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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tana Toraja, fascinating culture and ancient traditions

Tana Toraja Regency (Torajaland, Land of the Toraja or Tator) is a regency (kabupaten) of South Sulawesi, Indonesia, home of Toraja ethnic group people. The local government seat is in Makale, where the center of Toraja culture is in Rantepao. But now, Tana Toraja has been divided to two regencies that consist of Tana Toraja with capital is Makale and Toraja Utara with capital is Rantepao.
Tana Toraja boundary was determined by the Dutch East Indies government in 1909. In 1926, Tana Toraja was under the administration of Bugis state, Luwu. The regentschap (or regency) status was given on October 8, 1946, the last regency given by the Dutch. Since 1984, Tana Toraja has been named as the second tourist destination after Bali by the Ministry of Tourism, Indonesia. Since then, hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors have visited this regency. In addition, numerous Western anthropologists have come to Tana Toraja to study the indigenous culture and people of Toraja

Tana Toraja (Toraja Land), a unique mountain are in the northern part of South Sulawesi, is one of the places in Indonesia which leaves a lingering im pression on the traveller's mind long after they have returned home. It is famous for its unique fascinating culture and ancient traditions, and is one of the world's rare treasures.
Most interesting are the grand burial ceremonies lasting for days with ceremonial dances and sacrificing of animals. The Torajan lay their dead to rest in graves and tombs in accordance with the tradition. These tombs are chiselled and carved in steep cliffs, stretching up dozens of metres. People have access to these tombs by climbing up bamboo ladders. In some of these tombs they put wooden effigies of the dead.
There are many of such graves in different mountains. Two cliffs graves easy to reach are LEMO and LONDA. There are many other interesting sights in Toraja. Like typical Toraja villages PA'LAWA, SIGUNTU, MARANTE' and NANGGALA where you can see the Torajan houses. The houses are beautifully decorated with carvings of geometric designs, and with buffalo horns that indicate the status and wealth of the family. You can also see how the Torajan make lovely handicrafts or traditional weaving in KE'TEKE'SU and TO'BARANA. This unique culture, the scenic beauty, lovely climate and gentle people are the main reasons for Toraja to gain prominence as a tourist destination in spite of its distance from any major airport and the long journey that has to be made.

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Gunung Rinjani (Mount Rinjani)

Mount Rinjani is a mountain located on the island of Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. Mountain which is the second highest volcano in Indonesia with an altitude of 3726 m above sea level and located at a latitude of 8 º 25 'latitude and 116 º 28' BT is a favorite for mountain climbers Indonesia for its beautiful scenery. This mountain is part of Mount Rinjani National Park which has an area of approximately 41,330 ha and this will be proposed the addition to be 76 000 ha to the west and east.
Administratively, the mountain is located within the territory of three districts: East Lombok, Central Lombok and West Lombok.


