Borobudur, Central Java, Indonesia

Approximately 40 kilometres northwest of Yogyakarta and 86 kilometres west of Surakarta, Borobudur is located in an elevated area between two twin volcanoes, Sundoro-Sumbing and Merbabu-Merapi, and two rivers, the Progo and the Elo. Borobudur is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist Temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument consists of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2.672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside a perforated stupa.

Borobudur lay hidden for centuries under layers of volcanic ash and jungle growth. Java was under British administration from 1811 to 1816. The appointed governor, Lieutenant Governor-General Thomas Stamford Raffles, took great interest in the history of Java. On an inspection tour to Semarang in 1814, he was informed about a big monument deep in a jungle near the village of Bumisegoro. He was not able to make the discovery himself and sent H.C. Cornelius, a Dutch engineer, to investigate. In two months, Cornelius and his 200 men cut down trees, burned down vegetation and dug away the earth to reveal the monument. He reported his findings to Raffles including various drawings. Although the discovery is only mentioned by a few sentences, Raffles has been credited with the monument’s recovery, as one who had brought it to the world’s attention. Hartmann, a Dutch administrator of the Kedu region, continued Cornelius’ work and in 1835 the whole complex was finally unearthed.

Below is a small selection of photos taken during a visit to Borobudur. Click on a miniature-photo to enlarge it, then navigate using the arrows left/right of the photo or use the cursor keys on your keyboard.