanan's stupas, ushered in a new wave of curiosity as to what fascinating discoveries awaits me inside.

Portia Carlos

It was scorching hot during that day and as I made a dash to the gate, one of my tour group mates, Yeen, a South Korean, motioned for me to take her photograph. Not wanting to disappoint her, I directed her to stand against the  backdrop of the towering Hindu temples of Prambanan. Despite being exposed under the sun, I took my time and ended up shooting half a dozen shots of her in various poses–including a silly jump shot. After reviewing the images, she gave me a thumbs up sign and requested if she could take my picture, to which I reluctantly oblige.  

Mishi Magno

Like a kid inside a toy store, everywhere I looked are like eye-popping toys and candies. I snapped a couple of pictures before deciding to let my memory do the documenting. I separated myself from our small tour group which was composed of Yeen, a young couple from Portugal, a honeymooners from Netherlands and Switzerland (whose original idea of a honeymoon was a week-long trip in Phuket, Thailand - until they decided to screw the idea and continue traveling around Asia. The result? is an on-going six-month traveling) and two middle age ladies from England. While on my own, I went to climb the first temple south of the entrance and rested briefly while I let everything  sink in.

Levy Amosin

The temples at Prambanan were lavished with more intricate designs as shown by its surrounding pointed spires. Compared to Borobudur though,  it has lesser detailed bass relief narrative panels. Here however, you can enter each temple and entered I did. The most memorable for me was when I stepped foot inside a Shiva temple, when the light seem to have been turned off in an instant. With darkness around me, I was shut off from the world hearing nothing but deafening silence. It felt like a hidden set of eyes from the shadows behind the statue were watching me. Twitching my body further inside, I saw a ray of light shining on the Shiva Statue. I stared at it and entertained the wild possibility of coming out of the temple in a different time. 

Marky Ramone Go

Hurriedly, I got out and almost tripped down the stairs before I regained my balance. It was still present day 2013 by the looks of the tourists outside. I sat at the bottom step and just directed my gaze at the other temples as I gulped half of the mineral water inside my drinking bottle. Though, I acknowledged the emergence of starvation as my rumbling stomach suggests, I couldn't deny the rush of visual feasts coming my way is more nourishing to my soul than any food. 

Marky Ramone Go

It's not only the satisfaction of having another UNESCO World Heritage site stored inside my memory vault gives me joy, there is also this accumulation of elation when I touch the walls of these temples that has stood the rugged test of time. The volcanic eruption of nearby Mount Merapi and other forces of nature all happened trying to knock these 9th century complex down to no success. 

Celine Murillo

Although, since its rediscovery by the surveying group of Sir Thomas Raffles in early 19th century, it has undergone massive restoration to replace original sculptures and stone foundation stolen by natives. Still, being here still makes the experience extraordinary, as it serves as my bridge to bygone thousands of years when Rakai Pikatan ordered the construction of Prambanan to symbolize the power of the Hindu Sanjaya Dynasty.

Marky Ramone Go

A couple of hours later as the sun hovers above head showering intensifying heat, I start feeling lethargy forming in my legs as my skin begins to hurt. I circled to the back to look for a shade and a ten minute sit down rest. Satisfied with what I've seen so far, I started clicking away to take some photographs. On my way back to the parking lot where our tour operator Anjeeni was waiting for us, I stopped by the rows of canteen near the exit and ordered myself a random dish on the menu written in Bahasa. It turned out to be spicy chicken with fried rice. 

Christian Sangoyo

Anjeeni is a college student working part-time for a tour agency. She explained how she enjoy her job because she get to practice her English speaking skills. Listening to her, I grade her English as better than mine. 

Marky Ramone Go

One can say that once you've seen the other archaeological sites in Angkor WatAyutthaya in Thailand and Bagan in Myanmar, you will have enough of it and  cry "temple overload?"  After visiting Borobudur and Prambanan, I'd contest that assertion because you really won't get enough of them.

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