Borobudur is an ancient Mahayana Buddhist temple complex located in Central Java, Indonesia. It features intricate carvings and exquisite stonework and is the world’s largest Buddhist monument.
Exploring the grounds provides insight into its significance throughout history and reveals layers of intricate details preserved in its stone.
The temple boasts intricate carvings, dubbed Buddhist reliefs, that draw admiration from visitors. These beautiful works of art add to the serene atmosphere in the area and further highlight its impressive history.
Encountering this historic landmark stirs a sense of awe and wonder that can be life-changing for many visitors.
Borobudur Facts for kids
- Borobudur is a temple in Indonesia.
- It was built in the 8th and 9th centuries.
- It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- It is decorated with reliefs and statues.
- It was a center of Buddhist learning.
- It is a major tourist attraction in Indonesia.
Borobudur: The Etymology of a Buddhist Temple
Borobudur is a majestic marvel with an otherworldly aura. Its five square terraces, three circular platforms, and massive stupa give it an air of timeless antiquity, while its intricate low reliefs stand as a testament to the craftsmanship of ages long gone by.
The Borobudur terraces are an intricate structure of stepped platforms and balustrades meant to represent the cosmic mountain within Buddhist cosmology. The famous 9th-century monument symbolizes peace, balance, and harmony.
The grandeur of Borobudur extends to its 72 openwork stupas which each carry a figure of the Buddha and adorn its lush landscape. Want to feel the true power of history?
The ancient Indonesian monuments you can find here will make your knees weak!
Then there’s the name: “Borobudur!” The perfect reminiscence for foreign travelers who come in search of this incredible wonder’s origins.
Though it’s been referenced sporadically throughout history, it wasn’t until Sir Thomas Raffles wrote about his Javanese adventures that “Candi Borobudur” – as it’s affectionately known in these parts – was finally given its meaningful name: “Bo” meaning “large,” and “budur” meaning “Buddha.”
Where is the Borobudur Temple
Borobudur is an ancient wonder located in central Java, amongst the lush greenery of two volcanoes and two rivers.
Mt. Sindoro-Sumbin and Mt. Merbabu-Merapi provide a dramatic backdrop, while the Progo and Elo Rivers meander nearby, breathing life into a landscape that is truly breathtaking.
Only 40 km from Yogyakarta and 86 km from Surakarta, Borobudur is easily reached for all visitors looking to revel in its timeless beauty and explore a site whose story spans hundreds of years.
Experience history as you wander through its meticulously crafted walls, taking stock of every intricate detail to be found amongst the ruins.
What else is in the Area?
The Kedu Plain has long been considered a sacred destination by the ancient and medieval Javanese, as its immense agricultural productivity was well-acknowledged.
Borobudur stands as a testament to this, aligned with two other Buddhist temples of Pawon and Mendut. Scholars debate the significance behind their line formation and the relationship between the three temples; nevertheless, their shared purpose is clear.
Not far away stands the Hindu Gunung Wukir temple sanctuary dated to 732 CE – it follows that the religious importance of this plain played a part in its construction.
The main temple consists of three layers: a pyramidal base with terraces, a stem cone with circular platforms, and an immense stupa at the top.
Ornate low-relief sculptures adorn every surface, each one intricate in detail across 2,520 meters squared of walls and balustrades. 72 openwork stupas surround these platforms, each containing an awe-inspiring Buddha Statue for visitors to marvel at.
It is no wonder why such an exquisite site should have originated from the holy Kedu Plains – still drawing attention from cultures old and new despite centuries of history adjoining this region in Indonesia.
What is the Origin of Borobudur?
The word “Borobudur” originates from an Indonesian phrase meaning “a mountain of Buddha. While some academics think it has to do with Sanskrit and Buddhist Monasteries, others believe it’s just a Javanese geographical name.
The Bhumi Sambhara Budhara, “Mountain of Virtues of Ten Stages of the Bodhisattva,” is mentioned on an eighth-century stone tablet and may have been connected with “Borobudur” and “Bharabhudara.”
In the tenth or eleventh century, volcanic eruptions caused most inhabitants of Mataram Kingdom to migrate eastward away from Borobudur, while Arab, Persian, and Gujarati traders increased Islamic influence in Indonesia.
Despite conversion to Islam occurring en masse across Java by this time, Javanese people still maintained cultural memory of Borobudur associated with both greatness and evil spirits.
Pilgrims traveled there for Buddhist ceremonies up until external forces contributed to its abandonment in the 1400s CE. The specific reasons for abandonment remain unknown.
A Masterpiece of Buddhist Art and Architecture in Central Java
Borobudur is an ancient Buddhist monument in Southeast Asia that aims to demonstrate the Buddha’s teachings, life, and personal wisdom.
Utilizing over 3,000 bas-relief carvings and over 500 Buddha statues, it is renowned for its intricate designs and decorated galleries.
Constructed with 1.6 million blocks of andesite rock, Borobudur is held together without the use of mortar while featuring three monuments nestled on a natural hill – the main temple along with two smaller temples found eastward.
The age-old structure seeks to illustrate each individual’s journey to reaching Nirvana as seen through Pawon and Mendut temples’ sculptures as well as its own circular platforms where 72 stupas contain Buddha statues.
In terms of cosmology, it envisions the universe with three domains: Arupadhatu (represented by a giant stupa), Rupadhatu (referenced by five terraces), and Kamadhatu (elaborated by the temple’s base).
Throughout this spiritual excursion, Ngawen temple offers respite 10 kilometers away, while Banon Temple – a ruined Hindu temple – lies just meters north of Pawon.
These astonishing architectures combine to form one sacred space within art and architecture, creating an enthralling experience for all visitors who brave its stairs or cross its path.
An Icon of Indonesian Culture and History
Ascending the storied stone terraces of Borobudur is an enlightening experience, a physical realization of the spiritual journey.
From spiraling downward to ascending levels, visitors bear witness to 2500 years of Buddhist teachings, carved in sculptures and encoded through the mandala structure of gardens, galleries, and pathways that crisscross up and around the monument.
Like any authentic pilgrimage, reaching the summit of Borobudur is only part of the enlightenment it imparts. The devout believer climbs ever higher along a path to peace and understanding – discovering deeper truths with every step.
Accordingly, ascension at this site has come to symbolize Buddhism’s most fundamental principle – a challenge to our very perception of identity.
What once seemed like solid ground slowly fades away as they journey ever skyward, revealing an ephemeral self whose ultimate fate can be embraced with each cresting stairwell.
With each layer peeled back, we come closer to realizing our truest nature; for in impermanence lies eternal truth!
Important Facts and Overview
Borobudur is a temple in Indonesia that was built a long time ago.
It is really big and has many levels that you can walk on.
The temple is made of stone and has lots of pretty carvings on it called relief panels.
Some of the carvings show stories from the life of a special person in the Buddhist religion called Buddha.
There are also some parts of the temple called stupas that have holes in them.
A man named Thomas Stamford helped to discover the temple and learn more about it.
The temple is located in Magelang, Central Java, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It was built in the 8th century and is thought to have taken 75 years to build.
It is the largest Buddhist temple in the world, and it is believed that over 2 million people visit it each year.
The temple has nine levels, with each level representing a different stage of life