Central Java houses one of the world’s largest Mahayana Buddhist temples. The temple was born between the 8th and the 9th century AD.
It was at the time when the land was under the rule of the Syailendra Dynasty. You can find this temple in a village that they call Borobudur. Because of its location, the Borobudur temple is born.
Centuries ago, there was a huge volcanic eruption. Such an explosion was the reason why, for many centuries, the temple was under tons of ash from the volcano. It was only Sir Stamford Raffles who was able to uncover the temple.
After its discovery, the Indonesian government has decided to rebuild the temple. The year was 1814. The temple of Borobudur is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.
If you look closely at the temple, it sits atop a hill. It measures 123 meters by 123 meters. Within the temple, you will also find levels. The panels of such levels are where the devours stop and meditate. They do so until they reach the highest stupa.
It is from these parts of the temple that you get to enjoy an amazing view. The view consists of lush rice fields and majestic volcanoes.
The temple also has 504 Buddha statues. Most of these statues are in meditation. You will also find that the temple has 72 stupas.
Inside the temple, you will find depictions of the life of Buddha. These depictions tell the story of how he reached Nirvana. In total, there are about 2,672 panels.
When you want to visit the Borobudur temple, you don’t have to worry. The temple is open for public viewing.
While tourists flock to the temple the whole day, the best time is always during sunrise. During this time of the day, you find yourself in awe by the light of the sun creeping up the temple.
From the darkness of dawn, you find the light slowly revealing the beauty of each statue; of the temple as a whole.
When the sun is finally up, you see the beauty of the temple, a beauty on top of a hill. There it sits, spreading that beauty for more than one thousand years until the present time.
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How to visit Borobudur from Bali?
Borobudur is accessible by land from Yogyakarta. The village sits about 70km from the city. The city is also accessible by plane through its airports. These airports serve both domestic and international flights.
But how do you access Borobudur from Bali?
By this time, you may already know, Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the whole world. It is that massive!
If you are visiting the country of Indonesia, make sure that you visit Borobudur. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience to see the temple from up close.
If you are in Yogyakarta, it would be easier to travel to Borobudur. This is one of the most popular options taken by most tourists. Fly from Bali to Yogyakarta and take the bus to Borobudur from there.
But what if you want to visit Borobudur straight from Bali? What if you are the more adventurous and would like to take the boat ride to the village?
Here’s your other option.
From the paradise island of Bali, there is a ferry that travels to Banyuwangi. Once you are in Banyuwangi, you can take the train going to Surabaya. And from Surabaya, you can take the train to Yogyakarta.
From Yogyakarta, you take the bus to the Borobudur village.
While this is one of the options that you can take, the most popular is to fly from Bali to Yogyakarta.
Every day, there are a lot of flights that travel to and from these destinations. From Yogyakarta, it would be easier to travel by bus to Borobudur.
Recently, there has been an influx of cheaper flights between destinations. In Bali and Yogyakarta, Lion Air and Air Asia both travel between these destinations.
In general, flights cost about $50 to $100 one way, which is cheap, if you ask me. The bus from Yogyakarta going to Borobudur costs less than $1 one way.
From there, you are already given the best experience of your life. As I said earlier, Borobudur is something you do not want to miss when you are in the country.
So, take the time and make sure the temple gets a part of your itinerary.
So, see you?
What is Borobudur famous for?
The city of Yogyakarta at the center of Java is famous as the center of culture and education. It is renowned for its batik, ballet, poetry, music, and even puppet shows.
You can never visit Yogyakarta without going to Borobudur.
Borobudur is a Buddhist temple famous for being the biggest in the world. It dates back to about the 8th or 9th century AD.
It has five concentric square terraces. The temple has a pyramidal base with three tiers. On top of everything is a magnificent stupa.
Inside the temple are walls of fair and low reliefs. The railings are also full of such reliefs. These all tell the story of Buddha and how he was able to reach Nirvana.
What makes this temple famous as well is that the reliefs are complete. Tourists who are familiar with Buddhism get the time of their lives. This is the most extensive collection of Buddhist reliefs in the world.
The temple was under tons of ashes for hundreds of years. It was only in the year 1814 when they discovered the site. And then came eight years of restoration.
Upon its discovery, it has gone through amazing restoration. It was declared as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site after its restoration. After the restoration, people look at the place to be one of the seven wonders of the world.
The design of the temple is with the influence of Gupta. This shows how heavy India’s influence is in the area. But aside from India’s flavor, there is also a speck of indigenous scenes and elements. This is is something that you can find in the temple.
