ITS–Borobudur temple, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is located in Magelang Regency, Central Java. It is thought to be built by the Javanese-Buddhist Syailendra Dynasty around the 8thcentury, but remained unknown to the world for centuries after the Merapi Mountain erupted and covered it with lava and ashes in 1006. It remained unknown until Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, then the interregnum ruler of the Dutch Indies, learned of its existence in 1814. He then sent his aide H.C. Cornelius to restore it.Later, in 1896, C.I. Hartmann, a resident in Java, retrieved some of its statues and reliefs and presented them to the then king of Siam as mementos.
As time went by, the monument was on the verge of being ruined by rain and heat. The Dutch Indies government ordered its restoration, headed by Theodor Van Erp. In 1960, the monument was closed as the government planned another restoration. The restoration took place in 1973 with the goal of making it survive for another millennium. Conducted with advanced, computerized technology, the restoration was finished and inaugurated by President Soeharto on February 23, 1983. The work swallowed 25 million dollars, two thirds of which was funded by the Indonesian government, the rest by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
A certain irresponsible extremist group tried to blow it up on January 21, 1985, but fortunately it was mostly left intact.
The world’s greatest Buddhist monument nestled on the top of a hill, measures 34.5 meters high with a 113 x 113 meter rectangular base. It is composed of 1,900,000 stones, totaling 55,000 cubic meters, has 504 statues, measuring 1.5 meters high on average, 72 stupas, 432 niches. The alleys encircling the ten floors of the monument are walled by a total of 1,300 relief stones, which reach to three kilometers if arranged lengthwise.
The monument can be divided into three parts; the bottom called kamadhatu, the middle part called ruphadatu, the top called arupadhatu. Each symbolizes the three worlds in Buddhism. Kamadhatu is the world filled with lust; ruphadatu, the world free of lust, but still values name and face; arupadhatu, the world free of face and name value.