Borobudur Tour Package; the Temple as the grand Icon
Historians and many archeologists believe that there is one thing that confirms the quality of a civilization; it is the value of the history. Therefore, Indonesians should feel proud they have Borobudur Temple to show the glorious past of Indonesia. This temple as the prime destination covered in the Borobudur Tour package is no longer a representative of a religion in Indonesia. It is an icon of grand history and heritage of Javanese and Indonesians.
Borobudur was derived from Barabudhur, a Javanese word. This Temple was from 9th century of Sailendra Dynasty. Borobudur has the style of Mahayana Buddhist temple that consists of nine stacked platforms. It has six squares shape with three circular bases. The temple is topped by a central dome. At the outset, the temple owned a chattra, a sharp and pointed top on the stupa. Yet, the chattra should be removed because of the reconstruction hardship.
Borobudur is located in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. However, the location is around Special Region of Yogyakarta. Thus, it will be difficult to exclude this temple from the itinerary Yogyakarta city tour. Besides, the history will never split the temple with the culture of Yogyakarta, that is now administratively separated with Central Java authority.
The History of Borobudur
Built in the 9th century, the temple has the Javanese Buddhist architecture with the thick color of Javanese Buddhist styles. The designs blend the Indonesia native cult that teaches about ancestor worship and Nirvana concept.
Before learning about the history of Borobudur, we should know the etymology of the name Borobudur. There is no actually clear written evidence that mentions the official name of Borobudur. The name was suggested by Sir Thomas Raffless’sin his book of Javan History. An older script containing the name is Nagarakretagama by Mpu Prapanca. He was a Buddhist scholar of Majapahit court around 1365.
Another concept of naming a temple in Javanese was by the nearest village. It was Bore, the nearby village in which Borobudur was located. Nevertheless, the name Budur was related to the word Buddha. In addition, another archeologist suggested the word Budur might be derived from the term Bhudhara, which means mountain. That idea makes sense since the shape of this temple resembles the outfit of a mountain. And the possible etymology is the word Biara Beduhur or Vihara Buddha Uhr in Sanskrit. Buddha Uhr simply means the City of Buddhas, which fits the glorious look of Borobudur Temple. Buddha Uhr or simplified as Bedhuhur can mean also a high place or hill. Thus, Borobudur is a Buddhist vihara located in a high place.
The history of Borobudur stays mysterious because there are no known records of the construction methods and purposes. Besides, the style of the temple itself sometimes confuses many scholars. This aspect remains become tourism magnet of Borobudur Tour package for travellers around the globe.
The temple was built during the peak dynasty of Sailendra. The Mataram Kingdom under the influence of Srivijayan Empire was the era that was responsible for the construction. In this way, it is concluded that Borobudur was founded around 800 CE. It took approximately 75 years to complete the construction processes. What is so peculiar is that there is no irrefutable evidence about the ruler’s religion around that time. Archeologists cannot conclude whether it was Hindu or Buddhist that ruled the place at that period of time. Some believe Sailendras were ardent worshippers of Buddha. In the meantime, a stone inscription in Sojomerto suggested the dynasty was Hindus. The confusion appears because of the almost similar year of construction between Shiva Prambanan temple only 6.2 miles from Borobudur temple.
Yet, a apparent evidence shown in Kalasan Charter dated 778 CE suggests that there is a peaceful condition in which a ruler name Rakai Panangkaran granted his permission to the Buddhist followers to build a great temple like Borobudur. Besides, he also demonstrated his respect by contributing Kalasan village to the Buddhist community. So, history noted that there was never huge conflict related to religion differences in Java. This concludes that it was possible for the Hindu ruler to let the establishment of the Buddhist temple. Travellers taking Borobudur Tour package will get privileges to hear more complete story from the local guide in Borobudur.
The Ancient Hypothesis of Borobudur Lake
Many scholars believe that Borobudur was originally surrounded by a lake. The appearance will be similar to Siem Reap in Cambodia. The speculation was a point of discussion among archaeologists in the 20th century. A Dutch scholar of Hindu and Buddhist architecture even developed a hypothesis in 1931 that said that Kedu Plain was formerly a giant lake. Borobudur was expected to look like a massive lotus flower floating in the middle of the lake. Nevertheless, there was no compelling evidence to confirm the hypothesis.
Many theories and hypotheses even make Borobudur Temple in Borobudur Tour package more mysterious and inviting. We can find various pieces of literature and books containing the history of Borobudur. All of them will discuss how glorious this temple is and how Javanese Indigenous is more than amazing.
Common question to arise among travellers, especially the international ones, is how to get to Borobudur. As has been told before, Borobudur is located in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. It’s only 1.5 hours’ driving from the city center of Yogyakarta Special Region. Travellers have the option to take public transport (Trans Jogja). However, for travelers who prioritize the convenience of travel, booking transport together with the tour package is more advised.