Visiting Central Java will indeed feel less if we do not visit one of the tourist destinations that are very charming and full of history, namely Borobudur Temple. Yes, Borobudur Temple is a buddha temple located in Borobudur Village, Borobudur District, Magelang, Central Java. This very magnificent temple is one of the historical relics that is still maintained its beauty.
But apart from the beauty and splendor of this temple, of course, there is a long history in it, especially regarding its construction. Then, what exactly is the historical story of Borobudur Temple? Check out the following explanation!
History of Borobudur Temple, Extraordinary Masterpiece During the Syailendra Dynasty
Borobudur Temple is an extraordinary masterpiece of the relics of the Syailendra dynasty. This magnificent temple was founded by adherents of Mahayana Buddhism which was built around the 8th century during the reign of the Syailendra Dynasty.
Borobudur Temple is included in the largest Buddhist temple in the world where the original purpose of the construction was to glorify the kings of Syailendra. Borobudur Temple was built as a deep real respect and expression for the ancestors. More detailed than this, the construction of Borobudur Temple as proof of the greatness of religion. And the following are the stages of construction of Borobudur Temple:
Construction of Borobudur Temple First Phase (Year 780 AD)
Borobudur Temple was built around 780 AD where the construction was carried out on a hill. The high part of the hill was leveled and the grounds were expanded. The material to build this temple is from andesite stone but it is known that not all materials use the stone.
Meanwhile, the hill construction process uses compacted soil and then closed by a stone structure. The structure of the stone resembles a shell wrapped around an earthen hill. While the rest of the hill is covered by a stone structure layer by layer. At the beginning of its construction, the temple was arranged in a multistage manner as was the stepped pyramid.
Construction of Borobudur Temple Second & Third Phase (Year 792 AD)
While in the second stage of construction there are additional two square-shaped steps where there is a section of the balustrade and 1 circular step at the top. This part of the house has a large main stupa.
However, in the third phase of construction, there was a change in the design of the building. The upper part of the circle as well as the main stupa were dismantled. The stupa was changed to 3 circular decks and small stupas were built in a circular row on the grounds of the houses. Also made is a large stupa that is in the middle part.
At that time, archaeologists suspected that Borobudur was originally designed in the form of a very large parent stupa. The single stupa is likened to a crown because it is in the middle. However, because of its large size, this is too heavy and pushes the structure of the building.
The large stupa is considered to shift the building considering that the core of Borobudur is just a compacted dirt hill so that if there is a large pressure, it is feared that there will be landslides and collapses. For this consideration, the main stupa was finally replaced with circular terraces decorated with small stupas. There is also a single stupa that serves to support the temple wall to prevent shifting.
Construction of Borobudur Temple Kempat & Fifth Phase (824 – 833 AD)
After the construction of the stupas, the construction of Borobudur Temple continued in the fourth and fifth phases which took place in 824 AD and 833 AD. There are several minor changes at this stage such as the refinement of the relief, widening of the toe, the addition of the outermost balustrade to the upper bend of the door goal.
Borobudur Temple is one of the largest temples in Indonesia which has many uniqueness, especially from its architecture. Even because of its very slick making, the making of Borobudur Temple takes decades or even a hundred years more. Amazing isn’t it?
The History of Borobudur Temple Was Once Abandoned
Although the construction has been planned quite carefully, it turns out that Borobudur Temple was abandoned precisely around 928-1006 AD. The neglect occurred because King Mpu Sindok was moving the capital of the Ancient Mataram Kingdom to the East Java region. This move was carried out because one of the mountains there, namely Mount Merapi, erupted.
The eruption of Mount Merapi immediately made this newly built building buried by dust and volcanic ash. Long abandoned, Borobudur Temple is increasingly covered with shrubs. Moreover, at that time, Islam began to enter Indonesia, making this temple even more abandoned.
There are also many people who associate Borobudur Temple with bad luck, curses and the abode of subtle spirits. This assumption then made Borobudur Temple even more unkempt and abandoned and even almost forgotten.
Rediscovery of Borobudur Temple
Even though it was left behind, Borobudur Temple was finally found again. The discovery of Borobudur Temple was in 1814 when Indonesia was colonized by the British. Sir Thomas Stanford Raffles was the first to rediscover Borobudur Temple where at that time he was visiting Semarang. Sir Thomas Stanford Raffles himself was governor-general of Java at the time.
Sir Thomas received a report that there was a discovery of carved stones on the hill around Bumisegoro Village, Residency, Magelang. The evidence is believed to be the remains of a temple building called budur.
Because of his interest in history, Sir Thomas was finally interested in visiting the large building. He asked his hundreds of troops to clear the building and dig deeper into the ground. It is recorded that the cleanup was carried out for several known years starting from 1817, 1825 and 1835.
After the cleaning, the entire building of Borobur Temple became more visible and after that, an update was carried out. Borobudur Temple is known to have been restored several times. The first restoration of the temple was carried out by Th. Van Erp in 1907 to 1911. The second restoration was carried out by the Government of Indonesia and UNESCO which lasted from 1973 to 1983.
Then, what exactly is the function of Borobudur Temple
Behind the grandeur and also the unusually long history of development, of course the question arises, what exactly is the function of this temple. At first glance, it has been explained above that the initial purpose of the construction of Borobudur Temple was to honor the ancestors at that time.
Over time, the function of the temple has also certainly undergone a lot of development. And here are some functions of Borobudur Temple that should be known:
- As a Religious Tourist Attraction.
- A place of worship for Buddhists.
- As a Historic Place.
- Can be a place to develop science and history.
Apart from its function, Borobudur Temple is also one of the historical relics that indirectly brought the name of Indonesia to be known abroad. Of course how not, this temple is included in the seven wonders of the world which are the most special masterpieces.
Borobudur Temple was inaugurated as one of the tourist destinations on July 15, 1980. Then this temple was also designated by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage around 1991. That’s a glimpse of the complete history of Borobudur Temple starting from the construction of the first to the final phase.