Mount Rinjani with the highest point 3726 m above sea level, dominating most of the views of the northern island of Lombok.
In the west there is a caldera cone Rinjani area of about 3,500 m × 4800 m, extending west towards the east you. In the caldera have Segara Anak (ocean = sea, lake) area of 11 million sq m with a depth of 230 m. The water that flows from this lake to form a very beautiful waterfall, flowing through a steep ravine. In Segara Anak numerous carp and tilapia that are often used for fishing. The south side of this lake called Segara Endut.
On the east side of the caldera there are New Mountain (or Mount Barujari) which has a crater measuring 170m × 200 m with a height of 2296-2376 m above sea level. This small mountain last active / erupted since May 2, 2009 and during May, after also previously erupted in 2004. [2] [3] If the eruption in 2004 claimed no lives, eruption in 2009 which has already claimed lives of 31 people indirectly , due to flash floods in the crow (River) Tanggek due to the insistence of lava into the Segara Anak. [4] Earlier, Mount Barujari ever recorded erupted in 1944 (and establishment), 1966, and 1994.
In addition to the crater of Mount Barujari there are also others who have erupted, disebutGunung Troupe.
Mount Rinjani Located on the island of Lombok, to reach this mountain, you can use a direct bus from Jakarta to Mataram, after arriving in Mataram you go to the village Sembalun or can also use the vehicle to the village Senaru setempat.atau using the flight from Jakarta, Surabaya and Denpasar headed to the airport Selaparang Mataram - Lombok.
Rinjani has panaroma best among the mountains in Indonesia.Each year (June-August) visited by many nature lovers from local residents, students, nature lovers.
The average air temperature of 20 ° C, the lowest 12 ° C. Strong winds are common at peak in August.
Besides the peak, a place that is frequented ly, a lake situated at an altitude of 2,000 m. above sea level. To reach this location we can climb from the village or village Senaru Sembalun Lawang (two nearest entry point at an altitude of 600m asl and 1.150m above sea level).
Most climbers begin ascent of the route Sembalun and end the climb in Senaru, it can save a 700m altitude. Route Sembalun rather long but flat, and the weather is hotter because it is through the scorching savanna (cold temperatures, but direct solar radiation burns the skin). solar thermal barrier cream is recommended.
From Route Senaru incline without pause, but soft because of the weather through the forest. From both these locations on foot takes about 7 hours to the lips of the ridge at an altitude of 2.641m asl (arriving in Plawangan Senaru or Plawangan Sembalun). In this place overlooking the lake, or to the outside is very nice. From Plawangan Senaru (if rising from the direction of Senaru) down to the lake through the steep wall to a height of 2000 meters above sea level) that can be taken within 2 hours. On the lake we can camping, fishing (Carper, Mujair) are aplenty. Lombok residents have a tradition to visit the puppies immediately to soak in hot tubs and fishing.
To reach the top (of the lake) had to walk up the west wall and climb as high as 700m-high ridge 1.000m taken Dlm 2 stage 3 hours and 4 hours. The first stage towards Plawangan Sembalun, the last camp to wait for the morning. Summit attack is usually done at 3 o'clock dawn to find the beautiful moments - the sunrise at the top of Rinjani. The trip to the Peak classified tolerable, because climbing the lip of the crater with a margin of safety is mediocre. Medan sand, stone, soil. 200 meters final height should be reached with difficulty, because one step forward followed by a half step down (fallen rocks gravel). Create a highlander - this place is the most challenging and unpaid preferred because rough terrain with beautiful natural scenery. Mount Agung in Bali, Mount Ijen-Merapi in Banyuwangi and Mount Tambora on Sumbawa clearly visible when the weather is nice in the morning. To climb Rinjani no tools required, just stamina, patience and "passion".
The entire trip can be achieved in the program three days and two nights, or if you want to see two other objects: Cave New Finger Milk and mountain (Mount Rinjani child with a new crater in the middle of the lake) need an additional two days of travel. Logistics preparation is necessary, but fortunately everything can be obtained in a nearby village. Tent, sleeping bag, eating utensils, food and whatever is needed (including radio communications) can be rented from the homestay, homestay village that flourished in Senaru.

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Candi Borobudur (Borobudur Temple)

Borobudur is the biggest temple in Indonesia. Borobudur temple is located in Magelang, Central Java, in addition to being a bustling tourist attraction visited, also a center of worship for Buddhists in Indonesia, particularly in every celebration of 'Waicak'. This is consistent with the meaning of the name of 'convent in the hills ".Currently established as one of the Borobudur World Heritage by UNESCO.
Borobudur was built around 800 AD or the 9th century. Borobudur was built by the followers of Mahayana Buddhism during the reign of Syailendra Dynasty. The founder of the Borobudur Temple, King Samaratungga originating from or dynasty Syailendra dynasty.

The possibility of this temple was built around the year 824 AD and was completed around the year 900 AD during the reign of Queen Pramudawardhani who is the daughter of Samaratungga. While the architects who contributed to build this temple according to stories passed down through generations named Gunadharma.

