Minggu, 04 Mei 2008
PRAKERIN SMK N 1 SINGARAJA
Untuk melengkapi PRAKERIN (Praktek Kerja Industri) SMK N 1 Singaraja menyelenggarakan kegiatan rutin yaitu StudyTour ke Jawa yang biasanya dilakukan setiap akir semester 5, mengingat SMEA jurusan Industri jadi harus ke Jawa melihat bagaimakah kenyataannya industri itu. Waktu saya StudyTour ke Jawa pada tahun 2005 kami mengunjungi Pabrik tekstil terbesar di Indonesia yang berlokasi di Jogjakarta, bener lho pabriknya gede kali, karyawannya aja 2000-an. Selain pabrik itu kami juga mengunjungi Pabrik Garmen di Jawa tengah.
Disamping mengunjungi pabrik-pabrik industri kami juga bertamasya ke tempat-tempat yang menakjubkan di Jawa, kami berkunjung ke Candi terbesar di Indonesia yaitu Candi Borobudur. Candi ini berdiri di atas bukit jadi jika ingin kesana harus kuat naik dan kepanasan lho. Di Candi ini terdapat Stupa yang konon katanya jika kita mengajak pasangan bersebrangan menjulurkan tangan jika kesampaian berarti jodoh dan kalau tidak ya tidak jodoh, begitu katanya.
Siapa tak kenal Candi Borobudur? Candi Budha ini memiliki 1460 relief dan 504 stupa Budha di kompleksnya. Jutaan orang mendamba untuk mengunjungi bangunan yang termasuk dalam World Wonder Heritages ini. Tak mengherankan, sebab secara arsitektural maupun fungsinya sebagai tempat ibadah, Borobudur memang memikat hati.
Borobudur dibangun oleh Raja Samaratungga, salah satu raja kerajaan Mataram Kuno, keturunan Wangsa Syailendra. Berdasarkan prasasti Kayumwungan, seorang Indonesia bernama Hudaya Kandahjaya mengungkapkan bahwa Borobudur adalah sebuah tempat ibadah yang selesai dibangun 26 Mei 824, hampir seratus tahun sejak masa awal dibangun. Nama Borobudur sendiri menurut beberapa orang berarti sebuah gunung yang berteras-teras (budhara), sementara beberapa yang lain mengatakan Borobudur berarti biara yang terletak di tempat tinggi.
Bangunan Borobudur berbentuk punden berundak terdiri dari 10 tingkat. Tingginya 42 meter sebelum direnovasi dan 34,5 meter setelah direnovasi karena tingkat paling bawah digunakan sebagai penahan. Enam tingkat paling bawah berbentuk bujur sangkar dan tiga tingkat di atasnya berbentuk lingkaran dan satu tingkat tertinggi yang berupa stupa Budha yang menghadap ke arah barat. Setiap tingkatan melambangkan tahapan kehidupan manusia. Sesuai mahzab Budha Mahayana, setiap orang yang ingin mencapai tingkat sebagai Budha mesti melalui setiap tingkatan kehidupan tersebut.
Bagian dasar Borobudur, disebut Kamadhatu, melambangkan manusia yang masih terikat nafsu. Empat tingkat di atasnya disebut Rupadhatu melambangkan manusia yang telah dapat membebaskan diri dari nafsu namun masih terikat rupa dan bentuk. Pada tingkat tersebut, patung Budha diletakkan terbuka. Sementara, tiga tingkat di atasnya dimana Budha diletakkan di dalam stupa yang berlubang-lubang disebut Arupadhatu, melambangkan manusia yang telah terbebas dari nafsu, rupa, dan bentuk. Bagian paling atas yang disebut Arupa melambangkan nirwana, tempat Budha bersemayam.
Setiap tingkatan memiliki relief-relief indah yang menunjukkan betapa mahir pembuatnya. Relief itu akan terbaca secara runtut bila anda berjalan searah jarum jam (arah kiri dari pintu masuk candi). Pada reliefnya Borobudur bercerita tentang suatu kisah yang sangat melegenda, yaitu Ramayana. Selain itu, terdapat pula relief yang menggambarkan kondisi masyarakat saat itu. Misalnya, relief tentang aktivitas petani yang mencerminkan tentang kemajuan sistem pertanian saat itu dan relief kapal layar merupakan representasi dari kemajuan pelayaran yang waktu itu berpusat di Bergotta (Semarang).
Keseluruhan relief yang ada di candi Borobudur mencerminkan ajaran sang Budha. Karenanya, candi ini dapat dijadikan media edukasi bagi orang-orang yang ingin mempelajari ajaran Budha. YogYES mengajak anda untuk mengelilingi setiap lorong-lorong sempit di Borobudur agar dapat mengerti filosofi agama Budha. Atisha, seorang budhis asal India pada abad ke 10, pernah berkunjung ke candi yang dibangun 3 abad sebelum Angkor Wat di Kamboja dan 4 abad sebelum Katedral Agung di Eropa ini.
Berkat mengunjungi Borobudur dan berbekal naskah ajaran Budha dari Serlingpa (salah satu raja Kerajaan Sriwijaya), Atisha mampu mengembangkan ajaran Budha. Ia menjadi kepala biara Vikramasila dan mengajari orang Tibet tentang cara mempraktekkan Dharma. Enam naskah dari Serlingpa pun diringkas menjadi sebuah inti ajaran disebut "The Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment" atau yang lebih dikenal dengan nama Bodhipathapradipa.
