Daily Archives: November 25, 2012

Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java

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

looking up

walking around

over the shoulder

this row of statues is in relatively good condition

first level of stupas

with Adrian for scale

timed shot

a Buddha statue exposed

final level of stupas

making our way back down

from a distance

cooling down

lunch

Candi Mendut, Magelang, Central Java

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

climbing up

looking up

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