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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.

Borobudur Introduction
Introduction to Candi Borobudur

The Borobudur Temple is considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This temple is located at Borobudur District. South of Magelang in the Province of Jawa Tengah (Central Java).

The expression of experts who had been studying Borobudur Temple varied some way. Bernet Kempers' expression was Borobudur is Borobudur, meaning that Borobudur Temple is very unique in her own way. Nieuwenkamp (an artist) imagined Borobudur as a big lotus flower bud ready to bloom which was floating on a lake. Nieuwkamps' imagination was supported by N. Rangkuti (1987) that from the air, the Borobudur Temple looks floating.

From the geological studies, experts were able to prove that Borobudur area was one time a big lake. Most of the villages around Borobudur Temple were at the same altitude, 235 meters above the sea level. The same altitude included the Pawon Temple and Mendut Temple. Thus the area under 235 meters altitude was below the lake water level.

Based on the inscription dated 842 A.D., Capparis suggested that Borobudur was one time a place for praying. The inscription stated a phrase such as: "Kawulan i Bhumi Sambhara". Kawulan means the origin of holiness. Bhumi Sambhara is a name of a place in Borobudur. Paul Mus stated that Borobudur Temple had the structure of stupa (conical form) with double expression. As a whole, the Borobudur Temple was an open-flat stupa but on the other hand, the temple expressed the idea of a closed world.

The latter expression could be felt when one is already inside the temple. Whenever a person is inside the temple, his or her view will be limited to high walls full on relief's, the veranda is always squared in such away that once could not see other parts of the temple, even in a same floor. The same feeling happened if one stood on arupadhatu round platform, he or she will have a wider view only on that level but are not able to see the lower level nor the upper level like the one on arupadhatu and kamandhatu.

It could be said that Borobudur is a symbol of cosmic mountain covered by the sky roof, a specific world that could be reached through isolated alleys as stages. The closed structural design of the temple expressed the concept of a closed world, not just a technical reasons as had been suggested by other experts. (Daud AT, 1987).

Borobudur was built by Sanmaratungga in the eighth century and belongs to Buddha Mahayana. Borobudur was revealed by Sir Thomas Stanford Raffles in 1814. The temple was found in ruined condition and was buried.

The overall height was forty-two meters but was only 34.5 meters after restoration and had the dimension of 123 x 123 meters (15.129 square meters). There were ten floors. The first floor up to the sixth floor was square from. And the seventh to the tenth floor were round form.

Borobudur is facing to the East with a total of 1,460 panels (two meters wide each). Total size of the temple walls was 2,500 square meters, full of relief. The total number of panels with relief was 1,212. According to investigations, the total number of Buddha statue was 504 including the intact and damaged statues. The temple-undergone restoration from 1905 to 1910 and the last restoration were done in 1973 to 1983.

Last revised on September 10, 2009
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