Borobudur, the Greatest Buddhist Temple in the World

Borobudur ComplexHave you planned the destination to spend your holiday with family, friends or alone? If you haven’t yet, I suggest you to visit Borobudur Temple, the biggest Buddhist temple in the world. It’s a wonderful place for everyone. I visited it about 12 years ago, and yet, the temple is too big to forget. Borobudur, with height of 34.5 m and width of 123 x 123 m2, has become a world heritage site declared by UNESCO, since it was found by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles in 1814.

Its biggest restoration had been held during 1975-1982 by Indonesian government and UNESCO. Located in Magelang City (about 40 km from Jogjakarta City), Borobudur stands on the hill surrounded by twin mountains: Mounts Sundoro-Sumbing at the north-west and Mounts Merbabu-Merapi at the north-east. At the north, there is also Tidar Hill, and in the south there is Menoreh Hills.

Borobudur is the interesting, unique, and the right place to watch the sunrise and sunset as well. The travelers also can enjoy its great architecture. It’s beautiful with one big, main stupa, 72 terawang stupas (stupa with holes), 504 Buddha statues, and thousand reliefs arranged in Borobudur panel that show history, story and religion.

The temple was built by Samaratungga King from the Syailendra Dynasty in 8th century. It has 10 level and three levels of Buddha. First is Kamadhatu, where the human is influenced by desire and negative things. Second is Rupadhatu, where the human can control the self from any kind of desires. And last is Arudaphatu, where the human is free from human desire.

Because of its greatness and details, some people don’t believe that Borobudur Temple was built by human being. They said that this temple is built by alien or King Solomon’s genie.

But, I’d like to believe the other version. The logic one! Indonesian people in the era had master technologies and science to build a great temple like Borobudur. The architect’s name for Borobudur project is Gunadharma.

It takes more than 50 years and more than 2 millions volcanic stones to build Borobudur Temple. Those stones were taken from the nearest rivers: Progo and Elo River. People didn’t use cement or any kind of glue to stick the stones. But they use “Letter L” keys to lock the stones, so they can stick together for many centuries. See for yourself. That is an incredible architecture method discovered in the era. So, even when 6.2 Richter Scale earthquake came in Jogjakarta on May 27th, 2006, Borobudur still stand tall.

I am not a Buddhist, but I felt so tiny in front of Borobudur Temple, as I stand against universe. Maybe this reason also makes the Buddhists hold Vesak Day in Borobudur Temple every year. Yes, this temple is not merely a tourism site. It’s also an active house of worship. So please think wisely when you want climb the stupas or statues. [photo from]

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About Rie Yanti

Has a bachelor degree from Padjadjaran University in French Literature Studies. She has been writing since her childhood and has produced both short stories and poetry. Rie loves writing about animals and small things that happen in her life. She has published three books, Satin Merah (GagasMedia 2010), Bukan Manusia (Lulu 2011), game Precious Time (Nusa Project 2017), et cetera.

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