The Borodbudur Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Indonesia and built between the 8th and 9th centuries AD. Despite its prominence, it was abandoned in the 15th century and only rediscovered by the British in 1814 under layers of ash and jungle growth. The complex, originally built in the form of a lotus, has numerous Buddha reliefs and is said to represent the three levels of Buddhist cosmology: desire, form and formlessness. It is the largest Buddhist monument in the world.
Famed for its stone ‘bells’ with Buddha statues sitting inside, it has been restored with the help of the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and is now listed as a world heritage site.
It was made into a UNESCO World Heritage site based on three separate criteria:
• It is considered to be a masterpiece of Buddhist architecture and monumental arts. Its stepped, unroofed pyramid crowned by a large bell-shaped dome create a harmonious blend of temple and mountain.
• The temple compound showcases exemplary works of Indonesian art and architecture between the 8th and 9th centuries and influenced an architectural revival between the 13th and 16th centuries AD.
• The Borobudur temple is an exceptional reflection of the Buddhist concept of attainment of Moksha or Nirvana and indigenous ancestor worship. The ten mounting terraces also correspond to the stages of becoming a Bodhisattva or the attainment of Buddhahood.