24
October
2013

Visit Borobudur the magnificent Budhist Temple

The Mystical Island of Java, Indonesia

Island of Java, Indonesia Travel

Located in Kedu plain area of Magelang on the Indonesian island of Java is one of the most important Buddhist shrines in the world, Borobudur Temple.  The shrine, which is listed as a World Heritage Site of UNESCO, is situated on a raised area surrounded by the Merabu-Marapi and Sundoro-Sumbing volcanoes with the Progo and Elo rivers flowing under it. The temple is a part of a three temple complex with the other two being Pawon and Mondut all lying in a straight line. It is believed that there was some ritual relationship between them but the mystery still remains unresolved.

The history of the temple dates back to the eighth century and it is widely regarded it was built by King Samaratungga of the Sailendra dynasty, taking about 75 years to complete.   The temples were abandoned for a few centuries and were buried by volcanic ash and overgrown jungles before being rediscovered by the British governor and founder of Singapore Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles at the beginning of the 19th century.   The restoration of Borobudur started in earnest after UNESCO decided to the fund the work.   The volcanic eruption of Mount Merapi in 2010 severely damaged the temple complex and access to the upper levels of the temple are highly restricted.

The name Borobudur when translated from local dialect means ‘monastery on the high place’.  The design of the temple resembles a huge Buddhist Tantric Mandala and represents the nature of man’s mind and Buddhist cosmology.  The temple’s three levels represent the three branches of Buddhist cosmology with the lower tier or Kamadhatu representing the world of desires and displays intricate stone carvings depicting the Buddhist Sutra.  The Rudhaputa level depicts a person who has eradicated all desires but is still bound by the forms of life.  On this level, the carvings are less ornate and contains more than 500 statues of the Buddha showing a range of sitting postures inside the bell shaped stupas.  The Arupadhatu or the formless level represents a man free from all worldly desires and contains the gigantic bell shaped stupa with a diameter of about 10 meters. It is the crowning glory of the temple.

To admire the beauty of the temple you should walk up the temple while still dark and watch the sunrise behind the Mount Merapi and surrounding valleys covered in mist. You will get a spectacular view that will linger in your mind for a long time to come. The temple comes to life around the full moon day in May when the Buddha’s birthday is celebrated with a candle light procession marking the culmination of festivities and is an event not to be missed if you are anywhere near the temple.

If you are in Borobudur, then it makes sense to go to the Hindu temples of Prambanan as well, since both are easy day trips out of Yogyakarta, the main city in the region. Even Yogyakarta has lots to see, with its own king’s palace the Kraton.

APT travel have a fantastic proposal of tour in Java Island for you. This 5-day tour combines a Bali and Java, two most intriguing islands of Indonesia. In Java, you can visit Borobudur the magnificent Budhist Temple and Prambanan, the most beautiful Hindu's Temple in Yogyakarta. Book your tour in Bali and Java Islands, Indonesia.

Categories: Asian Heritages

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