All posts tagged: ancient temple

Candi Ijo: A Silent Witness of Change

We as modern-day tourists often see ancient sites as places that inspire us, leave us spellbound, or whet our curiosity of the world we live in. We perceive them and give them attributes based on our standpoint, making them objects of our fascination. But what […]

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Sambisari & Kedulan: the Underground Temples

Imagine an alternate world where ninth-century cathedrals across Europe and mosques throughout the Middle East and North Africa were buried deep in the ground for centuries until being rediscovered in the 20th century. People only knew a little about their existence, mostly from stories told […]

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The Temple of the Wine God

Day two in Baalbek, and we are awakened after a night-long power cut. It turns out that in this part of Lebanon this disruption in daily life happens more often compared to Beirut. Back in the Lebanese capital we were told that regular blackouts were […]

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A Valley Between the Snows

Lebanon has been amazing so far. While Beirut is enchanting in its own way – a city full of contradictions that make it even more appealing to explore – and Bsharri provides us with a jaw-dropping view of the lush and historic Qadisha Valley, our […]

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Trowulan: Beauty in Red Brick

I am standing in front of Candi Tikus, its red brick structure almost entirely below ground level as if the earth was purposefully dug out so that it could fit inside. A flight of stairs made from the same material acts as the only entrance […]

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Trowulan: An Ancient Javanese City

“You’re the only person I know who comes to Mojokerto to see its ancient ruins.” Monica expressed her amusement over dinner at a modest, dimly-lit local restaurant in the East Javan city. I knew her from college and this was only the second time we […]

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Singhasari: Rise and Fall

In the second half of the 13th century, a vast empire ruled by nomadic people from the steppes of what is now Mongolia stretched from the western shores of the Pacific Ocean all the way to the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Victory after victory […]

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Ngempon, Twelve Centuries Later

1,200 years ago in the heart of Java, Buddhism and Hinduism grew as the dominant religions of the people, signified by the construction of a multitude of temples in the island’s mountainous regions as well as the vast plains overlooked by mighty volcanoes. Around the […]

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Penataran: Appeasing the Mountain God

Swirling tongues of fire welcomed erstwhile royal families and priests who ascended the stairs of Palah, a late 12th-century Hindu temple located on the southwestern slopes of Mount Kelud. The volcano was so active and unpredictable that a temple was deemed necessary to appease Acalapati, […]

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My Son: Beauty in Desolation

Indochina, a region that comprises most of Mainland Southeast Asia, has been both an entrepot and battleground of influences from two ancient superpowers in Asia, India and China as the region’s name suggests. Coined in the early 19th century, the term has been used to […]

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Vijayanagara: the Golden Period

Chapter 2, Part 2 In the 14th century Harihara I established Vijayanagara, a Hindu kingdom which would later become the most powerful empire in the history of South India, and Harihara II – the third king – conquered the Madurai Sultanate and vast swathes of […]

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