Amazing study tour to Borobudur

The wonderful joint group of Buddhist Fellowship Singapore and Nalanda Buddhist Society Malaysia members at the famed Candi Borobudur.

In late August, Nalanda founder Bro. Tan led a study tour to Borobudur, Yogjakarta and Solo; the trip was jointly organised by Buddhist Fellowship Singapore and Nalanda Institute Malaysia.  With Bro. Tan’s informative and skilful explanations, participants were as though transported back in time to over a thousand years ago to vividly visualize Javanese and Buddhist arts and culture.

Meditating and chanting at Borobudur to greet the arrival of a new dawn.

Bro. Tan provided detailed explanation on Buddhist architecture and iconography at the monuments.

The highlight of the tour was a visit to Candi Borobudur, the single largest Buddhist monument in the world which was constructed 1,200 years ago.  With over 500 Buddha statues spread across the site and 1,460 relief carvings set atop a hillock, Candi Borobudur enthralled everyone with its ancient aura and majestic beauty. Surrounding candis such as Mendut, Sewu, Lumbung, Plaosan and Kalasan were equally awe-inspiring with their unique details.

Visit to Vihāra Dhammasundāra in Surakarta (Solo).

Bro. Tan recounting the history of Vihāra Mendut, located in front of its famous namesake candi.

Dr. Punna Wong and Bro. Jerry Ong representing the group to offer robes to the local Sangha.

Visits to local Buddhist communities at Vihāra Mendut, Vihāra Dhammasundāra in Solo and Vihāra Bodhivamsa in Klaten provided opportunities for exchange of ideas and strengthened the bonds of spiritual friendship amongst us.  At Vihāra Bodhivamsa, host Professor Dr. Lanny Anggawati shared that it is a blessing that we were able to meet with the Dhamma this life and to be inclined towards practice.  Regardless of how little we know or understand the Dhamma, everyday practice will result in spiritual progress.

Bro. Tan explaining the symbolism in the inner chamber of Candi Plaosan.

Group photograph in front of Candi Plaosan.

At the conclusion of this amazing trip, participants shared how they now have a better understanding and appreciation of Buddhist history in our region and renewed inspiration for their personal practice.  They also expressed their gratitude to Bro. Tan for his teaching, explanation, guidance and care throughout the entire journey.

We rejoice in their learning and wish that many others will benefit from such study tours in the future.  Sadhu anumodana!

At Vihāra Bodhivamsa, Klaten, with host Professor Dr. Lanny Anggawati (standing left).

Visiting Sekolah Putera Bangsa in Klaten headed by Dr. Lanny Anggawati.

Enjoying the special buah salak (snake-skin fruit), a popular local product of Yogjakarta; Sis. Jeni, Bro. Tan, and Dr. Henry Yeo (right).