What is the history of the great Borobudur temple?

The Borobudur temple is one of the most impressive in the province of Java. It is the largest Buddhist temple in the world and, as such, is colossal in its impressiveness. Do you want to know more about its exciting history?

Borobudur Temple is located in the province of Java, Indonesia. It is a huge construction that overflows beauty from every corner. It has a pyramidal design that has six platforms of square figures and another three circular platforms.

How is the largest Buddhist temple in the world

At its apex, the Borobudur temple has a circular crowning structure shaped like a huge bell, like everything else in this temple. More than 2000 reliefs decorate the temple, which show the different stories that populate the Indonesian tradition; also, just over 500 Buddha statues complete the set.

The temple was built between two volcanoes and two rivers and on a rocky hill, a strange fact if we look at the characteristics of this type of temples, which are usually built on flat surfaces. Those who have seen it from the air say that it presents the image of a mandala of happiness.

Therefore, although the purpose of its construction is not very well known, it is very possible that it was to represent the path to enlightenment or the supreme truth that all human beings can access. According to Buddhist philosophy, we all have the Buddha nature within us, despite being ignorant of it.

Its reliefs form four different themes. First of all, the cause and effect or the wheel of karma, where the dark destiny of bad actions or the reward for good ones is shown. Second, the birth of Buddha, later, the life of Siddharta Gautama and other characters.

The last of the reliefs represents the search of Sudhan, who was the son of a great merchant in search of enlightenment. The same way, Buddha figures have different mudras or particular manual postures that represent the phases of this path, or elements of nature.

The history of Borobudur temple

The history of this impressive structure is still not fully known. It’s more, its creation has not been able to be attributed with certainty to any ruler in particular.

The analysis of the sculptural styles that have been developed, as well as the study of some inscriptions that we find in this Indonesian temple, place its construction between the 8th and 9th centuries of our era.

Therefore, it seems that its promoters would have been the components of the Sailendra dynastyrulers of Java and owners of a marine empire in the surroundings of what later became known as the Spice Islands.

It has tons and tons of stone and, unlike the rest of the Buddhist temples that are located on flat spaces, Borobudur is on a small mound. It is estimated that its builders took 75 years to complete it. and it is perfectly aligned with two other temples: Mendut and Pawon.

Abandoned when the capital moved to Java, the temple was rediscovered by the English when they took control of the island in 1814. Until then, the structure had remained buried under vegetation and volcanic ash produced by the constant eruptions that occurred for centuries.

The recent years of the temple

In 1835, it was unearthed in its entirety, with which archeology and anthropology were able to shed a little more light on the mystery of its construction. These disciplines determined that it was prior to the 15th century, when the religion of Islam arrived in the area. However, it has been in successive research campaigns in which little by little their enigmas have been unraveled.

Currently, Borobudur temple is a pilgrimage site for Buddhists from all over the world, who come to visit it on a full moon night in May or June. Similarly, it has become a mandatory tourist destination.

In fact, it is one of the main attractions of the country, along with Bali. Its popularity has grown especially after the different recovery campaigns of the temple promoted by UNESCO and the Indonesian government since 1973.

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