Borabudur is a Buddhist stupa and temple complex in Central Java, Indonesia dating back to 8th century, and a UNSCO World Heritage Site. It has the single largest Buddhist structure anywhere on the planet and it is unimagined how much attention to detail that went in to construct this amasing place. Borobudur sits on the backdrop of mighty active volcanoes only enhance the sense of adventure and drama. The 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake, which badly damaged nearby Prambanan (Hindu temple complex), left Borobudur unscathed.
There is no definite written record of who built Borobudur or why it was built. The construction is thought to have taken a period of 75 years, and completed in about 825 AD. The whole monument is constructed from dark grey andesite stone (a formation of rock with thick lava flows) and so synonymous has this become with Borobudur and other temples on the Kedu Plain.
The details of Hinduism and Buddhism from this period in Java’s history can be visible to visitors. Borabudur and the nearby Hindu Prambanan temple complex is more or less existing on same period of time.
A common thread of stories suggests that Borobudur lay abandoned and hidden for centuries under layers of volcanic ash and thick jungle growth until then British governor Thomas Stamford Raffle discovered it during the very brief British rule of Java from 1811 – 1816.
When to visit?
Every year more than 3 million people visit Borobudur. It is the single most popular tourist attraction in modern day Indonesia. It is an important place of worship ad pilgrimage for Indonesian as well as international Buddhists. This temple is not only a favourite of foreign tourists, but also domestic tourists, mainly students of all ages, usually in May and June. If you are planning a visit, try not to visit during school holiday season, it is worth investigating those dates. Another date in the Indonesian calendar to consider is that of Idul Fitri and up to a week after.
How to go?
The nearest larger airports are Yogjakarta’s Adisucipto International Airport and Solo’s Adisumarmo International Airport. Both are well connected domestically, and also offer some international connections to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Air Asia for example flies from Singapore to Yogjakarta daily.
To visit Borobudur on a day trip from Bali or Jakarta, one can also fly direct to Semarang’s Achmad Yani International Airport with SilkAir from Singapore and with Air Asia from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and make your way to Borobudur from there (2–3 hours by road).
The nearest stations are in Yogjakarta, which is the major rail hub of Central Jawa. Connections are frequent from major cities in the west such as Jakarta and Bandung, and in the east such as Surabaya. From the main Tugu station it is easy to arrange taxi or bus transfers to Borobudur.
The Wesak at Borabudur
On Wasak, Buddha’s birthday (held on the night of the full moon in May), you can experience an elaborate and colourful multi-day Buddhist festival at Borobudur, culminating in a candle-lit procession from Candi Mendut to Borobudur. If you are lucky enough to be visiting at this time, the procession is magical event to witness.
The Borobudur Museum
There are two museums located within Borobudur Archaeological Park, the Karmawibhanga Museum and the Samudraraksa Museum. These museums are housed inside the park just a few hundred metres to the north of the temple. These museum ticket are already included within the Borobudur entrance ticket, so visitor are free to enter the museum.
Should you be in need of cash, there is a Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) ATM close to the main park entrance.
The price of Borobudur regular always fluctuating. It depends on the exchange rate of Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) to USD.
The fixed price is IDR 362,000 (USD 20) for adult and IDR217, 500 (USD 15) for child/student.
Locals: IDR 40,000 for adult and IDR 20,000 for child