Borobudor Temple

I visited Yogyakarta, Indonesia where this temple is located during my visit to the country in 1998. The walk up to this structure is amazing, except for the constant attacks by peddlers trying to sell you souveirs of your visit. The paths are lined with fragrant, flowering trees and it is very surreal to actually stand on stones that were placed there thousands of years ago. In any case, here is a good description of the structure I found. Also, see for a few photos of the temple. Once I get my webpage up and running I will post many more pictures of the site.

The Borobudor Temple
(Taken from

Considered one of the seven wonders of the world, the majestic Borobudor Temple serves as an awe-inspiring testament to the hard work, determination, and, above all,faith of its eighth- and ninth-century creators.

The temple is an architectural representation of the Buddhist concept of the universe and the life of Buddha. Literally wrapped around a hill, the monument overlooks a green valley encircled by a ring of mountains. The structure begins with six rectangular stories, ascends to three circular terraces, and crests with a central stupa (or large dome) at the top. The journey up (and through) this magnificent temple is designed to be a feast for the spirit as well as the senses: Adorned by miles of bas-relief carvings, the 10 levels symbolize the accumulation of virtue in the 10 stages of Bodhisatva -- beginning with everyday life and spiralling up to nirvana.

Below the base, a series of reliefs depicts the world of desire, in which good and evil receive their just reward and punishment accordingly, with reincarnation to higher and lower life forms. Covered with stone, these reliefs are partially visible from the south. Then, at the main eastern gateway, the visitor begins his or her clockwise trip (which is standard for all Buddhist monuments) around galleries richly decorated with relief panels. First is the world of form, ornamented by more than 1,000 illustrations of the life of Buddha as he journeyed toward enlightenment. The three circular terraces that follow introduce the visitor to the world of no form, which are unadorned by reliefs. Instead, 72 lattice-work stupas containing Buddha images are arrayed evenly along the terraces. As the pilgrim progresses, he or she reaches into the stupas to touch the hands or feet of the Buddhas for good luck. Finally, the traveler reaches the large, central stupa, which is symbolically empty.

Devotees circumambulate around the galleries and terraces chanting or meditating. From beginning to end, the entire walk is some 5 kilometers long.