Salah satu pertanyaan yang kini belum terjawab tentang Borobudur adalah bagaimana kondisi sekitar candi ketika dibangun dan mengapa candi itu ditemukan dalam keadaan terkubur. Beberapa mengatakan Borobudur awalnya berdiri dikitari rawa kemudian terpendam karena letusan Merapi. Dasarnya adalah prasasti Kalkutta bertuliskan 'Amawa' berarti lautan susu. Kata itu yang kemudian diartikan sebagai lahar Merapi. Beberapa yang lain mengatakan Borobudur tertimbun lahar dingin Merapi.
Dengan segala kehebatan dan misteri yang ada, wajar bila banyak orang dari segala penjru dunia memasukkan Borobudur sebagai tempat yang harus dikunjungi dalam hidupnya. Selain menikmati candinya, anda juga bisa berkeliling ke desa-desa sekitar Borobudur, seperti Karanganyar dan Wanurejo untuk melihat aktivitas warga membuat kerajinan. Anda juga bisa pergi ke puncak watu Kendil untuk dapat memandang panorama Borobudur dari atas. Tunggu apa lagi? Tak perlu khawatir gempa 27 Mei 2006, karena Borobudur tidak terkena dampaknya sama sekali
Magelang (ANTARA News) - Keberadaan Candi Borobudur di Kabupaten Magelang, Provinsi Jawa Tengah bukan mustahil di bekas kawasan danau purba karena di kedalaman sekitar 40 meter dari permukaan tanah di kawasan itu saat ini terdapat air asin."Bukan mustahil ada danau purba, tetapi kemungkinan besar jutaan tahun lalu, sebelum dibangun Candi Borobudur, bukan mustahil pula Borobudur dibangun di kawasan rawa," kata Budayawan Borobudur Ariswara Sutomo di Magelang, Sabtu.Peneliti geologis Universitas Pembangunan Nasional "Veteran" Yogyakarta, Helmy Murwanto melakukan penelitian danau purba Borobudur sejak 1995 hingga saat ini. Danau purba Borobudur mulai hilang akibat endapan vulkanik dan letusan sejumlah gunung berapi purba seperti Sumbing, Merapi, dan Merbabu. Diperkirakan akhir abad ke-13 danau purba Borobudur itu hilang dan mengakibatkan banyak sungai purba mencari aliran ke tempat lain menuju Laut Selatan.Ariswara menyebut temuan air asin berada di Desa Candirejo, Sigug dan Ngasinan di kawasan Candi Borobudur yang pada masa lalu diperkirakan sebagai bagian lautan. Pegunungan Menoreh yang berada di dekat Candi Borobudur dan berupa batu-batu karang kemungkinan sebagai karang laut pada zaman lampau. Batuan marmer di Selogriyo, Pegunungan Menoreh juga salah satu bukti bahwa pada zaman dahulu kawasan itu bagian dari lautan. Ia menyatakan meragukan danau purba mulai hilang antara abad ke-10 hingga akhir abad ke-13."Kemungkinan hilangnya danau purba jauh sebelum abad itu, sebelum Borobudur dibangun, Borobudur dibangun abad ke-8," kata Ariswara yang juga penulis buku "Temples of Java" itu.Sewaktu Candi Borobudur dibangun, katanya, di kawasan itu telah ada pemukiman penduduk. Pemakaman umum di beberapa desa di sekitar Borobudur ada yang berumur sebelum tahun 1300. Nisan makam kuno itu bukan dari batu melainkan dari kayu jati relatif tipis."Di kampung-kampung sekitar sini, ada makam-makam tua dengan kayu jati tipis, artinya sudah jadi pemukiman, kalau masih danau purba maka belum ada pemukiman," katanya.Jika Candi Borobudur dibangun di sebuah bukit yang dikelilingi danau, katanya, kemungkinan mudah runtuh.Menurut dia, kemungkinan Candi Borobudur dibangun di atas bukit yang di sekelilingnya berupa rawa, bekas suatu danau purba. Hingga saat ini di sebelah selatan Candi Borobudur terdapat Desa Sabrang Rowo yang artinya menyeberangi rawa."Orang yang akan menuju ke lokasi pembangunan candi harus menyeberangi sebuah rawa. Mereka adalah para pejabat atau pengawas pembangunan candi yang tinggal di Desa Bumi Segoro, kalau mau masuk ke desa itu ada Desa Gopalan, asal usulnya dari kata gupala (Patung Dwarapala) sebagai tanda pintu masuk ke sebuah rumah pejabat," katanya.Keberadaan danau purba di Candi Borobudur, katanya, memang masih perlu diperdebatkan.Perdebatan secara ilmiah tentang danau purba itu akan semakin menjadi daya pikat kunjungan wisatawan ke Borobudur dan memperkaya khasanah ilmu pengetahuan tentang Candi Borobudur, kata Ariswara.(*)
Candi Borobudur merupakan salah satu bangunan bersejarah terbesar di dunia. Candi Borobudur dibangun oleh Dinasti Syailendra antara tahun 750 � 842 Masehi atau 300 tahun sebelum Angkor Wat di Kamboja dan 400 tahun sebelum didirikannya Gereja-gereja Kathedral di Eropa. Hanya sedikit diketahui mengenai sejarah awal Borobudur kecuali keterlibatan tenaga kerja yang besar yang harus dikerahkan di bawah terik matahari tropis untuk mengangkat dan memahat 60.000 m3 batu.
