Borobudur temple, Java

The World’s Largest Buddist Temple

Borobudur is located high on a mountain in Central Java. Although it is the largest Buddist temple in the world, Borobudur Temple was lost for centuries until it was found again in 1814. Today is a World Heritage Site, part of the UNESCO.

I found Borobudur one of the most impressive temples I’ve ever seen. Comparable in a way to the temples of Angkor in Cambodia.

Borobudur temple detail

The Borobudur Temple

The Borobudur temple is made up of five large square terraces, with three circular platforms on top of them, ringed by 72 stupas, representing the spiritual journey from the life of desire, through meditation to Nirvana. All platforms are covered with intricate carvings.

When you reach the very top there is a magnificent stupa.

The views from the top are absolutely stunning, surrounded by green and volcanic peaks.

Visiting Borobudur Temple

Because it’s a popular attraction the site gets absolutely packed during the day. The Borobudur Temple is the single most visited site in Indonesia. So make sure you arrive as early as you can.

If you plan visiting the Borobudur temple and the Prambanan temple is worth it to buy the combo ticket for $40, instead of buying the tickets separately.

At the entrance, after buying the tickets they have an area with complimentary drinks where you can have a cup of coffee, tea or water, and where they give you a sarong to use inside.

They also have wifi, so you can download the free app ‘cultural places‘ and use it as an audio-guide.

Is possible to before the official opening hours to get see the sunrise, although you pay a higher admission fee, and there is no public bus that can get you there on time. The first bus leaves at 06:00 making it impossible to arrive before the sunrise.

How to get to Borobudur

Borobudur is in Magelang, 40 km northwest of Yogyakarta and is not difficult to get there using public transports.

So to get the public bus go to the Jombor terminal in the north of Yogyakarta (takes roughly 1hour and a half to 2 hours) and cost Rp30,000 ($2.10). The journey is quite straight forward and the buses leave regularly to Borobudur between 06:00 and 16:00.

The Borobudur terminal is a 10-minute walk from the temple complex. The last bus back from Borobudur leaves at 16:00.

Alternatively, you can rent a scooter, find a travel agency offering tours, or hire a driver/guide to take you.

Most of the visitors are Indonesian and there aren’t many tourists on the bus either, so be prepared to pose and take some pictures with the Indonesian tourists.

The next most significant is another Unesco World Heritage Site, the 9th and 10th century Hindu complex of Prambanan, that can also be visited, located on the island of Java.

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

9 thoughts on “Borobudur temple, Java

  1. Miguel A. Gonçalves

    Esse sítio, o templo, a atmosfera que o envolve parecem mágicos. Só ainda não fui a Indonésia porque é um daqueles países que penso que só valerá a pena ir quando tiver muito tempo seguido para lá passar 😀

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