Borobudur , the Ultimate temple to the Buddha.. 7 of 7

Outstanding Universal ValueBrief synthesisThe Borobudur Temple Compounds is one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world, and was built in the eighth and ninth centuriesthat during the reign of the Syailendra Dynasty.

The monument is located in the Kedu Valley, in the in the southern part of Central Java, at the centre of the island of Java, Indonesia The main temple is a stupa built in three tiers around a hill which was a a natural centre: a pyramidal base with five concentric square terraces, the trunk of a cone with three circular platforms and, at the top, a monumental stupa.

The walls and balustrades are decorated with fine low reliefs, covering a total surface area of two thousand five hundred andtwenty square meters Around the circular platforms are 72 openwork stupas, each containing a statue of the Buddha.

The vertical division of Borobudur Temple into base, body, and superstructure perfectly accords with the conception of of the Universe in Buddhist cosmology.

It is believed that the universe is divided into three superimposing spheres, kamadhatu, rupadhatu, and arupadhatu, representing respectively the sphere of desires where we are bound to our desires, the sphere of forms where we abandon our desires but are still bound to name and form, and the sphere of formlessness where there is no longer either name or form.

At Borobudur Temple, the kamadhatu is represented by the base, the rupadhatu by the five square terraces, and the arupadhatu by the three circular platforms as well as the big stupa.

The whole structure shows a unique blending of the very central ideas of ancestor worship, related to the idea of a terraced mountain, combined with the Buddhist concept of attaining Nirvana.

The Temple should also be seen as an outstanding dynastic monument of the Syailendra Dynasty that ruled Java for around five centuries until the 10th century.

The Borobudur Temple Compounds consists of three monuments: namely the Borobudur Temple Temple and two smaller temples situatued to the east on a straight axis to Borobudur.

The two temples are Mendut Temple, whose depiction of Buddha is represented by a formidable monolith accompanied by two Bodhisattvas, and Pawon Temple, a smaller temple whose inner space does not reveal which deity might have been the object of worship.

Those three monuments represent phases in the attainment of Nirvana.

The temple was used as a Buddhist temple from its construction until sometime between the 10th and 15th centuries when it was abandoned.

Since its re-discovery in the 19th century and restoration in the 20th century, it has been brought back into a Buddhist archaeological site.

Criterion (i): Borobudur Temple Compounds with its stepped, unroofed pyramid consisting of ten superimposing terraces, crowned by a large bell-shaped dome is a harmonious marriage of stupas, temple and mountain that is a masterpiece of Buddhist architecture and monumental arts.

Criterion (ii): Borobudur Temple Compounds is an outstanding example of Indonesia’s art and architecture from between the early 8th and late 9th centuries that exerted considerable influence on an architectural revivall between the mid-13th and early 16th centuries.

Criterion (vi) Laid out in the form of a lotus, the sacred flower of Buddha, Borobudur Temple Compounds is an exceptional reflection of a blending of the very central idea of indigenous ancestor worship and the Buddhist concept of of attaining Nirvana.

The ten mounting terraces of the entire structure correspond to the successive stages that the Bodhisattva has to achieve before attaining to Buddhahood.

Integrity The boundaries contain the three temples that include the imaginary axis between them Although the visual links are no longer open, the dynamic function between the three monuments, Borobudur Temple, Mendut Temple, and Pawon Temple is maintained.

The main threat to the ensemble is from development that could compromise the extraordinary relationship between the main monument and its wider setting and could also affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.

The approach to the property has to a degree already been compromised by weak developmental regulations.

Tourism also exerts considerable pressure on the property and its hinterland.

There is a growing rate of deterioration of the building stone, the cause of which needs further research.

There is also a small degree of damage caused by unsupervised visitors.

The eruption of Mount Merapi is also considered as one of the potential threats because of its deposit acidic ash as happened in 2010.

Authenticity The original materials were used to reconstruct the temple in two phases in the 20th century: after the turn of the century and more recently (1973-1983).

Mostly original materials were used with some additions to consolidate the monument and ensure proper drainage which has not had any significant adverse impact on the value of the property.

Though the present state of Borobudur Temple is the result of restorations, it retained more than enough original material when re-discovered to make a reconstruction possible.

Nowadays the property could be used as a Buddhist pilgrimage site it's over all of theseries however to a certain degree compromised by the lack of control of commercial activities and the pressure resulting from the lack of an adequate tourism management strategy.

