Borobudur 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, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa.
Ever since the first excavation, most experts speculated on the exact shape of the temple. Hoenig, in his book "Das form problem des Borobudur" speculate that the original form of Borobudur Temple had four gates and nine floors. The form of Borobudur Temple is similar to temples found in Cambodia. According to Parmenteir, the huge single stupa on top of the temple made the smaller stupas in the lower part looked drowned. Stutterheim who had been studying stupas in India and other parts of Asia concluded that the stupa structure was an Indian origin.
The original purpose of stupa building was storage of Buddha Gautama and other holy priests cremation ash. According to Stutterheim, the overall form of Borobudur Temple is a combination of ziggurat (middle Asian Pyramid) and Indian stupa. Sutterheim opinion was supported by the existence of this type of form in Ancient Javanese literature.
The relief of Borobudur Temple started from the base of the temple up to the fourth platform. The relief's at the base contained the story of Karmawibhangga. Under the main panel and above the Karmawibhangga relief, a wide-sized relief was in scripted at the wall.
From this point along the alley, the relief did not show story in the sequence but as a repeating part of the story with the same motives which expressed the world of spiritual beings such as half demonic body (Gandharwa, giants or yataka, dragon, Sidha or angels and their ladies friends, Apsara and Nagi. All of them are heavenly beings who are tender and beautiful.
Division of panels are the first panel expressed a heavenly being in sitting position, on both side of this panel are small panel with a small standing statue. These figures are repeated twenty-six times for each side of the wall. Between the panels is carved three bodies, a male flanked by two women.
Last revised on September 10, 2009
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