Borobudur Buddhist Temple

Borobudur is a Buddhist temple in the village of Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java. Location of the Temple is about 100 miles southwest of Semarang and 40 km northwest of Yogyakarta.

Based on Karang Tengah Inscription and Inscription of Kahuluan, the Temple was founded by followers of Mahayana Buddhism around 824 AD during the Mataram kingdom with its King Samaratungga from Syailendra dynasty.

The purpose of the construction of Borobudur is as a place of prayer and worship. While the name suggests, there is a theory which states that the Borobudur got the name from the word “Bara” means the monastery and “beduhur” meaning high. So, Borobudur means monastery on the highland.

Borobudur Temple
Borobudur Temple (Source :

Borobudur, measuring 123 m x 123 m and the height of the temple before the renovation of 42 m and 34.5 m after the renovation because the lowest level serve as the basis. Interestingly, the temple was built without using cement or adhesive, but use the interlock system in which each block is composed and locked without glued.

Borobudur has a basic structure of the staircase, with a six-yard square, three circular courtyard and a main stupa as a peak. There are stupas, in any circular court of the Borobudur. Stupa is a bell-shaped. And on the square courts in the temple, there are niches and reliefs that tell various stories of life (about 1460 stories).

In the first square court of the temple, there are 104 niches, the second court also has 104 niches, the third court there are 88 niches, the fourth courtyard there are 72 niches and the fifth court has 64 niches. While on the first circular court of Borobudur, there are 32 stupas, 24 stupas on the second yard and the third court has 16 stupas. In niches and stupas, there are statues of Buddha.

The statue of Budha, Borobudur
The statue of Budha, Borobudur (Source :

Total statues of Buddha in Borobudur, should be 504 pieces of sculpture. However, more than 300 pieces damaged, mostly headless statues and even there were 43 statues missing.

Ten courtyard at the temple in accordance with the philosophy of the Mahayana sect. Borobudur describes ten levels that must be traversed to reach the perfection of the Buddha. The base of Borobudur Temple symbolizes Kamadhatu, the world that is still dominated by low desire. The next four square-court with bas-relief wall is symbolizing Rupadhatu, the world that is already able to break free from passion, but is still bound by the appearance and shape. Fifth to the seventh circular floors without relief walls in Borobudur called Arupadhatu, which means the intangible, and represents the nature of which is free from passion but have not reached nirvana. And the highest levels of the main stupa illustrates the lack of form / perfection.

On each day of Vesak, in Borobudur, the Buddhist make a religious ceremony to commemorate the holy day. In 1991, UNESCO stated the Borobudur Temple as a world heritage site.


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