Borobudur Temple

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Borobudur is the name of a Buddhist temple located at Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. Location of the temple is approximately 100 miles southwest of Semarang and 40 miles northwest of Yogyakarta. Stupa shaped temple was founded by the Mahayana Buddhists around the year 800 AD during the reign of the dynasty dynasty. The monument comprises six square terraces Yeng above there are three circular courtyard, the walls decorated with original 2672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues there. The main stupa in the middle of the largest teletak once crowned this building, surrounded by three rows of circular 72 perforated stupa in which there are statues of Buddha sitting cross-legged in the lotus position perfectly with the mudra (hand position) Dharmachakra mudra (turning the wheel of dharma).
This monument was built as a shrine to honor the Buddha also functions as a place of pilgrimage to guide mankind to switch from natural earthly passions to the truth to achieve enlightenment and wisdom according to the teachings of Buddha. The pilgrims enter through the east side starting at the base of the temple ritual of walking round the sacred building in a clockwise direction, while continuing to go up to the next steps in the sphere through three levels of Buddhist cosmology. The third level is Kamadhatu (sphere lust), Rupadhatu (sphere shape), and Arupadhatu (intangible realm). In this journey of pilgrims walking through the hallway and staircase with a series of witnessed no less than 1460 beautifully carved relief panels on the wall and balustrade.

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According to historical evidence, Borobudur abandoned in the 14th century as the weakening influence of Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms in Java as well as starting the influence of Islam. The world began to realize the existence of these buildings have since been found in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, who was then as the British Governor General of Java. Since then Borobudur has undergone a series of rescue and restoration efforts. Largest restoration project was held in the period 1975 to 1982 for the efforts the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and UNESCO, and historic sites are included in the list of World Heritage Sites.
Borobudur is still used as a place of religious pilgrimage; each year Buddhists who came from all over Indonesia and abroad gather at Borobudur to commemorate Vesak Trisuci. In the world of tourism, Borobudur is a single tourist attraction in Indonesia's most visited tourist

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In the Indonesian language, ancient religious buildings called temples; term candi is also used more broadly to refer to all buildings and artifacts come from the Hindu-Buddhist in the archipelago, such as gates, arches, and petirtaan (swimming baths and showers). The origin of the name Borobudur is unclear, although it was the original name of many temples in Indonesia is not known. The name Borobudur was first written in the book "History of Java" by Sir Thomas Raffles. Raffles wrote about a monument called Borobudur, but none of the older documents that mention the exact same name. The only old Javanese manuscript that gives a clue as to the existence of a Buddhist shrine of Borobudur is probably referring to Nagarakretagama, written by mpu Prapanca in 1365.

Bore-Budur name, which is then written Borobudur, probably written Raffles in English grammar to refer to the closest village to the temple of the village of Bore (Boro); most temples are often named after the village where the temple stood. Raffles also suspect that the term 'Budur' may be related to the terms of Buda in the Java language, which means "ancient" - it means, 'ancient Boro'. However, other archaeologists assume that the name comes from the term bhudhara Budur which means mountain.

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Many theories that attempt to explain the name of this temple. One of them states that the name is probably derived from the word Sambharabhudhara, which means "mountain" (bhudara) where the slopes are located terraces. In addition there are several other folk etymology. Suppose the word Borobudur derived from the words "the Buddha" is due to shift the sound to Borobudur. Another explanation is that the name comes from two words "coal" and "beduhur". The word bara said to have originated from the word monastery, while there is also another explanation in which the coal comes from Sanskrit which means temple or monastery and beduhur meaning is "high", or to remind the Balinese language means "above". So the point is a convent or dormitory located on high ground.

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Historian J.G. de Casparis in his dissertation to earn his doctorate in 1950 argued that Borobudur is a place of worship. Based on the inscriptions and Tri Karangtengah Tepusan, Casparis estimate of Borobudur founder of the dynasty was the king of Mataram dynasty named Samaratungga, who do the construction around 824 AD The giant new building can be completed at the time of her daughter, Queen Pramudawardhani. Construction of Borobudur estimated half-century time-consuming. In Karangtengah inscriptions also mentioned about the bestowal of land sima (tax-free land) by Cri Kahulunan (Pramudawardhani) to maintain Kamulan called Bhūmisambhāra. The term itself comes from the word Kamulan first which means place of origin, a shrine to honor the ancestors, probably the ancestor of the dynasty Sailendra. Casparis estimates that Bhumi Sambhāra Bhudhāra in Sanskrit which means "Mount of the set of ten levels boddhisattwa virtue", was the original name of Borobudur.