Sir Thomas Stanford Raffles menyingkap keberadaan Borobudur pada tahun 1814. Ia menemukan candi tersebut dalam keadaan terbengkalai dan memerintahkan area sekitarnya untuk dibersihkan dari semak belukar dan selanjutnya dilakukan survey atas keadaan candi Borobudur.
Proyek restorasi besar-besaran dimulai dari tahun 1905 sampai dengan 1910 dipimpin oleh Dr. Theodore Van Erp. Dengan bantuan dari UNESCO restorasi kedua untuk meyelamatkan Borobudur dilakukan dari bulan Agustus 1913 sampai dengan 1983.
Secara keseluruhan Borobudur mempunyai ketinggian 42 m, tetapi saat ini hanya 34,5 m (setelah restorasi) dan mempunyai luasan sebesar 123 x 123 m. Bangunan ini berlantai atau bertingkat 10 yang disebut : Hhumtcambharabudara, yang berarti sebuah gunung yang merupakan kumpulan kebajikan dalam 10 tingkat Boddhisatva.
Borobudur adalah salah satu monumen kuno yang terbaik yang dilestarikan dari seluruh dunia bahkan merupakan salah satu dari tujuh keajaiban dunia. Monumen ini adalah kuil budha yang terbesar di seluruh dunia dan telah diklaim sebagai hasil budaya manusia yang paling sering dikunjungi lebih dari sejuta wisatawan baik domestik maupun luar negeri sampai saat ini. Gaya arsitek dari candi inipun tidak ada yang menyerupai di seluruh dunia. Struktur yang terisnpirasi menggambarkan mikro kosmos yang seringkali timbul menjadi suatu pertanyaan, misalnya kapan, dengan cara apa, berapa lama dan oleh siapa cagar alam ini telah dibangun.
Jawaban yang tepat sampai saat ini masih meninggalkan misteri karena tidak ada dokumen tertulis sampai saat ini. Berdasarkan prasasti yang ditemukan oleh peneliti, dicatat bahwa Candi Borobudur dibangun antara abad ke delapan ketika Samaratungga - raja dari dinasti Syailendra memerintah di Jawa Tengah. Arti dari Borobudur masih tidak jelas. Borobudur merupakan gabungan dari kata Bara dan Budur. Bara dari bahasa Sansekerta berarti kompleks candi atau biara. Sedangakan Budur mengingatkan kita dengan kata yang berasal dari Bali Beduhur yang berarti di atas. Dengan kata lain, Borobudur berarti Biara di atas bukit.
Borobudur penuh dengan ornamen filosofis dimana menyimbolkan secara gamblang tentang kesatuan dari perbedaan jalur yang dapat diikuti untuk mencapai tujuan hidup yang paling pokok.Relif yang terukir di dinding candi memberitahukan keindahan dalam mempelajari hidup. Dengan kata lain, Borobudur memiliki jiwa seni, filosofis dan budaya.
Borobudur merupakan salah satu peninggalan sejarah terindah dan terbaik di dunia yang tercatat dalam Daftar Peninggalan Sejarah Dunia. Candi Borobudur adalah bangunan agama Budha terbesar di dunia dan telah diakui sebagai peninggalan sejarah terbesar yang pernah dibuat oleh manusia dan hingga kini selalu dikunjungi oleh jutaan turis domestik maupun mancanegara. Borobudur mempunyai bentuk bangunan yang tiada ada duanya di dunia. Bentuk arsitektur tersebut terinspirasi dari filsafat micro cosmos yang akan menimbulkan berbagai pertanyaan seperti kapan, bagaimana caranya, berapa lama waktu yang dibutuhkan untuk membangun dan oleh siapa.
Jawaban pasti akan hal tersebut masih merupakan misteri hingga saat ini karena tidak adanya satu dokumen pun yang bisa ditemukan. Berdasarkan tulisan singkat yang ada pada prasasti yang ditemukan, maka banyak ahli menyatakan bahwa Borobudur dibangun pada sekitar abad ke 8 ketika Raja Samaratungga dari Dinasti Syailendra memerintah kerajaannya di Jawa Tengah. Borobudur mempunyai arti yang samar-samar, tetapi sebenarnya kata tersebut merupakan sebuah gabungan kata “Bara” dan “Budur”. Bara berasal dari bahasa Sansekerta yang berarti komplek candi atau biara, sementara Budur mengingatkan akan kata dari Bahasa Bali yang berarti di atas. Dengan demikian, Borobudur berarti biara yang terletak di atas bukit.
Borobudur adalah bangunan yang penuh dengan ornamen yang mengandung fosofi dimana ornamen-ornamen tersebut mempunyai symbol kesatuan dalam perbedaan yang dapat diikuti oleh semua orang untuk mencapai tujuan hidup yang paling mulia. Relief-relief yang terpahat pada tembok-tembok candi menceritakan akan ajaran hidup manusia yang sangat indah. Dengan kata lain, Borobudur adalah jiwa dari seni, budaya dan filsafat(yogyes.com).
