Java is the most famous island in Indonesia and is considered the "capital": the city of Jakarta is located here. In fact, the island is part of a mountain range of volcanic origin.
Java is a paradise for coffee lovers: since the 17th century it has been the leader in the production of this drink. But its history is much older. The remains of the "Javanese Man" were discovered here - they are more than a million years old. Already in the Middle Ages, before the arrival of Europeans, there was a civilization that left behind grandiose temple complexes. The Portuguese discovered the island in 1511, but the Dutch gained control over it, and only from the middle of the 20th century did Java become part of independent Indonesia. Now it is a densely populated island with the richest nature and a huge number of interesting sights.
Top 10 attractions in Java
In the south of the island is the Brome-Tengger-Semeru National Park. It also includes the most active volcano in Indonesia - Semeru. The mountain is constantly smoking, the seismic hazard is high here, so in order to climb the Semera, a special permit from the management of the national park is required.
Most often, tourists climb another mountain - Bromo. This volcano is also constantly smoking, but it is lower and easier to reach. Its caldera is 10 km in diameter and contains five craters. It is filled with volcanic sand: the landscape here is simply Martian. A staircase of 250 steps leads to the crater itself, and at its edge there is a narrow observation deck, from which you can look down into the smoking mouth.
At the foot of the volcano is the Hindu temple Pura Luhur Poten - you can also see it.
On the territory of the Brome-Tengger-Semeru National Park, the Tengera people live. They profess Hinduism - in fact, they are the descendants of the ancient Javanese who did not accept Islam and went to the mountains from Muslim influence. But in a European view, their beliefs are more similar to pagan ones. They consider the volcano Bromo as the center of their country and worship the god of fire, who is called Batoro Brom (in fact, this is the local name of the Hindu Brahma). Their whole life is built around the volcano: dwellings are built as the entrance to the sacred mountain, the dead are buried with their heads in the direction of Bromo.
Several of their villages are located on the territory of the national park, accessible to tourists, and you can take part in their annual celebration in the second half of summer. On this day, a colorful procession rises from the Pura Luhur Poten temple to the top of the temple. At the top of the volcano, sacrifices are made to the god of fire - fruits and flowers are thrown into his mouth.
Temple complex Borobudur
Borobudur is the most famous Buddhist sights not only on the island of Java, but throughout Indonesia, a place known to the whole world. The temple complex was built in the 7th-8th centuries AD, when the central part of Java was controlled by the state of Mataram. Various religious movements, from Shaivism to Buddhism, changed several times in it, but at the same time, monarchs always bore the title of sri-maharaja and were considered the embodiment of the supreme deity.
The Borobudur Temple is designed as a huge 8-tier stupa with numerous statues of Buddhas and stone bas-reliefs on mythological subjects. Once it was located in the center of the lake, so it symbolized a lotus, but over time the lake became shallow, and by now it has completely disappeared.
The discovery of this complex is interesting - at some point it was completely forgotten, covered with a layer of volcanic ash and thickets, and in 1815 it was almost accidentally discovered by the British. It was cleared and restored for many years; during this clearing, many statues and reliefs were taken to museums and private collections. The current appearance is the result of a large-scale restoration, which was carried out under the auspices of UNESCO in the 1970s, although it did not allow the complex to be completely restored to its original appearance - quite a few individual elements, statues and reliefs have survived, the location of which cannot be established. However, this place is still striking in its scale.
Temple complex Prambanan
Prambanan is the second grandiose temple complex in Java, also inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It dates from the 10th century A. D. and was also built during the time of the state of Mataran, but in a completely different style. It is not dedicated to Buddha, but to Hindu deities. However, the complexes have one thing in common: the enormous scale and abundance of skillful stone carving.
There are 224 temples in the Prambanan complex - there are high, there are also very tiny ones. The largest temple is dedicated to Shiva - it is 47 m in height, two other high temples are dedicated to Brahma and Vishnu, and three more temples are dedicated to the animal companions of these deities. The walls are decorated with rich carvings that illustrate almost the entire Ramayana.
