Candi Borobudur: An Iconic Landmark and a National Treasure
Hello PikiranMedia’s Friends, have you ever heard of Candi Borobudur? Located in Magelang, Central Java, this ancient temple is not only Indonesia’s but also one of the world’s most iconic landmarks. It was built in the 9th century during the reign of the Sailendra dynasty and believed to be the largest Buddhist temple in the world.
The History of Candi Borobudur
The construction of Candi Borobudur took around 75 years and used about 2 million stone blocks to build. The temple’s structure represents the Buddhist concept of the universe, consisting of three levels: Kamadhatu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms), and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness). On top of the temple, there is a stupa as the symbol of Nirvana, where Buddha was believed to achieve enlightenment.
Candi Borobudur was abandoned in the 14th century and covered by volcanic ash for centuries. It was then rediscovered in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the British governor of Java at that time. During the Dutch colonial period, the temple underwent a massive restoration project, which lasted for more than 70 years until the 1980s.
The Architecture of Candi Borobudur
The temple’s architecture has a combination of Indian and Javanese artistic styles. Its walls are decorated with intricate carvings that depict various Buddhist teachings, stories, and symbols. The temple has a unique architectural grandeur, consisting of six square platforms, three circular platforms, and 72 stupas.
The platforms are adorned with 2,672 panels of bas-reliefs and 504 Buddha statues. The carvings on the panels display various subjects, such as the life of Buddha, Karmawibhangga, Lalitavistara, and Jatakas. These carvings are considered a masterpiece of traditional Javanese art and have become one of the main attractions of Candi Borobudur.
Candi Borobudur in Today’s World
Nowadays, Candi Borobudur is not only a religious site but also a popular tourist spot in Indonesia. It attracts millions of visitors from all over the world every year. In recognition of its historical and cultural significance, Candi Borobudur was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.
To preserve this iconic landmark, the Indonesian government has implemented several measures to protect and conserve the temple. These measures include monitoring the temple’s structural stability, conserving the carvings and sculptures, and controlling the number of visitors.
Candi Borobudur is not only a magnificent architectural masterpiece but also a reflection of Indonesia’s rich and diverse cultural heritage. It is an icon of the country’s religious and cultural tolerance, where Hindu and Buddhist cultures have coexisted peacefully for centuries. If you haven’t visited Candi Borobudur yet, put it on your bucket list, and witness the grandeur of this national treasure firsthand.
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