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Located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of the city of Yogyakarta, Borobudur is situated on a hill on a plain surrounded by mountains two pairs of twins; Mount Sundoro-Cleft in the northwest and Merbabu-Merapi in the northeast, in the north there is a hill Tidar, closer to the south there is a range of hills Menoreh, as well as the temple is located near the confluence of two rivers namely Progo and the Elo River in the east. According to Javanese legend, the area known as the plains of Kedu is a place that is sacred in the belief of Java and hailed as 'Garden of the island of Java' because of its natural beauty and fertility of the soil.
In addition to Borobudur, there are several Buddhist and Hindu temples in the region. At the time of the discovery and restoration in the early 20th century found that other Buddhist temples and Pawon Mendut who lay stretched in a straight line. Initially thought to only a coincidence, but based on the tales of local residents, there was a stone-lined street balustrade that fenced on both sides that connects the third temple. No physical evidence of stone lined roads and fenced and this may only fairy tales, but experts suspect there is a symbol of the unity of the third temple. These three temples (Borobudur-Pawon-Mendut) have similar architectural style and variety of dressing and is derived from the same period the alleged strengthening linkages between the three rites of this temple. Linkage sacred there, but how was the religious rituals of pilgrimage is done, it is not certain.

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Apart from temples and Pawon Mendut, around Borobudur also found several other ancient relics, including a variety of findings such as pottery and stoneware jugs which showed that around Borobudur first there are some residential areas. Not just how far north Pawon found ruins of a Hindu temple called Candi Banon. In this temple was found a few statues of Hindu gods in a state primary that is good enough Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma and Ganesha. However, the original stone temple Banon found very little so it is not possible to do reconstruction. At the time of its discovery Banon statues transported to Batavia (now Jakarta) and are now stored at the National Museum of Indonesia.

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Unlike other temples built on flat ground, Borobudur was built on a hill with a height of 265 m (870 ft) above sea level and 15 m (49 ft) above the base of an ancient lake has dried up.  The existence of this ancient lake the subject of heated debate among archaeologists in the 20th century, and suggests that Borobudur was built on the edge or even in the middle of the lake. In 1931, an artist and expert on Hindu Buddhist architecture, WOJ Nieuwenkamp, ​​proposed the theory that Kedu Plain was once a lake, and built Borobudur symbolize the lotus flower floating on the surface of the lake. either in the form of a lotus flower Padma (red lotus), utpala (blue lotus), or Kumuda (white lotus ) can be found in all Buddhist iconography of religious art; often gripped by Boddhisatwa as like (symbol regalia), a cushion or as a pedestal seat of Buddhist stupas. The architecture of Borobudur itself resembles a lotus flower, and Buddha postures in Borobudur symbolize the Lotus Sutra, mostly found in schools of Mahayana Buddhist religious texts (which later Buddhism spread to East Asia). Three circular platform at the top of Borobudur is also thought to symbolize the lotus petals. However Nieuwenkamp theory that sounds wonderful and fantastic rebuttal reap many of the archaeologists; on the mainland in the vicinity of this monument has been discovered archeological evidence that proves that the area around Borobudur temple during the construction of this is dry land, not the ancient lakebed.


Meanwhile geologists Nieuwenkamp actually support the view by showing evidence of sediment deposition in the mud near the site.  A study stratigraphy, sediment and pollen analysis of samples conducted in 2000 supports the existence of an ancient lake in the neighborhood of Borobudur, which reinforce the idea Nieuwenkamp. This ancient lake surface elevation fluctuating change from time to time, and evidence suggests that the bottom of the hill near Borobudur never again submerged in the water and into the lake surrounding the 13th century and 14th. River flows and volcanic activity is thought to have helped contribute to change the landscape and topography of the environment around Borobudur, including the lake. One of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia is Mount Merapi, which is located quite close to Borobudur and has been active since the Pleistocene.


Was not found written evidence explaining who built Borobudur and what its usefulness. [18] When construction is expected based on the comparison between the types of characters are written at the foot of enclosed Karmawibhangga with type characters that are commonly used in royal inscriptions the 8th century and 9th. It is estimated that Borobudur was built around the year 800 AD. [18] The time frame is consistent with the period between 760 and 830 AD, the dynasty's heyday dynasty in Central Java, [19] who was then influenced Srivijaya Empire. Construction of Borobudur are expected to spend the next 75 years and completed in the reign of Samaratungga in the year 825.

There is confusion about whether the facts of the ruling king of Java at that time a Hindu or Buddhist. Sailendra dynasty known as Mahayana Buddhists are devout, but the inscription Sojomerto findings indicate that they may originally Hindu Shiva. [20] In the period that was built many Hindu and Buddhist temples in the plains Kedu. Borobudur Buddhist Temple was built at about the same time period with the temples at Prambanan Plain including the Shiva temple of Prambanan. In 732 AD, the king ordered the construction of religious Shiva Sanjaya Shiwalingga shrine built in the hills of Mount Wukir, located only 10 km (6.2 mi) east of Borobudur.