Borobudur is a ninth century Mahayana Buddhist monument in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome is located at the center of the top platform, and is surrounded by seventy-two Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa.
The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path circumambulating the monument while ascending to the top through the three levels of Buddhist cosmology, namely, Kamadhatu (the world of desire); Rupadhatu (the world of forms); and Arupadhatu (the world of formless). During the journey, the monument guides the pilgrims through a system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the wall and the balustrades.
Evidence suggests Borobudur was abandoned following the fourteenth century decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Java, and the Javanese conversion to Islam. It was rediscovered in 1814 by Sir Thomas Raffles, the British ruler of Java. Borobudur has since been preserved through several restorations. The largest restoration project was undertaken between 1975 and 1982 by the Indonesian government and UNESCO, following which the monument was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage, where once a year Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument, and Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited
In Indonesian, temples are known as candi, thus "Borobudur Temple" is locally known as Candi Borobudur. The term candi is also used more loosely to describe any ancient structure, for example, gates and bathing structures. The origins of the name Borobudur however are unclear, although the original names of most ancient Indonesian temples are no longer known. The name 'Borobudur' was first written in the Sir Thomas Raffles book on Java history. Raffles wrote about a monument called borobudur, but there are no older documents suggesting the same name. The only old Javanese manuscript that hints at the monument as a holy Buddhist sanctuary is Nagarakertagama, written by Mpu Prapanca in 1365.
The name 'Bore-Budur', and thus 'BoroBudur', is thought to have been written by Raffles in English grammar to mean the nearby village of Bore; most candi are named after a nearby village. If it followed Javanese language, the monument should have been named 'BudurBoro'. Raffles also suggested that 'Budur' might correspond to the modern Javanese word Buda ('ancient') - i.e., 'ancient Boro'. However, another archaeologist suggests the second component of the name ('Budur') comes from Javanese term bhudhara (or mountain).
Approximately 40 kilometers (25 mi) northwest of Yogyakarta, Borobudur is located in an elevated area between two twin volcanoes, Sundoro-Sumbing and Merbabu-Merapi, and two rivers, the Progo and the Elo. According to local myth, the area known as Kedu Plain is a Javanese 'sacred' place and has been dubbed 'the garden of Java' due to its high agricultural fertility. Besides Borobudur, there are other Buddhist and Hindu temples in the area, including the Prambanan temples compound. During the restoration in the early 1900s, it was discovered that three Buddhist temples in the region, Borobudur, Pawon and Mendut, are lined in one straight line position. It might be accidental, but the temples' alignment is in conjunction with a native folk tale that a long time ago, there was a brick-paved road from Borobudur to Mendut with walls on both sides. The three temples (Borobudur–Pawon–Mendut) have similar architecture and ornamentation derived from the same time period, which suggests that ritual relationship between the three temples, in order to have formed a sacred unity, must have existed, although exact ritual process is yet unknown.
Unlike other temples, which were built on a flat surface, Borobudur was built on a bedrock hill, 265 m (869 ft) above sea level and 15 m (49 ft) above the floor of the dried-out paleolake. The lake's existence was the subject of intense discussion among archaeologists in the twentieth century; Borobudur was thought to have been built on a lake shore or even floated on a lake. In 1931, a Dutch artist and a scholar of Hindu and Buddhist architecture, W.O.J. Nieuwenkamp, developed a theory that Kedu Plain was once a lake and Borobudur initially represented a lotus flower floating on the lake. Lotus flowers are found in almost every Buddhist work of art, often serving as a throne for buddhas and base for stupas. The architecture of Borobudur itself suggests a lotus depiction, in which Buddha postures in Borobudur symbolize the Lotus Sutra, mostly found in many Mahayana Buddhism (a school of Buddhism widely spread in the east Asia region) texts. Three circular platforms on the top are also thought to represent a lotus leaf. Nieuwenkamp's theory, however, was contested by many archaeologists because the natural environment surrounding the monument is a dry land.
Geologists, on the other hand, support Nieuwenkamp's view, pointing out clay sediments found near the site. A study of stratigraphy, sediment and pollen samples conducted in 2000 supports the existence of a paleolake environment near Borobudur, which tends to confirm Nieuwenkamp's theory. The lake area fluctuated with time and the study also proves that Borobudur was near the lake shore circa thirteenth and fourteenth century. River flows and volcanic activities shape the surrounding landscape, including the lake. One of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia, Mount Merapi, is in the direct vicinity of Borobudur and has been very active since the Pleistocene
There is no written record of who built Borobudur or of its intended purpose. The construction time has been estimated by comparison between carved reliefs on the temple's hidden foot and the inscriptions commonly used in royal charters during the eight and ninth centuries. Borobudur was likely founded around 800 AD. This corresponds to the period between 760–830 AD, the peak of the Sailendra dynasty in central Java,, when it was under the influence of the Srivijayan Empire. The construction has been estimated to have taken 75 years and been completed during the reign of Samaratungga in 825.
