Pura Tirta Empul in Bali and Borobudur

©Jelle Oostrom/flickr

©Jelle Oostrom/flickr

In the central part of Bali where the Tampaksiting district is, you can find the Pura Tirta Empul. It is a sacred destination visited by many. This temple enshrines Vishnu who is one of the three main gods and it rules water. The god that rules rain is god Indra and Vishnu is of a higher level than god Indra. Tirta means ‘holy water’ in the Indonesian language. The balinese has deep beliefs that Pura Tirta Empul is a temple where holy water springs. They also believed that it has power to cure sickness. From the wall covered with moss, those water are believed to be able to purify both mind and body. It has the colour of emerald  due to the presence of alga. Besides, the coconut trees surrounding it gives the reflection of the leaves’ green colour and these contributes to the mystery in the holy water. As it offers the invocation, it makes having a bath in the temple very important. So if you are planning to go there, it takes about 1 and a half hours by car from the airport. It opens from eight in the morning til five in the evening. Do note that the breechcloth is necessary to visit a shrine like this.

Borobudur

Borobudur ©zsoolt/flickr

Borobudur ©zsoolt/flickr

This is a 9th century Mahayana Buddhist monument. It is situated in Central Java in Magelang. Magelang’s capital is Mungkid. This UNESCO site is a special place to see. Besides that it is sacred, there is a journey for pilgrims. First you begin at the base of the monument which is both a shrine to Lord Buddha and also for Buddhist pilgrimage. Then you follow the path circumambulating the monument. Slowly you will ascend to the top. The three levels of Buddhist cosmology are the world of desire or Kamadhatu, the world of forms (Rapadhatu) and the world of formlessness (Arupadhatu). This system of stairways and corridors are with more than a thousand narrative relief panels on the walls as well as the balustrades. Five hundred and four Buddha statues making this place the largest Buddhist temple in the world. And historically, it was built between 778 to 850 CE. Climb the five square terraces and reach the stupa that is high up on the 103 feet. If you want to get an idea, each climb represents an individual stage toward perfection in a person’s life. Isn’t this a meaningful place to visit.

 

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