The Mahayana Buddhist temple Borobudur situates in Magelang close to Yogyakarta in Central Java. Yogyakarta is the centre of Javanese culture. The city has had an important influence on Javanese history. However, the area is one of the sacred places in ancient Javanese history.
The Borobudur temple was built in the ninth century. That was the time of the Srivijaya Empire in Sumatra. At this time Palembang was the capital of the empire. That was almost at the same time when the nearby Hindu Temple Prambanan had been built. However, the monument is the world’s largest Buddhist temple today.
Borobudur is all together, a Buddhist shrine, a pilgrimage and a tourist destination. Used for celebrating Buddhists events and festivals.
Volcanos surround the temple area at a close distance. Those volcanos like Mt Merapi. Merbabu und Sumbing frequently affects the temple during eruptions. Covered by ash and hidden in the jungle the temple fell into oblivion for generations. Sir Thomas Raffles rediscovered the temple in the nineteenth century finally. He is the founder of today’s Singapore as well. In fact, he brought Borobudur back to attention.
All in all, the temple is entirely made from stone and built on a hill. The shape is like a pyramid with a square foundation. In particular, the temple was built upon nine platforms. The first six platforms have a square shape. The upper three have a round shape. On top, a stupa completes the monument.
Stairs lead to every platform and finally to the top stupa. The platforms are decorated with reliefs and stupas. Each platform describes the life of Buddha. Each platform represents one stage of enlightenment in the Buddhist religion.
Mahayana Buddhist temple Borobudur and the Hindu temple Prambanan are one of the most famous tourist spots in Java. Millions per year visit the temple in the jungle.