The name of Borobudur Temple is certainly familiar to you. This temple is called the largest Buddhist temple complex in Indonesia, even the largest of the world. UNESCO established it as one of the world heritage sites in 1991. In addition to being a world cultural heritage, Borobudur Temple also became one of the tourist attractions that attract much attention of world tourists.
Borobudur temple located in Central Java, Indonesia has an area of 123 x 123 square meters and consists of 10 levels. The building is composed of a volcanic block forming 504 statues, 72 stupas and a large main stupa at its peak. Uniquely, these blocks are arranged without the use of adhesive or cement, this complex looks like a giant lego arrangement.
Borobudur Temple wall decorated about 1,460 relief panels with a length of each panel 2 meters. These relief panels tell about the life-level of the Buddha. Relief at the bottom of the temple is called ‘Kamadathu’ which tells about the bad man behavior that is filled with the lust of the world and make it into hell. Relief of the middle is called ‘Rapadathu’, tells the story of a man who has freed from the lust of the world, while the top relief is ‘Arupadhatu’. This relief depicts the highest level of achievement in which the gods reside.
In addition to the three reliefs, there is actually a relief panel at the bottom of the buried temple. According to historians, the buried relief is named ‘Karmawibhangga’. This is the relief that tells about the lowest level of humans. This relief illustrates the bad behavior of humans who follow their lusts like killing, gossiping and raping. Even mentioned there is a picture of marital relationship. Burial relief panel has two reasons, namely because the relief is considered impolite and because of efforts to strengthen the temple to stand upright.
Borobudur Temple is called as one of the greatest masterpieces of man throughout history. The arrangement of the volcanic beams and the relief sculpture is an unrivaled piece of art. This tourist spot is also a proof of the progress of ancient human civilization in the field of architecture, technology and literary arts.
In this complex there are two museums namely Raks Samudera Museum and Karmawibhangga Museum. Raks Samudera Museum contains various collections and information about the history of Asian – African trade in ancient times, while the Karmawibhangga Museum contains information about the construction of Borobudur Temple.
Not only the temple buildings that attract attention, but also the natural scenery around it. To the south of the temple is Manoreh Hill which, when viewed form resembles a person in a sleeping position. In addition to Bukit Manoreh, there are still Mount Sumbing, Mount Sindoro, Mount Merbabu, and Mount Merapi that surround this magnificent building.
History of Borobudur Temple
Borobudur Temple is estimated to begin construction during the Syailendra dynasty around the 9th century under the reign of King Samaratungga. Architect of the construction of a temple complex named Gunadharma who managed to design this extraordinary building despite not knowing the computer system and other advanced technology. Construction of this largest temple complex can be completed about 50-70 years later. The name Borobudur comes from Sanskrit ‘Vihara Buddha Uhr’ which means Buddhist Monastery on the Hill.
At that time, Borobudur Temple became the center of the greatest religious activity. Until the entry of the influence of Islam in the 15th century. This temple began to be abandoned by people who converted to Islam. Borobudur more forgotten when the eruption of Mount Merapi that made buried volcanic ash.
In 1814, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles revealed the existence of Borobudur Temple after getting information about the existence of a large building buried in volcanic ash. Not only buried in volcanic ash, the condition of the temple when found also filled with bushes.
Since its rediscovery, the restoration and various reconstruction efforts of the temple have been done from the British colonial period until the time when Indonesia was independent. With the help of UNESCO and cultural history experts from around the world, Indonesia continues to improve the condition of Borobudur Temple. After more than ten centuries of neglected and undeveloped, this temple complex has remained firmly established to this day.
What can be done at Borobudur Temple?
There are so many things you can do while in the largest Buddhist temple complex in the world, including:
Studying the art of literature and culture
If you love the art of literature and culture, being in Borobudur Temple will surely be an exciting experience. You can read and observe the relief panel drawn on the temple wall.
To be able to read this relief story in sequence, you have to walk around the temple in a clockwise direction from left to right. Start from the eastern door at the lowest level and walk around until it returns to the original door and then go up the stairs to the next level. Do this constantly to the top level to get a sequential and complete story. You have trouble reading stories in relief? No need to be confused because there are guide services that are ready to help you.
This tourist place offers a lot of interesting photo objects for you, photography enthusiasts. Try going around this temple complex and find the right angle to take pictures. Borobudur Temple is also known to have beautiful sunrise and sunset views. Come to the right moment, prepare your camera and congratulate the beautiful scenery.
It’s not complete if you visit a tourist spot without buying a souvenir. Not far from the Borobudur temple complex, there is a row of souvenir kiosks. You can buy a variety of items ranging from hats, t-shirts, bags, key chains to miniature temples. The price offered varies, use your ability to bid as best as you can.
Walk around the temple complex
In the complex of Borobudur Temple there is a wide green courtyard that you can explore. In addition to walking, you can rent a bicycle to tour this place. You bring a little child? Try riding a rabbit train that kids really love. If you want to try a different experience, why not try to ride andong to get around?
What else is interesting from Borobudur Temple?
Borobudur Temple became one of the most influential places of worship for Buddhists in the world. Each year, this temple complex becomes the center of the feast of Waisak and is visited by Buddhists from various countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, China and Tibet. The feast of Waisak is celebrated on the full moon in May or commonly called Purnama Siddhi.
The highlight of this Waisak celebration invites many tourists both domestic and foreign. At that time the release of hundreds of lanterns to the sky and the best hope for the next year.