Friday, January 08, 2016

Borobudur, Sunrise Majesty

On my morning of the Borobudur tour, I had an extra early get-up. My tour guide was meeting me at 4:30AM. I purposely stayed at the Manohara Hotel, located within the Borobudur Park and just 300m from the monument. Armed with a flashlight, we headed over to the monument and were up the stairs prior to sunrise. 

Gradually, the sky began to lighten, glowing in various hues. It was a great time for reflection and meditation. Thankfully, there weren't a whole lot of people, and they were generally quite respectful by keeping it rather silent. Perhaps they too were in awe of the splendors unfolding.

Much of  the surrounding tropical landscape was enveloped in a blanket of misty fog, which reflected color. I loved the ray-like bands of color that emerged, adding dynamism to the sky.
The volcano Merapi appeared in a purple silhouette, reminding visitors of its connection to the site. In 2010, thick ash dust from the volcano once again covered the Buddhist monument, causing temporary closure while 55,000 stone blocks were removed & cleaned and drainage systems cleared. 

While most of the upper Buddha sculptures are enclosed in 72 bell-shaped latticed stupas, several are exposed. I took several shots from this Buddha, observing the change in color of the sky as well as the stone itself.  

The colors became warmer as the sun appeared over the horizon. It still was well before general admission was allowed, so us intrepid visitors had the splendors to ourselves.

Melissa on top of Borobudur at sunrise
As the sun rose, light began to illuminate the site, giving me a first view of the sheer scale of what is considered the world's largest Buddhist temple and deservedly on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.


Gigi said...

Gorgeous, Melissa! Definitely worth waking up for!

Melissa Enderle said...

Yes, it sure was! It's instances such as this where I wish time could have been frozen.