Construction of Buddhist temples - including the Borobudur - as it is possible because the heir Sanjaya, Rakai Panangkaran give permission to the Buddhists to build the temple.In fact, to show respect, confers Panangkaran Kalasan village to the sangha (Buddhist community), for maintenance and financing Kalasan temple was built to glorify Bodhisattwadewi Tara, as mentioned in the inscription dates to the year 778 AD Kalasan.  These directives understood by archaeologists, that the ancient Javanese society, religion was never an issue that can reap the conflict, the religious king exemplified Hindus could support and fund the construction of Buddhist temples, and vice versa. However, there are alleged dynastic rivalry between the two kingdoms at that time - dynasty dynasty of Sanjaya dynasty embraced Buddhism and the worship of Shiva - who later won the battle of Sanjaya dynasty in the year 856 in the hills of Ratu Boko. Ambiguity also arises about Lara Jonggrang at Prambanan temple, a magnificent temple built by the victors believed Rakai Pikatan in response Sanjaya dynasty to rival the grandeur of Borobudur's dynasty dynasty,  but many believe that the there is an atmosphere of tolerance and togetherness of peace between the two parties Sailendra dynasty this is also involved in the construction of Shiva temple at Prambanan.

Stages of development of Borobudur

The first stage: The period of construction of Borobudur was unknown (estimated period of 750 and 850 M). Borobudur is built on a natural hill, top of the hill leveled and expanded flat yard. Indeed Borobudur is not entirely made of andesite stone, the hills the soil compacted and covered stone structure that resembles a shell that encloses the hill land. The remaining part of the hill covered stone structure layer by layer. Initially built-storey apartment layout. It seems designed as a pyramid staircase, but later changed. As there is evidence that demolished apartment layout. Built to cover the first three steps of the pyramid structure of the original staircase.
Stage two: The addition of two square steps, balustrade and one step circular stupa was built directly above a very large single.

The third stage: Occurs change in the construction, railroad over the circle with a single large parent stupa dismantled and replaced by three railroad circles. Stupas built smaller circular march on the court steps with a huge main stupa in the middle. For some reason the foundation was widened, constructed additional leg that encloses the foot of the original closing the relief Karmawibhangga. Archaeologists suspect that Borobudur stupa was originally designed in the form of a single, very large terrace crowned the shelf-shelf square. But the great stupa is too heavy so as to encourage the building structure skew shifted out. Keep in mind that the core of hill of Borobudur was ground so that the pressure at the top will be distributed to the outer side of the bottom so the Borobudur threatened landslide and collapse. That's why it was decided to dismantle a single large stupa, and replacing it with a circular terraces are decorated with rows of small stupa stupa berterawang and only one parent. To shore up the walls of the temple so that no avalanche then added an additional foot structure that encloses the foot of the original. This structure is the amplifier and function like a belt that binds to the temple did not collapse and fall out.
Stage Four: There are minor changes such as improvement of relief, the addition of the outer balustrade, stairs and the arch above changes wicket doors, as well as the widening of the foot.

Borobudur in neglected

Borobudur is hidden and neglected for centuries buried under layers of soil and volcanic dust which is then overgrown with trees and shrubs so that Borobudur when it really resembles a hill. The real reason abandoned the cause of Borobudur is still a mystery. Not known exactly since when the building is no longer a sacred center of Buddhist pilgrimage. In the span of 928 and 1006, King mpu Sindok Medang kingdom moved the capital to East Java region after a series of volcanic eruptions; not clear whether these factors cause the Borobudur abandoned, but some sources suspect that it is possible Borobudur began to be abandoned in this period. The holy building is mentioned vaguely about the year 1365, by mpu Nagarakretagama Prapanca in the script that was written during the Majapahit empire. He mentioned the "Temple in Budur". Additionally Soekmono (1976) also proposed the popular opinion that this temple was started to really abandoned since a population of about switching to the Islamic faith in the 15th century.
This monument is not entirely forgotten, through switching from Borobudur folklore as evidence of past glory into more superstitious stories that are associated with bad luck, misfortune and suffering. Two written Java Chronicle of the 18th century mention the bad luck associated with this monument. According to Babad Tanah Jawi (History of Java), this monument is a fatal factor for the Mas Fund, dissidents who rebelled to Pakubuwono I, king of the Sultanate of Mataram in 1709. stated that the hill "Redi Borobudur" besieged and the insurgents were defeated and put to death by the king. In the Chronicle Mataram (Mataram Kingdom History), this monument is associated with bad luck Monconagoro prince, crown prince of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta who visited this monument in 1757.  Although there are taboos that forbid anyone to visit this monument, "the Prince to come and visit the warrior imprisoned in solitary confinement (buddha statues found in the stupa berterawang) ". After returning to the palace, the prince fell ill and died a day later.


