The Beginning of Borobudur
Borobudur was built during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty, which was the ruling family that dominated Central Java around the 7th to the 9th century. It is said that the temple was built to honor the glory of Buddhism and its founder, Buddha Siddhartha Gautama. The temple is built on a hill and designed in the shape of a Mandala, which represents the universe in Buddhist cosmology. The temple’s construction uses two million blocks of stone, and it took over seventy years to build the temple.
The Decline and Rediscovery of Borobudur
Like many other cultural and religious monuments, Borobudur was gradually abandoned, and nature began to take over. The temple had been forgotten and covered by jungle and ash from the eruption of Mount Merapi in the 10th century. Borobudur lay concealed until 1814, when Sir Stamford Raffles, the British Governor-General of Java, heard about a massive monument deep in the jungle. The rediscovery of the Borobudur temple made it one of the world’s most important Buddhist monuments.
The Symbolism of Borobudur
Borobudur has a unique architectural style, and each level of the temple represents different stages of Buddhist enlightenment. The lower level represents the realm of desire, while the middle level represents the world of forms. The upper level represents the formless world, and finally, the four-square platforms on the top represent Nirvana or enlightenment. The temple is decorated with over 2,600 relief panels, and the reliefs tell the story of Buddha’s journey.
The Mysteries of Borobudur
Aside from its symbolism, Borobudur also has several mysteries that continue to intrigue archaeologists and scholars. One of the temple’s hidden secrets is the missing Buddha statue in the primary stupa. It is believed that the statue was looted by thieves, and its fate remains unknown. Another mystery is how the temple’s builders were able to transport two million stone blocks from distant locations without the help of machinery.
The Significance of Borobudur Today
Today, Borobudur is considered one of Indonesia’s most visited tourist attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors come from all over the world to see the beautiful temple and experience its spiritual significance. Visitors can also join the daily morning blessings procession, where monks chant prayers and blessings to visitors.
Borobudur continues to capture the imagination of millions of people worldwide. Its exquisite architecture, beautiful carvings, and rich spirituality make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Indonesia. Its secrets and mysteries will continue to captivate scholars and visitors for years to come. Thank you for joining us on this journey of unraveling the secrets of Borobudur. Until next time, adieu to another exciting article.