Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunset at Borobudur

We took a day off from Bali and flew to Yogyakarta to visit the Buddhist monument, Borobudur.

We arrived at Borobudur late morning when the sun was high and photography was difficult. After climbing to the top of the monument and being enlightened with the history of Borobudur, we departed for the Saraswati Hotel for lunch. Lunch was wonderful in the cool refreshing dining room and we decided that poolside at the hotel would be our home until late afternoon when we would return to the monument for that golden hour of photography. These photographs were taken during this time and are some of my favorites.

Our journey to Borobudur was a day filled with surprises and I am glad to have had the opportunity to see this magnificent monument.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the following:

“Borobudur is a ninth century Buddhist Mahayana monument in 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 Buddha statues are in niches at the Rupadhatu level, arranged in rows on the outer sides of the balustrades. At the Arupadhatu level (or the three circular platforms), Buddha statues are placed inside perforated stupas. Of the total 504 Buddha statues, over 300 are mutilated (mostly headless) and 43 are completely missing.”

“At glance, all Buddha statues are equal, but there is subtle difference between them in the mudras or the position of the hands. There are 5 groups of mudra: North, East, South, West and Zenith, which represent the five cardinal compass according to Mahayana.”

Read more about Borobudur.