Yogyakarta Voyage - The Ancient Ruins

Back to mid-2015, I felt like my life was just filled with a bunch of boredom. Working as a full-time bank officer required a lot of time to be spent at the office. I even barely leave office before twilight. The routine has made me craved for a vacation. Ever since my passion in traveling grew even bigger. Thankfully, there is a block leave which has to be taken once a year in five consecutive working days. It is the time for a long break and get away from stressful work and boring routine.

Candi Sewu, an ancient Buddhist temple.

In 2015, I took the block leave in August and decided to go to Yogyakarta. I visited some interesting places that time. Starting with the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia, Prambanan temple that was surprisingly easy to be reached by public transportation. I really wanted to visit this place a long time ago. I already visited its sister, Borobodur temple. Both temples were build under Ancient Mataram kingdom where Buddhist and Hindu people lived together at peace. I visited Borobodur twice when I was in senior high school. Yet, the chance to visit its Hindu counterpart just came about ten years later.
It was a sunny day when I reach the place. Thanks to local government for providing convenient bus to explore the city, Trans Jogja. It is similar with Trans Jakarta but using smaller bus, the shelter also smaller. no wonder because Jogja not as big as Jakarta. One route ended in Prambanan. It really helps tourists who do not want to rent any vehicles like me.

In the front gate of Ratu Boko.
I reached the Prambanan around 9 AM. It was a sunny day of August, felt like summer after all. Arriving in Prambanan, I was informed that the management provide a tour package including a visit to another historical site called Ratu Boko. Different from another ancient site in Java, Ratu Boko is not a temple, but a palace. Interesting, I took that tour and decided to visit the palace first which is located about 5 km from Prambanan riding a shuttle car. It was not really far at all, but the car had to climb a hill and made the journey sort of challenging. 

Entering the ancient palace of Ratu Boko.
Ratu Boko palace is located on a hill. I explored and wandered around the ruin, while the restoration process was still on going. I saw some workers still working excavating the ruin from the ground. Some others cleaned the ruin that had been excavated and try to reconstruct them as the part of the palace, just like playing an historical puzzle.

The excavation and reconstruction of Ratu Boko.
Some parts of Ratu Boko that have been reconstructed.
Enough with Ratu Boko, I decided to go back to Prambanan and explored the temple. It was huge. Some part was ruined when earthquake destroyed Jogja few years ago. Gratefully, the temple still stood tall and the restoration process went well. Tourist still could go up to the top of the temple. It was wonderful to witness how ancient people already learned a technique to build these huge temples hundred years ago. When I reached the highest floor of the temple, I saw a room that was used for praying and ceremony and it felt mystical. Around the temple complex, some ruins still spread. Maybe the workers still figured out which part should they fill with the piece of the ruins, another puzzle to solve.

The huge and majestic Prambanan Temple.
You may get to see other historical sites in Prambanan. There are other temples here. They are smaller than Prambanan. Most of them are still under reconstruction process, so do not expect that the temples will be as perfect as Borobudur and Prambanan that fully restored. So for now, just let the archeologists and the workers reconstruct them.

Some parts of small temples that have been excavated around Prambanan.
It takes time to reconstruct each piece , just like a puzzle.
Midday approaching, I ate lunch in the cafeteria near the exit gate of Prambanan. There were also many souvenir sellers along the way out, just like in Borobudur. Actually it is inconvenient for some tourists who wanted to leave immediately, yet it may boost local economy by helping those souvenir retailers get more customers. Just buy some souvenirs there and contribute to local economy.

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