After the Anglo-Dutch War in getting the island of Java, Java under British rule (British) during the period 1811 to 1816. Thomas Stamford Raffles was appointed as Governor-General, and he has a special interest in the history of Java. He collects antique artifacts of ancient Javanese art and make a note of Javanese history and culture gleaned from his encounter with local people on their way around Java. At the inspection visit in Semarang in 1814, he was notified about the existence of a large monument deep in the woods near the village Bumisegoro. Because of absence and his duties as Governor-General, he can not go alone to find the building and sent HC Cornelius, a Dutch engineer, to investigate the existence of this large building. In two months, Cornelius and his subordinates to cut down 200 trees and shrubs that grow on the hill of Borobudur and clean up soil that buried this temple. Because of the threat of landslides, he can not dig and clean all hallway. He reported his findings to Raffles including various drawings sketches handed Borobudur temple. Although the invention is only mentioned a few sentences, Raffles credited for inventing the back of this monument, as well as the world's attention on the existence of this monument has ever lost.

Hartmann, a Dutch East Indies government officials to continue working at the Residency Kedu Cornelius in 1835 and eventually all the buildings have been excavated and visible. His interest in the Borobudur more personal than his duty. Hartmann did not write a report on their activities, in particular, it was rumored that he had found a large buddha statue in the main stupa. In 1842, Hartmann investigated the main stupa despite what he found remains a mystery because the inside of the stupa is empty.

Dutch East Indies government commissioned F.C. Wilsen, a Dutch engineer officer in engineering, he studied this monument and drew hundreds of relief sketches. J.F.G. Brumund also appointed to conduct more detailed research on this monument, which is completed in 1859. The government plans to publish articles based on research that has Brumund sketches Wilsen works, but Brumund refused to cooperate. Dutch East Indies government then commissioned another scientist, C. Leemans, who compiled a monograph based on the source of Brumund and Wilsen. In 1873, the first monographs and more detailed study of Borobudur was published, followed by editions in French translation a year later. The first photo of this monument was taken in 1873 by a Dutch engrafi, Isidore van Kinsbergen.

Recognition of these sites grows slowly, and for a long time a source of souvenirs and income for the collector "souvenir hunters" and thieves. In 1882, chief inspector of cultural artifacts recommended that Borobudur reliefs dismantled entirely and moved to the museum due to unstable conditions, uncertainties and theft are rampant in the monument. As a result, the government appointed Groenveldt, an archaeologist, to hold a thorough investigation of the site and into account the actual conditions of this complex; report states that these concerns exaggerated and suggested that the building is left intact and not dismantled to be moved. In 1896, several statues of Buddha along with 30 stones with reliefs, two statues of lions, some of kala-shaped stones, stairs and gates presented to the King of Thailand, Chulalongkorn, who visited the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) as a gift from the Dutch Government at the time.


Borobudur attracted attention back in 1885, when Yzerman, Chairman of the Archaeological Society in Yogyakarta, discover the hidden foot. The photos show the reliefs on the hidden foot was made in the period 1890-1891. These findings prompted the government to take the Dutch East Indies steps to preserve this monument. In 1900, the government established a commission consisting of three officers to investigate this monument: Brandes, an art historian, Theodoor van Erp, an engineer who is also a member of the Dutch army, and Van de Kamer, engineers construction experts from the Department of Public Works.

In 1902, the commission submitted a proposal three steps of Borobudur conservation plan to the government. First, the danger of urgency must be overcome by adjusting the angles of the building, move the stone that harm another stone beside, reinforces the balustrade of the first, and restore some niches, gates, stupas and the main stupa. Second, fenced temple page, maintain and repair the drainage system by fixing the floor and shower. Third, all loose rock and loose should be removed, the monument is cleaned up to the balustrade of the first, the broken stone was moved and renovated the main stupa. The total cost required at the time was estimated to be about 48,800 Gulden.

Restoration was done in the period 1907 and 1911, using the principle anastilosis and led Theodor van Erp.  the first seven months was spent to excavate the ground around the monument to find missing Buddha heads and panel stones. Van Erp dismantled and rebuilt three circular terraces and stupas on the top. In the process, Van Erp discovered many things that could be improved; he filed another proposal that was approved with an additional budget of 34,600 guilders. Van Erp reconstruction further, he even accurately reconstruct chattra (umbrella rock stacking three) that crowned the summit of Borobudur. At first glance Borobudur had been restored as in its heyday. However, reconstruction chattra only use the original stones and only slightly fictional approx. Because they can not be accounted for authenticity, Van Erp chattra dismantle its own section. Now the summit of Borobudur chattra mastaka or stored at the Museum of stacking three Karmawibhangga Borobudur.

Due to the limited budget, this restoration is only focused on cleaning and stone sculpture, Van Erp did not solve the problem of drainage and water system. In 15 years, the gallery walls sloping and reliefs showing cracks and damage.  Van Erp used concrete which causes the formation of crystalline salts of alkali and calcium hydroxide which spread to all parts of the building and damage the stone temples. This causes a problem that needed further renovation.

