Borobudur, derived from the Sanskrit vihara Buddha uhr, meaning the Buddhist Monastery on the hill, is built on a bedrock hill, 265m above the sea level. Borobudur is a 9th century Mahayana Buddhist monument near Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. It is a shrine to the divine grace of Lord Buddha and also a place of pilgrimage. Borobudur is likely to have been built during the Sailendra dynasty when it was under the influence of the Srivijayan Empire.
The massive monument of Borobudur consists of six square platforms topped with three circular platforms and is adorned with 2,672 relief panel and 504 Buddha statues. Arising from the centre is the central dome on the top platform surrounded by 72 perforated stupas within which 72 statues of Buddha are seated.
The pilgrimage to Borobudur starts at the base of the monument and follows a circular path through three levels of Buddhist cosmology to reach the top. The three levels are:
|Borobudur General Information|
|Architectural Style||Stupa and Candi|
|Town or City||Near Magelang, Central Java|
|Completed||c. AD 800|
|Borobudur Companies Involved|
Spread over 2500 sq mts, Borobudur contains 2670 separate bas reliefs, of which 1460 are narrative and 1212 are decorative panels. These bas reliefs are spread across the hidden foot, Kamadhatu and the five square platforms Rupadhatu. The reliefs detail the life of Buddha, his childhood, his wanderings in the forest and eventual attainment of Wisdom. The panels also depict the working of the law of Karma.
In Indonesia Borobudur is known as Candi Borobudur, meaning ancient temple. During the 14th century, Borobudur faded from popular vision as rulers changed in Indonesia. In 1814, Sir Thomas Stamford, British ruler of Java was apprised of its location by the natives and slowly Borobudur came into limelight following many restoration efforts. The major project of restoration in contemporary times was taken by Indonesian government and the UNESCO, in 1973 which resulted in the monument being declared as a World Heritage Site.
Now Borobudur is restored as a place of worship and pilgrimage. Once a year, during the full moon in May or June, Buddhists flock to Borobudur to observe the festival of Vesak which commemorates the life of Lord Buddha.
Borobudur is the single most favored tourist destination in Indonesia. With more than half a million visitors coming in, Borobudur is sure to stay on the map for a long time.
|First Gallery||main wall||Lalitavistara||120|
|Third Gallery||main wall||Gandavyuha||88|
|Fourth Gallery||main wall||Gandavyuha||84|
|Mudra||Symbolic Meaning||Dhyani Buddha||Cardinal Point||Location of the Statue|
|Bhumisparsa mudra||Calling the Earth to witness||Aksobhya||East||Rupadhatu niches on the first four eastern balustrades|
|Vara mudra||Benevolence, alms giving||Ratnasambhava||South||Rupadhatu niches on the first four southern balustrades|
|Dhyana mudra||Concentration and meditation||Amitabha||West||Rupadhatu niches on the first four western balustrades|
|Abhaya mudra||Courage, fearlessness||Amoghasiddhi||North||Rupadhatu niches on the first four northern balustrades|
|Vitarka mudra||Reasoning and virtue||Vairochana||Zenith||Rupadhatu niches in all directions on the fifth (uppermost) balustrade|
|Dharmachakra mudra||Turning the Wheel of dharma (law)||Vairochana||Zenith||Arupadhatu in 72 perforated stupas on three rounded platforms|