Central Java

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The massive Buddhist temple of Borobudur is Java’s most famous attraction. The 592,015-square-foot monument, built in the ninth century, is constructed in the form of a lotus and is adorned with scores of Buddha statues and bas-reliefs carved into mountains of stone. Borobudur is strange, colossal and mysterious, and it consistently tops lists of world wonders. Although often overshadowed by its more famous neighbor, the 10th-century Hindu temple Prambanan, with its ornate spires carved with reliefs honoring Shiva, is also magnificent. The city of Yogyakarta is Central Java’s urban hub, and its densely populated quarters sprawl from a central kraton, or royal palace. “Yogya” is known for its sophisticated batik fabrics and as a center of Indonesian shadow puppetry, or wayang kulit.