The ancient temple of Borobudur in Central Java is one of Indonesia’s must-visit cultural sites – a spiritual and architectural marvel that has drawn millions of visitors from around the world.
As well as tourists and pilgrims from across the globe, dignitaries ranging from the Obama family to the Emperor of Japan have wandered its vast corridors, absorbed in the study of its thousands of traditional carvings – each one completely unique.
In a commendable effort to preserve this sacred site, the Indonesian government has recently instituted strict caps on the number of daily visitors.
The initiative has been a blessing in disguise, as the usual crowds that once squeezed through its corridors have given way to a serene atmosphere, allowing the temple to radiate its intended religious splendour once again.
Borobudur’s design reflects the Gupta architecture of India, yet it remains uniquely Javanese, with over 500 Buddha statues and more than 2,672 relief panels that offer an illustrative narrative of the religion’s teachings and tales.
Just a stone’s throw away from this UNESCO World Heritage site is the ultra-luxurious retreat of Amanjiwo – the hotel itself based on the temple’s architecture.
Set amidst the natural beauty of the area, Amanjiwo is not only an oasis of comfort but also a gateway to the cultural and spiritual landscape of Java, offering exclusive and private tours of Borobudur.
These are part of a broader array of excursions that include everything from spiritual wellness journeys to helicopter tours, mountain treks, and more.
Visiting the temple is an experience that should top the list of any guest at Amanjiwo, along with on-resort activities like enjoying the hotel’s stunning swimming pool and taking afternoon tea on its terrace.
The hotel’s expert team ensures that the excursion to Borobudur is seamless, starting with a chauffeured ride from the lobby, complete with snacks and chilled water, to the Manohara Hotel on the temple’s periphery.
Here, in the shadow of the temple, guests exchange their footwear for slippers before being led through a private entrance, away from the main influx of tourists.
The guides, intimately familiar with Borobudur and its significance, are not just experts on its history but are also deeply committed to its preservation.
They offer insights into the temple’s rich past while ensuring that visitors respect its sanctity.