Friday, October 8, 2010

Candi Sewu (Sewu Temple)

There is something really appealing about these mostly ruins of Sewu Temple. Candi Sewu, built in the 8th century, is the second biggest Buddhist temple complex (after Borobudur) in Java. Sewu Temple is located in Yogyakarta -- a short walk from Pramadanan -- the Hindu temple complex.

Unlike Borobudor and Pramadanan -- only a small part of Sewu has been restored. There are heaps and heaps of stones within the complex -- collapsed temples -- and many of the reliefs look like Cubist pieces by Picasso -- since some of the stones have been haphazardly stacked on top of each other. At the same time, there is a beautiful rawness about Sewu. It feels almost like it is waiting to be re-discovered -- much as the more famous Borobudur and Pramadanan were -- in the 19th century -- both had been mostly mounds of rubble until restored early in the 20th century.

 Sewu Temple is not very well known -- so I had the place virtually to myself -- except for a Muslim family. One of the young daughters, wearing a hijab, posed with one of the Buddha.

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