Five Must-See Sites In Central Java, Indonesia


Central Java, located exactly in the middle of Java Island, is the island’s cultural, geographic, and historic heartland. If you are planning a trip to the area, here are some sites you should not miss.

indonesia-month3-pic1The biggest Buddhist temple in the ninth century, Borobudur measures 123 x 123 meters. The Mahayana Buddhist temple is the one of the best-preserved ancient monuments in Indonesia and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The architecture shows influence of Buddhism as well as Hinduism. Go before dawn and watch the sunrise over the Merapi volcano.

indonesia-month3-pic2Surakarta or popularly known as Solo, lies along the longest river in Java, Bengawan or River Solo. Flanked by mountain volcanoes Merapi and Merbabu in the north, and mount Lawu in the southeast border, Solo is famous as a stronghold and center of Javanese culture and tradition. It is also one of the centers of batik and other Javanese fabrics.

Jatijajar cave
indonesia-month3-pic3This limestone cave has a gorgeous growth of stalactites and stalagmites. The name Jatijajar comes from the two jati trees growing at mouth of the cave when it was first discovered. A diorama in the cave depicts the legend of Kamandaka, who became known as the Kasarung monkey. The cave is located about 49 km west of Kebumen, or 20 km from Gombong.

Sukuh Temple
indonesia-month3-pic4Sukuh Temple was built on slopes of mount Lawu, some 35 km from Solo. The temple is decorated with erotic wayang stone carvings of Hindu origin, and is probably the only erotic temple in Java. Sukuh Temple once housed a phallic statue, which is now displayed at the National Museum in Jakarta. The temple has believed to be constructed in the 15th century during the declining years of Majapahit Empire.

Taman Sari
indonesia-month3-pic5Located in the nearby Yogyakarta Province, Taman Sari’s architecture is a unique mix of Javanese and Portuguese style. Built in the 18th century by the first Sultan Hamengkubuwono with the help of Portuguese architects, Tamansari, also known as Water Palace, was the royal garden of the sultan, his wives, and his concubines. It boasts two artificial lakes, a bathing complex, and a complex of pavilions and pools.




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Author: Catrine Carpenter

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