Snapshot Sunday—Borobudur, the Biggest Buddhist Temple in the World
Asia is full of ancient temples and structures. There’s the grand Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the thousands of temples and pagodas spread in the Bagan plains in Burma, the rich Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, and numerous other beautiful and impressive works of art throughout Asia that remain standing through centuries.
An hour from the city of Yogyakarta in Indonesia, however, stands the biggest Buddhist temple in the world, Candi Borobodur (candi means “temple,” equivalent to the wat in Cambodia). It is a single structure built in 750 AD with over 500 statues of Buddha and around 1,500 bas relief panels showing his life and teachings.
Proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, Borobudur’s name means either “a mountain having terraces” or “monastery on a high place.” It was built with ten terraces symbolizing the life stages. To reach enlightenment, one must go through each stage until the top level (where Buddha sits) is reached.
How to go to Borobudur Temple: There are many travel agencies in Yogyakarta arranging trip packages not only to Borobudur, but also to nearby Candi Prambanan. It is recommended to hire a vehicle, as there is no public transport going to the temple. Locals pay Rp 17,500 while foreign tourists have to pay USD$19 each. A bottle of water or a cup of coffee is included in the rate. Best time to see it is at sunrise.
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Aleah Taboclaon is a freelance writer and editor. She likes running (completed one marathon, training for the next!), diving (PADI open water diver), and traveling with her Kindle. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. You can also email her; she would love to hear from you!