There is confusion between Hindu and Buddhist rulers in Java around that time. The Sailendras were known as ardent followers of Lord Buddha, though stone inscriptions found at Sojomerto suggest they may have been Hindus. It was during this time that many Hindu and Buddhist monuments were built on the plains and mountain around the Kedu Plain. The Buddhist monuments, including Borobudur, were erected around the same time as the Hindu Shiva Prambanan temple compound. In 732 AD, the Shivaite King Sanjaya commissioned a Hindu Shiva lingga sanctuary to be built on the Ukir hill, only 10 km (6.2 miles) east of Borobudur.
Construction of Buddhist temples, including Borobudur, at that time was possible because Sanjaya's immediate successor, Rakai Panangkaran, granted his permission to the Buddhist followers to build such temples. In fact, to show his respect, Panangkaran gave the village of Kalasan to the Buddhist community, as is written in the Kalasan Charter dated 778 AD. This has led some archaeologists to believe that there was never serious conflict concerning religion in Java as it was possible for a Hindu king to patronize the establishment of a Buddhist monument; or for a Buddhist king to act likewise. However, it is likely that there were two rival royal dynasties in Java at the time—the Buddhist Sailendra and the Saivite Sanjaya—in which the latter triumphed over their rival in the 856 battle on the Ratubaka plateau. This confusion also exists regarding the Lara Jonggrang temple at the Prambanan complex, which was believed that it was erected by the victor Rakai Pikatan as the Sanjaya dynasty's reply to Borobudur, but others suggest that there was a climate of peaceful coexistence where Sailendra involvement exists in Lara Jonggrang
Borobudur lay hidden for centuries under layers of volcanic ash and jungle growth. The facts behind its abandonment remain a mystery. It is not known when active use of the monument and Buddhist pilgrimage to it ceased. Somewhere between 928 and 1006, the center of power moved to East Java region and a series of volcanic eruptions took place; it is not certain whether the latter influenced the former but several sources mention this as the most likely period of abandonment. Soekmono (1976) also mentions the popular belief that the temples were disbanded when the population converted to Islam in the fifteenth century.
The monument was not forgotten completely, though folk stories gradually shifted from its past glory into more superstitious beliefs associated with bad luck and misery. Two old Javanese chronicles (babad) from the eighteenth century mention cases of bad luck associated with the monument. According to the Babad Tanah Jawi (or the History of Java), the monument was a fatal factor for a rebel who revolted against the king of Mataram in 1709. The hill was besieged and the insurgents were defeated and sentenced to death by the king. In the Babad Mataram (or the History of the Mataram Kingdom), the monument was associated with the misfortune of the crown prince of the Yogyakarta Sultanate in 1757. In spite of a taboo against visiting the monument, "he took what is written as the knight who was captured in a cage (a statue in one of the perforated stupas)". Upon returning to his palace, he fell ill and died one day later.
Following the Anglo-Dutch Java War, Java was under British administration from 1811 to 1816. The appointed governor was Lieutenant Governor-General Thomas Stamford Raffles, who took great interest in the history of Java. He collected Javanese antiques and made notes through contacts with local inhabitants during his tour throughout the island. On an inspection tour to Semarang in 1814, he was informed about a big monument deep in a jungle near the village of Bumisegoro. He was not able to make the discovery himself and sent H.C. Cornelius, a Dutch engineer, to investigate.
In two months, Cornelius and his 200 men cut down trees, burned down vegetation and dug away the earth to reveal the monument. Due to the danger of collapse, he could not unearth all galleries. He reported his findings to Raffles including various drawings. Although the discovery is only mentioned by a few sentences, Raffles has been credited with the monument's recovery, as one who had brought it to the world's attention.
Hartmann, a Dutch administrator of the Kedu region, continued Cornelius' work and in 1835 the whole complex was finally unearthed. His interest in Borobudur was more personal than official. Hartmann did not write any reports of his activities; in particular, the alleged story that he discovered the large statue of Buddha in the main stupa. In 1842, Hartmann investigated the main dome although what he discovered remains unknown as the main stupa remains empty
The Dutch East Indies government then commissioned F.C. Wilsen, a Dutch engineering official, who studied the monument and drew hundreds of relief sketches. J.F.G. Brumund was also appointed to make a detailed study of the monument, which was completed in 1859. The government intended to publish an article based on Brumund study supplemented by Wilsen's drawings, but Brumund refused to cooperate. The government then commissioned another scholar, C. Leemans, who compiled a monograph based on Brumund's and Wilsen's sources. In 1873, the first monograph of the detailed study of Borobudur was published, followed by its French translation a year later. The first photograph of the monument was taken in 1873 by a Dutch-Flemish engraver, Isidore van Kinsbergen.
Appreciation of the site developed slowly, and it served for some time largely as a source of souvenirs and income for "souvenir hunters" and thieves. In 1882, the chief inspector of cultural artifacts recommended that Borobudur be entirely disassembled with the relocation of reliefs into museums due to the unstable condition of the monument. As a result, the government appointed Groenveldt, an archeologist, to undertake a thorough investigation of the site and to assess the actual condition of the complex; his report found that these fears were unjustified and recommended it be left intact.
