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INDONESIA | Friday, 23 January 2009 | Views [1367]



It has been more than a month since Ayuthaya, Thailand, our last archeological site.  We have spent most of the time at the national parks and traveling from country to country but today we are in ‘Yogya’ to visit nearby Prambanan.

Prambanan is only 20 km from our hotel but the trip took nearly an hour by bus, bemo (minivan) and becak as they call trishaws here in Java.  Prambanan is another World Heritage site and is the best example of the Hindu cultural period in Java.  The temples were built in the 9th century but were hit with a major earthquake in the mid-fifteen hundreds.  It was rediscovered the late 1800s and the temples were restored in 1926 and renovated again in 1992.  Another earthquake hit the area two years ago and many of the structures at Prambanan are being repaired.

Two young tour guide wannabees offered to show us around and practice their English so we relented.  It is the same story we heard in Cambodia and Thailand; about Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, their different guises, their consorts and their battles.  Our understanding of Hinduism becomes clearer with each telling but it was interesting to hear it from young Muslim ladies.  Prambanan also has some Buddhist temples which predate the Hindu ones.  Unlike Angkor, where the Hindu temples became Buddhist, the Buddhist temples at Prambanan are in a different area but they, too, suffered earthquake damage.


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