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Unraveling ancient secrets of Borobudur

Vimmy Sinha

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sun, July 28, 2019  /  03:22 pm
Unraveling ancient secrets of Borobudur

Standing tall: Buddhist stupas at the ancient Borobudur temple in Magelang, Central Java. (AFP/Goh Chai Hin)

The Borobudur temple is an undisputed masterpiece and continues to baffle researchers with its sophisticated architecture. Way ahead of its time, the Borobudur temple, the mammoth Buddhist monument in Central Java, was built during the reign of the Syailendra dynasty from the 8th to 9th century. The temple was abandoned by the 10th century possibly because of the eruption of Mount Merapi around that time. This led to the Javanese ruler Mpu Sindok’s decision to move the kingdom’s capital to eastern Java. Even though the local people were aware of Borobudur’s existence, for centuries the temple lay covered by volcanic ash and forest. It was only in the 19th century that it was “rediscovered” by Europeans. Historic: Borobudur temple as seen before restoration. After lying hidden under layers of volcanic ash for centuries, restoration returned much o...