Yogyakarta- A Treasure of Memories

This video is a tribute to Yogyakarta where I bagged some amazing memories. This trip to Yogyakarta is really one nice journey for me and my family. So thought of making one slideshow to show my love towards this beautiful city. Hope you’ll like it too..


This video contains pictures of Borobodur, Prambanan temple and Plaosan temples, Yogyakarta, Indonesia..

Amazing Bali with unlimited memories- Day 03

Last day in Bali, but not last in Indonesia. As this is the last post on Bali, I’m taking this opportunity to express my feelings on this place in few words before I start this post. Bali travel was mostly like a dream for me – Before going to Bali I was imagining myself in pretty landscapes and turning the chapters of the beautiful canvas of nature, one at a time. As I arrived the destination , it felt exactly like I dreamt where rolling greens spread like a carpet(Pacung and many rice terraces), floating clouds jealously hugged the mountains(Mt.Batur,Mt.Agnur and Mt.Agung) alongside and a seamless path ahead dotted with colourful  and amazing Hindu culture (the temples). Trip to Kintamani and PuraBesakih temple  has really numbed my noisy existence of city life, The drive was simply amazing, the destination was the journey itself. Let’s see how we spent the last day in Bali.

This is one of the finest captures in my trip.. A traveller without observation is a bird without wings.. :P

This is one of the finest captures in my trip.. A traveller without observation is a bird without wings.. 😛

Our day started at 9:00 am after having a lavish breakfast at langon Bali resort. For the last day we booked private Villas in Bumi ubud resort which is located in the middle of Rice terraces in Ubud which is also famous for arts and culture in bali. Since we checked out from Langon Bali, we carried our luggage with us. Our first stop is about a 40min drive from our resort to Uma dewi theatre to watch Barong and kris show..Barong is a lion -like creature and character in the mythology of Bali. The battle between Barong (good) and Rangda(Evil) is featured in Barong dance to represent the eternal battle between good and evil.

Barong and kris show-representing the eternal battle between good and evil.

Barong and kris show-representing the eternal battle between good and evil.

It is not my cup of tea. I think it is more like a drama in Bahasa Indonesia which was quite difficult for us to understand. The entrance fee is IDR 100,000Pax. You can undoubtedly skip this place, Instead go to some other shows if you have little time in bali. We were there only for 10 mins and continued our remaining itinerary. After a bitter experience in Barong and kris we went to Celuk village.

Celuk village which is famous for it’s artisan jewelry, gold silver craft. This is a place where we can buy some god or silver souvenirs. My family members are always excited in shopping(which I don’t like :P). Because this is our 1st stop for shopping ever since we arrived Bali So they grabbed this opportunity and killed 1.30hours of time in buying souvenirs.

An Artisan making silver ornaments at Celuk village

An Artisan making silver ornaments at Celuk village

Our next stop is at village of Tohpati. Fortunately we winded up in 15mins. Then we(me and my bro)  decided to skip all those shopping places from our itinerary in order to catch all the main properties.

Around 12:30pm we arrived at Batuan trinity temple.. This is a beautiful Hindu temple set in the middle of Batuan Village which is beautifully designed with Balinese architecture and antique Balinese ornaments décor entire temple building including the entrance gate. Asusual temple in Bali, Batuan Temple is also featured by the three areas includes Nista Mandala (outside area) Madya Mandala (Middle area) and Utama Mandala (Main temple area).

After making few good memories and capturing some memorable moments, we departed to Tegenung waterfalls. We arrived this place at 2:30pm as one stop and we only had 30mins for it so we didn’t go near the waterfalls, In order to reach the waterfalls one have to go down stairs which were little steep and curvy. It was easy to go but due to our tightly packed schedule we didn’t go. The place was beautiful and the water was so refreshing to see! The entrance fee was 10,000 IDR Pax.

After taking few photographs we started from this place to taste some local coffees and teas. So we went Sailand coffee plantations which was quite near to Kintamani which was one of the main property in our itinerary. We got a warm welcome from a local guide who walked us through the plantations & explained all the different herbs & plants used for their coffee. Our guide was so lovely and helpful. she patiently answered all our questions. Bali is known for its Special coffee and ginger tea.

A coffee made from Cat’s Poop (Luwak Coffee): World’s most expensive coffee..

Civet cats locally called as luwaks kept in cages near the roasting area.  These little mammals generally live in the trees and one of their favorite foods is the red ripe coffee cherry. They eat the cherries, beans and all. While the bean is in the little guys stomach, it undergoes chemical treatment and fermentations. the bean finishes its journey through the digestive system and exits. the still intact beans are collected from the forest floor, and are cleaned then roasted and ground just like any other coffee. the resulting coffee is said to be like no other. It has a rich heavy flavor with hints of caramel or chocolate.

Then our guide offered us sample of 2 cocoas, 6 different coffees & 6 different teas. The set up is great and they have a lovely place. I’ve tasted Luwak coffee which has a heavy flavor and was hard to taste. Then we bought few local teas and coffees as souvenirs for India. Now I am addicted to the ginseng coffee, Lemon grass tea and Ginger tea.

