Just North of Yogyakarata is Indonesia’s ‘most important centre of Buddhism’ and described as the garden of Java. This region is called Borobudur and is the site of the largest Buddhist monument ‘Borobudur temple’.
Borobudur has only became open to visitors since 1983 once the renovations of this temple was complete. The initial renovations began back in 1907, but this was limited until 1973 with the help of UNESCO.
The temple of Borobudur was built as a place of meditation. Boro means temple and Budur means hill. Borobudur temple is built on a small hill and surrounded by a well maintained park which acts as silencer and protection from the surrounding village as well as help to control the increase in tourists. At peak time there can be around 90,000 people in one day!
The temple itself is made from over 2 million andesitic rocks in the general shape of a stupa to represent the universe. The structure is split into 2 the upper part which is the main stupa and the lower is 3 round stepped kernels. To reach this you climb 6 terraces each decorated with about 1460 reliefs (carvings), buddha and lion statues. Walk around each terrace slowly clockwise to see the whole structure, as well as to catch your breath from each set of stairs!
Also at the site there is an archaeological museum which contains 4000 of the original stone carvings before restoration as well as a bit of further information about Borobudur itself.
The whole of Borobudur is walkable, but you can pay for a train ride around the site or an elephant ride.
The ticket prices vary depending if you are a local or tourist. If you are a student, bring your ID as this allows you to have a bit of a discount. But in the ticket price you can get a free tea, coffee or water. Don’t worry about covering your knees as they provide a free sarong to all visitors.
Getting to Borobudur can be done on an organised tour, driving yourself or taking public transport….we did the later.