This makes Borobudur a unique site. It has the right mix of Indian and Indonesian cultures.
What is also amazing about this temple is its structure. Imagine building a temple that looks like LEGO blocks put together.
But imagine putting huge blocks together without any glue. There is no other material to cement one block with another. This is already special in itself.
The temple has artistic elements that are unique from any other in the region. Aside from its artistic merits, the shrine also provides for symbolism. These are symbols that are unique and amazing.
The temple has ten levels of the temple. These ten levels cover all three divisions of Buddhism’s cosmic system.
In general, the temple is a shrine, as well as a monument to Buddha. Aside from such, it also provides a pilgrimage to the devouts of the Buddhism world.
How much does it cost to visit Borobudur?
Borobudur is a Buddhist monument that dates back to the 9th century. It is in the Java Region in Indonesia.
As you all know by now, this is the largest Buddhist monument in the world.
People have always been in awe by this site. Year in and year out, Indonesia has seen tourists flock to the area from dawn until night.
If you have plans to visit the Borobudur temple, how much will it cost you?
Here, we give you a rundown of costs that you will encounter when visiting the temple.
The public bus from Yogyakarta costs less than $1 per person. But if you wish to take the mini-bus, it would cost you about $6. This trip will be for about an hour to an hour and a half.
If you want to visit the temple, it is open from 6 AM to 5 PM every day. Tickets to enter the temple costs about $25 for an adult. For kids that age 3 to 10 years old, the ticket is for $15. Kids that are less than three years old can enter the site for free.
If you have been reading about Borobudur, you may have already heard of the Prambanan temples as well.
In recent years, there has been a growing popularity of tours for both temples. A ticket for an adult for a combined tour of the Borobudur and Prambanan temples would cost you $45. For kids, it would be $27.
And if you are into Instagram-worthy shots, getting to the temple at sunrise is one of the best things you can do.
Some may want to do a DIY of the sunrise visit, but there is always a tour for this. The tour is available every day, and it costs $35 per person. Remember, this is for the tour alone. You have to pay the tickets for when you enter the site.
The sunrise tour is impressive. You get to the site at 4:30 in the morning. You can get to explore the area even before the tourists arrive.
Plus, you also get to view the temple as the sun drenches the temples with light. You have a guide, of course. And you don’t have to worry about the dark. You will get a flashlight at the start of the tour.
When visiting the site, make sure to be conservative in dressing up. Also, dress in pants if you can. That would be more comfortable than skirts, especially when going up the steps to the temple.
Wear comfortable footwear. You will be on your feet most of the time.
Also, avoid the weekends if you can. Tourists flock to this site on weekends more than they do on weekdays. Another reminder is to bring a bottle of water.
The temple is massive and can take you hours to explore. You will get thirsty. A bottle of water would be helpful.
And if you can, get a hostel or a hotel nearby. The site is more than an hour from Yogyakarta. It will be to your advantage if you stay nearby. This makes the site accessible to you.
Finally, the best time to be at the temple is at sunrise. Because when the sun is up, the crowd can be too much.
During sunrise, it can be cold. Make sure to bring a jacket. Or you can bring a sweater.
So, all good?
Is Borobudur worth visiting?
Oh, yes, it is worth visiting.
The area is as impressive as any other heritage sites in the world.
Borobudur is worth visiting for a lot of reasons. One of these reasons is the majestic temple itself. It sits on a hill that overlooks acres and acres of green fields.
It is the largest Buddhist monument in the world. It is famous for its bell-shaped stupas.
The area is also at its most beautiful during sunrise or sunset. It provides for an extraordinary view of the temple splashed in orange colors. Of course, you have to pay extra during this time. But it’s all worth it.
And if you can, try to visit during Vesak.
Vesak is a Buddhist festival that happens every May. During this time, you will find monks that walk many miles to the temple, carrying candles.
Once there, the candles illuminate the temple. There will be hours of chants and prayers. After these, you will find the skies full of candle-lit lanterns that the monks release.
It is worth visiting. Whether it is Vesak or any other time of the year, Borobudur is worth it.
The site is one of the most remarkable heritage sites in the world. I should say, aside from that, it is also one of the most unique around.
A lot of tourists go to Bali alone. But if you want to get a glimpse of Indonesia’s rich culture and influential past, Borobudur is the way to go.
I assure you, you will never get disappointed.
See you there!