While tasting the coffees and teas in Sailand coffee plantations..

While tasting the coffees and teas in Sailand coffee plantations..

By the time we are done with this place it was already 4:00 pm, So we directly headed to Kintamani to have lunch. I know it’s late for lunch but one have to compromise few things while travelling. There are many restaurants in kintamani area, We went to a restaurant where we got an opportunity to view the beauty of Mt.Batur and the lake. The drive in the Kintamani town was pretty nice. The chilly wind in the highland was a refreshing escape from the hours of traveling on the narrow and often congested roads of Bali. We stayed there for as long as we could to recharge ourselves before moving on to the next destination.

Wallpaper capture of Mt.Batur, Bali

Wallpaper capture of Mt.Batur, Bali

Nature's beauty is impeccable- Mt.Batur,Bali

Nature’s beauty is impeccable- Mt.Batur,Bali

It was the most gorgeous place to have lunch in regards of the magnificent view. I still daydream about this place – oh my goodness, what an amazing view it was! I don’t want to talk about the food as we went there for the view and yes, to be honest, the food was yummy too.. Beware there are so many annoying merchants selling their products. Our next destination is mother’s temple.

Pura-Besakih or Mother Temple: Most sacred and holiest temple in Indonesia

This is located in the village of Besakih on the slopes of Mount Agung in Eastern Bali. After reading some bad reviews on the internet. I was kind of afraid to go to this temple because even one single bad experience to any person in the group will make them to forget all the good memories. I really hesitated to visit this place even our driver told us that the locals there are not very friendly like the others. But I lured my family so much about this place So they don’t want to miss it. So with all the encouragement and support of family we went to this place and this decision made our trip a complete one.

This temple is just Perched nearly 1000 meters up the side of Mt. Agung, it is an extensive complex  of 23 separate but related temples with the largest and most important being Pura Penataran Agung. This is built on six levels, terraced up the slope.

This temple is just Perched nearly 1000 meters up the side of Mt. Agung, it is an extensive complex of 23 separate but related temples with the largest and most important being Pura Penataran Agung. This is built on six levels, terraced up the slope.

This is the place where my efforts of learning the language has paid me off. There was a guide who accompanied us. While walking towards the temple I started a conversation with him about our ways of worshipping and many things(you know me I can’t stop talking :P). He was very much impressed with my linguistic skills and our culture. So he took us to few temples where tourists are not allowed. I think this is the place where my family were proud of me and my skills lol.. 😛

Whole temple complex is surrounded by the clouds. It made us to feel like as if we are in the abode of Shiva

The clouds jealousy hugged the temple which made us to feel like as if we are in the abode of Shiva..

Once we entered the temple we were awestruck with the beauty of the place because everywhere we see it was either green or cloudy. Making us to feel like as if we are in  Abode of Shiva. It was just amazing. Though I failed to capture the best pictures I tried my level best by taking few pics with high ISO(more grain). 

Fortunately, I made memories by keeping my camera lens behind and using my eye lens to experience this beauty. It was getting dark covered by clouds. Oh god! we all felt like we are in heaven. I call Pura besakih as heaven on earth, With the experience we had. Seriously speaking Bali never ceased to amaze. 

Do you want to know why it is treated as the most sacred and holiest temple in Indonesia?
Then read this story below may be you can’t even find this story on Wikipedia ..

In this temple, An important ceremony for every 100yrs called ‘Eka Desa Rudra’ must be done absolutely correctly. Even a small mistake in doing it will have a big price to pay… Because of so much of political pressure from an Indonesian minister this ceremony has been forced to put it on march 8th 1963. But what happened in a few minutes is unbelievable….
Within 10 minutes from the start of rituals the smokes from Mt. Agung has started leading to a major volcanic eruption. Then they started praying for Lord Vishnu to make him peaceful. But it was late, this eruption has burnt away Amlapura village which was around this temple and took away 1700 people’s lives. More interesting part of this story is that this eruption has left Besakih temple and the people inside the temple safe. The saving of the temple is regarded by the Balinese people as miraculous, and a signal from the gods that they wished to demonstrate their power but not destroy the monument, the Balinese faith had raised and the government of Indonesia has special regards and respect towards this temple. Remember friends, nothing in this world is compared to the power of god.. One should have healthy respect towards the creator..

Complete family picture at the most sacred mother temple..

Family picture at the most sacred mother temple..

Each and every member were more than happy to see  this place. Our Bali trip won’t be successful without visiting this temple. Then while heading back to our hotel we went to see Balinese arts. since Ubud is famous for arts we went to Art museum in Ubud which was near to our resort.

Then we returned back to our hotel which is located in the middle of Rice terraces in Ubud. Since we booked separate villas it was very very pleasant one can also hear pin dropping sound. Then we had dinner at the restaurant in our resort.

