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Thursday, 23 April 2015

The Borobudur Temple Complex, Indonesia

Borobudur one of the world’s largest Buddhist temple, as well as one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world. The Borobudur temple complex is located at the center of the island of Java, Indonesia. This temple compounds consists of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues,covering a total surface area of 2,520 m2. A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues each of which is seated inside a perforated stupa.

The Hidden Buddhist Temple of Borobudur
The Hidden Buddhist Temple of Borobudur. Photo credit Trey Ratcliff
Borobudur was likely founded around 800 CE. Built in the 9th century during the reign of the Syailendra Dynasty. the temple was designed in Javanese Buddhist architecture. The temple also demonstrates the influences of Gupta art that reflects India's influence on the region, yet there are enough indigenous scenes and elements incorporated to make Borobudur uniquely Indonesian. Evidence suggests Borobudur was constructed in the 9th century and abandoned following the 14th-century decline of Hindu kingdoms in Java and the Javanese conversion to Islam. The name Borobudur was first written in Sir Thomas Raffles's book on Javan history, because the origins of the name Borobudur, however, are unclear, although the original names of most ancient Indonesian temples are no longer known.

Borobudur is located in an elevated area between two twin volcanoes, Sundoro-Sumbing and Merbabu-Merapi, and two rivers, the Progo and the Elo. There is no written record of who built the Borobudur or of its intended purpose. The construction time has been estimated by comparison between carved reliefs on the temple's hidden foot and the inscriptions commonly used in royal charters during the 8th and 9th centuries. But Borobudur was mysteriously abandoned by the 1500s, Eruptions deposited volcanic ash on the site and the lush vegetation of Java took root on the largely forgotten site.

Fortunately, the decline of Borobudur was arrested by tighter regulations and one of the most ambitious international preservation projects ever attempted. The “Save Borobudur” campaign was launched in 1968 through the government of Indonesia and UNESCO. The monument was restored with UNESCO's help in the 1970s.

The Borobodur Temple Complex, Indonesia
Photo credit Yann Pinczon du Sel

The Borobodur Temple Complex, Indonesia
Photo credit VasenkaPhotography

The Borobodur Temple Complex, Indonesia
Photo credit Mark Joseph Lopez

The Borobodur Temple Complex, Indonesia
Photo credit null0

The Borobodur Temple Complex, Indonesia
Photo credit VasenkaPhotography

The Borobodur Temple Complex, Indonesia
Photo credit VasenkaPhotography

The Borobodur Temple Complex, Indonesia
Photo credit null0

The Borobodur Temple Complex, Indonesia
Photo credit Ben Beiske

The Borobodur Temple Complex, Indonesia
Photo credit Photo Dharma

The Borobodur Temple Complex, Indonesia
Photo credit Curtis Ferrell

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