Borobudur, The Largest Buddhist Monument in The World
Borobudur Temple is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple located in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. It is one of the largest and most famous Buddhist temples in the world, and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The temple was built in the 9th century during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty, which ruled over Central Java at the time. It was built in the shape of a mandala, with a central stupa surrounded by four square terraces and six concentric circular terraces. The temple is decorated with over 2,500 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues, making it one of the most extensive collections of Buddhist art in the world. Meanwhile, the central dome is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues, each seated inside a perforated stupa.
The temple's architecture and decorations reflect the influences of both Indian and indigenous Javanese art and culture. The temple's design and layout are based on Buddhist cosmology and are meant to represent the path to enlightenment.
Borobudur Temple was abandoned in the 14th century and was largely forgotten until it was rediscovered in the early 19th century by the British colonial rulers of Indonesia. Since then, the temple has undergone several restorations and renovations to preserve its structure and artwork.
Today, Borobudur Temple is a popular tourist attraction and a pilgrimage site for Buddhists from around the world. Visitors can explore the temple's terraces and admire its intricate carvings and sculptures, and also learn about its history and significance.
In addition to the Borobudur Temple itself, the Borobudur complex offers several other interesting sights and activities. Here are some things you can see and do in the Borobudur complex:
1. Pawon Temple: Pawon Temple is a small Buddhist temple located between Borobudur Temple and Mendut Temple. It is believed to have been used as a place for Buddhist monks to meditate.
2. Mendut Temple: Mendut Temple is a 9th-century Buddhist temple located near Borobudur Temple. It features a large statue of Buddha inside the temple's central chamber and is known for its intricate carvings and decorations.
3. Candi Rejo Village: Candi Rejo Village is a traditional Javanese village located near Borobudur Temple. Visitors can explore the village's narrow streets and see the traditional houses and way of life of the local people.
4. Sunrise or sunset viewing: The Borobudur Temple complex offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, especially during sunrise or sunset. Many visitors choose to visit the temple during these times to witness the beautiful scenery.
5. Local markets: There are several local markets near the Borobudur Temple complex where visitors can buy souvenirs, handicrafts, and local products such as coffee and tea.
Cultural performances: The Borobudur Temple complex sometimes hosts cultural performances such as traditional Javanese dances and music performances.
If you've been wondering if you can climb up to the top or not, the answer is yes, tourists are allowed to climb up to the top of Borobudur Temple to explore its terraces and admire the stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The temple has three main levels, each representing different stages of enlightenment, and visitors can climb up through the levels to reach the top of the temple where the central stupa is located.
However, there are some rules and guidelines that visitors need to follow when climbing Borobudur Temple. For example, visitors are required to remove their shoes before entering the temple and must dress appropriately, covering their shoulders and legs. It's also recommended that visitors bring sunscreen and a hat to protect themselves from the sun, as there is no shade on the temple's terraces.
Visitors are also not allowed to touch the temple's carvings and sculptures or climb on them, as this could damage the artwork. There are security guards stationed throughout the temple to enforce these rules and ensure that visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Overall, the Borobudur complex offers a fascinating glimpse into Javanese history and culture and is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring the cultural heritage of Indonesia.
Dada Sabra S.
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Image by Jonathan Smit from Pixabay
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