 Tips from my perspective:

1. If you are adding the same properties from my Itinerary then you can undoubtedly skip few places like Village of Celuk, Village of Tohpati, Village of Mas. They just need your money and are of no fun.
2. Barong and kris show is also skippable since it is in Bahasa Indonesia. If you are non Bahasa speaker then you can hardly understand.
3. Don’t miss Kintamani and Mother temple.
4. Try to go to Mother temple before sunset.

Slideshow of more pictures:

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Borobudur – The world’s biggest Buddhist monument

It’s been a month since we came back from Indonesia, I was struggling hard to write about this man-made beauty which left me spellbound!! Now, it’s time for me to introduce all my friends to one of the elegant man-made jewels of Indonesia.

Before going  to the Borobudur, I’ve read few interesting things over the internet and got to know that it is the world’s biggest Buddhist monument and also one of the greatest monuments on the globe which is widely considered to be the Eighth wonder of the world. This is located in an elevated area between two twin volcanoes, Sundoro-Sumbing and Merbabu-Merapi, and two rivers, the Progo and the Elo” on Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia.

Picture of Borobodur while walking from the entrance to the site..

Picture of Borobudur while walking from the entrance to the site..

My main motto of travelling to Jogjakarta was to visit Prambanan temple but after planning a trip, I’ve gathered some information from the internet on this city. Then I got to know that Borobudur is more famous and is unique of its kind present in Javan islands. My excitement cannot be doubled for this because of Prambanan temple for which my excitement has already reached a maximum.

As I’ve been to many man-made wonders during my previous explorations, But this one is very unique. Unique because the photographs which I’ve seen on the internet were just extraordinary especially those taken at sunrise were jaw dropping. If you don’t believe me, you can google it by yourself. But due to our hectic schedule we didn’t included a sunrise tour but still it was an awesome experience for being there for sunset. Let me take you all through the day which has embarked the best of the mesmerizing experiences in our tour and in fact our visual expectations.

The whole structure is in the form of a lotus flower floating on the lake..

The whole structure is in the form of a lotus flower floating on the lake..

On 27th June, after visiting Prambanan, Plaosan, Candi pawon, Tamansari and sultan palace we arrived Borobudur for Sunset, I’ve observed that there were 2 entrances one is for international tourists and one is for national tourists. Ticket price of both these entrances are not the same. The one which  allows international tourists is more expensive when compared to the locals entrance. We got water bottles, sarongs and a local guide along with the admission tickets. It’s a 10min walk from the entrance to the site. Once we neared to the site it reminded me a dramatic experience of the cloth slowly unveiling the stage before the start of a wonderful performance. As I was approaching near to this monument I was amazed by its enormous size and the grandeur after reaching the place.

This video is a glimpse of this marvel taken from IPhone (not of a very good quality but still can be viewable)

Monument depiction: 

This temple sits majestically on the top of a hill overlooking the lush green fields and distant hills. Covering an enormous area. This monument is an architectural wonder, decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. The architecture and stonework of this temple cannot be compared with any other. And it was built without using any kind of cement or mortar!

The whole structure is in the form of a lotus flower floating on the lake. Besides being the highest symbol of Buddhism, the Borobodur stupa is also a replica of the universe.In total, it represents the ten levels of a Bodhisattva’s life which he or she must develop to become a Buddha or an awakened one. These ten levels of the temple symbolize the three divisions of the cosmic system. As visitors begin their journey at the base of the temple, they make their way to the top of the monument through the three levels , Kamadhatu (the world of desire),This is the the lowest level which represents man’s world of desire is influenced by negative impulses.This level has 160 reliefs depicting cause and effect:

Rupadhatu (the world of forms) the middle level, the world in which man has control of his negative impulses and uses his positive impulses. This level has various stories of the Buddha’s life..

and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness) the highest level, in which the world of man is no longer bounded by physical and worldly desires. This level has no reliefs or decorations whatsoever but has a balcony, square in shape with round walls: a circle without beginning or end. Here is the place of the seventy-two Vajrasattvas or Dhyani Buddhas tucked into small stupas. 

Stupas on the highest level of Borobodur

Stupas on the highest level of Borobodur

There are seventy Dhyani Buddhas tucked into these small stupas.

There are seventy Buddhas tucked into these small stupas.

BuddhaEach of these statues has a mudra (hand gesture) indicating one of the five directions: east, with the mudra of calling the earth to witness; south, with the hand position of blessing; west, with the gesture of meditation; north, the mudra of fearlessness; and the centre with the gesture of teaching. It is a devotional practice to circumambulate around the galleries and terraces always turning to the left and keeping the edifice to the right while either chanting or meditating.

Dharmachakra mudra is tucked in one of the 72

Dharmachakra mudra is tucked in one of the 72 stupas..

The temple has remained strong even through ten centuries of neglect. It was rediscovered in 1815, buried under volcanic ash. In the 1970’s the Indonesian Government and UNESCO worked together to restore  Borobudur to its former majesty The restoration took eight years to complete and today Borobudur is one of Indonesia and the world’s most valuable treasures.