Borobudur own words based on the first written evidence that was written by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, Governor General of the United Kingdom in Java, which gives the name of this temple.There is no written evidence that older who gave the name of this temple of Borobudur. Only one of the oldest document showing the existence of this temple is Nagarakretagama manuscript, written by the Mpu Prapanca in the year 1365. In the book was written that this temple was used as a place of Buddhist meditation.
Meaning of the name Borobudur "abbey in the hills", which comes from the word "coal" (temple or monastery) and "beduhur" (hills or high ground) in Sanskrit. Therefore, in accordance with the meaning of the name Borobudur, then this place since long ago used as a place of Buddhist worship.
This temple for centuries no longer used. Then, because of volcanic eruptions, most of the buildings covered Borobudur volcanic soil. In addition, the building is also covered with various trees and shrubs for centuries. Then the building of this temple began forgotten in the time Islam arrived in Indonesia around the 15th century.
In 1814 when the British occupied Indonesia, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles heard of the discovery of huge archaeological objects in the village of Magelang district Bumisegoro. Due to great interest of the history of Java, then immediately ordered Raffles HCCornelius, a Dutch engineer, to investigate the discovery of the location was a hill covered with shrubs.
Cornelius assisted by about 200 men cut down trees and remove shrubs that covered the giant building. Because the building is already fragile and could collapse, then report to the Raffles Cornelius invention includes several images. Since the discovery, Raffles was awarded as the man who started restoration of Borobudur temple and got the attention of the world. In 1835, the entire area of the temple has been unearthed. The temple is kept restored in the Dutch colonial period.
After Indonesian independence, in 1956, the Indonesian government requested the assistance of UNESCO to examine the damage to Borobudur. Then in 1963, out of the official Indonesian government's decision to conduct the restoration of Borobudur temple with the help of UNESCO. However, this restoration was only really started to be done on August 10, 1973. Process new refurbishment completed in 1984. Since 1991, Borobudur designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO or the World Heritage
Borobudur temple is located in Magelang, Central Java, about 40 km from Yogyakarta. Borobudur has 10 levels consisting of 6 levels of a square, circular level 3 circular and a main stupa as a peak. At every level there are several stupas. Altogether there are 72 stupas in addition to the main stupa. In every stupa there are statues of Buddha. Ten levels of Buddhist philosophy which describes the ten levels of Bodhisattva who must pass to reach the perfection of the Buddha in nirvana. This perfection symbolized by the main stupa at the top level. Borobudur structure when viewed from above form a mandala structure depicting Buddhist cosmology and human thinking.
On the fourth side of the temple there is the gate and stairs to the level above it like a pyramid. This illustrates the Buddhist philosophy that all life came from rocks. Stone later became the sand, then into plants, then into the insect, then become wild animals and pets, and the last to be human. This process is known as reincarnation. The last process is to be the soul and eventually into nirvana. Each stage of enlightenment in this life processes based on Buddhist philosophy is illustrated in reliefs and statues in the whole temple of Borobudur.
This huge building just a giant pile of stone blocks which have a total height of 42 meters. Each stone connected without the use of cement or adhesive. These stones are only connected by patterns and stacked. The base of Borobudur temple is about 118 m on each side. The stones which used approximately 55,000 cubic meters. All the stones are taken from the river around the Borobudur Temple. The stones are cut and then transported and connected with a pattern like lego game. All without using glue or cement.
Meanwhile, relief began to be made after the completion rocks stacked and connected. Reliefs found on the temple walls.Borobudur has different relief 2670. Relief is read clockwise. This relief illustrates a story that I read it starts and ends at the gate to the east. This shows that the main gate of Borobudur temple facing the east like most other Buddhist temples.

Vesak celebration at Borobudur
Every year on the full moon in May (or June in leap years), Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the Borobudur Temple.Vesak is celebrated as the day of birth, death and the moment when Siddhartha Gautama obtain the highest wisdom to become the Buddha Shakyamuni. The third event is called Vesak Trisuci.Vesak ceremony focused on the three Buddhist temples by walking from the Mendut Pawon and ends at Borobudur.
On the eve of Vesak, particularly during peak moment of full moon, Buddhists gathered around Borobudur. At that time, Borobudur is believed to be the gathering place of supernatural powers.According to belief, during Vesak, the Buddha will appear visible on top of a mountain in the south.

Currently, Borobudur has become a tourist attraction which attracts many tourists both local and foreign tourists. In addition, the Borobudur Temple has become a holy place for Buddhists in Indonesia and became the center of the most important annual celebration of Vesak Buddhist.
Borobudur be one proof of the greatness and human intelligence has ever made in Indonesia. Borobudur become major attractions and culture in Indonesia besides Bali and Jakarta. After visiting the Borobudur, you can also visit the surrounding villages such as Karanganyar which has some interesting attractions

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