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Archive for the ‘Borobudur’ Category

30 Nov – 2 Dec 1995: Yogyakarta, Indonesia 

This is my first holiday after I graduated from the university and stepped into the work force. We wanted a “special” place and we picked Yogyakarta, home to Borobudur –  a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist monument, sometimes hailed as the Eighth Wonder of the World. 

To reach Yogyakarta, we had to transit at Jakarta Airport. By noon, we were ready to visit the monument. 

 

Borobudur 

There is no written record of who built Borobudur or of its intended purpose. But it is commonly believed that the monument was built around 800 A.D., at the peak of the Sailendra dynasty in central Java. The Sailendras were well-known as ardent followers of Lord Buddha. Evidence suggests that Borobudur was abandoned following the decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Java. After a series of volcanic eruptions, Borobudur lay hidden for centuries under layers of volcanic ash and jungle growth. The first restoration was initiated by the British ruler of Java, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles in 1814. 

 

 

 

 

Borobudur comprises of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. The relief panels described the three levels of  of Buddhist cosmology: Kāmadhātu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness). The monument is a place for Buddhist pilgrimage and the pilgrim’s journey begins at the base of the monument and follows a path circling the monument through the stairways and corridors with the narrative relief panels on the wall. 

 

 

 

 

 

Located at the center of the top platform is a main dome, surrounded by 72 Buddha statues, each seated inside a stupa. 

 

 

It was said that if you could reach and touch the Buddha inside the stupa, whatever you wish for will come true. So we tried… 

 

 

Sultan’s Royal Palace  

The next morning, we stopped by the Royal Palace of Yogyakarta Sultanate, a monarchy in the province of Yogyakarta. Due to power struggle, the sultanate declined and eventually splitted. 

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