Dhyanamudra also located on Rupadhatu

Buddha facing west towards mountain, Borobodur

Dhyanamudra also located on Rupadhatu

Dhyanamudra also located on Rupadhatu

What it is left to me…???

As I stood there admiring the beauty of the marvel and Listening to the tales of Buddha (from our guide) I never realized the time that passed by… The mighty mountains and the greenery in the surroundings made all of us to forget about the scorching heat.

Backdrop of Borobodur.. was pretty scenic

Backdrop of Borobodur.. was pretty scenic

A random thought came to my mind that no matter what it is, if humans keep their mind and focus on one thing they can do wonders. Look at this amazing site which is built by the ashes of Volcanoes. Have you ever imagined that ashes of Volcanoes can become the bricks of any construction? I myself never imagined that and frankly speaking I din’t even believed it until I smelled it. Lava has high sulphur content making it more pungent smelling. Then I asked my driver to take us to any nearby village where we can see Borobudur from a distance. It was already dark but we got to see the view which was quite good too. After a visit here you will understand why it is Indonesia’s most visited tourist attraction and a famous icon of Indonesia’s cultural heritage.

That's me with my family at Borobodur..

That’s me with my family at Borobodur..

One last note which I wanted to re-iterate that I would echo with the saying of this place as “The grandeur and complexity of the temples has to be seen to be believed, and photography struggles to convey the depth”

You can find some more pictures in this slide show:

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Some tips from my perspective:

1.  Be there for Sunrise tour though we missed it. It is an amazing experience for you to see and experience this marvel at peace and silence.

2.Borobudur is not a temple that you can shelter inside by escaping from the sun, its a series of ascending terrace levels culminating in a magnificent top level adorned with dozens of stupas. So try to carry an umbrella and don’t forget your Sunscreen 😛

3. The magnificent final level is a photographers dream. Try to spend more time there.

4. Try to visit any nearby villages where you can get to see the beauty of Borobudur from a distance. It is quite magnificent.

Echoes of Eternity – Prambanan temple

Prambanan”, a word which I have never heard off until one day, while surfing internet accidentally I saw some pictures of this place, from there on “Prambanan” was one such utterance which was haunting me. To the best of my surprises this year, I got an opportunity to visit this marvel. That doubled my excitement to the Indonesia trip…..!!!

Let narrate when, what and how this place did embarked in my memories…!!!!

As I’ve had an opportunity to read few things about this place along with the city called “Yogyakarta”, I  got to know about some interesting places nearby this city those were Borobodur- Worlds largest Buddhist Sanctuary, Mt.Merapi and night shopping at the Malioboro street. When I was planning the trip I’ve made sure that we have a complete day dedicated to this beautiful city Yogyakarta.

The temple was designed to mimic Meru, the holy mountain the abode of Hindu gods, and the home of Shiva.

This temple is simply magnificent and is a testament to the craftsmanship and intricacy of the Javan people

It was a one hour flight from Bali to Yogyakarta. Our flight departed at 7:00 am and arrived Central Javan Islands at 7:15 am(Bali is one hour ahead of Javan Islands). Due to the immense love which I developed on this place made me so excited . Our trip started at airport only. Our first stop is at Candi Prambanan temples.

Candi Prambanan a 9th-century Hindu temple located on the Prambanan plain of Yogyakarta in Central Java, Indonesia. This sprawling temple complex sits majestically in an open area which dominates the whole horizon. From a distance, the temple probably resembled a small city, with a towering core of central spires surrounded by hundreds of subsidiary structures.

These temples are truly amazing considering how old they are and the history and the carvings are fascinating.

Recreation gone by era

This is characterized by its tall and pointed architecture, typical of Hindu temple architecture.

This temple is characterized by its tall and pointed architecture, typical of Hindu temple architecture

It was likely started by Rakai Pikatan as the Hindu Sanjaya Dynasty’s. I think the words ‘grand and majestic’ best describes this marvel. The architecture of this temple follows the typical Hindu architecture traditions based on Vastu Shastra.

Extravaganza in stones..

Extravaganza in stones..

The place has its own aura and a very special feel to it.

The place has its own aura and a very special feel to it.

Originally there were a total of 240 temples standing in Prambanan. The Prambanan Temple Compound consists of: The three main shrines dedicated to the three Gods: Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Keeper and Shiva the DestroyerThis is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia and also listed in UNESCO world heritage sites..

The whole complex was well-maintained. Flowers were blooming, grass was trimmed, jasmine scent was everywhere.

The whole complex is well-maintained. Flowers were blooming, grass was trimmed, Scent of the flowers welcomes us to this majestic temple.

The Shiva temple is the tallest and largest structure in Prambanan. The Shiva temple encircled with galleries adorned with bas-reliefs telling the story of Ramayana carved on the inner walls of the balustrades. To follow the story accordingly, visitors must enter from the east side and began to perform pradakshina or circumambulating clockwise. The bas-reliefs of Ramayana continued to Brahma temple galleries. The bas-relief of Ramayana illustrate how Sita, the wife of Rama, is abducted by Ravana. The monkey king Hanuman brings his army to help Rama and rescue Sita. There’s a 3m high statue of Lord Shiva.

