Borobudur Temple

Buddha in  Borobudur

Buddha in Borobudur

Borobudur Temple this is magnificent Buddhist monument constructed between 750 and 850 AD when Central Java still a Buddhist kingdom, located in Central Java , Indonesia.

Long abandoned, the first re-discovery and appreciation of Borobudur began in 1815 under Raffles, who was the Let.Gov. Java during the brief period of British rule.

The real work of total reconstruction of the thousands of stone and relief took place under the Indonesian government, who with the assistance of UNESCO, completed a 10 year restoration projection 1984.

Today, Borobudur is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site with & levels and 1460 carved stone relief’s telling the story of Buddha and representing the steps from the earthly realm to Nirvana. Located only 42 km from Jogjakarta the Borobudur is the best seen in the early morning or at twilight.

Borobudur temple represents many layers of Buddhist theory. From a bird’s eye view, the temple is in the shape of a traditional Buddhist mandala. A mandala is central to a great deal of Buddhist and Hindu art, the basic form of most Hindu and Buddhist mandalas is a square with four entry points, and a circular centre point. Working from the exterior to the interior, three zones of consciousness are represented, with the central sphere representing unconsciousness or Nirvana.

Basically Borobudur divided into 3 levels

Zone 1: Kamadhatu
This base level of Borobudur has been covered by a supporting foundation, so it is hidden from view. During an investigation by Yzerman in 1885 the original foot was discovered. Borobudur’s hidden Kamadhatu level consists of 160 reliefs depicting scenes of Karmawibhangga Sutra, the law of cause and effect. Illustrating the human behaviour of desire, the reliefs depict robbing, killing, rape, torture and defamation.

Evidence suggests that the additional base was added during the original construction of the temple. The reason for adding the base is not 100% certain, but likely to be either for stability of the structure, to prevent the base from moving, or for religious reasons – to cover up the more salacious content. The added base is 3.6m in height and 6.5m wide.

A corner of the covering base has been permanently removed to allow visitors to see the hidden foot, and some of the reliefs. See image to the right. Photography of the entire collection of 160 reliefs is displayed at the Borobudur Museum which is within the Borobudur Archeological Park.

Zone 2: Rapadhatu
The transitional sphere, humans are released from worldly matters.The four square levels of Rapadhatu contain galleries of carved stone reliefs, as well as a chain of niches containing statues of Buddha. In total there are 328 Buddha on these balustrade levels which also have a great deal of purely ornate reliefs.

The Sanskrit manuscripts that are depicted on this level over 1 300 reliefs are Gandhawyuha, Lalitawistara, Jataka and Awadana. They stretch for 2.5km. In addition there are 1 212 decorative panels.

Zone 3: Arupadhatu
The highest sphere, the abode of the gods.The three circular terraces leading to a central dome or stupa represent the rising above the world, and these terraces are a great deal less ornate, the purity of form is paramount.

The terraces contain circles of perforated stupas, an inverted bell shape, containing sculptures of Buddha, who face outward from the temple. There are 72 of these stupas in total. The impressive central stupa is currently not as high as the original version, which rose 42m above ground level, the base is 9.9m in diameter. Unlike the stupas surrounding it, the central stupa is empty and conflicting reports suggest that the central void contained relics, and other reports suggest it has always been empty.

The Other Nearest Buddhist Temples
Candi Pawon
Candi Mendut