Borobudur temple counts among UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. This masterpiece is recognized worldwide for its remarkable architecture and reliefs depicting Buddha’s life. When you visit Yogyakarta, make sure you take a few hours and discover this amazing historical jewel.
Borobudur is the world’s largest Buddhist monument. It is located 40 km north-west of the cultural city of Yogyakarta. It was built at the end of the 8th century and at the beginning of the 9th century by Samaratungga, a king of the Shailendra dynasty that ruled over Central Java and part of Sumatra from the 6th until the10th century.
The magnificent temple was abandoned around the year 950 like many other sites in the Mt. Merapi surroundings. Forgotten for almost 1,000 years, it disappeared under layers of volcanic debris and overgrown jungle.
In 1814, the British governorThomas Stamford Raffles, adept of Javanese history, sent an expedition to clear up the mysterious mountain near the village of Bumisegoro. In 1835, Dutch administrator Hartman continued the unearthing work and set about to rebuild the monument. The first reconstruction work faced technical problems and was eventually interrupted due to lack of funds until UNESCO undertook a complete restoration project in 1973. Ten years later, the magnificent temple was re-opened to public.
Nowadays, the Borobudur mandala temple emerges in all its glory from the beautiful Kedu valley. Attracting millions of tourists from every part of the globe every year, Borobudur is the most visited monument of Indonesia. With its 1,600,000 volcanic stone blocks, the temple offers an excellent view over the surrounding land encircled by majestic volcanoes and the Menoreh mountains. It’s a fantastic spot to watch the sunrise with Mount Merapi as the backdrop.
Borobudur receives a large amount of Buddhist pilgrims during Vesak, or Waisak, to commemorate the birth, enlightenment, and death of Siddhartha Gautama, the ShakyamuniBuddha. In Indonesia, Waisak is a national holiday celebrated by a very colorful festival. The main event is the pilgrim’s walk fromMendut to Pawon temples then on to Borobudur. Following the Buddhist calendar, it is celebrated on a different day every year and can vary from one country to another. In Indonesia, Waisak 2019 falls on the 8th of April.
You can go to Candi Borobudur or simply Borobudur, by bus: From the city get on Trans Jogja bus number 2B to the Jombor Bus Terminal (cost Rp3,600). From Jombor look for a bus to Borobudur. Cost approximately Rp25,000 one way.
It’s a 45-minute ride by taxi, depending on traffic. Cost approximately Rp200,000.
You can also reach Borobudur by the applications Go-jek or Grab.
It will cost more if you come early to watch the sunrise, you must be there around 4am.
Careful, prices are sometimes higher on weekends or public holidays.