Brahma and Vishnu temples: Brahma temple contains the statue of Brahma and Vishnu temple houses the statue of Vishnu.

Three Vahana temples:

In front of three main temples is dedicated to Vahana’s (vehicle) of the respective gods – Nandi(the bull) for Shiva, the Hamsa (sacred swan) for Brahma, and Vishnu’s Kite Garuda. In front of Vishnu temple is the temple dedicated for Garuda, however just like the Hamsa temple, Garuda temple contains no statue. Garuda holds important role for Indonesia, as it serves as the national symbol of Indonesia, and also as the name of the airline Garuda Indonesia..

Two Apit temples, Four Kelir temples, Four Patok temples & 224 Pervara temples. Today, all of 8 main temples and 8 small shrines in inner zone are reconstructed, but only 2 out of the original 224 pervara temples are renovated. The majority of them have deteriorated; what is left are only scattered stones. I hope UNESCO and Indonesian government put maximum efforts in reconstructing all these temples.

The temple was designed to mimic Meru, the holy mountain the abode of Hindu gods, and the home of Shiva.

The temple was designed to mimic Meru, the holy mountain the abode of Hindu gods, and the home of Shiva.

Lokapalas, Brahmins and Devatas

On the other side of narrative panels, the temple wall along the gallery were adorned with the statues and reliefs of devatas and brahmin sages.The figure of lokapalas, the celestial guardians of directions can be found in Shiva temple. The brahmin sage editors of veda were carved on Brahma temple wall, while in Vishnu temple the figures of male deities devatas flanked by two apsaras.

Prambanan panel: Breath of art

The lower outer wall of these temples were adorned with row of small niche containing image of simha (lion) flanked by two panels depicting bountiful kalpataru (kalpavriksha) tree. These wish-fulfilling sacred trees according to Hindu-Buddhist beliefs, is flanked on either side by kinnaras or animals, such as pairs of birds, deer, sheep, monkeys, horses, elephants etc. The pattern of lion in niche flanked by kalpataru trees is typical in Prambanan temple compound, thus it is called as “Prambanan panel”.

The temples collapsed during a major earthquake in the 16th century. In 14 February 2014, major tourist attractions in Yogyakarta and Central Java, including Borobudur, Prambanan and Ratu Boko, were closed from visitors, after being severely affected by the volcanic ashes from the eruption of Kelud volcano in East Java, located around 200 kilometers east from Yogyakarta. The Kelud volcano erupted on 13 February 2014 with explosion heard as far away as Yogyakarta.

I was impressed by the maintenance of the this place. Temples like these do not belong to any religion or community. They are treasures from our past and should be preserved and maintained by all of us. I would highly recommend a visit to this brilliant temple.

Slide show:

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Night at the Malioboro Street..

After visiting all the must see places in Yogyakarta we came back to our hotel which was quite near to Malioboro street. So at night we decided to go and check that street, which is very famous street for shopping and is also one of the main tourist attraction in Yogyakarta. Malioboro street was only 5mins away from our hotel, so we took a Becak(three wheel pedal powered bicycle cart) which costed 20,000RP/Becak.

Malioboro’s name is derived from Sanskrit which means bouquet of flowers.  This street is known as the longest market in Yogyakarta because it extends for a stretch of 2-3kms and is alive round the clock. This street is the centre of tourist district in Yogyakarta. There are some modern and colonial-age buildings around the area. Along the street is packed with small sidewalks shops, heritage street lights with bustling pedestrians to horse drawn bendis, batik stores to souvenir shops – The whole city culture can be seen right here.

But what  made our visit so special was the street music. Having never heard such beautiful music from these bamboo instruments which I never saw or heard, I completely fell for it. These musical instruments are called angklung/calung – and they produce such heavenly music – My God! I was in paradise!!These street players are simply exceptional with infusing their traditional music from these instruments with drums and beats. Listening to them on the busy road, in bustling traffic made me excited all the time it was just an experience. Be there and know it yourself!!

After buying some souvenirs and batiks we went in to malioboro Mall and had dinner in pizza hut. Then we took a Dokar (lovely horse carriage) which costed us 50,000RP from Marioboro to our hotel which was on Jalan-gow-ongan. Night at the Malioboro street made our trip to yogyakarta complete.

Malioboro street Yogyakarta (2)

While going back to our hotel on Dokar

My tips:

  1. Try to Bargain less than 50% of the price if they don’t give, Just walk away you can see similar stores on the street.
  2. Don’t forget to try Becak and Dokar.
  3. Try to go there at nights. Because Malioboro’s beauty is much appreciated at that time.

Bali with a delightful twist..Day-02

We started at 9:15am after having a lavish breakfast. Though we were 15mins behind of our planned schedule but still it wasn’t too late. Our first destination is Taman ayun temple which is a 2 hour drive from our resort. We arrived Taman ayun at 11:00AM.

