Borobudur, Central Java

Central Java is a melting pot of ancient kingdoms, refined courts and vibrant wilderness. This area is thick with history and religious spirituality, filled with temples and palaces erected by Buddhist and Hindu Dynasties reflected the splendor they achieved. Borobudur, an ancient Buddhist monument in Magelang, Central Java, is one such monument.

The grandiose monument comprises of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and decorated with thousands of relief panels and Buddha statues. It is both a shrine to Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage.


Getting there is easily arranged through which ever hotel you are staying in. Entering the site costs you around US$10, and public entry is allowed from 6am in the morning to 5pm in the evening. This is a place thick with religious mysticism, so if you can I would advise a sunrise trip in the wee hours of the morning where you can enjoy the mesmerizing views without the stream of visitors.

The reliefs on the monuments depicts narrates various Buddhist stories or philosophies, with the main theme of Borobudur often considered to be the Gandavyuha scriptures, about a pilgrim who visited 110 gurus on his quest to become a bodhisattva.

This post is part of Photo Friday, a Blog Carnival held by Delicious Baby. Check them out for photo-sharing goodness, or take part in the carnival yourself.

About the Author. Nikolas Tjhin. A graphic and web designer in its previous incarnation, Nik’s journeyman career has seen him do work for various creative studios in Wisconsin, Minneapolis, Singapore and Jakarta. Now, he’s settled down for the time being and focusing his efforts on Unearthing Asia.


14 Comments on "Borobudur, Central Java"

  1. Peace (Australia) on Fri, 1st May 2009 12:04 pm 

    This place looks amazing! I would love to visit for sunrise, it looks like it has a magical feel.

  2. Dominique on Fri, 1st May 2009 2:45 pm 

    Beautiful photos, and it’s especially nice that you were able to go at a time of day when it wasn’t crowded. Gives it a sort of misty, mystical feeling.

  3. Debbie Dubrow on Fri, 1st May 2009 3:22 pm 

    What a lovely place to explore – I can picture myself with a picnic lunch taking in the view

  4. Jessie Voigts on Fri, 1st May 2009 3:30 pm 

    really cool photos! the view is so far. wow!

  5. marina villatoro on Fri, 1st May 2009 3:58 pm 

    it’s amazing for such wonder, that it’s so affordable as well. Costa Rica has other wonders like rain forests, rescue centers and they are expensive. What amazing pictures. I’m dying to get to that part of the world!

    Photo Friday – Cano Island – The Truth Revealed

  6. Amie from Ciao Bambino on Fri, 1st May 2009 10:42 pm 

    Borobudur is on my list of must-see places. Thank you for reminding me why!

  7. wandermom on Sat, 2nd May 2009 4:08 am 

    Well now! You make the top of my things-I’ve-learned-today list.
    Excellent photos.
    Thanks for introducing me to Borobudur.

  8. globalgal on Sat, 2nd May 2009 1:10 pm 

    I’ve seen friends’ photos of this place, but I never tire of seeing more. Fascinating! I hope to see them in person someday.

  9. Lorraine on Tue, 5th May 2009 6:10 am 

    The monumnet itself is breathtaking, but the misty mountain in the background sets such a perfect stage for this scene. Wonderful addition to Photo Friday!

  10. yaya on Fri, 11th Sep 2009 9:34 am 

    We are Master students of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.
    We are doing a research about Heritage in Yogyakarta, center of Java. We choose Borobudur and Prambanan to survey how heritage impacted or merged in tourism sites in Indonesia.
    And we really need your opinions about those two heritages so we could try our best to improve the tourism in heritage sites. Please help us fill the survey form.
    Thank you for your help!! ? Thank you very much!!!
    My e-mail:

    The Survey Form address:

    Best regards.

    All of Students of Graduate Institute of Architecture and Historic Preservation.

  11. Denni on Mon, 27th Sep 2010 7:37 pm 

    Hi, just wanna give some info about Borobudur, since I live around there (around 2 hrs journey). I’m in Yogyakarta

    Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in Indonesia… It is a HUGE stone statues with the dimension of 123×123 meters and about 42 meters high (8 meters short now, since the top was broken). It has 504 statues in total. This HUGE place has continual story about Boddhisatva from the base to the top. You should hire a travel guide to learn about these stories.

    Basically Borobudur portrays the “Dasa Bumi”; which means the 10 perfection needed by a man to become a Buddha.

    There’s also a rumor about a hidden part of the Borobudur (below the base construction) that portray the lowest level of man; the kama sutra. But the door is closed now.

    So hurry and visit Indonesia; it certainly one of the best cultural spot :)

  12. Denni on Mon, 27th Sep 2010 7:40 pm 

    Oh I almost forgot, it is a custom in Indonesia found in Borobudur temple.

    Many people believe that if you can reach out the Buddha inside the relics, your wish will be granted by Gods.

    Fascinating, I know.

  13. andre jhon walter on Tue, 5th Oct 2010 1:15 pm 


  14. Rina on Wed, 13th Apr 2011 6:43 am 

    Can’t wait to explore Yogya and Borobudur next week. Need to learn more about the history behind all these historical monuments for better appreciation.

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