Small-scale restoration carried out since then, but not enough to provide complete protection. In the late 1960s, the Government of Indonesia has submitted a request to the international community for massive refurbishment in order to protect this monument. In 1973, a master plan to restore Borobudur was made. [ Government of Indonesia and UNESCO to take comprehensive steps to repair the monument is in a major project between 1975 and 1982. The foundation strengthened and cleaned all the 1460 relief panels. This restoration was done by dismantling the entire five square terraces and repairing drainage systems by embedding water channels into the monument. Filter and water-resistant layer is added. This colossal project involving 600 people to restore the monument and cost a total of 6,901,243 U.S. dollars.  After the renovation, enter the Borobudur UNESCO into the list of World Heritage Sites in 1991. Borobudur Cultural criteria included in (i) "represent a masterpiece of human genius kretivitas", (ii) "featuring the exchange is important in human values ​​in a given time within a cultural region in the world, the development of architecture and technology, monumental arts, town planning and landscape design" , and (vi) "directly dab clearly associated with an event or a living tradition, with ideas or with beliefs, with artistic works of art and literary works that have outstanding universal significance".

Kotemporer events

After a massive refurbishment in 1973 which is supported by UNESCO,  Borobudur back into a religious and pilgrimage center of Buddhism. Once a year during the full moon in May or June, Buddhists in Indonesia commemorate the holy day of Vesak, the day that commemorates the birth, death, and especially the events of enlightenment Siddhartha Gautama attained supreme wisdom of the Buddha Shakyamuni. Vesak is a national holiday in Indonesia  and dippusatkan memorial service at the three major Buddhist temples by walking from the ritual Mendut Pawon and procession toward ending at Borobudur.
On January 21, 1985, nine stupas were badly damaged as a result of nine bombs. In 1991 an extreme wing Muslim preachers who are blind, Husein Ali Al Habsyie, sentenced to life imprisonment because the brain acts as a series of bomb attacks in the mid-1980s, including attack on Borobudur temple.Two members of extreme right-wing groups djatuhi 20-year sentence in 1986 and the other received a sentence of 13 years in prison.

This monument is the single most attractions visited in Indonesia. In 1974 as many as 260,000 tourists are 36,000 of them are foreign tourists have visited this monument. This figure increased to 2.5 million visitors annually (80% were domestic tourists) in the mid-1990s, before the 1997 Asian financial crisis

However, tourism development does not involve local people criticized that some local conflicts often occur.  In 2003, residents and small scale entrepreneurs in the vicinity of Borobudur and protests held a meeting with the reading of poetry, the provincial government rejected the plan which plans to build three-story mall complex called the 'Java World'.  the efforts of local communities to gain a living from the tourism sector Borobudur has increased the number of small businesses around Borobudur. However, their efforts to earn a living often even disturbing the comfort of visitors. For example merchants souvenir peddlers insist that interferes with his merchandise; spread of souvenir stalls, market stalls, so when they want out of the temple complex, visitors walk away turning instead herded into the labyrinth of souvenir market. If not well then all this makes the temple complex of Borobudur increasingly chaotic.
On May 27, 2006, an earthquake measuring 6.2 shook the southern coast of the scale of Central Java. Natural disasters are destroying the area with the most victims in Yogyakarta, but Borobudur remained intact.

On August 28, 2006 symposium titled Trail of Civilizations (traces of civilization) held in Borobudur on the initiative of the Governor of Central Java and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, were also present representatives of UNESCO and the Buddhist-majority countries in Southeast Asia, like Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The highlight is ballet performances colossal "Borobudur Masterpiece" in front of the temple of Borobudur. This dance was created with a dance style based on traditional Javanese gamelan music, and fashion, tells about the history of the construction of Borobudur. After this symposium, Borobudur Masterpiece ballet staged again several times, especially ahead of Vesak is usually also attended by the President of the Republic of Indonesia.

UNESCO identifies three critical issues in conservation Borobudur: (i) vandalism or destruction by visitors, (ii) soil erosion in the southeastern part of the site, (iii) analysis and return the missing parts. [41] Land of the loose, several times earthquakes and heavy rain could destabilize the structure of this building. Earthquakes are the most serious factor, because not only rocks can fall and arch collapses, ground yourself moving wavy which can damage the building structure.The increasing popularity of stupa attracts many visitors who are mostly citizens of Indonesia. Although there are many warning signs not to touch anything, pengumandangan warnings over loudspeakers and the presence of guards, vandalism in the form of graffiti vandalism and pencorat-reliefs and statues often happens, this would obviously ruin this site. In 2009, there was no system to limit the number of tourists allowed to visit per day, or apply each visit must be accompanied by a guide so that visitors are always in control


Borobudur is affected by the eruption of Mount Merapi in October adan November 2010. Of Merapi volcanic ash covered the temple complex within 28 kilometers (17 miles) west-southwest of the crater of Merapi. Layer of volcanic ash reaches a thickness of 2.5 centimeters (1 in) cover the building of the temple when the eruption of 3 to 5 November 2010, the dust also shut down plants in the vicinity, and other experts are concerned that volcanic dust is chemically acidic rocks can damage historic buildings this. The temple complex was closed 5 to 9 November 2010 to clean the dust luruhan.

