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Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur is the name of a Buddhist temple located at Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. Location of the temple is about 100 km southwest of Manila, 86 km to the west of Surakarta, and 40 km northwest of Yogyakarta.

Stupa shaped temple was founded by the Mahayana Buddhists around AD 800-AD in the reign of an dynasty dynasty. The monument comprises six square terraces on which there are three circular courtyard, the walls adorned with original 2672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues there.

The main stupa in the middle of the largest teletak once crowned this building, surrounded by three rows of round 72 perforated stupas in which there are statues of Buddha sitting cross-legged in the lotus position perfectly with the mudra (hand position) Dharmachakra mudra (turning the wheel of dharma).

This monument is a model of the universe and built as a shrine to honor the Buddha also functions as a place of pilgrimage to guide mankind to switch from natural lust to enlightenment and wisdom according to the teachings of Buddha. The pilgrims enter through the east side starting at the base of the temple ritual walk around holy building is in a clockwise direction, while continuing to go up to the next steps in the sphere through three levels of Buddhist cosmology. The third level is Kamadhatu (the realm of the passions), Rupadhatu (sphere shape), and Arupadhatu (the realm of intangibles). In this way of pilgrims walking through the hallway and staircase with a series of witnessed no less than 1460 beautifully carved relief panels on the wall and balustrade.

According to historical evidence, Borobudur abandoned in the 14th century as the weakening of the influence of Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms in Java as well as from the influence of Islam. The world began to recognize the existence of this building since 1814 was found by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, who was then serving as Governor General of British control over Java. Since then Borobudur has suffered a series of rescue and restoration efforts. Largest restoration project was held in the period 1975 to 1982 the efforts of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and UNESCO, and historic sites are included in the list of World Heritage Sites.

Borobudur is still used as a place of religious pilgrimage; each year Buddhists who come from all over Indonesia and abroad gather at Borobudur to commemorate Vesak Trisuci. In the world of tourism, tourism Borobudur is Indonesia’s single most visited by tourists.

In the Indonesian language, ancient religious buildings called temples; term candi is also used more broadly to refer to all buildings from the ancient Hindu-Buddhist period in the archipelago, such as gates, gate, and petirtaan (swimming baths and showers). The origin of the name Borobudur is not clear, although it was the original name of the temple in Indonesia mostly unknown.

Name Borobudur was first written in the book “History of Java” by Sir Thomas Raffles. Raffles wrote about a monument called Borobudur, but there are no older documents that mention exact same name. The only old Javanese manuscript that gives a clue as to the Buddhist shrine of Borobudur is probably referring to Nagarakretagama, written by the MPU Prapanca in 1365.
Bore-Budur name, who later wrote of Borobudur, probably written Raffles in English grammar to refer to the nearest village to the temple that the village of Bore (Boro); most of the temples are often named after the village where the temple stood. Raffles also suggested that the term ‘Budur’ may be related to Buda in Javanese term meaning “ancient” – it means, ‘ancient Boro’. But other archaeologists think that the name comes from the term bhudhara Budur which means mountain.

Many theories attempt to explain the name of this temple. One of them states that the name is probably derived from the word Sambharabhudhara, which means “mountain” (bhudara) where the slopes are located terraces. In addition there are some other folk etymology. Suppose that the word comes from the word Borobudur “the Buddha” is due to shift the sound to Borobudur.

Another explanation is that the name comes from two words “coal” and “beduhur”. The word bara said to have originated from the word monastery, while there is also another explanation in which the coal comes from the Sanskrit language which means temple or monastery and beduhur meaning is “high”, or remind the Balinese language means “above”. So the point is a convent or dormitory that is located on high ground.

Historian J.G. de Casparis in his dissertation to earn his doctorate in 1950 argued that Borobudur is a place of worship. Based on the inscriptions and the Tri Tepusan Karangtengah, Casparis estimate Borobudur founder of the dynasty was the king of Mataram dynasty named Samaratungga, who do the construction around the year 824 AD The giant new building can be completed at the time of her daughter, Queen Pramudawardhani.

Borobudur construction expected to take half a century. Karangtengah also mentioned in the inscription on the conferment of land sima (tax-free land) by Cri Kahulunan (Pramudawardhani) to maintain Kamulan called Bh?misambh?ra. The term itself comes from the word Kamulan first place the origin of meaning, a shrine to honor ancestors, probably the ancestor of the dynasty Sailendra. Casparis estimates that Bhumi Sambh?ra Bhudh?ra in Sanskrit which means “Mount of the set of ten levels boddhisattwa virtue”, is the original name of Borobudur.


