Friday, May 9, 2014

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur is the biggest temple in Indonesia. Borobudur temple is located in Magelang, Central Java, in addition to being a bustling tourist attraction visited, also a center of worship for Buddhists in Indonesia, especially at every celebration of Vesak. This is consistent with the meaning of his name is "monastery in the hills". Borobudur Currently established as one of the UNESCO World Heritage.
Borobudur Temple
Borobudur Temple

History of Borobudur Temple
Borobudur was built around 800 AD or the 9th century. Borobudur Temple was built by the followers of Mahayana Buddhism during the reign of Dynasty Syailendra. This temple was built in the heyday dynasty Syailendra. The founder of the Borobudur Temple that is Raja Samaratungga originating from or dynasty dynasty Syailendra. The possibility of this temple was built around 824 CE and finished around by 900s AD during the reign of Queen Pramudawardhani who is the daughter of Samaratungga. While the architects who build this temple served by the story of hereditary named Gunadharma.

Borobudur own words based on the first written evidence written by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, Governor General of Great Britain in Java, which gives the name of this temple. There is no written evidence that older who gave the name to this temple Borobudur. The only documents which show the existence oldest temple is Nagarakretagama book, written by the MPU prapanca in 1365. Written in the book that the temple was used as a place of Buddhist meditation.
Borobudur is the name meaning "monastery in the hills", which is derived from the word "coal" (temple or monastery) and "beduhur" (hills or high places) in Sanskrit. Therefore, in accordance with the meaning of the name Borobudur, then this place long ago used as a place of Buddhist worship.
This temple for centuries is no longer used. Then as volcanic eruptions, most of the buildings covered Borobudur volcanic soil. In addition, the building is also covered with various trees and shrubs for centuries . Then the building of this temple began forgotten in the time Islam arrived in Indonesia around the 15th century.

In 1814 when the British occupied Indonesia, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles heard of the discovery of giant archaeological objects in the village of Magelang Neely. Due to the great interest the history of Java, then immediately ordered Raffles HC Cornelius, a Dutch engineer, to investigate the discovery of the location was a hill covered with shrubs. 
Cornelius assisted by about 200 men cut down trees and remove shrubs that covered the giant building. Because the building is already fragile and could collapse, then report to the Raffles Cornelius invention includes several images. Because of that discovery, Raffles was awarded as the man who started restoration of Borobudur temple and got the attention of the world. In 1835, the entire area of ​​the temple has been excavated. The temple is kept restored in the Dutch colonial period.

After Indonesian independence, in 1956, the Indonesian government requested the assistance of UNESCO to examine the damage to Borobudur. Then in 1963, came the official Indonesian government's decision to undertake the restoration of Borobudur temple with the help of UNESCO. However, this restoration actually began on August 10, 1973. Process of restoration was recently completed in 1984. Since 1991, Borobudur designated as World Heritage Site by UNESCO or the World Heritage.

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur temple is located in Magelang, Central Java, about 40 km from Yogyakarta. Borobudur has 10 levels consisting of 6 levels of a square, circular level 3 circular and a main stupa as a peak. At every level there are several stupas. Altogether there are 72 stupas in addition to the main stupa. In every stupa there is a statue of Buddha. Ten levels of Buddhist philosophy which describes the ten levels of Bodhisattva who must pass to reach the perfection of the Buddha in nirvana. This perfection symbolized by the main stupa at the top level. Borobudur structure when viewed from above form a mandala structure depicting Buddhist cosmology and human thinking.
On the four sides of the temple there is a gate and stairs to the level above it like a pyramid. This illustrates the Buddhist philosophy that all life came from rocks. Stone later became the sand, then into plants, then into the insect, and then into wild animals, and pets, and the last to be human. This process is known as reincarnation. The last process is the soul and finally into nirvana. Each stage of enlightenment in this life processes based on the philosophy of Buddha depicted in the reliefs and statues throughout the Borobudur Temple.

This huge building just a giant pile of stone blocks which have a total height of 42 meters. Each stone spliced ​​without using cement or adhesive. These stones are only connected by patterns and stacked. The base of Borobudur temple is about 118 m on each side. The stones used approximately 55,000 cubic meters. All of the stones taken from the river around the Borobudur Temple. These stones are cut and then transported and connected with a pattern like the lego games. All without the use of glue or cement.
Meanwhile, relief began to be made after the completion of rocks stacked and connected. Reliefs found on the walls of the temple. Borobudur has 2670 different relief. Relief is read clockwise. This relief illustrates a story that I read it starts and ends at the gate to the east. This suggests that the main gate of the Borobudur temple facing east like most other Buddhist temples.

Vesak Celebration at Borobudur

Every year on the full moon in May (or June in leap year), Buddhists in Indonesia observe Vesak at the Borobudur Temple. Vesak is commemorated as the day of birth, death and the time when Siddhartha Gautama obtain the highest wisdom to become the Buddha Shakyamuni. The third event is referred to as Trisuci Vesak. Vesak ceremony centered at three Buddhist temples by walking from temple to temple Mendut Profiles and ending at Borobudur. 
On the eve of Vesak, especially on peak moments of the full moon, Buddhists gathered around Borobudur. At that time, Borobudur is believed to be a gathering place supernatural powers. According to belief, at the time of Vesak, the Buddha will appear at the top of the mountain look on the south.


Today, Borobudur has become a tourist attraction which attracts many tourists both local and foreign. In addition, Borobudur has become a holy place for Buddhists in Indonesia and became the center of the most important annual celebration of Vesak is a Buddhist. 
Borobudur be one proof of the greatness and the human intellect has ever made in Indonesia. Borobudur become a major tourist attraction and culture in Indonesia besides Bali and Jakarta. After visiting Borobudur, you can also visit the surrounding villages like Karanganyar which has some interesting sights.