In 2015, Fred. Olsen’s Balmoral will be embarking on a Far East adventure including a fantastic opportunity to call at Semarang, Indonesia for a look around the impressive Borobudur Temple.
Once covered in volcanic ash and speckles of rubble, the largest and most visited Buddhist temple in Indonesia, Borobudur was built in the 8th and 9th centuries by the Sailendra Dynasty. There are seventy two Buddhist effigies encased in overwhelming stupa’s carefully placed across several steep inclines, each representing a step to enlightenment, leading to a panoramic view of the active volcano, Mount Merapi.
Many backpackers, Indonesian locals, and Buddhists come here in search of peace and meditation on their pilgrimage - the views aren’t half bad either! There are several variations on the types of Buddhist statues built, each with a different purpose and meaning, you may notice these as you wander in and out of the stupa’s. The whole structure is in the shape of the Buddhist symbol for the Universe, called the Mandala.
As the sun starts to wither and crawl behind the rolling hills and leafy mountains, a thick layer of mist and fog weaves in and out of the dense undergrowth reaching out for the steps of the Borobudur temple. The distant mountains then start to disappear from the horizon and melt into the vast foliage below.
Finally want to tick the sensational Semarang off your list? Click here.
By Evie Williams.