Duniart – Photography and Blog by Toine IJsseldijk

Central Java

Borobudur is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple, near the city of Magelang, in Central Java. The temple consists of nine stacked platforms, six square and three circular, topped by a central dome. It is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and originally 504 Buddha statues. The central dome is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues, each seated inside a perforated stupa. The monument guides pilgrims through an extensive system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the walls and the balustrades. Borobudur has one of the world’s most extensive collections of Buddhist reliefs.
Built during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty, the temple design follows Javanese Buddhist architecture, which blends the Indonesian indigenous tradition of ancestor worship and the Buddhist concept of attaining nirvāna. The monument is a shrine to the Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. Evidence suggests that Borobudur was constructed in the 8th century and subsequently abandoned following the 14th-century decline of Hindu kingdoms in Java and the Javanese conversion to Islam. Worldwide knowledge of its existence was sparked in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, then the British ruler of Java, who was advised of its location by native Indonesians. Borobudur has since been preserved through several restorations. The largest restoration project was completed at 1983 by the Indonesian government and UNESCO, followed by the monument’s listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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