The complex includes several more temples located within a radius of approximately five kilometers, as well as the remains of the palace of the Mataran rulers - Ratu Boko.
Botanical Garden Bogor
One of the oldest botanical gardens in the world was founded by the Dutch during their rule over these islands - in 1817. Originally, the garden was adjacent to the summer door of the Dutch governor-general, but was subsequently significantly expanded and opened to the public. During the 19th century, a huge scientific work was developed here, scientists from all over the world came here to study and study botany.
The garden is amazing with the number of plants. The flora of Java is already exceptionally rich, but tropical plants from all over the world were also specially brought here: now the garden's collection numbers 5839 species. There are two more branches in Java. One near the village of Chibodas. It is located higher in the mountains, and there grow not so much tropical as mountain and subtropical plants. The second branch dedicated to aquatic plants is located in Purvodadi.
Most of the botanical garden is now a well-groomed beautiful park with garden pavilions and cafes - residents of the city come here en masse on weekends to take a break from the stuffiness, they play weddings and celebrate birthdays here, so it can sometimes be quite crowded. It is worth paying attention to the "House of Orchids" - it contains more than 500 species of orchids from all over the world, and the "Mexican Garden" with numerous cacti and succulents.
Zoological Museum of Bogor
There is a zoological museum not far from the botanical garden. It was also founded by the Dutch, but later in 1894. Initially, it was just a laboratory at the botanical garden for the study of insects, but later grew into a whole zoological museum.
The museum occupies 24 rooms, its pearl is the skeleton of a blue whale, the largest creature living on earth now, it occupies almost the entire hall of the museum. But in general, the exhibition is rather old-fashioned, so it is in many ways a "museum of colonial museums". There are no modern computer interactive elements here, everything is the old fashioned way.
The most frequent excursion from Java is to the Krakatoa volcano, which is famous for its powerful eruption in 1883. The eruption almost completely destroyed it - on the site of one island with a mountain, three much smaller ones were formed. But soon the fourth grew between them - Anak-Krakatau ("son of Krakatau") - the cone of a new volcano. It is to this place that tourists from Java and Sumatra are now taken.
Since 1927, the island has already risen by more than 800 meters and has already begun to erupt. Anak-Krokotau constantly "smokes", so that the spectacle is picturesque and scary: a small mountain in the middle of the sea spewing either black or snow-white smoke. At its foot there is now a small restaurant for incoming tourists, but the island itself is uninhabited and can really be dangerous.
Jakarta Historical Museum
Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia, a modern beautiful city, and its history goes back more than two and a half thousand years. The official date of the founding of the city is 1527 - but in fact, this is the date when the Dutch captured the old settlement and founded their fort here.
In 1710, a public building of the municipality was built by the Dutch - it is here that the Historical Museum of Jakarta is now located, which tells about its rich history. Most of the exhibits belong to the period of the Dutch East Indies: there is a rich collection of furniture, household items and paintings. The exposition begins with the ancient Paleolithic times and tells about all the states that have ever existed on the island.
Taman Safari is a complex of three safari parks: two of them in Java and one in Bali. The most famous - Taman Safari-1 - is located in the vicinity of Bogor. The park was formed in 1986 on the site of a former tea plantation. While this is another site that aims to preserve Indonesia's wildlife, it is not so much a nature reserve as it is a safari zoo and entertainment center. There is a dolphinarium and a penguinarium, aviaries with big cats, a bird park, an area with Komodo monitor lizards and much more.
For the night, if you wish, you can stay at the camping site. You can move around the park with your own transport, you can ride a local sightseeing bus, but there is no way to feed the animals from it.
Karimunjava is a group of small islets off the northern tip of Java that are considered a national marine park. The most beautiful coral reefs start here almost immediately from the water - so this place is the main center for Javanese divers. Actually, here you don't even need to have a diving certificate and diving experience: in order to enjoy the beauty, you just have to have a mask. But if you sail further to the very small completely deserted islets in the north, then the beauty will be even greater.
In addition to beaches, where they do not so much swim as they look at corals, there are also several beaches with good waves - these are recognized surfing centers.