The World’s Largest Buddhist Temple: Borobudur

Borobudur Temple is perhaps one of the most photogenic places in the world. The largest Buddhist temple in the world attracts many travelers from Southeast Asia to Yogyagarta, surrounded by green vegetation and still active volcanoes.

 Exactly 1,200 years ago, they transported two million stones from the rivers and built this splendid pyramid at a height of 29 meters by perfectly combining stones without mortar. More than 500 mysterious Buddha statues are around the temple. The railings in the lower areas prevent appearing of here from the outside. There are illustrations of Buddha's teachings in the form of 3,000 half-reliefs in the temple. When they all come together, the world's most magnificent Buddhist temple emerges.

To climb Borobudur is a journey in itself and according to the principles of Mahayana Buddhism, it needs to be experienced both physically and spiritually. As the faithful climbing rises upwards gradually, you encounter the reliefs telling the guiding stories in the journey on the path of enlightenment.

Borobudur was built during the golden period of the Sailendra Dynasty in the 8th and 9th centuries. It is believed that this tribe came from Indochina or South India and helped Java to become the center of Buddhist teaching and worship.

The magnificent structure has attracted travelers for hundreds of years. The place where the Chinese coins and ceramics are located is proof of worships taken place in here since the 15th century. However, with the arrival of Islam in the 13th and 14th centuries and the shifting of Buddhist life in Java to the East, Borobudur is interestingly abandoned in the 1500's years. Volcanic ashs spreaded all over the region and the extraordinary green vegetation covered the perimeter of this forgotten temple.

Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, British governor of Java,  was interested in this region in the early 19th century and wanted excavate done here. This situation ,in addition to revealing the treasure of Borobudur, has also triggered their deterioration. Villagers removed some stones to use as building material. The collectors also took away Buddhist sculptures and other treasures to the four corners of the world in order to display them open to the private and public.

Fortunately, this collapse of Borobudur, with the framework of more strict rules and the most passionate international protection program ever made finally stopped. The 'Save Borobudur' campaign took place in 1968 with the cooperation of the Indonesian government and UNESCO. 

The lower parts of the giant structure were removed and invaluable relief panels were  strengthened against weather conditions by cleaning. In this process, for the water erosion that gives the temple the greatest damage, a large drainage system was set up. After 8 years, it was taken from 1 million stone removed and reassembled. Now Borobudur, one of the most unique monuments in Southeast Asia, is standing as it was 1,200 years ago.

Borobudur is 40 km away from Yogyakarta and many daytrip tours can be arranged. Those who want to go there independently, can use a bus or a taxi. Borobudur is designed to be climbed and by pursuing the path of enlightenment, the visitors can also go on the path that the travelers walked for a thousand years. We recommend that you hire a guide in terms of explanation of the reliefs which you will see along the way and providing your better understanding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *