Everywhere we went we found gates. Doorways to temples, royal meeting places, sacred areas. So many gates.
This Hindu temple was a ten minute walk down the beach from our hotel. A beautiful reminder of the religious heritage of Lombok.
This is the gate to Pura Meru, a nearly 300 year old Hindu temple in the city of Mataram, Lombok.
I’m not Hindu, but I am a big fan of their architecture.
I’ve already posted a photo of this temple, Tanah Lot, but I found this photo hiding amongst others and I really like the wider angle on this shot than the other that I’ve already posted.
What do you think?
Oh, and this is my 900th post…whoa…that’s a lot of photos.
It’s Friday, and I’m done for the week. I’m exhausted and I didn’t even work the full week. This does not bode well for the weekend.
As you can see, there is no temple in this photo. The people standing knee-deep in water are carrying offerings from the mainland of Bali (Bali is an island…does it have a “mainland”?) to the Tanah Lot temple, which is located on a small, but considerable, rock just slightly offshore.
Their numbers are due in large part to the full moon that was occurring that night…and being a religious people who put great stock in the lunar cycle, there were many, many people all around Bali bringing offerings to their temples at this time.
Water: so devastating and so peaceful.
This is the water temple in Bali called Tanah Lot. It is located on the Indian ocean and it is beautiful. The sound of the waves coming in is nearly hypnotic. The Hindus in the area were celebrating a full moon when we were there and they walked quietly through the water to get to the temple to make their offerings. So serene.
On the other side, the side of devastation, my city of Jakarta is still underwater. We got news today that a Kampung (village) in East Jakarta where my wife visited only last Saturday is now entirely underwater. The inhabitants had to evacuate without anything they owned, which was not much to start.
Please pray for the people of Jakarta, that they will find serenity soon.
I love the temples in Bali. There are hundreds (thousands?) of mosques here in Jakarta, but in Bali, over 90% of the population identifies itself with Hinduism. Hindu temples all have such interesting repetition, interesting patterns in their construction. This temple, the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan water temple, shows a great example of the repetition in construction.
Yes, I’ve posted a photo of this temple before, but this was shot with my DSLR – the other was shot with my iPad. I like this one better.
This is one of the many temples we saw while vacationing in Bali for Christmas. It’s quite beautiful in real life…I hope that this photo captures its beauty.
There is a story going on here, and it extends around the entire temple at Borobudur. What is most fascinating is that the reliefs shown above are incredibly well rendered and seem to include characters from global cultures. There are Europeans, Classical Greeks, Chinese, African, and Indonesian characters, all carved into rocks that are well over one thousand years old. They all reflect the story of Buddha, his birth, life, and transcendence.
What you see above is the Prambanan Temple…or temples, to be more accurate. The Prambanan and Borobudur Temple complexes are both set up as mandalas, which can be seen from above. But what is so impressive is seeing how, from the right angles, the main temple is enhanced with each of the smaller temples in front of it. The line up perfectly.
We hired a guide to take us up the Borobudur temple. He give us some interesting insights, along with some local folklore and some personal interpretations. The reason I titled this post “almost enlightened” is because of some information he shared when we got to the top of the temple.
I asked, “Why are these stupas (bell structures that house statues of Buddha) fitted with blocks that create a diamond shape, when the stupas on the last level, the top level, make square shapes?”
“The architect wanted to show how a person may be enlightened, but still not be entirely stable. The diamond shape can be tipped on its side, whereas the square is stable. Nothing can move it on its side, nothing can upend it,” was his reply.
Because we are still human, even though we may achieve enlightenment, we may still be upended, knocked over. I think there’s a good lesson in that.
This is a shot of the Prambanan Temple complex near Yogyakarta. It is part of my (adopted) country, but being both Hindu and over 1000 years old, it is foreign to me.