Wonderful Borobudur: The Biggest Temple in Indonesia

Wonderful Borobudur: The Biggest Temple in Indonesia

A friend of mine from Bali visited Yogyakarta and he told me the  first place he wanted to visit is Borobudur temple.

Most people think Borobudur temple is in Yogyakarta. That's what Hadi thought. In fact, it is not. Borobudur temple is in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. It is about an-hour-car-drive from Yogyakarta.

Borobudur temple is the biggest temple in Indonesia. It was built in Syailendra dynasti, 800 AD. The name Borobudur came from Bhara and Bedhuhur. Bhara means monastery and Bedhuhur means "on". Therefore, Borobudur means The monastery on the hill.


There are three areas called: Kamadhatu, Rupadhatu, Arupadhatu. Each area tells different story.

Kamadhatu tells about Karmawibhangga scenes, the cause and effect law. The reliefs tell about human behaviour, the negative ones.


Rupadhatu is when human is released from worldly matters. It tells the process. There are Buddha statues in this area. If we pay attention to the statues, they have different hand positions (mudra).

The statues faced the East show Bhumisparsa mudra (Akhsobya), represents calling the Earth as the witness.

The statues faced the South show Wara mudra (Ratnasambhawa), represents giving. The relief around this part teaches us to be kind to others; giving.

The statues faced the West show Dhyana mudra (Amitabha), represent meditation.

The statues faced the North show Abhaya mudra (Amogasidhi), represent fearlessness.


Aruphadatu is the highest area of Borobudur. It tells the godly matters. There are three terraces in this area which represent the rising above the world. There are 72 stupas (in total) built on the terraces. Inside each inverted-bell-shaped stupa is Buddha statue facing outward from the temple. The Buddha statues show another mudra called Dharmachakra mudra (Wairocana).

The highest is the central stupa, the main dome. The top of it was struck by lighting several years ago, therefore the local government took it off and put it in the museum. Instead, they put the lightning rod.

The temple has been renovated and restored many times. The last one was because the 5.9 SR earthquake struck Yogyakarta in 2006. However, there was not too much destruction because the temple was designed to survive from earthquake up to 9 SR.