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Candi Borobudur is located some 45 minutes northeast of Yogyakarta.  It sits on a hill in the town of Muntilan in the Magelang District.

Candi Borobudur's world-famous stupas are located on the top-most portion of the temple. A rather steep climb is necessary to get here.


While the mere mention of Candi Borobudur will instantly conjure the image of the much-renowned stupas, these so-called lattice dagobs actually represent more than just a touristy poster object (bear in mind, when the construction of the temple took place eons ago, it wasn't aimed for its celebrated status of modern days).

Rather, the stupas represent the state of Arupadhatu, the 3rd level in Buddhist cosmology. Here, a soul enters its formless spirit from the transitional form of Rupadhatu in the dizzying and confining 4-level maze of corridors. The spacious and open-air feel to these 3 circular terraces epitomises the divine spirit of perfection and enlightenment.

Indeed, one couldn't help but feel peaceful here. Visiting Borobudur early in the morning (I departed from Yogyakarta at 0500 hrs from Grand Mercure Hotel) also helps to nurture the feeling of seclusion before the thronging crowd of noisy tourists start to stamp its presence around noon. Another advantage of the early morning visit is the spectacular views of the majestic volcano peaks and the peculiar-shaped Menoreh Hills, which my hunch told me, had something to do with the design of the stupas.

All the 72 stupas are arranged in a specific geometrical position. They circle a massive stupa right in the middle of everything. This is the supreme symbol of the cosmic level a Buddhist practitioner can achieve, being as close to the powers-that-be.

All of the stupas contain the statues of Buddha in various shapes, except the one colossus in the middle which has no holes or anything inside.

Simply the landmark of Candi Borobudur. The climb can be exhausting but worth your time and energy!

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