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Borobudur

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.


Temple Complex
Around the Borobudur

What we see today is the Borobudur Temple whose function has changed, having now become a research and tourist object, situated on the Borobudur Tourist Park. Borobudur is not only a tourist object, but also a cultural legacy. The existence of the tourist park reflects a cultural awareness to deal with the challenge, based on past experienced, to preserve the monument so that its name and significance will not be lost. Borobudur must be reconstructed and saved for posterity, preserved according to the requirement of modern times.

The second construction of Borobudur, sixty years after the first, was carried out by the Government of Indonesia in cooperation with UNESCO (Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) from 1973 to 1983. Repairs were carried out, in the first place by laying a new and stronger foundation, in order to prevent the floor of the passages from caving in and sloping; new conduits were made to drain rain water, since it was discovered that one of the reasons for destruction of the stone in the temple was fungi, which had proliferated in the fissures of damp stones. Later garden was laid out around the Borobudur Tourist Park.

The Borobudur Tourist Park has an area of 85 hectares to accommodate the growing number of tourists and to perpetuate the green natural surroundings of the temple. The park was officially opened by the Second President of the Republic of Indonesia, Suharto, on February 23, 1983. It comprises not only a wide grassy area, but it also planted with shade trees and decorative plants, as well as provided with general public facilities such as a parking lot for well over 200 four-wheeled vehicles, over 200 motorcycles, more than 30 buses and trucks.

It has more than 80 souvenir shops and 20 eating stands adjacent to parking lots; a ticket sales office; and adequate number of easily accessible restrooms. The trees planted there are, among others, coconut (cocos nuciferas), bodi (ficus religiosa), cempaka (michelia Champaca) and Tanjung (Mimusops elengei). There are also a variety of shrubs and flowering plants, among other gardenia (Gardenia augusta), Kemuning (Murraya paniculate), Kenanga (Cananga odorat), and Jasmine (Jasminum sambac).

As a culture park the Borobudur Tourist Park also has an archeological museum, the Borobudur Research Centre, an Information centre, the Temple Park Office, and a garden of seedlings. In the temple museum one can obtain information and pictures of Borobudur since its rediscovery in 1814. There is a model of the Borobudur reconstruction area, pictures of the temple, and sections of the temple before and after restoration, samples of rearrangements of the stones and other reconstruction techniques, pictures of reliefs on the buried foot of the temple, etc.

The Borobudur research Center is provided with facilities such as the Seminar Hall and a Guest House, and the Borobudur Reconstruction Center has a laboratory and workshops. At the Tourist Information Center all data on the Tourist Park can be obtained, and guides can be hired who speak a number of foreign language such as English, French, Dutch and German.

The Tourist Park was planned with the objective of creating harmonious "historical setting", to bring harmony with new facilities or products of modern times, in the form of a cultural park. The architectural style of the buildings and the park itself is in accordance with traditional forms. In this way it is hoped that the Borobudur Temple in its new natural environment will survive for more centuries to come.


Last revised on September 10, 2009
    
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