The Artistic Wonders of Candi Borobudur: A Blend of Cultures and Styles

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If you are looking for a place that has both historical and artistic value, it is a must to visit Candi Borobudur, in Magelang, Central Java. Borobudur temple is the world’s largest Buddhist temple and was built in the 8th and 9th centuries during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991 and is the most visited tourist attraction in Indonesia. The name Borobudur comes from the Sanskrit words “Vihara Buddha Uhr,” which means “Buddhist monastery on the hill.”

The temple’s architecture is a blend of cultures and styles. The structure has nine platforms, six of which are square, and three are circular. The overall design represents the universe according to Buddhist teachings. The lower three levels represent the world of desire, while the upper three levels represent the world of form. The top three levels represent the world of formlessness, which is enlightenment.

The temple has 2,672 relief panels, covering a total length of 3 miles, depicting stories from Buddhist teachings. They are designed in a sequence, starting from the east side of the temple, leading to the clockwise direction. The relief panels depict various stories from the life of Buddha, including his past lives, his enlightenment, and his path to Nirvana.

The relief panels are not only edifying but also very artistic. They show a masterful combination of symmetry, composition, and detailing. The carving technique attracts attention by using a ‘calm’ stroke of chisel and hammer, following the nuances of light and shadows. The delicate carving work represents the high level of artistic achievement of the people who built this temple.

The temple’s beauty can be observed from various angles. The temple’s central dome includes a large Buddha statue, with four smaller standing Buddhas on the platforms around it. The statues’ arrangement reflects the Mahayana Buddhist belief that Buddha has several forms.

As you walk around the temple, you’ll notice that the wall and floor relief panels’ design changes. The lower levels have simple geometric patterns depicting flora and fauna, while the upper levels have intricate patterns and narrative scenes depicting the life of Buddha.

In the central chamber, you can find a statue of Buddha sitting with the Bhumisparsha mudra, which means ‘touching the earth.’ This mudra symbolizes the moment when Buddha attained enlightenment. The statue made of volcanic rocks is 3.7 meters tall and the only one in the temple that’s uncovered.

If you want a more detailed explanation of the temple’s history and art, you can hire a tour guide. The guides are knowledgeable and speak in many languages. They can also show you the spots where the best pictures can be taken, so make sure to bring your camera.

In conclusion, Candi Borobudur is not just a temple, but it’s a blending of cultures, architecture, and artistic achievements. The temple represents the golden age of the Sailendra dynasty, and the intricate details and carvings show the high level of craftsmanship of the people who built the temple. It is a perfect place to learn about Buddhism, history and experience the artistic wonders.

Thank you for reading this article on Candi Borobudur. We hope that you can explore this magnificent temple, and immerse yourself in its cultural and artistic wonders.

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