Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Once upon a time, Prince Bandung Bondowoso proposed to Princess Rara Jonggrang who said yes, IF the prince can build a thousand temples overnight, who did with the help of his supernatural friends, but upon completing the 999th was tricked by the princess who ordered her maids to start pounding rice and building a fire which tricked the cocks who crowed earlier than usual.

Some 2,876 kilometers in Pantabangan, Minggan the Giant also proposed to the mountain goddess Maria Sinukuan who said yes, IF within the night the giant can stop the river from flowing, which he almost did until the goddess made the cocks crow earlier than usual.

The giant just went away and wept but the prince was more unforgiving and turned the princess into stone which today is known as the Slender Virgin [or Rara Jonggrang] of the Sewu Temple that could have been the 1,000th temple of the Pramaban temple complex.

Pramaban is the biggest of its kind in Indonesia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built in the 9th century, totally abandoned by the 16th century, and rediscovered in the 18th century.

Today, the spires of Pramaban backdrop the story Rama and Sita as told and retold by the Ramayana Ballet in full colors...  

...equaled only by the passionate narration of star gazers and campaigners worldwide, and the oriental flavors unleashed by what so far is my best full-noodle lunch in Yogya.

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