Svargabumi has photo spots in a rice paddy near Borobudur

When travelling to the Borobudur temple complex from Yogyakarta, we sometimes get the urge to just stop by the side of the road and simply admire the gorgeous rice paddies common to the area. Well, it looks like someone up there is listening to our fantasies as the recently opened Svargabumi photo spot allows tourists to do exactly that.

Located in Magelang just down the road from the famed temple, Svargabumi boasts a scenic wooden walkway with plenty of photo spots inside a rice paddy field.

Scenic wooden walkway and plenty of photo spots

svargabumi wooden walkway
Wooden walkway within the rice paddy field
Image credit: @svargabumi

In Hinduism, the word svarga typically refers to the heavenly realms where the souls of the righteous reside before their next incarnation. Taken literally, the name Svargabumi means heaven on earth and that moniker feels appropriate given the sights.

circular couch svargabumi
The circular couch photo spot in Svargabumi
Image credit: @aldofaqihmahendra

The main draw is the photo spots littered around the area. With 22 spots in total, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to raise some Instagram envy among your followers. Our favorite is probably the circular couch where you can relax a little bit while taking in the surrounding rice paddies at eye level.

rest area svargabumi
The rest area inside Svargabumi
Image credit: @svargabumi

Even without the dedicated photo spots, the wooden walkway and the surroundings are pretty enough as eye candy that you’d probably want to spend a fair bit of time there. If you want to rest for a spell, Svargabumi also has a shaded rest area so you won’t have to worry about the scorching sun.

lounge svargabumi
Lounging inside one of the photo spots at Svargabumi
Image credit: @svargabumi

But what we love the most is the fact that the rice paddies aren’t just for show – they’re actually still being cultivated. Depending on what time of the year you’re visiting, you might see the crop being barely visible as they were just planted or even yellowing as they become ready to be harvested.

Developed in cooperation with local farmers

farmers svargabumi
A visitor chatting with several farmers working the land. Notice the Borobudur’s stupa visible in the background
Image credit: @svargabumi

In keeping with ecotourism practices, the developers of Svargabumi made sure to maintain the original function of the rice paddy itself. Sometimes, visitors are treated to the sight of farmers working the land which only serves to enhance the ambiance.

new rice crops svargabumi
Rice crops shortly after being planted
Image credit: @svargabumi

Originally, the land was a rainfed rice paddy, and the water used to grow crops was mainly sourced from rainfall. But, as part of a deal to transform the land into a tourist site, it was developed into an irrigated rice paddy, where the land is cultivated year-round thanks to the ever-present irrigation water.

In years past, commercial tourism and environmental preservation tend not to see eye-to-eye but, just like the many pine forests available near Jogja, Svargabumi is living proof that the world has begun to move in a more, sustainable direction.

Svargabumi is a new photo spot inside a rice paddy field near Borobudur

With Borobudur roughly an hour away from Jogja, we’re happy to see that the area now has more attractions to justify the long trip.

It’s giving us major FOMO to see all those beautiful pictures knowing we’re still stuck at home thanks to COVID-19, but this would just make the eventual payoff when we get to visit in future all the sweeter.

Address: Jl. Borobudur – Ngadiharjo, Sawah, Borobudur, Kec. Borobudur, Magelang, Jawa Tengah 56553
Opening hours: Mon – Wed, Fri, 8AM-5PM | Sat – Sun 6.30AM – 17.30PM
Entrance fee: Rp. 25,000 (~USD1.69)/adult | Rp. 15,000 (~USD1.01)/child

For more spots to check out once COVID-19 is over, check out these stories:

Cover image adapted from @svargabumi and @svargabumi

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