This ancient site was considered as one of the world’s seven wonders. It is Located in the Kedu Valley, at the central Java island, only one hour drive from Yogjakarta (Jogja). The Borobudur Temple was built in the 8th and 9th centuries AD during the rules of Syailendra Dynasty covering a vast area of 123 x 123 meters. The architectural design of this monument is spectacular, with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues, the temple is sitting on a summit overlooking the green paddy fields. It reflects the Indian’s influence on the region which depicts Gupta architecture and a shrine for Buddhist pilgrimage to the Lord of Buddha.
When Java was under British administration from 1811 to 1816, the Governor General Thomas Stamford Raffles who was very interested in the history of Java ordered to investigate about the monument in 1814 and discovered the temple in 1815. He then preserved it through several restorations. The biggest restoration project was carried out between 1975 and 1982 by the Indonesian government and UNESCO to return its grandeur. The monument was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Today you can experience the majesty of Borobudur when you explore this enormous temple and learn its history displayed at the elaborate stone carvings on the temples walls. When you climb to the top of this splendid temple you will be amazed at the architecture and stonework which were built interlocking without using any cement at all. Nevertheless, the monument has survived for centuries despite it was buried under volcanic ash for several times.
The best and truly captivating moment to see Borobudur is during sunrise time. While the surrounding valleys is still quiet and dark covered with mist, you can experience the breathtaking view as you watch the sun is coming up behind the Merapi mountain in the coldness time of day. You can use a torch to step up through the levels of the temple; It is fascinating and worthwhile experience to explore the large and complexity of the temple as it comes to light.
Once a year in June, a special Javanese dance called Mahakarya ballet performance held in the open air theater of Borobudur. The Mahakarya tells the story behind the formation of the temple with 200 performers in traditional costumes and gamelan orchestra. You can watch the performance with a ticket from around US$ 30 - $80
The most important event in Borobudur is Waisak day where Buddhists from all over Indonesia are celebrating the birth, enlightenment and death of Siddharta Gautama, the Lord of Buddha, usually held on a full moon in April or May each year. It is a colorful festival with thousands of participants join and walk together to Borobudur to begin their meditation. It’s really a remarkable experience for visitors to watch the religious event in complete silence.