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In Search of Manohara

I always write note in my laptop and put it somewhere either on disk or cloud when I think there is an interesting experience. I found this 7 years old note when I try to clear some space in my disk, and before I wipe it out from my disk I think it is an interesting story to share with you. This happened in 2011, at that time I was working to build Linux based computer labs for 500 elementary and junior high schools in Yogyakarta Indonesia. No it is not about computer and other geeky stuff. So here it is. 

Well, it is very out of topic everyone, you've already been warned 😁

During my busy weeks in implementing openSUSE Li-f-e for schools in Yogyakarta Indonesia (see the pictures below), me and one of my colleague use our free time in a Sunday afternoon to visit Borobudur, the biggest Buddhist temple in the world. One of the World Heritage preserve by Unesco. 85% of Indonesia population are Moslem and this make Indonesia the biggest Moslem country in the world. We are tolerant people and respect diversity. Our national motto is Bhinneka Tunggal Ika means "Unity in Diversity". That's why the biggest Buddhist temple stand still here. In Indonesia, kids learn about it in history and culture subject in middle schools. I still remember my history teacher told the story in front of the class and I was very amazed at that time. She said that the temple was build by Princess Pramodhawardhani the daughter of King Samaratungga from Syailendra clan who ruled Java Island in 8th - 9th century. She also told that the temple rising in the middle of the lake (when it was built) and form a lotus flower and leaf in the center of a lake. Wow .......

Busy weeks:

That was seems a bit late to go there on that afternoon, we must drove around 35-40 km from the place I stay in Yogyakarta. I stay (live actually) around 4 years in Yogyakarta during the project, a nice city. I feel that the city trying hard to maintain its traditional Javanese heritage while at the same time the modernization trying to put away all the traditional values. I really like the city.

Some Yogyakarta city pics:

It was light rain and a cloudy afternoon. To go there we must passed the bridge in Kali Putih river (literally "kali" means river in Indonesian language), after Mount Merapi eruption in October 2010 this location always damage by the massive cold lava and volcanic material from the last eruption. We saw some very big rocks and large volume of sand beside the street. That's explain why sometime we find a big rock in the middle of flat land. The cold lava was very huge, maybe there are plenty of archaeological sites around this area still buried beneath the surface because this happened also in the past. Around 4 PM we arrived in Borobudur, parked the car, and run to the sites around 1 km to the top. It was light rain and cloudy, not a perfect condition to take some pictures and we will miss the sunset 😞
Everyone should wearing "kain/sarung batik" that we can borrow (for free) after entering the main gate. We were a bit late, the temple will close on 5 PM. Huh..... 😟

Some pics:

This time I want to search Manohara in scuplture/stone relief in level 1. Borobudur consist of 3 level and the first (named Kamadatu) and second level (named Rupadatu) are full of stone relief. Manohara is a Kinnari, half woman and half bird creature while Kinnara is half man and half bird. The stories, where she roles as a heroine, is compiled in the Dvijavadana anthology (from sanskrit word means Glorious Heavenly Acts, wow .....). Manohara married with the Prince Sudhana in that story, the story about how to act heavenly.
I took some pictures here and there but I'm not sure that was Manohara 😀
In the end I'm not sure I found Manohara because I'm not well prepared, belief me I enjoy reading epic, history and cultural literature. I'm not just a linux freak 😅
My colleague told me that better I took photograph of stewardess because they usually pretty and always fly (like Manohara) 😆

Actually I never found this "Manohara" stewardess maybe because I'm not a prince. I found a woman that give me a magic feeling though, but she can't fly for sure 😂

Sculpture - Stone relief:

In 5 PM, the site guards ask everyone to leave Borobudur because they will closed. I asked one of the guides there how to transfer the rain water from the top to the ground below, the drainage system of this temple. Borobudur lie in the hill, beneath the rock surface there should be the hill. How to avoid the water not  infiltrate to the hill behind the relief-rock? If the water go directly to the hill inside the rock then Borobudur can collapse. This can be a really challenging task. Restoration team engineers found the solution and make a drainage system beneath the temple floor and transfer the water from the top to the ground outside the temple. Originally the rain water was transferred using gargoyle in the corners but now it is not use anymore because it can damage the temple.

Drainage and wall section:


These are some of my suggestions if you visit Borobudur:
  • Early in the morning, so you can see the sunrise. I think it is not possible because the sites open at 8 AM. But maybe you can arrange it for special condition. Well, I don't know.
  • Do not visit it between 11 AM - 2 PM becuase it can be very hot. It is located in equator area 😀
  • Try to be there between 2 PM- 3 PM, so you have time to explore the relief/sculpture in Kamadatu and Rupadatu.
  • If possible visit it in dry season between May - September, don't go there in rainy season you can miss the best moment to see the sunset.
  • Because the site is closed in 5 PM, you should ask the guides or the guard if you can wait a little longer to take some pictures.
  • Don't forget to bring your hat and umbrella. It can be very hot or very wet 😅
  • If you like photography bring your wide-angle lense.
So everyone, when do you visit Yogyakarta? I can show you how we implement openSUSE in schools and as a bonus you can see one of the greatest world heritage 😃

Additional notes;
After openSUSE.Asia Summit 2016 in Yogyakarta Indonesia, we had one day tour to Borobudur temple and Prambanan temple. Prambanan is a Hindu temple on the east of Yogyakarta, it is also a beautiful Unesco World Heritage. We had a lot of fun!



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