Its inner temple is surrounded by a moat. Taman Ayun literally means ‘Garden Temple in the Water’.

This is a royal temple of Mengwi empire. This literally means ‘Garden Temple in the Water’ because its inner temple is surrounded by a moat.

This is a beautiful temple building with multistoried rood and architecture.There is a pretty scenic landscape garden in front of the temple which was impressive.

This eleven-tiered meru (at your right-hand corner  of the complex) is dedicated to the Rice Goddess Dewi Sri.

This eleven-tiered meru is dedicated to the Rice Goddess Dewi Sri.

Pic on the steps of Taman Ayun

The reason for the happiness on our faces is for having such a large, loving & caring family together .

We spent an hour at this place and then started to Candikuning, a local fruit and vegetable market which was on the way to Bedugul. There is a wide spread of fruits and vegetables like Fresh strawberries, mango, banana, salak (snake fruit), papaya, green apple, avocado, strawberry, sweet corn, peanut, coffee powder, and many kind of herbs and Vegetables. After a small shopping here we started from this place to Lake Beratan.

Candikuning Fruit market- A place where you can get fresh fruits and vegetables..

Candikuning Fruit market- A place where you can get fresh fruits and vegetables..

A visit to a local market always provides a fascinating insight into the culture of the “Real Bali.”

A visit to this market provided us a fascinating insight into the culture of the “Real Bali.”

At 1:30 we arrived Pura Ulun Danu Bratan or Pura Bratan, is a major Shivaite and water temple on Bali, This temple is built in 1663, and is used for offering ceremony to the Balinese river goddess Dewi Danu.It is located on the shores of a Magical Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul.

Everything in this place is scenic..

Everything in this place is scenic..

Perfect colors and perfect composition...made this picture perfect

Perfect colors and perfect composition…made this picture perfect

Blue water with clear blue skies made this place an unforgettable scenic place

Blue water with clear blue skies made this place an unforgettable one

My first impression about this place was awesome. I was speechless after seeing the beauty of this place. I can’t explain enough of this place, my pictures says it all..Don’t forget to Check the slideshow ..

Boating here was just amazing...

Boating here was just amazing…

View from the boat.. Villas on the other side of lake,,

View from the boat.. Villas on the other side of lake,,

Pura ulundanu

Pura ulundanu- Built in 1663

I just love this pic.. I call it as a Powerpack performance..

I just love this pic.. Powerpack performance it was..

At 3:45 started to Pacung to kill our hunger…

One of the greatest views ever, With ordinary food & unfriendly staff. May be they wanted us to eat less. 😛 Though it was expensive (110000Rp/Pax). The view here is appreciable. Since the food was not so great and the spread was little we ordered Nasi goreng (Fried rice) which was good enough to kill our hunger.

Having Lunch while seeing the natural beauty of pacung rice terraces, a valley and mountains, a way to really gain a feeling of being escape from the pressures of everyday life and relax...

Having Lunch while seeing the natural beauty of pacung rice terraces, a valley and mountains, a way to really gain a feeling of being escape from the pressures of everyday life and relax…

Pacung Rice terraces..A view from the restaurant.

Pacung Rice terraces..A view from the restaurant.

Having Lunch while seeing the natural beauty of pacung rice terraces, a valley and mountains, a way to really gain a feeling of being escape from the pressures of everyday life and relax..

Post Lunch relaxation…..

It was a one hour drive from pacung to Tanah lot…We arrived tanah lot at 5:30 to view the most beautiful sunset in Bali,Indonesia. Tanah lot temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide. This is claimed to be the work of the 16th-century janitor Baratha. During his travels along the south coast, he saw this rock-island’s and rested here.Nirartha then spent the night on the little island. Later he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock which he felt to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods.

This is one of the seven sea temples around Balinese sea Coast. And it has significant Hindu influence ..

This is one of the seven sea temples around Balinese sea Coast. And it has significant Hindu influence ..

It was very crowdy when we arrived at the site but still the view was breathtaking. We went there before an hour to the sunset.

It was very crowdy when we arrived at the site but still the view was breathtaking. We went there before an hour of sunset.

Since the place was huge I thought of detaching from the group and going by myself to explore the place to the maximum. If I go in group I can’t cover the whole place so I started exploring by my own. This helped me to capture the beauty of sunset at Tanah lot temple and also the temple.

Tanah lot temple (2)

Sunset is a wonderful opportunity for us to appreciate all the great things the sun gives us..

Tanah lot temple (5)

Sunset turns everything into gold color. Just enjoy the sunset and sunrise where ever you are…

The place was so serene and pleasant, you cant stop yourself falling in love with this place. The view was spectacular despite the unfortunate fact that it was a bit cloudy that day, but i just loved the whole atmosphere there. The sunset there was still breath taking.

Tanah lot temple (4)

Looks like a painting..

At the base of the rocky island, poisonous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders. A giant snake purportedly protects the temple, which was created from Nirartha’s towel when he established the island.

