Borobudur and How to Explore
The Temple of Borobudur is among the most iconic monuments showing the Hinduism and Buddhism age of Indonesia situated in Kedu Valley around the southern portion of Central Java. It’s also among the best Buddhist monuments on earth.
Borobudur Temple is a huge construction. It is made of 2 thousand blocks of lava stones, reaches 115 feet in its greatest point and contains almost 1,500 carved narrative panels and 504 sculptures of the Buddha. However, after being left-handed, maybe from the 14th century, this became invisible under layers of tropical foliage and ash. Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the British Parliament of Java (along with also the creator that the town of Singapore) re-discovered the temple at 1814 and following extensive recovery by UNESCO from the late 20th century that it had been designated a World Heritage Site.
The Temple of Borobudur consists of three monuments: Borobudur Temple, others are two smaller temples. The most important temple of Borobudur itself would be the largest Buddhist temple on earth. This 60,000 m³ monument is 34.5 m large and has a square foundation of 123 m x 123 m. The second temple is Mendut Temple, whose depiction of Buddha is represented by a formidable monolith followed by two Bodhisattvas. And third is Pawon Temple, a bigger temple whose internal area doesn’t show which deity could have become the object of worship. Those three monuments represent phases from the attainment of Nirvana.
Borobudur was built in three different tiers. The foundation of this temple is made up of a monster, formed by five concentric square terraces. This is followed by the back of a cone with three platforms. At the very top is a massive stupa (a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics). The walls and balustrades of Borobudur are adorned with fine low reliefs depicting various Buddhist scenes.
How To Explore Borobudur
Considering that Borobudur is Indonesia’s only most visited tourist attraction, it can be very crowded and noisy, especially on weekends.
The temple always filled by students since most schools in Java visit Borobudur, and they love to take photographs of tourists! It seems that they are more excited to take selfies with tourists than to search the Borobudur itself. These schools come from remote regions of Java and have not never seen a foreigner before. So be prepared to get photographed often! Sooner or later, we felt just like movie stars.
The essential issue will be to arrive first, ideally as soon as the gate opens in 06%, or buy a sunrise ticket that allows you to Borobudur at 4:30 am.
You can remain in the nearest resort to Borobudur, the Manohara Hotel. It’s located at the foot of Borobudur mountain, using a cafe/restaurant that has views across to Borobudur. Included in the purchase price of our stay was that the entrance ticket (entry at 06:00 am), and you might come and go as we wanted during the afternoon.
You can purchase the Sunrise ticket (250 000 IDR = USD 19 since we remained at Manohara Hotel) and entered Borobudur at sunset around 4:30 am. You can walk around in the temple until noon, then went down to the hotel to get something to eat and had a rest while it had been at its hottest. It worked out perfectly! You can get to see and picture Borobudur as it was least crowded, coolest and most photogenic light wise.
How To Get There
Borobudur is situated 41 km out of Yogyakarta city, in the centre of the island Java in Indonesia. From Yogyakarta, it is possible to cycle, take the bus or a cab. We took a taxi from Yogyakarta. It took approximately 1,5 hours.
Borobudur is available from 06% till 5 pm (17:00), seven days each week. You may buy a Sunrise ticket and buy at 4:30 am (the regular ticket include room rate if you stay in Manohara Hotel, and also the Sunrise ticket is 250 000 IDR = 19 US$ extra). We highly advise you to get there at 4:30 am or 06:00 am (even though it is super tiring to get up this early!) To avoid the huge crowds.
Ready to start your getaway to Borobudur? Visit Wonderful Indonesia, and don’t miss out on the magic!