Located in Java, Asia, the Borobudur Temple Compounds is made up of three separate monuments and is a Buddhist place of worship that was built in the 8th and 9th centuries.
The Borobudur temple is the world’s biggest monument of Buddhism and sits up on top of a hill surrounded by volcanoes and greenery. Built similar to a step pyramid, the Borobudur Temple has over 500 statues of Buddha around it.
Close to 3,000 sculptures line the lower terraces depicting ideas and truths from Buddha. Buddhists would make pilgrimages here for many years up until the 15th century, and today many are going there again.
During the 1500’s, the site was abandoned and forgotten until the early 19th century, when an explorer excavated it.
The Borodubur Temple was built in the shape of a pyramid in three separate tiers. The base is the same as a pyramid and has five terraces. The middle was built as a cone and has three round platforms. The top tier is a stupa, which is similar to a mound and is a place of worship and meditation.
The three tiers of the Borodubur Temple resemble the different planes of consciousness. These three planes that each tier represents are the sphere of desire, the sphere of forms, and the sphere of formlessness.
As visitors walk up the temple it signifies that they are walking up towards enlightenment. Bas-reliefs give truth and stories as practicing Buddhists climb up to the top.
Borodubur, Mendut and Pawon
The Borodubur Temple Compounds is made up of the huge Borodubur Temple and two temples that are much smaller. Mendut Temple has a Buddha depiction of an imposing monolith and two people who are Bodhisattvas, those who can reach nirvana but do not so that they can help others who are struggling and suffering. The Pawon Temple is the last small temple and it is unknown who was worshipped inside.
Each temple signifies a phase in the process of attaining Nirvana, or enlightenment.
3 sites in this World Heritage
- Borobudur Temple
- Mendut Temple
- Pawon Temple