Indonesia: Little candi times in Yogyakarta

31 July 2013

My guide Beri ( 081227261356) took me to see some of the smaller and lesser well-known candis (stupas or temples) in the Yogyakarta area.

The first stop – Candi Sambisari.SONY DSCIt’s a 9th-century Hindu temple about 8km east of Yogyakarta. It was buried 5m underground by volcanic ash from Mount Merapi. It was discovered in 1966 by a local farmer and excavation works was completed in March 1987. To reach the central part of the temple, you must descend a flight of stairs on the western side of the candi. The base of the temple is 6.5 m lower than ground level and the temple complex are littered with carvings and statues of Hindu gods.

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A wall surrounds the temple complex
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Getting a rude finger from the local kids who thought that the middle finger is a way of saying “Hey, you are cool!”

The second stop- Candi Sari.

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Under restoration

8th-century Buddhist temple- It was a two storey building with completed windows and doors. Unfortunately, they are now decayed and gone. It was thought to be a vihara (Buddhist monastery) for monks who served the nearby Kalasan temple. The ruins were discovered in early 20s and reconstruction was completed in 1930. Many parts are missing so what I saw was incomplete.

The final candi stop- Candi Plaosan.

Covering an area of 2000 square meters with an elevation of 148 meters above sea level, the candi is surrounded by paddy fields. It was built in the mid 9th century and is made up of 174 small buildings (116 stupas and  58 shrines). There are twin temples at Plaosan with plenty of well-carved statues.SONY DSC

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Just the way I like it

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After a quick lunch at the market area, it was time to see the Sultan’s Palace.

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The palace belongs to the Sultan of Yogyakarta and his family. It serves as a cultural center for the Javanese people and contains a museum that displays many artifacts.

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Guard with a very cool knife

We were close to the end of the tour so we chatted about Indonesia whilst taking a walk at the local pet market.

The pet market sells everything
The pet market sells everything

Below is a summary of what Beri said-  “ People are still relatively poor especially those in the countryside. In Jakarta, people are paid monthly 7000000 Indonesia Rupiah (520USD) while the normal monthly wage in Yogyakarta is around 3000000 Indonesia Rupiah (222 USD). Many leave for the big cities but that doesn’t mean that things will improve for them. The government need to create more jobs or teach a life skill to the younger generation so that they can find a job and feed themselves. Many do go to school but end up with either no job or in an underpaid profession so we are going through a brain drain. Education is for free but uniforms and textbooks cost money .You know that many tourists flock to Bali and party then they tell you they’ve seen Indonesia. Actually, if you want to see Indonesia, you must visit Yogyakarta .”

Time’s up.

Beri dropped me off and waved goodbye. He had a big grin on his face and said

” My children will be happy with this snack. Thank you for them”.

Before he left, he looked at me and said

“Time is money in the big cities. They got it wrong. Time is family, time is life and time is about being happy. Remember this and have a great day”

I watched as Beri rode off on his motorbike.