Looking at the Borobudur rehabilitation efforts after the eruption of Merapi in 2010, UNESCO has donated funds amounting to 3 million U.S. dollars to fund rehabilitation efforts. Cleaning the temple from volcanic ash deposits will spend at least 6 months, followed by reforestation and tree planting in the neighborhood to stabilize the temperature, and finally revive the social and economic life of local communities. More than 55,000 blocks of stone to repair the temple should be demolished water system and drainage system is clogged mixture of rain water mixed with volcanic ash. Restoration ended November 2011, earlier than previously thought


The concept design

In essence, Borobudur is a stupa which when viewed from above form a large Mandala pattern. Mandala is a complex pattern composed of squares and concentric circles representing the cosmos or universe is commonly found in streams Wajrayana-Mahayana Buddhism. Ten yard owned Borobudur illustrates clearly the Mahayana school of philosophy that simultaneously describes the concept of the universe cosmology, as well as the level of the mind in Buddhism.  Like a book, Borobudur depict ten Bodhisattva levels that must be traversed to reach the perfection of the Buddha. Basic sketch of the square measuring 118 m (390 feet) on each side. The building has nine terraces, the lowest six square terraces and three circular top terrace.
In 1885, accidentally discovered the hidden structure at the foot of Borobudur.  Legs have hidden reliefs that 160 of them is a story about Kamadhatu. On this panel there are reliefs carved characters, which is evidence for the engraver to make a scene in the picture reliefs. The foot is enclosed by the addition of the original stone structure that forms the court is quite broad, real function remains a mystery. Initially suspected that the addition of this leg to prevent kelongsoran monuments.Other theories propose that the addition of the foot is due to fault the original design of the foot, and not in accordance with Wastu Literature, Indian book on architecture and urban planning. Whatever the reason for the addition of this leg , adding an additional foot and manufacture is done by carefully considering the grounds of religious, aesthetic, and technical.
The three levels of spiritual realm in Buddhist cosmology is:


The foot of Borobudur represents Kamadhatu, the world is still dominated by kama or "low desire". This section is mostly covered by a pile of rocks that allegedly made to strengthen the construction of the temple. In the closed part of this additional structure there are 120 panels Kammawibhangga story. A small percentage set aside additional structure so that people can still see the relief in this section.


Four steps that form the core around which the hall on the gallery walls are decorated with reliefs by the experts called Rupadhatu. The floor is rectangular. Rupadhatu is a world that has been able to free himself from passion, but still bound by the appearance and shape. This level represents the nature of which, between nature and the natural bottom up. In part this Rupadhatu Buddha statues found on the niche or niches in the wall above the balcony railing or a walkway. On the balustrade there are slight differences in design that symbolizes the transition from sphere to sphere Rupadhatu Kamadhatu; lowest balustrade crowned ratna, while the four levels above the balustrade crowned stupika (small stupas). Part of this square terraces rich in decoration and carved reliefs.


Unlike the halls Rupadhatu rich in relief, from the fifth to the seventh floor the walls are not berelief. This level is called Arupadhatu (which means no tangible form or not). Circular floor plan. This level represents the nature of, where people are free from all desires and bond forms and shapes, but have not reached nirvana. In the court of the circle there are 72 two small stupas berterawang arranged in three rows that surround a large stupa as the main stupa. Small bell-shaped stupa is structured in three terraces, each circle numbered 32, 24, and 16 (a total of 72 stupas). Two of his Stûpa lowest terrace is greater with a rhombus-shaped holes, one his Stûpa top terrace is slightly smaller and a square box-shaped hole. Buddha statues are placed inside the stupa is covered with holes as in the cage. From outside the statues were still dim. This design cleverly explains the concept of transition to a state without a form, the Buddha statue was there but invisible.
The highest level that describes the absence of a perfect being represented in the form of the largest and highest stupa. Stupa depicted plain without holes. In the largest stupa Buddha statue ever found an imperfect or also known as Buddha is not completed, the disalahsangkakan as sculpture 'Adibuddha', but through further research there never was a statue in the main stupa, statue that did not finish it was a mistake pemahatnya in ancient times. According to the idol in the false belief in the manufacturing process it should not be tampered with. Archaeological excavations carried out in the courtyard of this temple found many statues like this. The main stupa is left blank meaningful allegedly the highest wisdom, namely kasunyatan, and the absence of perfect silence where the soul of man is not bound to desire, desire, and the shape and free from the cycle of samsara.

