Sangat Pedas

Borobudur: The Indonesian Made Miracle

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I’ve almost come to the end of a five day holiday on Bali and things we’re pretty much as usual: no hot water, the refrigerator was broke, the most crappy Internet, no TV and the mosquito’s sucked about a pint of blood out of me. But still, I love this place where you live outside, where even if you work everyday feels like a holiday. It’s now that I realize what a privileged person I am to have lived on this island fo two years and being able to come back here for some R&R.

Anyway, today it’s Waisak and since I owe this holiday to that it’s no more than appropriate to Wiki in what exactly Waisak is. Well, it seems it’s more commonly known under the name Vesak and it encompasses the birth, enlightenment (nirvāna), and passing away (Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha. And while browsing some more on this topic I stumbled upon Borobudur, an 8th-century Mahayana Buddhist monument near Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia.

I guess I should be ashamed that after being so long in Indonesia I never heard of this temple which is a miracle in size, craft, design and represents the rich culture of Indonesia. Reading about Borobudur on Wikipedia was probably the most fascinating reading experience I’ve ever had on Wikipedia. How it was build around 800 AD, how it was abandoned probably due to vulcano eruptions, how it was rediscovered, the restorations and even being attacked by bombings in 1985.

So today I want to dedicate a post to this truly magnificent creation of mankind in the hope I will see it with my own eyes one time and that Indonesia will remain proud of their cultural heritage and nurture it. Selamat Waisak!

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  • June on holiday

    I went to see Borobudor temple in 1991 after reading in Readers Digest about its painstaking restoration.  We were in complete awe of its intricate detail and size.