Borobudur, Indonesia

It ranks with Angkor Wat (Cambodia) and Pagan (Burma) as one of the three wonders of Southeast Asia.

Yesterday I visited Borobudur, the 1200 year old Buddhist temple. It is situated about an hour from Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta) on the island of Java in Indonesia. Yogyakarta is 7 hours by train from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. Borobudur is only a 40 minute taxi ride from Yogyakara, Indonesia's cultural center.

The photo shows one of thousands of pictures decorating the massive 118 x 118 meter temple. The ancient Javanese were great mariners and it is thought that in ships similar to the one pictured on the temple, Javanese traveled as far as Madagascar. A museum near the temple contains a full scale replica of this ship. In 1992 it was sailed across the Indian Ocean to Africa. There are some interesting similarities in vocabulary and also cultural artifacts (musical instruments) shared by Indonesia and Madagascar.

More about my impression of the climb to the top of Borobudur here. There is a humorous photo here.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome photo!Borobudur, a name deriving from an expression meaning 'Mountain of accumulation of merits of the ten states of Bodhisattva' is commonly thought of as a Buddhist structure, yet its initial construction was planned and conducted by Hindu builders sometime around 775AD. The enormous first and second terraces were completed by a declining Hindu dynasty, construction was then halted for some years, and later, from 790 to 835 AD, the Buddhist Sailendra dynasty continued and finally completed the great stupa. The huge stone mass might have then been permanently abandoned, for it was difficult to adapt to the needs of Buddhism. However, leaving in evidence such an obvious manifestation of Hinduism was probably not deemed politically correct and thus the unfinished Shiva temple was transformed into the world's largest Buddhist stupa.

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