Borobudur is a Buddhist stupa and temple complex in Central Java, Indonesia dating from the 8th century, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This is one of world's truly great ancient monuments, the single largest Buddhist structure anywhere on earth, and few who visit fail to be taken by both the scale of place, and the remarkable attention to detail that went into the construction.

Set as it is in the heart of the verdant Kedu Plain, the backdrop of mighty active volcanoes only enhances the sense of awe and drama Modern day Borobudur In 1956 UNESCO began an assessment process for the full scale restoration of the monument.

Finally in 1968, a major plan to restore Borobudur was created, and this huge project involved a complete overhaul of the monument up until 1983.

The unsteady foundations were stabilized, everything was meticulously cleaned and a major drainage system installed.

After the works were finished, UNESCO formally listed Borobudur as a World Heritage Site in 1991.

Since then the profile of Borobudur has increased enormously, and it is now a major international tourist attraction.

Its statues, reliefs and stupas have spawned millions of replicas which adorn properties worldwide.

This huge popularity has its downsides.

Both deliberate vandalism and general wear and tear are of great concern forthe future integrity of the monument Pleas for visitors not to touch anything are made in the form of signs by broadcast warnings, and by the presence of guards, but this does stop the problem many have called forthe monument to be closed to casual visitors and for access to be only viatimed guided tours as well as being the single most popular tourist attractionin modern day Indonesia borobudur has resumed its role as an important placeof worship and pilgrimage for Indonesian Buddhists.

Visitors should be understanding and respectful of this, especially during major Buddhist holiday periods.

The 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake which badly damaged nearby Prambanan, left Borobudur unscathed.

The 2010 eruption of Mount Merapi Borobudur was heavily affected by the eruption of Mount Merapi in October and November 2010.

Volcanic ash from Merapi fell on the temple complex, which is approximately 28 kilometres 17.

5 miles west-southwest ofthe crater During the strong eruption of 3–5 November for example, a layer of ash up to 2.

5 cm (1 in) thick fell onto the temple.

This also killed nearby vegetation.

Experts feared that the acidic ash might severely damage the historic site.

The temple complex was closed from 5–9 November 2010 to clean up that ash-fall, and the upper levels remained closed to the public until late September 2011.

Upon reopening the upper levels, the Borobudur Conservation Agency announced that visitor numbers to those levels were restricted to under 82 people UNESCO donated US $3 million as a part of rehabilitation costs to rid the temple's stones of volcanic sediment, then to plant trees to stabilise temperatures, and finally to support the living conditions of local residents.

More than 55, 000 stone blocks from the temple structure had to be dismantled to enable restoration of the drainage system, which had been clogged by slurry after rains.


What is known is that Buddhists made pilgrimages and took part in Buddhist rituals at Borobudur during the early medieval period until the temple was abandoned at some point during the 1400s .

The root causes for the abandonment of Borobudur moreover debated, and the reasons why the temple was ultimately abandoned remains unknown.

It is known that in the 10th or 11th century , the capital of the Mataram Kingdom moved eastwards away from Borobudur due to volcanic eruptions, which may have diminished Borobudur as a center of pilgrimage Although Arab, Persian, and Gujarati traders brought Islam to what is present-day Indonesia as early as the the 8th and 9th centuries , the acceleration of Javanese conversion to Islam began to increase rapidly only in the 15th century .

As the Javanese population accepted Islam en masse, it makes sense that Borobudur would lessen in importance.

Over the following centuries, earthquakes, volcanic eruption, and rainforest growth hid Borobudur from the Javanese, rendering it inaccessible.

There is evidence, nonetheless, that Borobudur never left the collective cultural consciousness of the Javanese people.

Even after their conversion to Islam later Javanese stories and myths expressed the temple’s association with mystery and negative energies.

In 1814, the Lieutenant Governor-General Thomas Stamford Raffles (1781-1826) who oversaw the brief British occupation of the Dutch East Indes permitted the Dutch explorer Hermann Cornelius (1774-1833) to organize an expedition to find and locate Borobudur, which he did successfully the same year.

In the years following Borobudur's rediscovery, the government of the Dutch East Indies commissioned and permitted archaeological l studies of the temple, but looting was a major problem in the 19th and early 20th century CE.

Experts recommended that Borobudur be left in tact in situ, and Buddhist pilgrimage and a major tourist destination in Southeast Asia, but Indonesian officials remain worried about damage caused by foot traffic at the temple, as well as lingering environmental and security issues.

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