Hello PikiranMedia’s Friends! From Ancient Kingdoms to Modern Wonder: The Legacy of Candi Borobudur
The world is full of fascinating buildings and ancient ruins that tell the story of the past. One of these exceptional structures is Candi Borobudur, a Buddhist temple located in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The temple has a rich history that dates back to the 8th century, and its unique design and status have garnered it extensive recognition as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Let’s explore the story behind this magnificent temple together.
The Birth of Candi Borobudur
Candi Borobudur was built during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty, who ruled Central Java back in the 8th and 9th centuries AD. The construction of the temple took over 70 years to complete and was headed by the king’s chief architect, Gunadharma. The structure was designed to resemble a mandala and is made up of 2 million blocks of volcanic rock.
The temple is often described as a mountain of youth that represents the cosmos. Its unique design showcases Javanese architecture and incorporates Indonesian cultural elements such as the pre-Hindu-Buddha concept of “tanah” or earth, the “jala” concept or water, and the “bayu” or wind concept. The temple’s architecture also includes Indian and Chinese influences.
The Fall and Rediscovery of Candi Borobudur
Despite being revered as a great temple by the Sailendra Dynasty, Candi Borobudur was abandoned and fell into disrepair in the 14th century. It was covered in volcanic ash from the nearby Mount Merapi and was eventually forgotten until the 19th century. The temple was rediscovered, and restoration efforts began in the early 20th century, led by the Dutch colonial government. It took over a decade to unveil the entire temple, and the restoration project was completed in 1983.
Borobudur Temple as a World Heritage Site
In recognition of its exceptional cultural and historical significance, Candi Borobudur was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. The recognition was based on the temple’s relevance as an exceptional example of Indonesia’s cultural heritage, its intellectual, artistic and technical achievements, as well as its existence as a prominent Buddhist center in Southeast Asia during the 8th and 9th centuries.
A Symbol of National Pride
Candi Borobudur is a symbol of Indonesia’s proud cultural heritage, and it attracts local and foreign visitors alike. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country and is also a popular site for Buddhist pilgrimage. The temple is an essential part of the country’s national identity and is featured prominently in many cultural events, including Indonesian Independence Day celebrations and New Year festivals.
Dimensions and Architectural Features of Candi Borobudur
Candi Borobudur covers an area of 2,500 square meters and stands 42 meters high. The temple comprises six square platforms topped by three circular terraces. The walls of these platforms are adorned by 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. The central dome of the temple is the largest and represents Nirvana.
The architectural design of the temple incorporates advanced mathematical and astronomical principles. The temple is aligned to face the sunrise, and the central axis aligns with the Mount Merbabu and Merapi volcanoes. Additionally, the temple was designed to capture the moon during the Vaisakha full moon evening, symbolizing Buddhist enlightenment.
The Borobudur Experience
Visitors to Candi Borobudur can enjoy an immersive and interactive experience with a multitude of tour options. Visitors can explore temple grounds, watch a sunrise or sunset over the temple, and enjoy the beauty of the ancient carvings made on the temple walls. Many visitors choose to hire a guide to understand the history and intricacies of the temple and its relationship with Buddhism.
Borobudur International Festival
The temple hosts the Borobudur International Festival, which is a colorful and vibrant celebration of Indonesian culture. The festival is an opportunity for visitors to experience traditional dance and music performances, traditional food and arts displays, and many other exciting events that showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage.
The Future of Candi Borobudur
The future of Candi Borobudur looks bright. In January 2021, Indonesia launched the “Wonderful Indonesia: Travel Now, Visit Later” campaign, which aimed to promote domestic tourism, including visits to the Candi Borobudur temple. The campaign focuses on optimized health and safety measures and highlights the unique and rewarding experience of visiting the temple. Additional restoration work on the temple is ongoing, ensuring that the temple maintains its exceptional cultural heritage for generations to come.
The Majestic Legacy of Candi Borobudur
In conclusion, Candi Borobudur is a magnificent temple that has stood the test of time. Its unique design, cultural and historical significance, and exceptional preservation status make it a true wonder of the world. The temple will continue to enchant visitors for centuries to come and remain an essential part of Indonesia’s national identity and proud cultural heritage.
Thank you for reading, and we hope you learned a lot about the legacy of Candi Borobudur. Keep exploring and discovering the wonders of the world!