Candi Sumberawan

East Java

This small, squat Buddhist stupa lies in the terraced, cultivated foothills of Gunung Arjuna, about 5km northwest of Singosari. It was built to commemorate the 1359 visit of Hayam Wuruk, the great Majapahit king. Within the temple grounds are a lingam stone and the crumbling remains of additional stupa, along with the remains of recent offerings.

But what makes the temple really special is the approach. You'll walk from the main village road – a checkerboard of tarps layered with drying corn – down a 400m dirt path, which parallels a canal, and through rice fields until you reach the ruins. Young men use the canal for bathing, so don’t be surprised to see a naked body or two en route to the stupa. In Javanese culture it’s polite to avert your eyes – the boys will duck down into the water in fits of giggles as you pass. Opposite the temple is a spring – the source of the gurgling canal – where locals go to cool off on sweltering weekends.

Take an angkot (5000Rp) from Singosari pasar (market) on the highway to Desa Sumberawan, then walk 500m down the road to the canal and the dirt path.

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