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Is Borobudur The Largest Buddhist Temple in The World?

by Afra Afra

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 0229f26e-candi-borobudur.jpgAre you familiar with the place in the picture? Yes, it is the Borobudur temple. Borobudur temple is the famous temple located in Magelang regency, in the southeast part of Central Java, Indonesia. Let’s take a look!

The story behind Borobudur Temple

It assembled in the 9th century during the reign of the Syailendra Dynasty. The design of the temple represented Indonesian indigenous culture of ancestor worship (belief of the dead still exists), and the Buddhist concept due to its power at that time made the inclusion of Gupta art as India’s influence.

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Furthermore, the Buddhist conception of Universe which called cosmology also affects the division of the area into three super majestic spheres.

They are Kamadhatu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of the name and forms), and Arupadhatu (the world of namelessness and formlessness). According to UNESCO, the Borobudur temple compound is one of the prominent monument in the world.

It was made up of three tiers; a base with five large square terraces, a cone with three circular platforms, and with a magnificent monumental stupa at the top.

This monument represents Lord Buddha and considered as an altar place for Buddhist pilgrimage. Due to its price, the monument restored with UNESCO’s help since the 1970s.

While there are 72 openwork stupas around the circular platforms which contain a statue of Buddha on each. In 1991, Borobudur added to UNESCO Heritage list.

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The comparison of Borobudur with other temples

The Guinness World Record claimed that Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. With the 60.000 m3 (2.118.880 ft3) on its stone structure, 34.5 m (113 ft) high and with the area 123 x 123 m (403 x 403 ft) of its base.

You must be wondering the proof why Borobudur become the largest Buddhist temple in the world. We provide a comparison in the term of size of Borobudur with some temples around the world.

  1. The Shwedagon Pagoda
    It is also well-known as Golden Pagoda due to its materials which mostly gold and diamonds. This precious temple locates in Yangon, Myanmar. At first, the high of the main stupa was only 66 feet, but it successfully enlarges until 326 feet in the current.
  2. The Jokhang
    The location of this temple is in Barkhor Square in Lhasa, Tibet. The Jokhang temple considered as the most sacred sites in Tibet. That’s why in a year it always attracts a thousand pilgrims. Now, this temple complex covers an area about 25.000 m2.  
  3. The Mahabodhi
    “Great Awakening Temple” is how this temple called. It is a Buddhist temple locates in Bodh Gaya, Gaya district, in a Bihar state, India. It has been the most wanted destination of pilgrimage for more than two thousand years. The complex has two larges shikhara towers with 55 m high.
  4. The Todaiji
    The popular statue of the Todaiji temple is Daibutsu as a colossal statue with 15 m in height. It claimed as the world’s largest gilded bronze Buddha. It put in the 48 m all-wood building called Daibutsu-den which is the largest wooden building in the world.
  5. The Wat Arun
    It is the Buddhist temple in the Thonburi west bank of the Chao Praya River, Bangkok Yai, district of Bangkok, Thailand. Khmer-style Tower is the eye-catching thing in the temple. It places in the central prang with between 66.8 m and 86 m height (the different result of different sources).

There you go:

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