Tanah lot temple (7)

Pura Tanah lot temple shrine- People worshipping Balinese sea gods

This is one of the poisonous sea snakes which is believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders..I am lucky that I got an opportunity to touch it. :P

This is one of the poisonous sea snakes which is believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders..I am lucky that I got an opportunity to touch it. 😛

My pictures speak better than I do…

Slide show:

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Tips:

1. Admission ticket of Taman ayun temple is Rp 20000. Not so special but if you are in city then don’t miss it.

2. I highly recommend you people to visit Ulundanu and try to spend more time there. Its an awesome place for photographers. Admission ticket is Rp30000.

3. Dont miss boating in Lake Beratan

4. Don’t go to Bali, If you don’t have Tanah lot temple in your itenary. 😛 Sunset at Tanah lot will be unforgettable in your life.

Plaosan temples- Shadows of silence

Plaosan temples ‘A Symbol of Love’ were built by Rakai Pikatan from Sanjaya dynasty (Hindu dynasty) for his Wife, Pramodhawardani, a decendent of Sailendra kingdom(Buddhist dynasty) in the 9th century. That’s the reason why I’m referring this place as a ‘Symbol of love’ like Tajmahal.

Looks pleasant isn't it?

Looks pleasant isn’t it? It is indeed…

I know that this is a Buddhist temple, but after seeing this temple  I was confused because it was more like a hindu temple and the style of the temple construction was in Hindu design too. After entering the temple I was surprised  to see  the stupas, sculptures and inscriptions which resembles Buddhist style. So this is why the architecture of this temple has a mix of Hindu and Buddhist styles.

There are still so many Ruins. It might take decades for them to  reconstruct them..

There are still so many Ruins. It might take decades for them to reconstruct them..

There are four dwarapala(guardians of the doors) statues seen standing. Just a few meters behind the statues, the Plaosan temple complex is seen which is made up of 174 small buildings, 116 are stupas and 58 are shrines.

Dwarapala-The guardian of doors

Dwarapala-The guardian of doors

Many of the buildings have inscriptions. On the outer walls of the main temples, carvings of divinities are found with the majority being male. Smaller and less occurring carvings by the windows represent females.

Female sculptures

Female sculptures

I really enjoyed exploring this temple. Unlike the Prambanan temple this was pleasant and quiet place with very less tourists. But Unfortunately I didn’t get much time to spend in this magnificent wonder.

Plaosan temple, Yogyakarta (8)

I had to hurry up in order to catch all the places in our list. But still my visit to this place was a pleasant one.This lies only 1000 metres away from the UNESCO world heritage listed Prambanan temple. I wonder why UNESCO didn’t list this beautiful Temple, Making this as a forgotten testament to the glory of the Matraman kingdom.

Looks like Hindu temples..

Plaosan temple-Shadows of silence

Different dimensions of this amazing temple:

<<Checkout the Slide show below>>

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Exotic Bali Day-01

Its 9:45 already, didn’t even realized that we have arrived Ngurai international airport, Bali. Since our Visa is on Arrival(25USD) basis it took 45 mins for us to finish the procedures. Our driver was already waiting for us to pick us up in Airport. By the time we reached our beautiful and elegant Langon Bali resort & spa hotel it was 12’o clock.

Beautiful pool of our resort. Just loved it..

Beautiful pool of our resort. Just loved it..

At the very first instance we were awestruck with the beauty in and around the resort, we took 1&half hours for refreshing. Then we started our tour..

ISUZU Elf - Our Vehicle

ISUZU Elf – Which was ours from the coming few days 😛

While we were on our way to Tanjung benoa, we have identified a restaurant ‘Queens’ which has a native Indian flavor in-fact it lured us to have a lavish lunch with “Indian” Cuisine.

Ok..Now its time to recite the place “Tanjung Benoa”: My actual plan was to play some water sports. According to few sources this place is one of the best beaches in Bali for water sports.

Tanjung benoa beach

Tanjung benoa beach

But it was a disappointment for us(I should better be saying for me) because I’m the only one who is interested in watersports.But due to some unknown reasons there were no water sports on that day.So we explored as much as we can.. It was a sunny day! But still we loved what we saw and experienced…

Balinese Culture is felt every where and anywhere in the islands..

Balinese Culture is felt every where and anywhere in the islands..

While walking we found a cliff, so we thought of hiking it up. While hiking we found few beautiful spots and had a small photoshoot session 😛

While heading to the end of the cliff ...

While walking to the end of the cliff …

Photoshoot time...

Photoshoot time with my elder bro and youngest cousin of the family Sajju… 😛

Then we had headed towards most scenic temple “Uluwatu temple” for an ecstatic  “Sunset”. Uluwatu Temple, located on the cliff of Jimbaran hills where we have visualized most blissful sunset.

An eastern sun sets on a world of magic...One of the Most stunning sunset I've witnessed..

An eastern sun sets on a world of magic…One of the Most stunning sunset I’ve witnessed..

