Indonesia • Java • Borobudur and Yogyakarta

"In less than ten minutes, surrender to the poetic allure of Jakarta, Java, and Indonesia's potent beauty. Witness the bustling heart of Jakarta harbor, a lively testament to a sprawling archipelago, where the old dance with the new. Be entranced by the mesmerizing notes of the angklung school in Bandung, where young talents weave melodies from a single note, encapsulating Java's rich culture. Stand on the precipice of awe, gazing at the Tangkuban Perahu volcano, a reminder of nature's untamed grandeur. Our video, swathed in layers of history and packed with enlightening commentary, is a window to this captivating world. Immerse yourself in Indonesia's tapestry of stories, sights, and sounds, right from your couch. Allow the echoes of Java to resonate within your spirit and stir your imagination. Your journey awaits!"

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Indonesia • Sumatra, Java and Bali (EN)

vimeo chapterA click on this icon above displays the list of chapters of this film about Java in Indonesia. A click on a dot goes directly to a chapter.

Reading the text below will help you better understand the cultural context of the images in this video.

00:24 • Borobudur

04:44 • a batik workshop 

06:25 • gamelan

07:52 • Ramayana

08:49 • Blitar, a village

09:55 • Penataran temple

10:43 • Malang • Kampung Jodipan



The island of Java in Indonesia has turned its back on Buddhism in favor of Islam for a long time, which does not prevent the site of Borobudur from being the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Borobudur was built around AD 800 and seems to have been abandoned as early as AD 1100.

As astonishing as it may seem when one visits the site today, Borobudur has been protected for centuries by dense virgin forest, whereas nowadays it is rather surrounded by rice fields.

It took several months for a team of Dutch explorers to find and unearth the site at the beginning of the 19th century. This deforestation over the past two centuries is reminiscent of the Ajanta site in India or the great reclining Buddha of Bago in Burma (Myanmar), also lost in the middle of a thick virgin forest in the 19th century, and in an almost desert environment nowadays.

Borobudur is a huge, enigmatic building. Borobudur was both a shrine dedicated to Buddha and an important place of pilgrimage.

It is both a stupa (tumulus of earth, brick or stone, intended to contain relics of Buddha or his disciples) and, seen from the sky, a mandala (ritual area used to evoke the deities, a complex painted structure or sculpted used for initiatory progression).

The set is made up of four superimposed geometrically shaped galleries. The whole monument is covered with bas-reliefs relating the various episodes in the life of Buddha. Put end to end, the length of these bas-reliefs is about 5 kilometers.

Above, the upper terrace surmounted by three concentric circular terraces bordered by 72 stupas, formed by openwork stone bells housing statures of Buddha.

Borobodur was saved from ruin by Unesco and the Indonesian government. The site is listed as a World Heritage Site.


The Borobudur site is located in the Yogyakarta region, a major city in South Java. The Yogyakarta region enjoys a special regime, semi-independent from the central power. The Sultan of Yogyakarta retained some of his power, unlike the other Indonesian sultans. This special regime is the consequence of the attitude of the Sultan during the war of independence.

the Batik

City of culture and arts, Yogyakarta tries to perpetuate the tradition of batik, a very refined technique used to dye fabrics. The long and complex process consists in dipping the fabric in hot wax and letting it cool before removing the wax from the stylet on the part intended to receive a first color. Then soak the fabric in a dye bath and repeat this operation a number of times, once per color. The more colors the fabric has, the more expensive it will be and the longer it will take to manufacture. Some fabrics have more than 25 colors ...


Classical music from the islands of Java and Bali is characterized by instrumental ensembles, using gongs, xylophones, metallophones, bamboo flutes and bowed string instruments among others. This set is called gamelan in Java.


The Ramayana is a mythological epic dating from the 3rd century BC. It is part of Indonesian culture and is regularly presented in the form of a music and dance performance. The Ramayana is one of the founding myths of Hinduism and relates the story of Prince Rama, who is the seventh avatar of Vishnu, and his wife Princess Sita.


Penataran Temple is one of the largest Hindu temples in Indonesia. Built between the 12th and 15th centuries, Penataran is dedicated to Shiva. As the site is located in a region with high seismic risks, the temple has been damaged on several occasions by earthquakes. A vast reconstruction program, taking seismic standards into account, is in progress.

Malang, Kampung Jodipan

In the city of Malang, a neighborhood is out of the ordinary. Kampung Jodipan repainted all of its houses in shimmering colors. It is the result of a project carried out jointly by a few students in event management and a paint manufacturer. The result is breathtaking, but must be much more beautiful even if it is not visited in a pouring rain like the one which prevented us from seeing it up close and forced us to contemplate it from the top of a crowded bridge. traffic.

Stupa on  Borobudur temple, Yogyakarta, Java • Indonesia

What's the weather like in Yogyakarta?

About the 2 places in this film


Yogyakarta is the capital of Yogyakarta Special Region on Java Island in Indonesia. The region owes its special status to the attuitude of the Sultan of Yogyakarta during the war of independence.

The city is renowned for the finesse of its artistic productions, whether dance, batik, literature, music, goldsmith's work or even poetry.

Its population is just over 420,000 inhabitants.


Borobodur Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in the world, was built in the 9th century. It is made up of 9 trays, 6 of which are square-shaped and the upper 3 are circular-shaped surmounted by a central dome. The decoration consists of 2,672 bas-reliefs and 504 statues of Buddha. The central dome is surrounded by 72 statues of Buddha seated in stupas with perforations.



Spoken comments in the film: 

Borobudur and its stupas are in reality a single large stupa. Seen from above, the site is also in the form of a giant vajrayana mandala representing both Buddhist cosmology and the nature of the soul. Its base is a square approximately 118 meters in length. It has nine platforms, the first six square and the top three circular. The top platform has a large stupa in its center surrounded by seventy-two other small ones. The stupas are in the form of bells and pierced with numerous decorative openings. Sitting Buddha statues can be seen through the openings.



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Disclaimer: Despite its appropriateness, copyright issues prevent the use of indonesian traditional music in "Indonesia • Java • Borobudur and Yogyakarta ", hence the use of royalty-free music. Despite our careful selection, some might regret this decision, which is necessary to avoid potential lawsuits. Although difficult, this decision is the only viable solution.

Borobudur, overview, Yogyakarta • Indonesia • Java

Borobudur, overview

Borobudur, the top floor of the temple, Yogyakarta • Indonesia • Java

Borobudur, the top floor of the temple

Bas-relief of Borobudur temple, Yogyakarta • Indonesia • Java

Bas-relief of Borobudur temple

gamelan, Yogyakarta • Indonesia • Java


Borobodur and Yogyakarta, Jave. Indonesia.

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