The month of May will be an exciting time for travelling to Yogyakarta. You can witness the eminent celebration of Buddhist holiest day, known as Vesak 2561/2562 that falls on May 11th, 2017. The date is set accordingly to the time of the brightest full moon that appears on the month of May or known as the Purnama Sidhi. Here in Indonesia, the procession annually held around the area of magnificent Buddhist temples of Central Java, one of them is the Mendut temple.
The temple was build around the 9th century and known to be the oldest of two other Buddhist temples, the Pawon and Borobudur. The 26.4 meter tall temple not only has become the centre of Buddhism practices and rituals, but also believed by local Javanese Kejawen as the place to meditate. It is shown by a stone carved image of Hariti as the symbol of fertility and motherhood, that are popular among the locals as the praying site for couples who longs to have children.
Vesak is also known as Buddha’s Day, commemorating the Birth of Prince Siddharta, the Enlightenments when the prince became the Buddha and the Passing of Gautama Buddha. These three important events in the life of Buddha are also known as Tri Suci Waisak.
Thousands of people will congregate to repeat mantras and meditate to celebrate this holy day. The prayers will commence at Mendut temple on 9th of May, and will continue with a chanting parade marching towards Pawon and Borobudur temple.
Each year, there is also a significant rituals of blessing with holy water taken from the springs of Jumprit in Temanggung district that symbolize humility. Vesak torch will also be ignited from flames taken from Mrapen, known as the natural eternal flames in the village of Grobogan, Central Java.
Both are kept in the Mendut temple before being carried during the march procession to symbolize enlightments. There will also be a magical pinnacle event on May 11th, where thousands of Puja lanterns are released up to the sky in the end of the pilgrim’s march. The lanterns will be released from Mendut, Pawon and Borobudur temple symbolizing the enlightments for all universe.
Mendut temple is around one hour drive from Yogyakarta. If you took off from Semarang and Solo, the drive will takes about two hours to Mendut. You can easily get a car rental from any of the city. Each path will take you on an awesome journey through lovely views. Public transports are also available from Yogyakarta bus terminal and continue on with the micro bus which serves direct route to Borobudur via Mendut temple.
If you get down in Mendut temple, you can go around by foot, take a horse cart or andong and maybe rent a bicycle.
Where to stay
For a luxurious choice to stay during your holiday within the range of Mendut-Pawon-Borobudur area, The Plataran Borobudur Resort and Spa is a great choice. This resort will pamper you with an exclusive facility enriched with Javanese arts and cultural heritage. A premium private cottages with swimming pools, spa and fine cuisine are cradled by a soothing ambiance. A chance to explore nearby villages and trek the lush green surroundings are added value that you may savour.