Borobudur, Pawon, and Mendut lying in a straight line that shows the unity symbol.
Located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of the city of Yogyakarta, Borobudur is situated on a hill on a plain surrounded by mountains two pairs of twins; Mount Sundoro-cleft in the northwest and Merbabu-Merapi in the north, in the north there is a hill Tidar, closer to the south there is a range of hills Menoreh, as well as the temple is located near the confluence of two rivers, namely the Progo and the Elo River in the east. According to Javanese legend, the area known as the plains of Kedu is a place that is sacred in the belief of Java and hailed as the ‘Garden of Java’ because of its natural beauty and fertility of the soil.

Three series of temples

In addition to Borobudur, there are several Buddhist and Hindu temples in the region. At the time of the discovery and restoration in the early 20th-century Buddhist temples are found Mendut and Pawon who lay stretched in a straight line.

Originally thought to only a coincidence, but based on the tales the local residents, first there is a paved road lined on either side of the balustrade that connects the third temple. No physical evidence of stone and lined the road fenced and maybe this is just a myth, but experts suspect there is a symbol of the unity of the third temple. These three temples (Borobudur-Pawon-Mendut) have similar architectural style and variety of dressing and is derived from the same period which strengthens the case of a connection between the third temple ritual. There must be a sacred association, but how was the religious rituals of pilgrimage is done, it is not certain.

In addition to the temple and Pawon Mendut, around Borobudur also found several other ancient relics, including a variety of findings such as pottery and stoneware jugs which showed that around Borobudur first there are some residential areas. Archaeological findings around Borobudur is now stored at the Museum Karmawibhangga Borobudur, located in the north of the temple adjacent to the Museum Ocean Mercury. Not how far north Pawon found ruins of the former Hindu temple called Candi Banon. At this temple was found a few statues of Hindu gods in a state primary that is good enough Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma and Ganesha.

However, the original stone temple Banon found very little so it is not possible to do reconstruction. At the time of its discovery Banon statues transported to Batavia (now Jakarta) and is now kept at the National Museum of Indonesia.

Ancient lake

Borobudur in the middle of the plain nature greenish Kedu. Allegedly used the area around Borobudur is an ancient lake.
Unlike other temples built on flat ground, Borobudur was built on a hill with a height of 265 m (870 ft) above sea level and 15 m (49 ft) above the base of an ancient lake has dried up.

The existence of this ancient lake became a hot subject of debate among archaeologists in the 20th century, and raises suspicions that Borobudur was built on the edge or even in the middle of the lake. In 1931, an artist and expert on Hindu Buddhist architecture, WOJ Nieuwenkamp, proposed the theory that the Kedu Plain was once a lake, and built Borobudur symbolize the lotus flower floating on the surface of the lake.

Either in the form of a lotus flower Padma (red lotus), utpala (blue lotus), or Kumuda (white lotus) can be found in all Buddhist iconography of religious art; often gripped by Boddhisatwa as like (symbol regalia), a cushion or as the Buddha’s throne pedestal stupa. The architecture of Borobudur itself resembles a lotus flower, and Buddha postures in Borobudur symbolize the Lotus Sutra, mostly found in schools of Mahayana Buddhist religious texts (that Buddhism spread to East Asia).

Three circular courtyard at the top of Borobudur is also thought to symbolize the lotus petals. But the theory Nieuwenkamp that sounds amazing and fantastic rebuttal to reap many of the archaeologists; on land around the monument has been discovered archeological evidence that proves that the area around Borobudur temple during the construction of this is dry land, not the ancient lakebed.

Meanwhile, geologists would support the view Nieuwenkamp to show evidence of sediment deposition in the mud near the site. A study of stratigraphy, sediment and pollen analysis of samples conducted in 2000 supports the existence of an ancient lake in the neighborhood of Borobudur, which reinforces the idea Nieuwenkamp.

This ancient lake surface elevation up and down change from time to time, and evidence suggests that the base of the hill near Borobudur never again submerged in the water and into the lake surrounding the 13th century and the 14th. River flow and volcanic activity is thought to have helped contribute to changing the landscape and topography of the surrounding environment, including Borobudur lake. One of the most active volcano Mount Merapi in Indonesia is located quite close to Borobudur and has been active since the Pleistocene.


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