It was a truly amazing experience to visit this magnificent 8th century structure, world’s biggest Budhhist Temple in Yogyakarta!
Build as nine platforms, viz,five concentric square terraces as the base and then a trunk of a cone with three circular bases above them. Steep stairs to ascend to the top
The terraces correspond to successive stages to achieve Nirvana.
At one of the Terrace:
Highest at the centre is the main Central Dome. The central dome is surrounded by 72 Stupas, each having one Buddha Statue inside it. The temple in total has 504 Buddha statues.
They believe that as one reaches higher levels, perfection is attained. The higher level Stupas have square perforation as opposed to the diamond ones one lower levels to symbolize perfection.
It was buried under volcanic ash for centuries when Indonesia had lot of Muslim rules until it was found again by Thomas Raffles under short British Rule. It has been restored extensively with UNESCO’s help. This can be seen in the interlocks along the panels on the walls everywhere.
The walls and balustrades are full of engravings depicting the vices and virtues of life.
This temple has largest area of Buddhist teachings in form of cravings. There are about 2672 relief panels! Some panels also show buddha’s life before and after enlightenment.
From UNESCO’s website:
The vertical division of Borobudur Temple into base, body, and superstructure perfectly accords with the conception of the Universe in Buddhist cosmology. It is believed that the universe is divided into three superimposing spheres, kamadhatu, rupadhatu, and arupadhatu, representing respectively the sphere of desires where we are bound to our desires, the sphere of forms where we abandon our desires but are still bound to name and form, and the sphere of formlessness where there is no longer either name or form. At Borobudur Temple, the kamadhatu is represented by the base, therupadhatu by the five square terraces, and the arupadhatu by the three circular platforms as well as the big stupa. The whole structure shows a unique blending of the very central ideas of ancestor worship, related to the idea of a terraced mountain, combined with the Buddhist concept of attaining Nirvana.
From northwest Side:
The attention to details everywhere is just amazing!
Around 50K local people visit this temple everyday, for it is regarded as a sacred place of learning for them. So, whether or not it is tourist season, it is always full of people.
It truly is a masterpiece of art and a symbol of Indonesian culture. Make sure to take a guided tour and give atleast 3-4 hours to soak all the beauty this architectural marvel has to offer.