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The Ancient Wonder of the World

Submitted by Agustian Hermanto on October 20, 2009 – 10:15 am Comments

Borobudur, located approximately 40 km northwest of Yogyakarta, is considered to be one of the Ancient Wonders of the World. This consideration is based on an ongoing debate whether Borobudur should actually make the list. Sad but true, a private Swiss foundation announced in July 2007 of the poll result of Seven Wonders of the World Contest, in which Borobudur is not included. Unfortunately, it was not even shortlisted to be one of the 21 finalists.

Nevertheless, this does not stop Indonesians in believing that Borobudur is truly an Ancient Wonder of the World. Just ask any Indonesians you know and they are going to tell you that Borobudur IS one of the Ancient of the World.

Borobudur was built in the 8th century during the Sailendra dynasty in Central Java. There is no written record of who built Borobudur or of its intended purpose. It is believed, however, Borobudur is built by the Sailendra dynasty under the influence of the Srivijaya Empire, the greatest Buddhist Empire in Indonesia, and the construction is estimated to have taken 75 years to complete.

Why is Borobudur special?

Firstly, it is the largest Buddhist temple in the world… and the most unusual. Borobudur complex covers a total surface area of 2,500 m2. There are 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. It is built as a single large stupa and has the form of a giant tantric Buddhist mandala when viewed from above. Borobudur, hence, represents the Buddhist cosmology and nature of the mind.

If you are a devout Buddhist, your trip to Borobudur is going to be an enlightened one. Borobudur depicts the four levels of enlightenment. Kamadhatu, the hidden base of Borobudur, symbolizes human beings that are bound to passion and lust. The second level, Rupadhatu illustrates human beings that have freed from lust but are still bound by appearance and shape. The reliefs of Rupadhatu depict the life of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha.

The next level of Arupadhatu symbolizes human beings who have been freed from lust, shape and appearance. It represents eternity and a pure state of the formless world. And Arupa, the top part of Borobudur, depicts Nirvana.

Walk clockwise as you enter Borobudur and you are going to be amazed by the story told by the relief panels. And even if you’re not a Buddhist, your visit to Borobudur is still going to be a worthwhile one because of the amazing sculptures and artworks.

It doesn’t matter whether you are visiting Borobudur as a part of your Indonesia Business Trip or as a part of your Leisure Travel to Central Java, you will be taken back in time as you immerse yourself in the story of Borobudur, The Ancient Wonder of the World.

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