Central of Java, Indonesia Borobudur Temple
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 15:28
History and Information
Borobudur is the biggest Buddhist temple in the ninth century measuring 123 x 123 meters. It was completed centuries before Angkor Wat in Kamboja.
Borobudur is Buddhist temple has 1460 relief panels and 504 Buddha effigies in its complex. Millions of people are eager to visit this building as one of the World Wonder Heritages. It is not surprising since architecturally and functionally, as the place for Buddhists to say their prayer, Borobudur is attractive.
Borobudur was built by King Samaratungga, one of the kings of Old Mataram Kingdom, the descendant of Sailendra dynasty. Based on Kayumwungan inscription, an Indonesian named Hudaya Kandahjaya revealed that Borobudur was a place for praying that was completed to be built on 26 May 824, almost one hundred years from the time the construction was begun. The name of Borobudur, as some people say, means a mountain having terraces (budhara), while other says that Borobudur means monastery on the high place.
Location ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† ¬† ¬† :¬†Central Java Magelang
Architectural style ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† : stupa and candi
Country ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†: Indonesia
Client ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† :Sailendra
Architect ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Gunadharma
Borobudur, or Barabudur, is an 8th-century Mahayana Buddhist monument near Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa.
The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path circumambulating the monument while ascending to the top through the three levels of Buddhist cosmology, namely KńĀmadhńĀtu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness). During the journey, the monument guides the pilgrims through a system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the walls and the balustrades.
Evidence suggests Borobudur was abandoned following the 14th-century decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Java, and the Javanese conversion to Islam.¬† Worldwide knowledge of its existence was sparked in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, then the British ruler of Java, who was advised of its location by native Indonesians. Borobudur has since been preserved through several restorations. The largest restoration project was undertaken between 1975 and 1982 by the Indonesian government and UNESCO, following which the monument was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage; once a year Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument, and Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited tourist attraction.
Borobudur stupas overlooking a mountain. For centuries, it was deserted.
In Indonesian, ancient temples are known as candi; thus "Borobudur Temple" is locally known as Candi Borobudur. The term candi is also used more loosely to describe any ancient structure, for example gates and bathing structures. The origins of the name Borobudur however are unclear, although the original names of most ancient Indonesian temples are no longer known. The name Borobudur was first written in Sir Thomas Raffles' book on Javan history. Raffles wrote about a monument called borobudur, but there are no older documents suggesting the same name. The only old Javanese manuscript that hints at the monument as a holy Buddhist sanctuary is Nagarakretagama, written by Mpu Prapanca in 1365.
The name Bore-Budur, and thus BoroBudur, is thought to have been written by Raffles in English grammar to mean the nearby village of Bore; most candi are named after a nearby village. If it followed Javanese language, the monument should have been named 'BudurBoro'. Raffles also suggested that 'Budur' might correspond to the modern Javanese word Buda ("ancient") ‚Äď i.e., "ancient Boro". However, another archaeologist suggests the second component of the name (Budur) comes from Javanese term bhudhara (mountain).
The references about the construction and inauguration of a sacred buddhist building ‚ÄĒ possibly refer to Borobudur ‚ÄĒ was mentioned in two inscriptions, both discovered in Kedu, Temanggung Regency. The Karangtengah inscription dated 824 mentioned vaguely about a sacred building named Jinalaya (the realm of those who have conquer worldly desire and reach enlightenment) inaugurated by Pramodhawardhani daughter of Samaratungga.
The Tri Tepusan inscription dated 842 mentioned about the sima (tax-free) lands awarded by √árńę Kahulunnan (Pramodhawardhani) to ensure the funding and maintenance of a KamŇęlńĀn called BhŇęmisambhńĀra.¬† KamŇęlńĀn itself from the word mula which means 'the place of origin', a sacred building to honor the ancestors, probably the ancestors of the Sailendras. Casparis suggested that BhŇęmi SambhńĀra BhudhńĀra which in Sanskrit means "The mountain of combined virtues of the ten stages of Boddhisattvahood", was the original name of Borobudur.
Approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) northwest of Yogyakarta, Borobudur is located in an elevated area between two twin volcanoes, Sundoro-Sumbing and Merbabu-Merapi, and two rivers, the Progo and the Elo. According to local myth, the area known as Kedu Plain is a Javanese 'sacred' place and has been dubbed 'the garden of Java' due to its high agricultural fertility.¬† Besides Borobudur, there are other Buddhist and Hindu temples in the area, including the Prambanan temples compound.