Following the major 1973 renovation funded by UNESCO, Borobudur is once again used as a place of worship and pilgrimage. Once a year, during the full moon in May or June, Buddhists in Indonesia observe Vesak (Indonesian: Waisak) day commemorating the birth, death, and the time when Siddhārtha Gautama attained the highest wisdom to become the Buddha Shakyamuni. Vesak is an official national holiday in Indonesia and the ceremony is centered at the three Buddhist temples by walking from Mendut to Pawon and ending at Borobudur.
The monument is the single most visited tourist attraction in Indonesia. In 1974, 260,000 tourists of whom 36,000 were foreigners visited the monument. The figure hiked into 2.5 million visitors annually (80% were domestic tourists) in the mid 1990s, before the country's economy crisis. Tourism development, however, has been criticized for not including the local community on which occasional local conflict has arisen. In 2003, residents and small businesses around Borobudur organized several meetings and poetry protests, objecting to a provincial government plan to build a three-story mall complex, dubbed the 'Java World'.
On 21 January 1985, nine stupas were badly damaged by nine bombs. In 1991, a blind Muslim evangelist, Husein Ali Al Habsyie, was sentenced to life imprisonment for masterminding a series of bombings in the mid 1980s including the temple attack. Two other members of a right-wing extremist group that carried out the bombings were each sentenced to 20 years in 1986 and another man received a 13-year prison term. On 27 May 2006, an earthquake of 6.2 magnitude on Richter scale struck the south coast of Central Java. The event had caused severe damage around the region and casualties to the nearby city of Yogyakarta, but Borobudur remained intact
Borobudur is built as a single large stupa, and when viewed from above takes the form of a giant tantric Buddhist mandala, simultaneously representing the Buddhist cosmology and the nature of mind. The foundation is a square, approximately 118 meters (387 ft) on each side. It has nine platforms, of which the lower six are square and the upper three are circular. The upper platform features seventy-two small stupas surrounding one large central stupa. Each stupa is bell-shaped and pierced by numerous decorative openings. Statues of the Buddha sit inside the pierced enclosures.
Approximately 55,000 m³ (1,942,307 cubic feet) of stones were taken from neighbouring rivers to build the monument. The stone was cut to size, transported to the site and laid without mortar. Knobs, indentations and dovetails were used to form joints between stones. Reliefs were created in-situ after the building had been completed. The monument is equipped with a good drainage system to cater for the area's high stormwater run-off. To avoid inundation, 100 spouts are provided at each corner with a unique carved gargoyles in the shape of giants or makaras.
Borobudur differs markedly with the general design of other structures built for this purpose. Instead of building on a flat surface, Borobudur is built on a natural hill. The building technique is, however, similar to other temples in Java. With no inner space as in other temples and its general design similar to the shape of pyramid, Borobudur was first thought more likely to have served as a stupa, instead of a temple. A stupa is intended as a shrine for the Lord Buddha. Sometimes stupas were built only as devotional symbols of Buddhism. A temple, on the other hand, is used as a house of deity and have inner spaces for worship. The complexity of the monument's meticulous design suggests Borobudur is in fact a temple. Congregational worship in Borobudur is performed by means of pilgrimage. Pilgrims were guided by the system of staircases and corridors ascending to the top platform. Each platform represents one stage of enlightenment. The path that guides pilgrims was designed with the symbolism of sacred knowledge according to the Buddhist cosmology
Little is known about the architect Gunadharma. His name is actually recounted from Javanese legendary folk tales rather than written in old inscriptions. He was said to be one who "... bears the measuring rod, knows division and thinks himself composed of parts." The basic unit measurement he used during the construction was called tala, defined as the length of a human face from the forehead's hairline to the tip of the chin or the distance from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the middle finger when both fingers are stretched at their maximum distance. The unit metrics is then obviously relative between persons, but the monument has exact measurements. A survey conducted in 1977 revealed frequent findings of a ratio of 4:6:9 around the monument. The architect had used the formula to lay out the precise dimensions of Borobudur. The identical ratio formula was further found in the nearby Buddhist temples of Pawon and Mendhut. Archeologists conjectured the purpose of the ratio formula and the tala dimension has calendrical, astronomical and cosmological themes, as of the case in other Buddhist temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
The main vertical structure can be divided into three groups: base (or foot), body, and top, which resembles the three major division of a human body. The base is a 123x123 m² square in size and 4 meters (13 ft) high of walls. The body is composed of five square platforms each with diminishing heights. The first terrace is set back 7 meters (23 ft) from the edge of the base. The other terraces are set back by 2 meters (7 ft), leaving a narrow corridor at each stage. The top consists of 3 circular platforms, with each stage supporting a row of perforated stupas, arranged in concentric circles. There is one main dome at the center; the top of which is the highest point of the monument (35 meters (115 ft) above ground level). Access to the upper part is through stairways at the centre of each side with a number of gates, watched by a total of 32 lion statues. The main entrance is at the eastern side, the location of the first narrative reliefs. On the slopes of the hill, there are also stairways linking the monument to the low-lying plain.
The monument's three divisions symbolize three stages of mental preparation towards the ultimate goal according to the Buddhist cosmology, namely Kamadhatu (the world of desires), Rupadhatu (the world of forms), and finally Arupadhatu (the formless world). Kamadhatu is represented by the base, Rupadhatu by the five square platforms (the body), and Arupadhatu by the three circular platforms and the large topmost stupa. The architectural features between three stages have metaphorical differences. For instance, square and detailed decorations in the Rupadhatu disappear into plain circular platforms in the Arupadhatu to represent how the world of forms - where men are still attached with forms and names - changes into the world of the formless.
