Borobudur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is simply amazing. It is the most visited tourist attraction in Indonesia and you really have to see it for yourself to appreciate the scale and the detail of the place. Although Borobodur is quite well-restored, it saddens me greatly to see the Buddha statues that have been destroyed by looting.
Borobudur consists of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms. It is decorated with more than 2000 relief panels and more than 500 Buddha statues. The upper platform features 72 small stupas surrounding one large central stupa. Each stupa is bell-shaped and statues of the Buddha sit inside the enclosures.
Once a year, Buddhists in Indonesia observe Vesak day and the ceremony is centered at the three Buddhist temples by walking from Mendut to Pawon (the one we didn’t visit) and ending at Borobudur.
approaching from the east
over the shoulder
this row of statues is in relatively good condition
first level of stupas
with Adrian for scale
a Buddha statue exposed
final level of stupas
making our way back down
from a distance
We were on our way to Borobodur on our rented motorbike when we came across Candi Mendut. I’d read about it in one of our guide books but didn’t make any special plans to visit it so it was great that we rode right by it!
Mendut is a 26.4 metres tall Buddhist temple built around early 9th century AD. It was rediscovered in 1836 and restoration was finished in 1925. Mendut houses three large stone statues, the largest of which is the 3-metre tall Dhyani Buddha Vairocana which is meant to liberate devotees from bodily karma. The other two statues represents the liberation from karma of speech and of thought.
from the outside
some strange creature
bas-relief of Hariti surrounded by children
at the entrance to the main chamber
Dhyani Buddha Vairocana
Boddhisatva Avalokitesvara on the left
Boddhisatva Vajrapani on the right
another bas-relief outside