All posts tagged: Java

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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Fragrant Water and Putrid Air

Any conversation about Indonesia’s natural landscape will almost certainly mention its plethora of volcanoes. Located on the Pacific Ring of Fire – where some of the world’s strongest and deadliest earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur – Indonesia is home to more than a hundred active […]

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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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Baluran: Into the Wilderness

Our driver carefully navigates the gravel path, flanked by trees and shrubs, tall and low, that cuts through the dense forest. From the national park’s entrance off the main road that connects the East Javanese cities of Banyuwangi and Situbondo, it is a good 13 […]

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Rise of Islam in Java

Chapter 2, Part 7 Since more than a thousand years ago, the island of Java has been an important economic and cultural center among the vast archipelago which today makes up most of Indonesia. The ports on the northern coasts of the island were strategically […]

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Ratu Boko: A Palace of Conundrum

Chapter 1, Part 11 Perched on a hill in the Kewu Plain, an unassuming compound of ancient structures made from andesite rocks is a beauty shrouded in mystery. Its roofed gate stood elegantly, in contrast with the austere walls surrounding the vast complex. Unassuming it […]

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Prambanan: Resurgence of Hinduism in Java

Chapter 1, Part 9 In the early ninth century AD under the rule of Samaratungga, the union between Medang and Srivijaya grew stronger, the kingdom was largely in peace, allowing artistry and craftsmanship to flourish. However unlike the expansionist Dharanindra, the new king ruled his […]

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Borobudur: A Mahayana Buddhist Masterpiece

Chapter 1, Part 8 In the late eighth century AD, the construction of what would become the world’s biggest Buddhist shrine began during King Dharanindra’s reign. Despite its colossal size, historical accounts of its decades-long construction are scarce, allowing multiple theories to emerge and feeding […]

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