Borobudur is a Buddhist temple, or candi, that was constructed in the 9th century. It acts as both a shrine to Buddha and a pilgrimage sight for followers, and mixes Indian influence with unique Indonesian design. It was abandoned when Indonesia converted to Islam, but has been restored in the last 40 years. Different areas of the wall depict varying stories from the Buddhist faith, and Buddha statues spot the grounds.
Candi Prambanan was the Hindu response to Borobudur. It was also built in the 9th century, and remains the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia and one of the most spectacular in Southeast Asia. It expresses god as the creator (Brahma), the sustainer (Vishnu), and the destroyer (Shiva). Like many Hindu temples, it has tall, pointy architecture. The carvings that adorn the many temples tell the story of Ramayana. Basically, Rama’s wife was abducted, then rescued by the monkey king and his army. If we’re being honest, the whole place sort of reminded me of a really old version of the wooden playground I played on as a child 🙂