Indonesia’s Hindu and Buddhist Past

Reblogged from my other blog The Heartlander Tourist.
Originally posted: 3 June 2015
Original content on this blog returns: 1 November 2017

The Heartlander Tourist

You’ve probably heard of Garuda international, the flagship carrier for Indonesia and you probably assumed that the Garuda was an Indonesian cultural animal.

Garuda IndonesiaBut did you know that this animal is Hindu. Yes, you read that right, it is Hindu in origin and is the vehicle of Lord Vishnu.

National Museum Indonesia, GarudaHinduism arrived in what is today Indonesia more than a thousand years ago (that’s how the wordIndo came about). In fact Java was reported in the ancient Hindu epic the Ramayana written about 200 BC. Archaeological evidence has found Hindu sculptures dating back to the first century in Java.

Hindu and Buddhist sculptures and inscriptions can be found all over Sumatra and Java islands, with the both dating to around the fourth century. The former was most probably spread by traders and possibly military adventures from the South Indian Pallava Dynasty. The growth of Buddhism can be traced to…

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