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Ancient Hilltop Temples
hrs Estimate Duration
Explore the wonderful Gedong Songo Temple complex on this tour that highlights Java's ancient culture. The Hindu temples themselves are not large in stature, but the setting, views of the highlands and atmosphere make it a memorable visit.
Settle in your seat for a two-hour drive through the picturesque countryside as you make your way to the Gedong Songo Temple complex. Constructed during the 9th century Syailendra Dynasty, the temples were discovered in 1804 by Sir Stamford Raffles and are considered excellent examples of the Early Classic style of Javanese architecture.
Arriving at the parking area for the complex, you'll continue your journey to the temples on horseback (optional). As the horse's owner leads you up the pine-forested trail, you are free to enjoy the panoramic scenery passing by. Situated at a height of approximately 4,000 feet above sea level, the temples provide breath-taking views across north-central Java and on a clear day, you can see a line of volcanoes on the horizon, from Mt. Lawu in the east to Mt. Sumbing, Mt. Sundoro and the Dieng Massif in the west.
The temples themselves are more or less evenly spaced between 300 - 700 feet apart on individual hills and ridges that project from the mountainside. On the main temple, which is dedicated to Siva, the statue of Nandiswara on the north side and Mahakala on the south side of the doorway, are still in place. The Siva temple stands as confirmation that Javanese Hindu iconography had reached its maturity by this time in history.
After enjoying the wonderful architecture and history of the Gedong Songo Temples, you'll travel to a resort in the highlands for a tasty Indonesian buffet lunch, before the return drive to the port.
Need to Know:
Note: Tour is not recommended for those with heart or high blood pressure problems, asthma, epilepsy, back or neck injuries, physical limitations or pregnant women. Long pants, sun protection and flat shoes with closed-toes are suggested. Guests may be required to sign a waiver form before being allowed to take part in the tour. There are no restrooms on the coach, but restrooms are available at the temple complex and at the resort. Riding horses is optional; however, walking is strenuous and on steep uneven terrain.
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Tours with this activity level involve physical exertion for extended periods of time; can involve uneven or steep terrain or swimming in a light current. Recommended only for physically fit and adventurous travelers.
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