Stone lions guard the gate

Carving a giant shower head drainage

Borobudur temple there is a cross-section ratio of 4:6:9 between the legs, body, and head

Borobudur climb stairs through a series of arches carved Kala-Makara
About 55,000 cubic meters of andesite stone transported from quarry stone and place Penatahan to build this monument.  This stone is cut in a certain size, transported to the site and put together without using cement. Borobudur structure does not use cement at all, but the Interlock system (another key) that is like Lego blocks that can be attached without adhesive. The stones are brought together with the bulge and the right hole and fit one another, as well as forms of "dove tail" which locks the two blocks of stone. Relief was made at the site after the building structure and the walls finished.
This monument is equipped with a drainage system that is good enough for areas with high rainfall. To prevent inundation and flooding, 100 showers installed at each corner, each with a unique design shaped head or a giant when the makara.

Borobudur temple is very different from other designs, the temple was not built on a flat surface, but above the natural hill. However, the construction technique is similar to other temples in Java. Borobudur has no worship spaces like other temples. That there are long hallways which is a narrow road. The hallways surrounding the walled temple level by level. In general design similar to a pyramid terraces of Borobudur. In the halls of the Buddhist is expected to perform ceremonial walk around the temple to the right. Borobudur may initially serve more as a stupa, or temple than the temple. Stupa is intended as a shrine to the glory of Buddha. Sometimes the stupa was built as a symbol of honor and glorification of the Buddha. While the shrine or temple functions as a house of worship. Intricate design of this monument shows that this building is a building of places of worship. The shape and structure of the building without room terraced patio is alleged is the development of form punden staircase, which is a form of architecture from prehistoric native Indonesia.
According to local legend architect designer named Gunadharma Borobudur, little is known about this mysterious architect. His name is more based on fairy tales and legends of Java and not based on historical inscriptions. Gunadharma legends associated with the folklore of the hills that resembled Menoreh body lay. These local tale tells that the body is lying Gunadharma turned into Menoreh ranges, of course the legend is a fiction and fairy tales.

The design of Borobudur using the tuning unit of measurement, ie the length between the end of the line of human facial hair on the forehead to the tip of the chin, or span the distance between the tip of the thumb with the tip of the little finger when the hand is fully developed.  Of course this unit is relative and is slightly different among individuals, but this unit remains on this monument. Research in 1977 revealed a 4:6:9 ratio found in this monument. Architects used this formula to determine the exact dimensions of a fractal geometry self-similar repetition in the design of Borobudur.  mathematical ratio is also found in the design and Pawon Mendut nearby. Archaeologists believe that the ratio of 4:6:9 and a tuning unit has the function and meaning of the calendar, astronomy, and cosmology. The same thing applies in the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Building structure can be divided into three parts: base (legs), body, and the summit. [50] Basic measuring 123 × 123 m (403.5 × 403.5 ft) with a height of 4 m (13 feet). [49] The temple consists of five shelf terraces are increasingly smaller square on it. The first terrace back 7 m (23 feet) from the base of the terrace. Each of the next terrace down 2 m (6.6 ft), leaving a narrow passage at each level. The upper part consists of three circular terraces, each level of the shore line of effigies berterawang arranged concentrically. The main stupa there are the largest in the middle; the shoots reach a height of 35 m (110 feet) from ground level. The stairs are located at the center of the four sides of the wind that brings visitors to the top of the monument through the arch gate guarded by a series of 32 stone lions. Wicket gate decorated with carvings on the top middle Kala vacant doors and carved makara prominent on both sides. Kala-Makara motif commonly encountered in the door of the temple architecture in Java. The main entrance is located on the east side, as well as a starting point to read the story of relief. This straight staircase continuously connected by stairs on the hill slope that connects the temple with the surrounding plains.


On the temple walls at every level - except on the terraces Arupadhatu - carved panels of bas-reliefs. Borobudur reliefs and ornamental patterns of stylized naturalist with ideal proportions and aesthetic tastes are refined, elegant and very beautiful. Borobudur reliefs showing many images, such as human figures both nobles, commoners, or hermits, various plants and animals, as well as displays of traditional vernacular building form the archipelago. Borobudur is like like a book that records the various aspects of ancient Javanese society. Many archaeologists researching past life in ancient Java and the archipelago the 8th century and 9th with examining and referring carved reliefs of Borobudur. The stage-house, barn, palaces and temples, the form of jewelry, clothing and weaponry, various plants and wildlife, as well as a means of transportation, it was noted by the researchers. One of them is a relief depicting the famous Borobudur Ship. Typical timber ship bercadik this archipelago show marine archaeological culture. Replica ark is made ​​based on the reliefs of Borobudur stored at the Museum Ocean Mercury is located to the north of Borobudur.
These reliefs corresponding read-clockwise or called mapradaksina in Old Javanese language derived from Sanskrit meaning is daksina the east. These reliefs variety of story content, among other reliefs Jataka stories. Reading of the stories are always the relief begins, and ends on the east side of the gate at every level, starting on the left and right ends of the gate. So obviously that the east is a staircase up the real (primary) and to the top of the temple, it means that the temple facing the east while the other sides of similar right.
The composition and distribution of relief story on the wall and balustrade of the temple are as follows.


