Atmospheric ancient temples and volcanic crater
Published/Last edited or updated: 8th March, 2018
Central Java’s Dieng Plateau is home to Indonesia’s oldest surviving Hindu temples peppering a highly volatile geothermal plane, the guts of an ancient caldera.
Dieng Plateau’s temples (Candi) were likely constructed between the eight and ninth centuries, and at a later date mysteriously abandoned and reclaimed by nature. Rediscovered in the early 19th century, it’s believed much of the site was pillaged for building materials but experts surmise there may have been in excess of 400 temples in its heyday. Today eight remain.
The squat stone temples are thought to be influenced by Pallavan architecture from Southern India, combined with certain local vernacular and were built as shrines to the Hindu god Shiva. Interesting, although these stone edifices are the oldest surviving, they may not have been Java’s first Hindu temples and earlier wooden structures are thought to have existed, evidenced by architecture depicted on reliefs in Borobudur.
The temples are a mini representation of the Hindu cosmos, divided into three sections: Bhurloka, the lowest realm of mortals, Bhuvarloka, for the pure including ascetics and the enlightened and Svarloka the highest and holiest realm of the gods. This symbolism continued into later Islamic architecture and can be seen in the roof style of mosques ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,100 words.)
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.