Borobudur Temple, Indonesia

Borobodur  is one of the most important places of Buddhism in the world. The temple, which was originally dedicated to Shiva was built  in the eighth / ninth century. It was the time when Java  was still under Hinduism and  Buddhism influence.
I must admit that after so many temples that we saw on our trip I was not expecting anything special from this next one. But in fairness, Borodobodur  made a great impression on me. On us. But let start from the beginning .. Before the temple could  amase us, we had to buy the tickets. The box office for the Indonesians did not work for us, so we went to the cashier for us, foreigners, ie. ‘Bula ‘, as they call us here. (Seriously, I didnt knot know thatthere is a different ticket selling boot for forigners. usually the tickets are sold from the same place, just the price is diferent).  At the forigners VIP ticket office awaited us the next surprise. We expected that tickets will be more expensive, but not by that much. For lokal people ticket to Borobodur  costs 30k and for us … 200,000! It’s $ 20! Another temple, actually do not know what to expect, and this is now with such a price jump .. Luckily there was a group of wxchange students quing infront of us. They tried to explained to the ticketers, that they do not yet have local student card (as it hasn’t been issued yet), but they have their student’s IDs from  Europe. After brief negotiations, they were able to buy tickets at the  discounted price. This inspired us…  and we decided to try it too. I pulled out my Polish  ID card, Tomek his Polish driving license, and pretended, that these were our student ID cards from Poland. Mr. and Mrs. in the window carefully reviewed the documents. They asked us about our age, probably wondering, ‘How is it possible that after turning 30 we are still students? ‘. Tomek quickly came up with the idea that, after we do some sort of  supplementary studies. Next year we will be the engineers.. It worked! And so this way we bought the tickets to Borobodur with 50% discount. We enjoyed ourselves immensely and were really proud of our creative thinking.  We were. Until this morning, when our Russian neighbors from next door said they entered Borobudur  for free ..  via some side entrance. Well he Russians, as always win!

Turning to the merits – Borobudur is an amazing building. Built on a natural,  pyramid shape hill 269 m above sea level. Inside  there are no rooms. There are only stones laied in a special way. The first few levels of terraces (this part of the building is built in the tradition of  Indonesian architecture) is a countless number of sculptures and carvings on the walls.  Sculptures are really beautiful. I’m not a particularly passionate about this type of art, painting is a lot more to me, but here, the sculptor did a good job. Tehy carved stones to beautifully tell the  stories of Buddha’s life. I could not take my eyes of them, I couldnt  stop taking pictures. Upper part is inspired  Indian architecture – at the very top is a great stupa, which in turn stands on a number of smaller ones. There are 72 smaller stupas (or candi in Indonesian) on  the top three levels, topping the peak around the great stupa temple. these stupas are the stone structures resembling little bells. (Apparently these structures are very resistant to earthquakes, which are not that uncommon in Indonesia). In each of them there is a statue of Buddha. All together there are 504  Buddha statues in the temple.


More numbers:

  • Borobudur is 39m high
  • Width of the lowest of the terraces is 119m
  • Borobodur is made up of more than 2 million stone blocks that weigh a total of 3.5 million tons.

To Borobudur can get a bus from Yogyakarta, or rent a scooter and go there on their own, the way to get lost and find a chili plantation, bamboo bridge across the river, rice fields, and plenty of friendly people ..