In accordance with symbolic meaning on the foot of the temple, reliefs that decorate the walls of a hidden shelf illustrates the law of karma. Rows of reliefs is not a story of the series (serial), but in each frame illustrates a story that has a causal relationship. Relief is not just to give a picture of human moral turpitude will be accompanied by punishment he received, but also human and reward good deeds. Overall, the portrayal of human life within the circle of birth - life - death (samsara) that never ends, and by the Buddhist religion is exactly what will end the chain to get to perfection.


Is a depiction of a history of the Buddha in a row of reliefs (but not a complete history) that starts from the Buddha's descent from Tushita heaven, and ends with the first sermon in the Deer Park near the city of Banaras. These reliefs lined the stairs on the south side, after a row exceeded the relief of 27 frames starting from the east side of the stairs. To-27 illustrates the frame busy, both in heaven and in the world, as a preparation to welcome the presence of the last incarnation of the Bodhisattva as the Buddha. The reliefs depict the birth of the Buddha in this arcapada as Prince Siddhartha, the son of King Suddhodana and Queen Maya of Kapilavastu Affairs. Relief amounted to 120 frames, which ended with the first sermon, which is symbolically expressed as the Turning of the Wheel of Dharma, the Buddha's teaching is called dharma also means "law", while dharma is represented as a wheel.

Jataka and Awadana

Jataka are stories about the Buddha before it was born as Prince Siddhartha. Protrusion of contents is the subject of good works, such as self-sacrificing attitude and helpfulness that distinguishes the Bodhisattvas of any other creature. Some stories Jataka tale fable featuring the character story involving animals that behave and think like humans. Indeed, the collection service or a good deed is a step toward the level of preparation in an attempt to Buddhahood.

While Awadana, basically almost the same as the Jatakas but the culprit is not the Bodhisattvas, but someone else and the story was compiled in the book Diwyawadana which means the act of noble godlike, and the book Awadana Awadanasataka or a hundred stories. In the reliefs of the Borobudur temple and Awadana Jataka, treated equally, meaning that they occur in the same row without any differentiated. The set of the best known of the life of the Bodhisattvas is Jatakamala or strands of Jataka stories, Aryasura poet who lived in the 4th century AD.


Is a row of reliefs adorn the walls of the hall to-2, is the story of a wandering Sudhana tirelessly in his quest for knowledge about the Supreme Truth by Sudhana. Description of the frame 460 is based on the Mahayana Buddhist scripture entitled Gandawyuha, and for the lid on the story of another Bhadracari.

Buddhist statues

In addition to the buddha in the form of Buddhist cosmology carved in the wall, at the Borobudur there are many statues of Buddha sitting cross-legged in the lotus position and displays the mudra, or symbolic hand a certain attitude.
Buddha statue in the recesses at the level Rupadhatu, arranged by row on the outer side of the balustrade. Dwindling on the upper side. Balustrade of the first row consists of 104 niches, 104 recesses of the second row, third row recesses 88, line 72 recesses of the fourth, and fifth row 64 niches. Total there are 432 statues of Buddha at the level Rupadhatu. [1] In the Arupadhatu (three circular courtyard), Buddha statues placed inside stupas berterawang (perforated). In the courtyard there are 32 first circular stupa, stupas 24 yard second, and third courtyard there are 16 stupas, all of them a total of 72 stupas. [1] Of the original number of 504 Buddha statues, over 300 have been damaged (mostly headless) and 43 missing (since the discovery of this monument, head of the buddha is often stolen as collector's item, mostly by foreign museums). [53]
On the face of all this buddha statues look similar, but there are subtle differences between, namely the attitude of mudras or hand positions. There are five categories mudras: North, East, South, West, and Central, all based on five main direction of the compass according to Mahayana teachings. Fourth balustrade has four mudras: North, East, South, and West, where each buddha statues facing direction shows a typical mudra. Buddha statues on the balustrade of the fifth and buddha statues inside the 72 stupas in the court above berterawang showing mudras: Middle or Center. Each mudra symbolizes the five Dhyani Buddhas, each with its own symbolic meaning

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  1. TQ for such a comprehensive article about Borobudur!!

  2. thank you for your visit and your support in this website ..

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