comprehensive information is very useful before your tour to visit
Borobudur Temple in center Java. Please read carefully to visit
is a ninth century Mahayana Buddhist monument in Magelang, Central
Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped
by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief
panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome is located at the center
of the top platform, and is surrounded by seventy-two Buddha statues
seated inside perforated stupa.
monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist
pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument
and follows a path circumambulating the monument while ascending
to the top through the three levels of Buddhist cosmology, namely,
Kamadhatu (the world of desire); Rupadhatu
(the world of forms); and Arupadhatu (the world
of formless). During the journey, the monument guides the pilgrims
through a system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative
relief panels on the wall and the balustrades.
suggests Borobudur was abandoned following the
fourteenth century decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Java,
and the Javanese conversion to Islam. It was rediscovered in 1814
by Sir Thomas Raffles, the British ruler of Java. Borobudur has
since been preserved through several restorations. The largest restoration
project was undertaken between 1975 and 1982 by the Indonesian government
and UNESCO, following which the monument was listed as a UNESCO
World Heritage Site. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage, where
once a year Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vaicsak at the monument,
and Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited
from the story of Buddhist cosmology carved in stone, Borobudur
has many statues of various Buddhas. The cross-legged statues are
seated in a lotus position and distributed on the five square platforms
(the Rupadhatu level) as well as on the top platform (the Arupadhatu
Buddha statues are in niches at the Rupadhatu level, arranged in
rows on the outer sides of the balustrades, the number of statues
decreasing as platforms progressively diminish to the upper level.
The first balustrades have 104 niches, the second 104, the third
88, the fourth 72 and the fifth 64. In total, there are 432 Buddha
statues at the Rupadhatu level. At the Arupadhatu level (or the
three circular platforms), Buddha statues are placed inside perforated
stupas. The first circular platform has 32 stupas, the second 24
and the third 16, that add up to 72 stupas. Of the original 504
Buddha statues, over 300 are damaged (mostly headless) and 43 are
missing (since the monument's discovery, heads have been stolen
as collector's items, mostly by Western museums).
glance, all the Buddha statues appear similar, but there is a subtle
difference between them in the mudras or the position of the hands.
There are five groups of mudra: North, East, South, West and Zenith,
which represent the five cardinal compass according to Mahayana.
The first four balustrades have the first four mudras: North, East,
South and West, of which the Buddha statues that face one compass
direction have the corresponding mudra. Buddha statues at the fifth
balustrades and inside the 72 stupas on the top platform have the
same mudra: Zenith. Each mudra represent one of the Five Dhyani
Buddhas; each has its own symbolism. They are Abhaya mudra for Amoghasiddhi
(north), Vara mudra for Ratnasambhava (south),
Dhyana mudra for Amitabha (west), Bhumisparsa mudra
for Aksobhya (east) and Dharmachakra mudra for Vairochana (zenith).