In 1885, a hidden structure under the base was accidentally discovered. The "hidden foot" contains reliefs, 160 of which are narrative describing the real Kamadhatu. The remaining reliefs are panels with short inscriptions that apparently describe instruction for the sculptors, illustrating the scene to be carved. The real base is hidden by an encasement base, the purpose of which remains a mystery. It was first thought that the real base had to be covered to prevent a disastrous subsidence of the monument through the hill. There is another theory that the encasement base was added because the original hidden foot was incorrectly designed, according to Vastu Shastra, the Indian ancient book about architecture and town planning. Regardless of its intention, the encasement base was built with detailed and meticulous design with aesthetics and religious compensation.
Borobudur contains approximately 2,670 individual bas reliefs (1,460 narrative and 1,212 decorative panels), which cover the façades and balustrades. The total relief surface is 2,500 square meters (26,909.8 sq ft) and they are distributed at the hidden foot (Kamadhatu) and the five square platforms (Rupadhatu).
The narrative panels, which tell the story of Sudhana and Manohara,are grouped into 11 series encircled the monument with the total length of 3,000 meters (9,843 ft). The hidden foot contains the first series with 160 narrative panels and the remaining 10 series are distributed throughout walls and balustrades in four galleries starting from the eastern entrance stairway to the left. Narrative panels on the wall read from right to left, while on the balustrade read from left to right. This conforms with pradaksina, the ritual of circumambulation performed by pilgrims who move in a clockwise direction while keeping the sanctuary to their right.
The hidden foot depicts the workings of karmic law. The walls of the first gallery have two superimposed series of reliefs; each consists of 120 panels. The upper part depicts the biography of the Buddha, while the lower part of the wall and also balustrades in the first and the second galleries tell the story of the Buddha's former lives. The remaining panels are devoted to Sudhana's further wandering about his search, terminated by his attainment of the Perfect Wisdom.
The law of karma (Karmavibhangga)
The 160 hidden panels do not form a continuous story, but each panel provides one complete illustration of cause and effect. There are depictions of blameworthy activities, from gossip to murder, with their corresponding punishments. There are also praiseworthy activities, that include charity and pilgrimage to sanctuaries, and their subsequent rewards. The pains of hell and the pleasure of heaven are also illustrated. There are scenes of daily life, complete with the full panorama of samsara (the endless cycle of birth and death).
The story starts from the glorious descent of the Lord Buddha from the Tushita heaven, and ends with his first sermon in the Deer Park near Benares. The relief shows the birth of the Buddha as Prince Siddharta, son of King Suddhodana and Queen Maya of Kapilavastu (in present-day Nepal).
The story is preceded by 27 panels showing various preparations, in heavens and on earth, to welcome the final incarnation of the Bodhisattva. Before descending from Tushita heaven, the Bodhisattva entrusted his crown to his successor, the future Buddha Maitreya. He descended on earth in the shape of white elephants with six tusks, penetrated to Queen Maya's right womb. Queen Maya had a dream of this event, which was interpreted that his son would become either a sovereign or a Buddha.
While Queen Maya felt that it was the time to give birth, she went to the Lumbini park outside the Kapilavastu city. She stood under a plaksa tree, holding one branch with her right hand and she gave birth to a son, Prince Siddharta. The story on the panels continues until the prince becomes the Buddha.
Prince Siddharta story (Jataka) and other legendary persons (Avadana)
Jatakas are stories about the Buddha before he was born as Prince Siddharta. Avadanas are similar to jatakas, but the main figure is not the Bodhisattva himself. The saintly deeds in avadanas are attributed to other legendary persons. Jatakas and avadanas are treated in one and the same series in the reliefs of Borobudur.
The first 20 lower panels in the first gallery on the wall depict the Sudhanakumaravadana or the saintly deeds of Sudhana. The first 135 upper panels in the same gallery on the balustrades are devoted to the 34 legends of the Jatakamala. The remaining 237 panels depict stories from other sources, as do for the lower series and panels in the second gallery. Some jatakas stories are depicted twice, for example the story of King Sibhi (Rama's forefather).
Sudhana's search for the Ultimate Truth (Gandavyuha)
Gandavyuha is the story told in the final chapter of the Avatamsaka Sutra about Sudhana's tireless wandering in search of the Highest Perfect Wisdom. It covers two galleries (third and fourth) and also half of the second gallery; comprising in total of 460 panels. The principal figure of the story, the youth Sudhana, son of an extremely rich merchant, appears on the 16th panel. The preceding 15 panels form a prologue to the story of the miracles during Buddha's samadhi in the Garden of Jeta at Sravasti.
During his search, Sudhana visited no less than 30 teachers but none of them had satisfied him completely. He was then instructed by Manjusri to meet the monk Megasri, where he was given the first doctrine. As his journey continues, Sudhana meets (in the following order) Supratisthita, the physician Megha (Spirit of Knowledge), the banker Muktaka, the monk Saradhvaja, the upasika Asa (Spirit of Supreme Enlightment), Bhismottaranirghosa, the Brahmin Jayosmayatna, Princess Maitrayani, the monk Sudarsana, a boy called Indriyesvara, the upasika Prabhuta, the banker Ratnachuda, King Anala, the god Siva Mahadeva, Queen Maya, Bodhisattva Maitreya and then back to Manjusri. Each meeting has given Sudhana a specific doctrine, knowledge and wisdom. These meetings are shown in the third gallery.
