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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Borobudur-a giant textbook of Buddhism(Indonesia)

Borobudur Temple in the Kedu plain of Central Java is one of the greatest architectural monuments in Asia. The Buddhist temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a stepped pyramid made up of six rectangular stories, three circular terraces and a central stupa forming the summit, the structure forms a lotus, the sacred flower of Buddha.The walls and balustrades are decorated with low reliefs, covering a total surface area of 2,500 sq m (8,202 sq ft). Around the circular platforms are 72 openwork stupas, each of which contains a statue of Buddha.Surrounded by an idyllic landscape of emerald rice-terraced hills and overlooked by four volcanoes, Borobudur Temple was built over a period of 80 years for the Sailendra dynasty, to resemble a microcosm of the universe, to provide a visual image of the teachings of Buddha and show, in a practical manner, the steps through life that each person, must follow to achieve enlightenment.
Until today, no one knows for sure when and why it was built, nor the reason for its complete abandonment hundreds of years ago. Some scholars believe that Borobudur is actually a giant textbook of Buddhism, as its bas reliefs tell the story of the life of Buddha and the principles of his teachings. To “read,” a pilgrim must make his way through nine platforms and walk a distance of over 2 miles.

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