During the restoration in the early 20th century, it was discovered that three Buddhist temples in the region, Borobudur, Pawon and Mendut, are positioned along a straight line. It might be accidental, but the temples' alignment is in conjunction with a native folk tale that a long time ago, there was a brick-paved road from Borobudur to Mendut with walls on both sides. The three temples (Borobudur‚ÄďPawon‚ÄďMendut) have similar architecture and ornamentation derived from the same time period, which suggests that ritual relationship between the three temples, in order to have formed a sacred unity, must have existed, although exact ritual process is yet unknown.
Unlike other temples, which were built on a flat surface, Borobudur was built on a bedrock hill, 265 m (869 ft) above sea level and 15 m (49 ft) above the floor of the dried-out paleolake.¬† The lake's existence was the subject of intense discussion among archaeologists in the 20th century; Borobudur was thought to have been built on a lake shore or even floated on a lake. In 1931, a Dutch artist and a scholar of Hindu and Buddhist architecture, W.O.J. Nieuwenkamp, developed a theory that Kedu Plain was once a lake and Borobudur initially represented a lotus flower floating on the lake.¬†
Lotus flowers are found in almost every Buddhist work of art, often serving as a throne for buddhas and base for stupas. The architecture of Borobudur itself suggests a lotus depiction, in which Buddha postures in Borobudur symbolize the Lotus Sutra, mostly found in many Mahayana Buddhism (a school of Buddhism widely spread in the east Asia region) texts. Three circular platforms on the top are also thought to represent a lotus leaf. Nieuwenkamp's theory, however, was contested by many archaeologists because the natural environment surrounding the monument is a dry land.
Geologists, on the other hand, support Nieuwenkamp's view, pointing out clay sediments found near the site. A study of stratigraphy, sediment and pollen samples conducted in 2000 supports the existence of a paleolake environment near Borobudur, which tends to confirm Nieuwenkamp's theory. The lake area fluctuated with time and the study also proves that Borobudur was near the lake shore c. 13th and 14th centuries. River flows and volcanic activities shape the surrounding landscape, including the lake. One of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia, Mount Merapi, is in the direct vicinity of Borobudur and has been very active since the Pleistocene.
There is no written record of who built Borobudur or of its intended purpose. The construction time has been estimated by comparison between carved reliefs on the temple's hidden foot and the inscriptions commonly used in royal charters during the 8th and 9th centuries. Borobudur was likely founded around 800 AD.
¬†This corresponds to the period between 760 and 830 AD, the peak of the Sailendra dynasty in central Java, when it was under the influence of the Srivijayan Empire. The construction has been estimated to have taken 75 years and been completed during the reign of Samaratungga in 825.
There is confusion between Hindu and Buddhist rulers in Java around that time. The Sailendras were known as ardent followers of Buddhism, though stone inscriptions found at Sojomerto suggest they may have been Hindus.¬† It was during this time that many Hindu and Buddhist monuments were built on the plains and mountains around the Kedu Plain. The Buddhist monuments, including Borobudur, were erected around the same time as the Hindu Shiva Prambanan temple compound. In 732 AD, the Shivaite King Sanjaya commissioned a Shivalinga sanctuary to be built on the Ukir hill, only 10 km (6.2 miles) east of Borobudur.
Construction of Buddhist temples, including Borobudur, at that time was possible because Sanjaya's immediate successor, Rakai Panangkaran, granted his permission to the Buddhist followers to build such temples. In fact, to show his respect, Panangkaran gave the village of Kalasan to the Buddhist community, as is written in the Kalasan Charter dated 778 AD.¬†
This has led some archaeologists to believe that there was never serious conflict concerning religion in Java as it was possible for a Hindu king to patronize the establishment of a Buddhist monument; or for a Buddhist king to act likewise.¬† However, it is likely that there were two rival royal dynasties in Java at the time‚ÄĒthe Buddhist Sailendra and the Saivite Sanjaya‚ÄĒin which the latter triumphed over their rival in the 856 battle on the Ratubaka plateau.¬†
This confusion also exists regarding the Lara Jonggrang temple at the Prambanan complex, which was believed that it was erected by the victor Rakai Pikatan as the Sanjaya dynasty's reply to Borobudur,¬† but others suggest that there was a climate of peaceful coexistence where Sailendra involvement exists in Lara Jonggrang.
SOURCE : agiosubatourists.blogspot.com http://agiosubatourists.blogspot.com/2011/08/borobudur-temple.html