Unveiling the Mysteries of Candi Borobudur: A UNESCO World Heritage Site
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If you’re an avid traveller, enriching your knowledge about UNESCO World Heritage Sites would be high on your priority list. One of the most fascinating and intriguing heritage sites is Candi Borobudur located in Central Java, Indonesia. Candi Borobudur is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple complex and is an architectural wonder that attracts tourists from across the world.
The Fascinating Creation of Candi Borobudur
Candi Borobudur is truly a masterpiece of architecture, carved from 2 million stone blocks, weighing more than 5,000 tons. It took over 75 years to be completely built and has since been restored further several times to maintain its pristine condition. The temple was abandoned soon after construction, and the lush jungle enveloped it until it was rediscovered in the 19th century.
The Symbolism of Candi Borobudur
The temple is highly symbolic and reflects the Buddhist philosophy of life. The temple is a representation of Mahayana Buddhism’s path to enlightenment depicted through stone carvings on its walls, with the holy peak Mount Meru said to be the central point of the universe. There are nine platforms on the temple’s exterior, with the top three circular platforms symbolising the house of Gods, while the remaining platforms depict different stages of human existence.
The Images and Depictions at Candi Borobudur
One of the primary attractions of Candi Borobudur is the 504 Buddha statues that are displayed throughout the temple complex. On the temple’s lower levels, the 160-foot wide walls are covered with magnificent carvings representing Buddhist teachings, including karma and reincarnation. The carvings tell a story from left to right and are best viewed in sequence, beginning at the east gate and leading up to the main stupa.
The Celebrations that take Place at Candi Borobudur
Annually, on Vesak Day, Buddhists from worldwide congregate to Candi Borobudur to celebrate the life of Buddha. There are also many other local events that take place at the temple complex, including Javanese cultural celebrations, puppet shows and gamelan concerts.
The Conservation of Candi Borobudur
The temple is the biggest tourist attraction in Indonesia, attracting an annual average of 2 million visitors. However, its popularity increases the amount of damage done to the temple complex. Environmental pollution from the exhaust of motorised vehicles, vandalism, and lack of maintenance, especially on the temple’s upper tiers, have the most significant impact on the preservation of the temple’s structures. Therefore, the Indonesia government, along with UNESCO, pays additional attention to the conservation and preservation of the temple.
How to Enter Candi Borobudur
The temple is approximately 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and it’s advised to travel by car or bus. The temple is open from 6 am to 5 pm daily, with sunrise tours starting as early as 4 am.
The Best Time to Visit Candi Borobudur
The temple complex is at its most beautiful at dawn when the mist lifts to reveal the stunning structure, especially in June and July, making it the best time to visit.
The Different Sections of Candi Borobudur
The temple complex is divided into four different sections: The First, which comprises the lowest level, is the base of the temple, followed by the Second level that has walkways and many decorative sculptures. The third level, where the central temple is built, is the most important point of the temple complex. Finally, the Fourth level, or the peak of the temple complex, is the primary place to enjoy the panorama of Borobudur.
The Must-See Section of Candi Borobudur
The must-see section is the upper part of Candi Borobudur, specifically the fifth tier, where there are statues of Buddha sitting in prayer pose. These statues are believed to have been carved differently and can only be seen from that angle.
The Accommodation Options near Candi Borobudur
If you’re looking for the most comfortable accommodation options near Candi Borobudur, there are plenty to choose from. From small guesthouses, boutique hotels to five-star hotels, there is something for everyone.
The Food Options near Candi Borobudur
There are plenty of food options available near Candi Borobudur, from the food courts to traditional Javanese food outlets. The Javanese ‘Gudeg,’ made from jackfruit, is a local delicacy that visitors should consider trying if they visit.
The Final Word
In conclusion, Candi Borobudur is not just the pride of Central Java but is a symbol of Buddhist philosophy that has withstood the test of time. With the right care and attention from the Indonesian government and UNESCO, this wondrous site will continue to be preserved for future generations to witness its grandeur.
Thank you for reading, and we look forward to sharing another exciting article with you soon.