This pic resembles me of Machupichu, Peru :P

This pic resembles me of Machupichu, Peru 😛

Thats me while capturing the stunning view ..

Thats me while capturing the stunning view ..

After the sunset in uluwatu, we went to Kecak & Fire dance performance show at 6:00 pm. Kecak &fire dance is also known as ‘Ramayana Monkey Chant’. This is a Balinese drama based on the epic Ramayana. This is performed primarily by men.This show is performed by a circle of 50-100 or more performers wearing checked cloth around their waists, percussively chanting “cak” and throwing up their arms, depicts a battle from the Ramayana.

This was the best show I've seen in Bali.. Don't miss this if you are planning a trip to Bali.

This was the best show I’ve seen in Bali.. Don’t miss this if you are planning a trip to Bali.

The Hanuman helped Prince Rama fight the evil King Ravana. Kecak has roots in sanghyang, a trance-inducing exorcism dance.

Hanuman burning lanka.. An episode in Kecak dance performance

Hanuman burning lanka.. An episode in Kecak dance performance

Hanuman most entertaining character in the show..

Hanuman most entertaining character in the show..

Show was completed at 7:00 pm. It took 40-50 mins for us to start from there. Our next stop was at Jimbaran bay to have dinner. This place is renowned for a delicious sea food with local bali touch.

It was not only scenic, but also terrifying especially for kids. My nephew was crying hear to those loud noises made by the waves..

It was not only scenic, but also terrifying especially for kids.My nephew started crying after hearing those loud noises made by the waves ..

It was 8:30 PM by the time we reached the place, we all were exciting seeing the place as we had to sit on the shore of the sea with hundreds of people all around the sea coast with only candle lights across the tables made the evening a splendid one indeed…

The best part of Jimbaran bay food is you get to select what you want to eat..

The best part of Jimbaran bay food is you get to select what you want to eat..

 

We ended our day with this picture..

We ended our day with a complete family picture..

Every one were happy and excited because this is our first family vacation outside of India…With this meal we successfully ended day one, With few pleasant memories.

Tips if you are planning a trip to Bali:

1. If you plan for Water sports, then Tanjung benoa beach is the best place for it but go there in the early morning.

2. Don’t miss Sunset at Uluwatu, Try to spend more time at this place..

3. You won’t regret seeing ‘Kecak and fire dance show’.

4. Dinner at Jimbaran bay will be memorable. So dont miss it ..

Dear Bali…Here I come…

I don’t know whether this is a coincidence or what but I am very happy to post this today because today is 3rd anniversary of my blog.. :p and 7th anniversary of my other blog. I always believe birthdays and anniversaries are those which should a special mention and celebrated even more special with lot of surprises that is what I’m currently now..

There remains a great deal of ambiguity surrounding my trip to Bali and, to an extent, I prefer it that way. I’ve done extensive research on this trip, more than I can remember doing for any other… Because this time I am the most responsible one as well… We are 12 members, 4 families with different age groups right from 3 till 60 yrs are travelling. So I should take appropriate care and a good planning in order to make this trip more successful.

Indonesia is one of the most intimidating places in the world to travel. Landing in Bali without a basic outline, even for someone as experienced as me, would be foolish. I know we can take a travel agency which hosts it. But the pinch of adventure would only lay if I plan end-to-end for me I don’t really enjoy or experience what I want to see..

More over taking a travel agency for that short duration won’t cover all the must see places. So I decided to hire a comfortable vehicle like Suzuki Elf, Then I tailored our itenary by myself which covers all the must see places in Bali.

To make this trip smooth I’ve been learning Bahasa  from a long time by practicing it with my friend trisny through whatsapp. (I feel happy when she praises me about my pronunciation) 😛

So I’ve completely done it by myself with the help of my elder brother  and Trisny(My very good Indonesian friend)

Of course, I’m still largely winging my trip to Indonesia. I have booked: Two nights in a five star beach resort in Seminayak and One night in UBUD; my inbound and outbound flights and hired a Vehicle, Planned my itenary.. Fingers crossed with excitement of exploring new place with the pinch of responsibility,,

My preparation: Ever since we decided to travel to Indonesia.I have been researching on the foods,Life style, culture and language. And I have shown few pictures of oldest Hindu temples (Prambanan temples dedicated to Trinities) in Indonesia to my best friend. I never even guessed that I will visit these marvels so soon. May be I’m living my dream in this trip 😉  

Basically everyone I know who has traveled to Indonesia has urged me to “stay longer,” but due to the restricted time factor of my family members, we cannot extend our trip. Anyways my planning always thrills me even if it is of short or long duration. I was more excited to experience a new culture,language and food. It is better to see something than to hear about it A thousand times. Looking forward to explore the unseen beauties of the Indonesia… Will post updates as soon as I get an opportunity….;)

Dear Bali..

Inspiring Quotes :

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” – Benjamin Disraeli

I’m in love with places which I’ve  never been to…

 “When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” – Clifton Fadiman

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” ― Augustine of Hippo