Located on the Indonesian island of Jawa, the magnificent Borobudur Temple is the world’s largest Buddhist monument and an ancient site widely referred to as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This magnificent temple is located on a hill overlooking lush fields and distant hills. The design of the temple was built in Gupta architecture in the ninth century.
Borobudur Temple is a Mahayana Buddhist temple located in Muglang, Central Jawa, Indonesia, and is considered to be the largest Buddhist shrine and monument in the world. This building was built in the eighth to ninth centuries AD and is a cube with a circular structure and focused on four main points. The building is strong and has no interior and is built around a natural hill and has ten stone terraces with a staircase in the middle of each of them.
The lower six terraces have a cubic design and the upper four terraces are circular. The walls are decorated with embossed carvings related to stories about the life of the Buddha on earth and his earlier depictions, especially of the visible Suzana. Stone statues of sitting Buddhas can also be seen on each terrace, numbering a total of 432.
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Take a look at the Borobudur Temple
This great Buddhist temple is like a mountain, and according to Buddhist thought, the top of a mountain is a place where one can connect with divine truth. Pilgrims from Borobudur climb each of the eight central terraces that make up the shrine, bringing themselves closer to Chakad and Nirvana.
This building is a combination of a cube and a circle, which are both features of Tantry’s thought. Climbing from one level to another symbolizes the process of enlightenment through access. Some think of Borobudur as a story carved into the rock, which is extraordinarily symbolic of the great tales of Buddhism. It can also be considered an ancient sacred mountain in a very complex Buddhist context.
Borobudur Temple is the largest Buddhist complex in the world and an amazing structure among the Asian Tourism Oscar nominees, perched on a green hill in an area far from the city of Jawa. The temple is surrounded by lush forests and a ring of volcanic mountains. About 1,200 years ago, temple builders and workers carried 2 million stones from local rivers and streams and piled them up under great pressure.
The stones were built on top of each other without the use of mortar, and a stepped, pyramidal structure with a height of 29 meters was built. It is interesting to know that more than 500 Buddhist statues can be seen around this temple. The lower terrace of the temple is surrounded by railings that restrict visibility, and in this part, there are nearly 3,000 carvings and reliefs of Buddhist life and teachings, all of which together form a huge collection of Buddhist statues in the world.
The architecture, structural details, and splendor of this temple are unique features of Borobudur. In the background of this temple, volcanic mountains can be seen, which add to the beauty of the temple landscape. The temple is made up of three parts that have a pyramidal base with five square terraces in the center, three circular plates that can be seen in the body, and a large dome in the upper part.
All the walls and railings of the temple are decorated with reliefs. Around the circular plates, there are 72 domes, each with a Buddhist statue on top. The area of Borobudur Temple in UNESCO is 2,500 square meters and 56,600 square meters in the prestigious Britannica. It is good to know that today the Borobudur Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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How was the Borobudur Temple built?
During the years 600 to 800 AD, the golden age of temple construction was in the territory of India, Ceylon, and Southeast Asia. At the same time, Hindu and Buddhist kings grew up and built many magnificent buildings to worship the gods. After the heyday of the building, many were left unattended, forgotten, and exposed to military wars and natural disasters. After a long time, nature merged with these buildings, and these temples were abandoned for more than a thousand years.
One of the most impressive Buddhist temples built during that period is the Borobudur Temple, located in East Jawa on the Kedo Plain. This temple is located in the heart of eye-catching and relaxing nature and among the rice terraces and is surrounded by volcanic mountains.
Unfortunately, there is no written source about the exact time of the construction of the Borobudur Temple and its purpose. However, by examining the reliefs on the temple and the royal inscriptions left, it is believed that the date of construction of the temple dates back to the 8th and 9th centuries AD. More precisely, the construction of this temple is related to the years 778 to 850; When the Sailendra dynasty was at its height and ruled in the Mataram region of Central Jawa.
Experts also say that the construction of the Borobudur Temple took 75 years until it was finally completed during the reign of Samartonga in 825. The exact religious nature of the kings of that time is not known and it is not clear whether they were followers of Buddhism or Hinduism.
The Cylinder family is known as a staunch follower of the Buddha, while stone inscriptions found in the village of Sujomerto indicate that the dynasty was Hindu. In fact, during this period, many Hindu and Buddhist monuments were built in the surrounding plains and mountains, including the Buddhist temple of Borobudur.
Architecture and design of Borobudur Temple
It is not yet clear exactly what the Borobudur Temple was originally built for, but some excavations and research into the temple’s architecture indicate that the temple was originally built with the principles of Jawa nese structures in mind. It is not very harmonious with other temples in Indonesia. This temple is built in the shape of a stepped pyramid.
This stepped pyramid design is very similar to some Jawa historical buildings built like a stepped pyramid. That is why the architecture and design of this temple are taken from traditional Jawa architecture. Interestingly, the other temples in the area are built on a flat surface, but Borobudur is built on a hill. Looking at Borobudur from above, it looks like a Buddhist mandala.
The mandala is very important in Buddhism and Hinduism and refers to a series of circles with a large center that is considered both a symbol of existence and its design for the human being. Of course, the mandala is not limited to Hinduism and Buddhism and has been used in various other religions, including Christianity and Islam.
How to get to Borobudur Temple?
The best way to discover this site is by walking. Undoubtedly, after climbing to the top of the temple, you will be amazed by the lithographs on it. Surely you will miss a great experience if you visit this great temple without knowing its history and importance, which has been captured in many pillars.
Borobudur is just an hour’s drive from Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The easiest way to get to the temple is to take a daily tour or rent a car. While visiting Borobudur, enjoy the cool and fresh air and its beautiful roads covered with large trees.