9th-Century Mahayana Buddhist temple; Borobudur


A little bit background

Borobudur is Indonesia’s cultural heritage known for its magnificent building. This is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. The temple has an area of 15,129 m2, composed of 55,000 m3 of rock, and consist of 2 million pieces of stones. The stone has an average size of 25 cm X 10 cm X 15 cm. The interesting thing is that if you put the stone on a line, the length would be 500 km and the total weight of all that rock is 1.3 million tons.

The temple was lost covered beneath the volcanic ash from Mount Merapi, up till Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles heard some rumor from local inhabitants about ancient building on the hill. In 1814 he appointed a team led by Cornelius to investigate the site. The discovery got the monument worldwide attention. Because of its greatness, the wonder of this magnificent building, UNESCO decided to put it in their list of World Heritage.

Raffles is a British Lieutenant General, when Indonesia was occupied in 1811 AD -1816 AD. He calls the monument Borobudur, first mentioned in his book “The History of Java“. The historian assumes that Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles combined the name from Bore and Budur. Bore basically is a village located near the site while Budur is a Sanskrit language means ancient.

There are many historical books written about Borobudur, but when does the temple build? No one knows for sure. There is an insufficient relief to unveil the history of this outstanding Buddhist temple. According to a short text engraved on the original reliefs frame found in the temple, the construction started around 750 AD and finished in 830 AD. The prediction based on the writings that uses the Pallava letters, the letters used in the 8th century AD. Nevertheless, the historical evidence is still unclear. Just like Egyptian Pyramids, there are immeasurable mysteries left unknown. However, Borobudur believed to be the legacy of the Sailendra Dynasty ruled by the reign of king Samaratungga, he is the guy who led the empire of Mataram.


The building of the Borobudur

This building is a masterpiece of the 9th Century architect. It has a width of 123 meters, a length of 123 meters, a cornering angle of 113 meters, and 30.5 meters tall. Magnificent, isn’t it? I myself still wondering how the people from the 9th Century could build such a complex building like that, yet Borobudur has stood insolently in the land of Central Java, existing long before Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the Cathedral in Europe.

The monument is made of  55.000 M3 adhesive stones with pyramid-shaped terraces. On the ground floor, it is covered with 12.750 M3 adhesive stones as the breezeway to the staircase.


The location of the Borobudur

If you have a smartphone, which I think everyone has it nowadays, it would be very easy to get to the temple. All you have to do is open your google map and type Borobudur. Other ways you can tap or click the map below;

Incase if you forget to bring your smartphone with you or if you couldn’t connect to the internet;

Borobudur location from the south (Yogyakarta)

From Yogyakarta the distance is approximately 60 km and it takes about 40 minutes by car, you can rent a car or motorcycle for a very cheap price. From here we are going towards the city of Muntilan, stay on the main road until you see Muntilan Borobudur intersection then turn left at the intersection. From the intersection it will bring you directly toward Borobudur.

Borobudur location from the north (Semarang)

From Semarang the distance is approximately 100 km, takes about two hours and a half to get to Borobudur. So the journey begins from Semarang, you are going to a small town called Bawen, then you will pass through Ambarawa. After passing through, you will be heading toward the city of Magelang. Stay on the main road until you see Muntilan Borobudur intersection, then turn right at the intersection. From there you only need to follow the road, you will arrive at your destination in about 20 minutes.

For more detailed information, visit the official Borobudur’s website here

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