Borobudur – One of the Greatest Buddhist Sites in the World

February 10 2020

Borobudur – One of the Greatest Buddhist Sites in the World

Borobudur was built in 8th century and is situated in Indonesia’s central island of Java. After being forgotten for centuries due to volcanic eruptions, this ancient temple was rediscovered in 1815 under volcanic ash, and is considered as one of the greatest Buddhist sites in the world.

Monk meditates on the highest floor of Borobudur

The temple is surrounded by jungle and has a unique architecture and impressive stonework, built without the use of neither cement nor mortar. The temple is divided into 3 parts, with part one illustrating the cause and effect, it depicts what people do and their karma they get. The sculptures in the second part, which form the second floor to seventh floor, tells us about Buddha’s previous life in both human and animal form. These sculptures are so vivid, that visitors could spend 2 days to simply take in all of them (4km in length). The last and highest section, from the eighth floor to tenth floor, is the most special part of Borobudur. It’s about Buddha’s search for Highest Perfect Wisdom and enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. In the highest floor, there are 72 latticework stupas which contain Buddha statues inside.

Carvings on Borobudur

After being buried under ash, Borobudur Temple was rediscovered and restored in 1970s. Now, it’s preserved by UNESCO and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As the temple attracts many visitors taking the day trip from Yogyakarta, it is recommended that you come early before official open hours. It’s the perfect time to catch the sunrise on the top of this temple and watch the breathtaking scenery when the old architecture becomes bathed in sunlight.

Sunrise at Borobudur

After watching sunrise on the top of Borobudur, one option is to return to the city and visit Prambanan Temple, one of the most beautiful Hindu temples in Indonesia. This temple has equally impressive engravings, and is also one of the best places in the region to watch the sunset through the temple’s buildings. In addition, visiting Mendut Temple (located 3.5km east of Borobudur) or Selogriyo Temple (about 1.5km away from Borobudur) are great options.

Borobudur Temple

If you want to stay near Borobudur to watch the sunrise on time, you can choose to stay at many different kinds of accommodations such as hostels, homestays or even a luxury hotel or resort, depending on your budget. Alternatively, if you want to enjoy the city view and local life at Yogyakarta, you can choose Indies Heritage Hotel or some homestays instead for your stay and it’s going to be a good experience for your trip.


There are several ways to get to Borobudur, starting with a flight to the nearby cities of Surabaya, Jakarta, or Yogyakarta. The journey from Yogyakarta will take around 1 hour to Borobudur.