Jakarta and Pezheng, Indonesia

JAKARTA

Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Jakarta is located on the northwestern coast of the island of Java, at the confluence of the Chilivung River into the Java Sea. Administratively, Jakarta, together with the suburbs, forms a special unit – Greater Jakarta.

According to THEMAKEUPEXPLORER, Jakarta is the capital of the fourth largest nation in the world. More than 10 million people live in it. It is one of the dirtiest cities in the world. Dirty, noisy, exhausting, poor and suffocating city. Disillusioned with the resettlement policy, people flock to Jakarta and build entire neighborhoods of corrugated iron sheets in places unsuitable for habitation. Nevertheless, the city exudes some kind of charm, a charm of contrasts: excessive wealth coexists with completely miserable poverty, modern skyscrapers and porters straining at hard work in the port of Sundakelapa, sewage mud and regal luxury of hotels.

Despite the oppressive heat and erratic traffic, the city still boasts good museums, famous residential areas, interesting examples of majestic colonial architecture, as well as many excellent shops, antique shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. In the southern part of Jakarta, there is the famous zoo – Ragunan, where representatives of the rarest species of animals and birds live: the famous Komodo dragon, tapir, wild bull Banteng and birds of paradise striking with the brightness of their plumage.

Many attractions can be visited near the city. Bogor is located 1.5 hours from Jakarta – a place, due to the mild climate, chosen during the colonization by high-ranking Dutch for villas and country residences. Here are the luxurious Sukarno Palace and the world’s largest outdoor botanical garden. Bandung is located 3 hours drive from Jakarta at an altitude of 700 m above sea level and is surrounded by the spiky peaks of the Sunda highlands. Bandung was once a Dutch university town with wide boulevards and elegant houses, called “Javanese Paris”. Now it is a city with a population of 1.5 million, the center of licensed textile production. The mountain peaks around Bandung are accessible to tourists. Volcano Tangkuban Perahu (reverse boat) lies 32 km north of the city. A specially built road leads to the crater itself. Here, at the sharp-pointed edge of the crater, clubs of sulfurous gases mix with cold mountain fog.

PEZENG

The three main temples of Pezheng (Pejeng) are located at a distance of several hundred meters from each other along the Bedulu – Tampaksiring highway. Pura Penataran Sasih is considered a particularly sacred temple because it is here that the so-called Pezheng Moon (hence the other name – “Moon Temple”) is located. In fact, the moon is a large bronze gong, shaped like an hourglass and suspended so high in its special tower that the patterns on its surface are almost indistinguishable. The gong dates back to about the third century BC. e. (Balinese Bronze Age) and is considered the largest ever cast by man (length 2 meters).

Its green patina is engraved with funny heart-shaped faces with huge round eyes. Legend has it that the gong used to be a wheel from a chariot on which the moon rode across the sky. The wheel shone as brightly as the moon itself, and when it fell from the sky, stuck in the branches of a tree in Pezhenga, a local thief who noticed it was so enraged by this revealing light that he tried to extinguish it “naturally”. The wheel exploded, killing the thief, and fell to the ground. Since then, the Balinese began to revere the Pezheng Moon as a sacred object. Pura Pusering Jagat or “Temple of the Center of the World” stands a hundred meters south of the Temple of the Moon. Its most interesting detail is a huge (one meter high) vessel for sacred water, decorated with intricate carvings (14th century). The meticulously carved relief on its walls illustrates the Hindu myth “The Stirring of the Milky Sea”,Another two hundred meters further south is the temple of Pura Kebo Edan (“Temple of the Raging Bull”), whose main interest is a massive phallus belonging to a huge stone man known as the Pezheng Giant. According to local residents, in fact, the giant has not one, but six “male virtues”. In addition to the one on display, four are hidden inside the statue, and the fifth fell off during a wild dance. The main treasure trove of this historically remarkable region, the Museum Purbakala State Archaeological Museum consists of four small pavilions that house an eclectic array of items found in Pezheng. The most interesting exhibit is stone sarcophagi (3rd century BC).

Pezheng, Indonesia