After the last meeting with Manjusri, Sudhana went to the residence of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra; depicted in the fourth gallery. The entire series of the fourth gallery is devoted to the teaching of Samantabhadra. The narrative panels finally end with Sudhana's achievement of the Supreme Knowledge and the Ultimate Truth.
Apart from the story of Buddhist cosmology carved in stone, Borobudur has many statues of various Buddhas. The cross-legged statues are seated in a lotus position and distributed on the five square platforms (the Rupadhatu level) as well as on the top platform (the Arupadhatu level).
The Buddha statues are in niches at the Rupadhatu level, arranged in rows on the outer sides of the balustrades, the number of statues decreasing as platforms progressively diminish to the upper level. The first balustrades have 104 niches, the second 104, the third 88, the fourth 72 and the fifth 64. In total, there are 432 Buddha statues at the Rupadhatu level. At the Arupadhatu level (or the three circular platforms), Buddha statues are placed inside perforated stupas. The first circular platform has 32 stupas, the second 24 and the third 16, that add up to 72 stupas. Of the original 504 Buddha statues, over 300 are damaged (mostly headless) and 43 are missing (since the monument's discovery, heads have been stolen as collector's items, mostly by Western museums
At glance, all the Buddha statues appear similar, but there is a subtle difference between them in the mudras or the position of the hands. There are five groups of mudra: North, East, South, West and Zenith, which represent the five cardinal compass according to Mahayana. The first four balustrades have the first four mudras: North, East, South and West, of which the Buddha statues that face one compass direction have the corresponding mudra. Buddha statues at the fifth balustrades and inside the 72 stupas on the top platform have the same mudra: Zenith. Each mudra represent one of the Five Dhyani Buddhas; each has its own symbolism. They are Abhaya mudra for Amoghasiddhi (north), Vara mudra for Ratnasambhava (south), Dhyana mudra for Amitabha (west), Bhumisparsa mudra for Aksobhya (east) and Dharmachakra mudra for Vairochana (zenith).
Borobudur attracted attention in 1885, when Yzerman, the Chairman of the Archaeological Society in Yogyakarta, made a discovery about the hidden foot. Photographs that reveal reliefs on the hidden foot were made in 1890–1891. The discovery has led the Dutch East Indies government to take a necessary step to safeguard the monument. In 1900, the government set up a commission consisting of three officials to assess the monument: Brandes, an art historian, Theodoor van Erp, a Dutch army engineer officer, and Van de Kamer, a construction engineer from the Department of Public Works.
In 1902, the commission submitted a threefold plan of proposal to the government. First, the immediate dangers should be avoided by resetting the corners, removing stones that endangered the adjacent parts, strengthening the first balustrades and restoring several niches, archways, stupas and the main dome. Second, fencing off the courtyards, providing proper maintenance and improving drainage by restoring floors and spouts. Third, all loose stones should be removed, the monument cleared up to the first balustrades, disfigured stones removed and the main dome restored. The total cost was estimated at that time around 48,800 Dutch guilders.
The restoration then was carried out between 1907–1911, using the principles of anastylosis and led by Theodor van Erp. The first seven months of his restoration was occupied with excavating the grounds around the monument to find missing Buddha heads and panel stones. Van Erp dismantled and rebuilt the upper three circular platforms and stupas. Along the way, Van Erp discovered more things he could do to improve the monument; he submitted another proposal that was approved with the additional cost of 34,600 guilders. At first glance Borobudur had been restored to its old glory.
Due to the limited budget, the restoration had been primarily focused on cleaning the sculptures, and Van Erp did not solve the drainage problem. Within fifteen years, the gallery walls were sagging and the reliefs showed signs of new cracks and deterioration. Van Erp used concrete from which alkali salts and calcium hydroxide leached and were transported into the rest of the construction. This has caused some problems, so that a further thorough renovation is urgently needed.
Small restorations have been performed since then, but not sufficient for complete protection. In the late 1960s, the Indonesian government had requested a major renovation to protect the monument from the international community. In 1973, a master plan to restore Borobudur was created. The Indonesian government and UNESCO then undertook the complete overhaul of the monument in a big restoration project between 1975–1982. The foundation was stabilized and all 1,460 panels were cleaned. The restoration involved the dismantling of the five square platforms and improved the drainage by embedding water channels into the monument. Both impermeable and filter layers were added. This colossal project involved around 600 people to restore the monument and cost in total of US$ 6,901,243. After the renovation was finished, UNESCO listed Borobudur as a World Heritage Site in 1991.
After long history of its existence for more than 12 centuries, the reliefs are slowly corroding and deteriorating that need world consideration. Volcanic ashes, acid rain water and ever-growth of tropical mold/vegetation added to Borobudur’s deterioration and decays. Digital Archive together with Virtual Reality Technology is one of the solutions to protect this valuable temple and its Buddhist visual/narrative texts for its existance and from further destruction for the benefit of our future generation