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Tourism Asia
Tourism Asia Tourism Asia Tourism Asia Tourism Asia
Borobudur - Borobudur or the mountain of statues is an astounding accomplishment of the ancient Cambodians. Take a virtual tour, become information-rich and explore this largest non-monastic Buddhist temple with us before planning your visit.

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Borobudur


The Ascent to Salvation
Borobudur, the mountain of statues, is the largest non-monastic Buddhist Temple of the planet. A monument of breathtaking grandeur and grace, it has the power to make the viewer speechless.

BorobudurSynopsis
Country Indonesia
State Central Java
Location Borobudur District, South of Magalang
Known For Largest non-monastic Buddhist stupa representing cosmos
Best Time To Visit May to October
Best Moment To Visit Morning
Architectural Style Gupta architecture of Indian influence

Why to Visit
  • One of the seven medieval wonders of the world.
  • Biggest non-monastic Buddhist temple in the world.
  • Listed as a World Heritage Site.
  • Intended replica of cosmos.
Fine Points of Borobudur
  • Few sights as beautiful as watching Borobudur in morning.
  • From the air, the monument looks floating.
  • Structure with a unique architectural design.
  • A replica of the universe.
  • Takes the visitor to incredible journey back in time.
  • A marvel of history, religion and art preservation
The Structure
The form of Borobudur Temple is a combination of zigurat (middle Asian Pyramid) and Indian stupa. Perched atop a hill, the huge monument is built from volcanic rock. It is in the form of a colossal mandala, symbolically depicting the path to salvation.

BorobudurThe monument has nine concentric terraces. The upper three are circular while the six in bottom are square.

The Circumambulation
A pilgrim goes around the monument clockwise, starting with the reliefs on the eastern staircase. He circumambulates the monument before ascending to the next level.

Thus, going round and round the monument, he reaches the top. The total journey covers the distance of five kilometres.

Kamadhatu (World of Wishes)
The base of Borobudur, which was later covered by a platform to buttress the structure, contains Kamadhatu level. This level depicts the deeds of passion and worldly desires. At least 160 relief panels were carved around this level.

Rupadhatu (World of Forms)
The levels related to Rupadhatu display events related to the life of Siddartha or Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. The depiction starts with his birth and ends with the Buddha's last sermon which he delivered near Varanasi, a city of India.

Arupadhatu (World of formlessness)
The three circular terraces at the top of the monument represent the state of Arupadhatu. No reliefs are there to convey the point. Instead, they display life-size statues of the Buddha, either within the stupas or in niches in the walls.

Not To Miss
Meet Borobudur with her companions. For the tour of the great temple would not be complete without them.

Waisak Festival
Come May and Borobudur sinks in the sea of joy. For, in May, Borobudur celebrates Waisak festival to mark the birth of Buddha.

This is a colorful, multi-day event which ends with a long, candle-lit procession of saffron-clad monks from Candi Mendut to Borobudur. Surely a vision you will never forget!

Candi Mendut
Candi Mendut, a serene Buddhist temple, lies 3 km away from Borobudur. A temple with exquisite interiors, the temple hosts three magnificent Buddhist statues. A must-see for persons interested in heritage.

Candi Pawon
Pawon Temple, also built with volcanic stones, is one and half eastward from Borobudur Temple, on the way to Candi Mendup. A Buddhist temple, it is a blend of ancient Javanese and Indian art. It seems to be built for Kubera, the Hindu and Buddhist deity of fortune.

Elephant Safari
Manohar Hotel near Borobudur Temple, organises a tour on pachyderm express. The safari has three options:

BorobudurRoute I (Nglipoh Village, 2.5 hours, 7 km)
Takes you through swaying paddy fields to Tanjung Sari Village, then to Nglipoh Village, famous for its earthenware craft industry. The route will also cover Kali Tengah traditional market.

Route II (Pawon Temple, 2.5 hours, 6 km)
Journey through picturesque scenery with Borobudur Temple on left side and Manoreh Hill on the right side. Then a walk along Sileng River. Idyllic! Isn't it?

Route III (Borobudur Temple Park, 1.5 hour, 2 km, day & night)
A circumambulation of Borobudur Temple

Ship Museum
Samudra Raksha, the ship museum, is at hundred yards away from the colossal temple. An ancient ship depicted in a Borobudur relief was restructured. The ship traced the ancient Cinnamon route(Indonesia to Madagascar and Africa). Then it was dismantled and its key parts placed in the museum. Don't Miss.

Dieng Plateau
Dieng Plateau, an active volcanic area, which hosts mysterious lakes and the relics of Hindu Temples from the 7th century Sanjaya Dynasty. Hissing, boiling waters of the lakes is a sight you will never forget.

Making of The Borobudur
  • More than 2 million blocks of stone carried by hand from the Progo River to the building site.
  • Borobudur houses an amazing 1,460 individual narrative reliefs and 1,212 decorative ones, all ornately and intricately carved.
  • Constructed on a hill about 46 meters high, Borobudur has about 55,000 m3 or stones.
  • The whole structure is in the form of a lotus, the sacred flower of Buddha.
Borobudur:Past and Present
It will be fascinating and relevant here to have a brief knowledge of the past and present of Borobudur.

Concise History
An inscription dated 842 AD, suggests that Borobudur was once a place for praying. The inscription mentions a place 'Bhumi Sambhara', which is considered by many the origin of Borobudur.

Most scholars agree that Borobudur Temple was build between 750-850 AD, under the reign of Sanmaratungga, a ruler of Shailendra dynasty in Central Java. Sanmaratungga belong to Mahayana sect of Buddhism.

Borobudur suffered indifference during the 10th and 11th centuries, because of the political turmoil in the region. The site also faced wrath of nature, like volcanic eruption. It vanished beneath the layers of volcanic ash and wild growth.

Rediscovery
Stories of a 'mountain of statues' lying buried went rounds for centuries. The stories were intriguing enough to compel Sir Thomas Stanford Raffles, the British Lieutenant-Governor to deploy his men to investigate the reported site. This was 1814. Their hard work eventually unravelled a collosal mountain of statues.

Restoration
Thanks to to efforts of Theodor van Erp, a Dutch engineer, in 1907-1911, Borobudur attained its previous glory to some extent. But the monument was face to face with a grave danger. Mosses and wild vegetation had made it their home. Torrential tropical rains were also playing their part in gradual collapsing of the monument.

The UNESCO took note of the situation and undertook the renovation and restoration work 1973-1984 on a grand scale. It now adorns the UNESCO world heritage list.

Quotes Unquotes
Arnold Toynbee (Historian)
As the equal of the Parthenon.

How to Reach
Air: JogJakarta Airport serves Borobudur. Fleet of buses and cabs travel to Borobudur from there.
Taxi: You can rent a car in JogJakarta and keep it for your stay in Borobudur. If yop want to drop-off, you can have metred taxis.
Bus: Number of buses from JogJakarta's Giliwangan Bus Terminal travel daily to Borobudur Bus Stop. Then you can walk to the temple site, which is 1 ½ km away.