Indonesia develops spiritual tourism in C. Java city of Magelang

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Indonesia has set steps to further develop spiritual tourism centered in the world’s largest Buddhist temple of Borobudur in Central Java province, highly expected to promote and bring about spirit of peace and harmony across the world, officials said.

Part of the steps was initiated in Magelang, a city near Borobudur temple which traditional Javanese folklore believes that the world’s civilization began from a mount in the city, called Tidar.

The initiation event held on Saturday was organized by Tidar Heritage Foundation (THF) with various Javanese cultural performances partly played by foreigners, attended by representatives of embassies, among others from China, Lebanon, Oman, the Philippines, Australia, Germany, Hungary, Mongolia and Croatia.

“This event is highly expected to cultivate this city an Indonesia’s spiritual tourism destination, making it an alternative to Rome or Jerusalem. Indonesia has long been known as society that promotes peace and harmony in the world,” a THF official, Darmono, said in a statement released on Monday.

The cultural performance was themed a Javanese folklore legend about a Mount Tidar-born holy man named Brotonirmoyo who spread teaching of spiritualism of peace and harmony regardless race, culture and religious differences in ancient era.

Borobudur is part of Indonesia’s 10 new tour destinations developed to further boost tourism sector which has been set as the nation’s core economy sector.

Borobudur temple was built during ancient Javanese kingdom era in the 9th century, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

The 2,500-square-meter temple is designated as the center of Indonesia’s tourism development in Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces, favored by foreign visitors eager to undertake pilgrimage trips and those curious about ancient civilization showed in stone reliefs sculptured in its walls.

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