Indonesia – Borobudur Temple

Borobudur, a Buddhist stupa in the Mahayana tradition, is the largest Buddhist monument in the world. Located on the Indonesian island of Java, 40 km (25mi) northwest of Yogyakarta, Borobudur was built around 750 AD. The magnificent temple is a three-dimensional mandala (diagram of the universe) and a visual representation of Buddhist teachings.

The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa.

The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path through the monument while ascending to the top through the three levels of Buddhist cosmology, namely Kāmadhātu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness). During the journey the monument guides the pilgrims through a system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the wall and the balustrades.

 

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