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Borobudur, The Biggest Budha Temple in The World

Updated on April 12, 2016
From the top
From the top
From the front
From the front

Overview of the Borobudur temple

Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world, located in Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. This temple was founded by the Mahayana Buddhists around the year 800 AD during the reign of the Syailendra dynasty 300 years before Angkor Wat in Cambodia and 400 years before the great cathedrals of Europe.

This Buddhist temple monument consists of six square terraces on which there are three circular courtyard, whose walls are decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues are originals. Borobudur has the most complete collection of Buddhist reliefs in the world. The main stupa in the middle once crowned teletak building is surrounded by three rows of circular 72 perforated stupas in which there is a statue of Buddha sitting cross-legged in the lotus position perfectly with mudra (hand gesture) Dharmachakra mudra (turning the wheel of dharma).

Reliefs carved on the temple walls are divided into 4 main story that is Karmawibangga, Lalita Wistara, Jataka and Awadana, and Gandawyuda. Besides tells about the life of the Buddha and his teachings, these reliefs also record the progress of the Java community at that time. To follow the flow of the fabric of love carved on temple walls, visitors have to walk around the temple clockwise or known as circumambulation. Enter through the east door, walk clockwise to the position of the temple is always on the right, until arriving at the east stairs and stepped up to the next level. This is done repeatedly until all levels passed and is in the top of the temple-shaped stupa.

According to historical evidence, Borobudur been left or abandoned in the 14th century as the weakening of the influence of Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms in Java as well as begin the influence of Islam. Like the other Buddhist temples, Borobudur was unknown and neglected for almost a thousand years, covered under thick layer of volcanic ash. The world began to realize the existence of this building since it was rediscovered in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, who was then serving as the British Governor General on Java. After that discovery Borobudur then suffered a series of renovation and restoration of the biggest occurred between 1975 to 1982 will be undertaken by the Indonesian government and UNESCO, and then the Borobudur temple entry in the list of World Heritage Sites.


Beauty and Fascination Borobudur Temple

Borobudur temple is called as one of the greatest masterpieces of human history. The composition of the volcanic beams and sculptured reliefs are a work of art that is unsurpassed value. This tourist spot is also a proof of ancient human civilization progress in the fields of architecture, technology and literary arts.

Wander overall reflecting relief at Borobudur Mahayana Buddhist teachings where getting to the top is getting symbolizes the level of perfection. When you have reached the top of the temple then rest and enjoy the beautiful scenery. At the top, lift up the view in any direction it will show a row of Menoreh Hills, Mount Sindoro, Mount Sumbing, Mount Merapi and Mount Merbabu upright around the temple. The mountains and hills as if a guard that guarded existence of Borobudur Temple.

Borobudur not only have very high artistic value, masterpiece which became evidence of human civilization in the past is also loaded with philosophical values. Carrying the concept of mandala symbolizing the universe cosmology in Buddhism, this magnificent building is divided into three levels, namely the world desire or lust (Kamadhatu), the world of forms (rupadhatu), and a world without form (Arupadhatu). If seen from a height, Borobudur is like a lotus flower on the hill. The walls of the temple which is in Kamadatu levels and Rupadatu as flower petals, while a row of circular stupa at the Arupadatu into stamens. Parent Stupa symbolizes the Buddha, so the whole Borobudur depict Buddha sitting on lotus petals.

Enjoy the splendor of Borobudur is not just enough to walk down the hallway and go up to the top level of the temple. At the top of Borobudur you will find vacant space which is a symbol of perfection. Local public confidence mention that if you had been at the top of the temple and have an earnest desire, and your hands reach out and touch the figure of the Buddha in it, then your request will be realized.

One thing you do not let you miss, that is when the witness for sunrise and sunset from the top of Borobudur Temple. Morning sun light beam that hit stupas and statues of Buddha made the majesty and splendor of the temple is more pronounced. While standing on top of the temple at dusk along a row of stupas and watch the sun slowly fading will create a feeling of calm and peace.

Ride An Elephant
Ride An Elephant
Ride A Horse Cart
Ride A Horse Cart

Tips for travel to Borobudur temple

Borobudur is only one hour from Yogyakarta. The easiest way to get there is by joining a tour or rent a car at your hotel or inn. But if you are a backpacker, you can go by bus from the terminal Jombor, Sleman, Yogyakarta. On the way to Borobudur you will enjoy the beautiful natural scenery, expanse of rice fields, hills and mountains.

Borobudur Temple was opened to the public every day from 6am to 5pm. But if my friend traveler wants to enjoy the beautiful sunrise with the background of the grandeur of Borobudur temple can be entered through the Manohara Hotel Borobudur is complexed been opened for visitors since 5 am but with the admission price is more expensive. Try to visit the Borobudur temple in the morning because the weather is not too hot and the air is still very fresh or during the afternoon when the sun was about to set.

If you want to know the story of the traveler clear about all the relief on the wall of Borobudur we can hire a guide or a tour guide who will explain in detail all the stories that were inscribed on the walls of the Borobudur temple. Reliefs in Borobudur combined length can reach approximately 3 km which tells about the life of the Buddha.

In the area of Borobudur Temple a lot of activities that you can do because in the Borobudur temple there are a variety of attractions that you can enjoy. Here I will share ways to enjoy travel Borobudur temple.

1. Riding an elephant

If you feel bored with just walking or taking photos, there are other ways you can do to get around through the villages, rice fields, and rivers and see the activities of the countryside by riding an elephant provided with the name of the elephant safari Borobudur.

2. Fun Cycling

If you want to surround the temple with a bike then you can hire bikes scattered in various places such as hotels where you stay or in the park area of Borobudur Temple. By cycling then you can follow the Borobudur area is still beautiful and has a fresh air using the bikes would be a fun choice.

Onthel bicycle rental price is Rp. 20.000,00 / 10 hours. Ordinary bicycle rental price is Rp. 25.000,00 / 10 hours. Bicycle rental rates in the area of the temple: Rp 10.000,00. Tandem bicycle rental rates in the area of the temple: Rp 15.000,00.

3. Ride Trackless Train or Horse Cart

If you feel pretty tiring walk you can ride Trackless Train or Horse Cart which are available. Trackless Train rates for around the temple Rp 5.000,00 per person all round. Horse cart rates for around the temple: Rp 30.000,00 for 4 people all round.

4. Enjoy the Sunrise

Enjoy the sunrise at the Borobudur temple will be an unforgettable experience and memorable. There are two points of interest that can be made to enjoy the sunrise. The first in the top of the temple, while the second is above the top of the hill Punthuk Setumbu.

5. Enjoy the Sunset

In closing days after a tiring walk to enjoy the beauty of the temple you can see the beauty and romantic atmosphere of twilight in between the rows of stupas. Sunlight slowly fade and disappear and drown as adding beauty to anyone who witnessed it.


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    • Sam Shepards profile image

      Sam Shepards 

      2 years ago from Europe

      Excellent article about Borobudur. Enjoyed my time there, Java is great!

    • Mithun Nair profile image

      Mithun Nair 

      2 years ago

      The hub itself is like a trip to Borobudur. :)


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