Welcome to Borobudur

The landscape around Yogyakarta in Central Java, Indonesia, is a sacred one. Dominated by the Gunung Merapi volcano, the area is filled with many ancient temples. Without question, the most famous of the temples near Yogyakarta is Borobudur. The temple complex is just 40 km (25 miles) from Yogyakarta, making it a suitable day trip.

Borobudur is one of the world’s most impressive Buddhist temples. The structure was built in about 800 AD, 300 years before Angkor Wat in Cambodia, in the form of a stepped pyramid. The temple consists of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with no less than 504 Buddha statues of various types. The main dome alone, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues, seated inside perforated stupas.

The next most significant is the 9th and 10th century Hindu complex of Prambanan, with its principal temples dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma and hundreds of surrounding shrines.

Borobudur and Prambanan can get crowded, especially around Christmas and in the domestic holiday season; usually in May and June. But lesser temples around Yogyakarta, such as Pawon, Mendut, Plaosan and Kalasan, attract few visitors, retaining an air of contemplation and peace.

Borobudur from above. Photo credit: Futo-Tussauds

Borobudur from above. Photo credit: Futo-Tussauds