IO – Cycling has recently become a trend. However, riding a bicycle along asphalt roads is smelly and dangerous, often giving rise to stress as cars and trucks pass too closely. Better to have fun while riding a bicycle in the open air, enjoying beautiful rural scenery and natural grandeur.
The Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java has an enormous surrounding area that can be an exciting place to ride a bicycle. This UNESCO tourist destination is located about 100 km southwest of Semarang, 86 km west of Surakarta, and 40 km northwest of Yogyakarta. Currently, Borobudur Temple is also one of the super-priority destinations that the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is promoting to accelerate the recovery of the tourism industry during this pandemic.
When people go to Borobudur, usually they will tour the Temple, where we explore 72 stupas while climbing the top of the temple, while enjoying the mountain and forest views. The entry fee starts from IDR 47,000, which can be ordered on the To-Do ticket from Indonesia’s OTA (online travel agent) pioneer, tiket. com.
Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world, founded by Mahayana Buddhists around 800 AD during the reign of the Syailendra Dynasty. The temple consists of six square terraces. Above it are three circular platforms. The walls are equipped with 2,672 mural reliefs and 504 Buddha statues. Borobudur Temple also has the most complete and largest collection of Buddhist reliefs in the world.
Borobudur is crowned by the largest main stupa in the center; the main stupa is accompanied by three circular rows of 72 perforated stupas in which there is a Buddha statue sitting cross-legged in a perfect lotus position with the Dharmachakra mudra (hand gesture turning the wheel of dharma).
Borobudur Temple has steps which pass through three realms in Buddhist cosmology: Kamadhatu (the realm of desire), Rupadhatu (the realm of tangibility), and Arupadhatu (the realm of intangibility). To head upward visitors pass down the hallways and stairs, with 1,460 detailed relief panels engraved on the walls and railings.
In the temple area, we can also enjoy the beauty of the temple and natural panoramas while riding a bicycle. The terrain is challenging because it is in a mountainous area; there will be many uphill paths. In this area, there are several bicycle-friendly visiting areas, so that visitors can circle the temple.
Gaery Undarsa, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of tiket.com said cycling is one of the community activities that was formed during a pandemic. There is a growing trend for various cycling communities from different cities exploring the natural terrain of Indonesia together. Cycling in nature can refresh the mind; exposure to the sun also inspires the body.
There are five villages in the bicycle riding routes around Borobudur, including Wringin Putih, Wanurejo, Majaksingi, Tanjungsari, and Candirejo Village. Wringin Putih Village is located about 2.3 km from Borobudur Temple. This village has a charming rural landscape with a background of rice fields and Menoreh Hill.
The attraction of Wringin Putih Village is the bamboo houses that can be found along the road. In this village, we can enjoy its signature snack, Getuk, a snack made from refined cassava mixed with sugar, salt, and grated coconut.
The next riding route is Wanurejo Village, which is the current favorite location for cycling. It is located at the foot of the Menoreh Mountain and is flanked by the Progo and the Sileng River, with charming and mesmerizing natural scenery. In Wanurejo Village, we can also visit the Wayang Museum, with a fine collection of the archipelago’s best puppets.
In the Wayang Museum, there are also 694 literary collections about puppetry in various languages, as well as 83 audio tapes containing recordings of wayang performances from 1971 to 1994. In Wanorejo, precisely at Baldokes Jl Bapaputradewa, there are bicycle rentals at IDR 15,000 for ordinary bicycles and IDR 50,000 for mountain bikes.
The next route is Majaksingi Village, which is located 3 km from Borobudur Temple. In this village, we can watch experienced craftsmen turning clay pots. The village of Majaksingi is also known for its local coffee beans, carrying a unique flavor and aroma of the village.
Furthermore, riding on the route of Tanjungsari Village, which is 3 km from Borobudur Temple. Tanjungsari Village enables a panoramic landscape of Menoreh mountain.
The main livelihoods here are chili and tobacco farmers. In this village, there is also a home-based tofu-making business. Tanjungsari Village has 5 ancient objects of historical heritage, including the head of a Buddha statue which is thought to be part of the Borobudur Temple during the restoration period in 1907-1911.
The Candirejo Village route is no less interesting. This village has Waroeng Rejo or Progo River water tourism and is 4 km from Borobudur Temple. Outdoor activities such as rafting can also appeal, because the river currents are quite swift. Unlike modern rafting, this type of rafting in this village uses traditional getek. Another option for tourists is to have an adventurous experience by driving off-road along the Progo River.
Traveling around five villages while riding a bicycle more than enough for one day. We can thus look for hotels around Yogyakarta and Magelang. Tiket.com recommends various hotels that have been labeled tiketCLEAN as the choice to stay. Ferdinand Siregar, Area Manager for West Indonesia at tiket.com, said that there are currently more than 660 hotels in the city of Yogyakarta and 64 hotels in Magelang that have been labeled tiketCLEAN.
These hotels become recommendations when on vacation at Borobudur Temple and its surroundings. “The number of hotel partners labeled tiketCLEAN has grown by an average of 40 percent per quarter. The ticketCLEAN label is given to all tour operator partners who have met the standardization of health and hygiene protocols so that it is safe for public visits,” he said.