biography

Borobudur & Bali Photos

December 2007

All photos World Rights © ATMann 2007

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Java Volcanos Merapi Borobudur

World Rights © ATMann 2007

The inactive Mt Merbabu and the active Mt Merapi are two of the four encircling volcanoes, as seen at sunrise from the top of Borobudur.

Borobudur was built by Sanmaratungga in the 8th century, and belongs to Buddhist Mahayana tradition. Shortly afterward there was an Islamic invasion that expelled the Buddhists, and then an eruption of the nearby volcanoes covered the entire monument for a thousand years, until Sir Thomas Stanford Raffles revealed Borobudur in 1814. He found the temple in ruined condition, having been buried under mounds of soil and towering trees for a millennium.

Two sets of twin volcanoes — Merapi and Merbabu to the northeast, Sumbing and Sindoro to the northwest — stand sentinel across the plains. Mt Merapi, the “fire mountain,” is active, and indeed erupted in 2010, displacing 350,000 people. An adjacent ridge reputedly depicts the profile of Gunadharma, the architect of Borobudur, who is believed to keep watch over his creation through the ages.

Ascending the staircase to the first of the seven levels are four series of reliefs, two on each side, where there is an account of the Buddha from his birth 3500 years ago as the Indian prince Siddhartha Gautama, to his renunciation and spiritual journey to enlightenment.

In November 2007 I guided a tour of 25 to Yogyakarta and Borobudur and took these photos.

Borobudur Java

© 1990, Marcllo and Anita Tranchini, in "Borobudur: Golden Tales of the Buddha," Periplus Editions, HK

This is Borobudur from the air. Note the size of the people to get a sense of its immense size. (The only one that is not my photo!)

Buddha stupa Borobudur Java

World Rights © ATMann 2007

Both Mt Merbabu and Mt Merapi from the sixth terrace of Borobudur.

Stupa Buddha

World Rights © ATMann 2007

Life-size meditating Buddha within a stupa at sunrise.

Borobudur Java

World Rights © ATMann 2007

A view from Borobudur towards Mt Merapi late in the morning shows stupas containing Buddhas.

Buddhas Merapi Borobudur Java

World Rights © ATMann 2007

The Buddha and the twin volcanos of Java. The top of this stupa has been removed in the restoration process.

 

Buddha gate Borobudur Java

World Rights © ATMann 2007

One of the Kala (Hindu Great God of Time) gateways up to the stupa level. It is as though one passes through time as one ascends Borobudur. At the sides, Rishis (wise men) sprinkle seeds (of enlightenment) on passers-by.

Buddha sentinels Borobudur Java

World Rights © ATMann 2007

Buddha sentinels meditate towards the four directions.

stupas Borobudur Java

World Rights © ATMann 2007

The stupas are more than fifteen feet (3m) high and all contain life-size Buddhas.

Buddha stupa Borobudur

World Rights © ATMann 2007

One can see meditating Buddhas through the patterned stone stupas.


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new Buddhas Borobudur Java

World Rights © ATMann 2007

Three Buddhas awaiting repositioning during restoration.

bell stupas Borobudur Java

World Rights © ATMann 2007

Stupas enclose meditating Buddhas on the circular upper terraces and symbolize the "pure land" of enlightenment.

Buddha fourth level Borobudur Java

World Rights © ATMann 2007

Buddha in a niche on the fourth level of Borobudur.

Amanjiwa hotel Borobudur Java

World Rights © ATMann 2007

View of Borobudur (in the almost farthest distance center) from the amazing Amanjiwa Hotel in the nearby mountains with the Mt Sumbing volcano in the far distance.

Amanjiwa hotel Borobudur Java

World Rights © ATMann 2007

View from within the Amanjiwa Hotel towards Borobudur behind the palm tree.

Buddha

World Rights © ATMann 2007

The Buddha.

Buddha Sun Moon carving Borobudur Yogyakarta Java

World Rights © ATMann 2007

Carving showing the Buddha blessed by the Moon and Sun and the Pleiades between them.

Avalokitshvara Borobudur Java

World Rights © ATMann 2007

Prayers to the six-armed Avalokitishvara.

Mt Merapi view Borobudur Java

World Rights © ATMann 2007

Another view of Mt Merapi volcano from among the stupas.

Yogyakarta, Java

Prembanan Borobudur Yogyakarta Java

World Rights © ATMann 2007

Prambanan, a Hindu temple to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma near Yogyakarta, Java, built in the 8th century.

Prambanan & Mt Merapi Borobudur Yogyakarta Java

World Rights © ATMann 2007

The active volcano Mt Merapi in Java, seen through a doorway in the Prembanan Shiva temple.

Bali

Lotus flowers Bali

World Rights © ATMann 2007

Lotus flowers and water lillies abound in Bali.

Lake Mt Batur Bali

World Rights © ATMann 2007

Lake Batur in Bali, formed from the caldera of the Mt Batur volcano millions of years ago.

Mt Batur caldera Bali Indonesia

World Rights © ATMann 2007

This is the inactive volcano and caldera of Mt Batur, which last blew in 1968, seen as the Balinese "home of the gods." The dark layer below is volcanic ash stone shipped all over Bali for building temples and shrines.

 

Flower mandala

World Rights © ATMann 2007

A mandala of flowers (and my toes) at a hotel in Ubud, Bali.

Home altar

World Rights © ATMann 2007

The altar in the NE of my house in Ubud, Bali with flower offerings.

 

If you would like large prints of any of these photos, contact me for prices and availability. If you would like to reproduce any of the photos, you must contact me for permission.

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