Borobudur Temple the Secret Unveiled

Borobudur Temple : The Secret Temple Unveiled

One of the famous tourist destinations  that we highly recommend to visit while in Indonesia is the Borobudur Temple which is a Buddhist Temple.  Aside from being known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this shrine, just like the Prambanan Temple, has also been filled with great history and mystery that can tickle one’s curiosity.

Borobudur Temple The Secret Unveiled

Borobudur Temple was the next destination Steven and I opted to pay a visit during our  second day adventure in Indonesia which started in the amazing Tamansari or Water Castle. Borobudur Temple is also known as Candi Borobudur in Indonesia. Candi means temple. So when someone is asking for Borobudur Temple, he or she can also say Candi Borobudur. With its magnificent beauty and mysterious history, the Borobudur temple draws devotees and tourists all around the world.

Borobudur Temple The Secrets Unveiled

Wearing a Batik Sarong


The Borubudur Temple is one of the most popularly known Buddhist Temple in the world. Upon arriving in Magelang, Central Java, Steven and I entered the Borobudur’s temple management. We were given a bottled water and a sarong to wear while exploring the temple. There were a number of tourist guides, but Steven and I preferred to explore the famous temple ourselves.

Borobudur Temple The Secret Unveiled

The Lion Gate Guardian of the Borobudur Temple

Unlike the other tourist destinations, the Borobudur Temple  was once neglected and concealed to the public. What is presently known as the biggest temple in Indonesia was once buried for centuries under layers of volcanish ashes and thick jungle growth. There were some speculations that it was almost forgotten or if there were some who knew about the temple, they just got disinterested on it due to the proliferation of another religion in the country which was Islam.  On the other hand, some researchers concluded that it might be the Mount Merapi’s eruption which caused famine among the people. It eventually forced them to abandon their territories within the Borobudur Temple compounds, completely leaving it to nature. Being able to survive against eruptions, earthquakes, and typhoons for centuries, one can say that the hands that build the monuments were truly gifted and impressive.


Borobudur Temple The Secret Unveiled

At the base of the Borubudur temple is a progression of reliefs which is said to manifest earthly desires spiraling up to nirvana.

The Secret Unveiled

As what Jean Racine stated,” There are no secrets that time does not reveal,” the discovery of the Borobudur Temple took place on 1814 when when Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the British Lieutenant Governor of Java that time, received a report of the pile of stones resembling a temple monument.


Borobudur Temple The Secret Unveiled

Borobudur Temple is adorned with Buddha’s reliefs.

The British Lieutenant assigned  H.C. Cornelius, a Dutch engineer to investigate on the said report. With the help of 200 men, Cornelius cleared the reported area, burned down the vegetation and cut down the trees to unveil the hidden temple. The fear that some parts of the temple would collapse, the landmark wasn’t completely cleared.

Borobudur Temple The Secret Unveiled

Reliefs depicting earthly desires resulting to suffering.

With the help of the Dutch Administrator in the Kedu region, the temple was completely uncovered in 1835. It took great endeavors to reestablish and protect the huge landmark.

Borobudur Temple The Secret Unveiled

Both sides of the walls were balustrades and sculpted panels which talk about the life of Buddha and Bodhisattvas.

There is no recorded information as to who, when, or why Borubudur was built. However, it was concluded that it was likely to be erected around 750 AD due to the studies conducted on the engravings. Archeologists and historians suggested that the temple was built during the Sailendra dynasty and took 75 to 80 years to complete.

Borobudur Temple The Secrets Unveiled


Borobudur Temple The Secret Unveiled

Makara, a mythological creature which is actually a sea-creature is common not only in Buddhist but also in Hindu’s temples.

Borobudur Temple The Secret Unveiled

A  Buddha overlooking the Java’s forest.

Borobudur Temple The Secrets Unveiled

Inside a high walled terrace, surrounded with ancient architecture and sentiment about Indonesia’s history.

But then, the temple was taken for granted after its exposure. It was reported that many got an interest to this magnificent statues. While some used it as souvenirs, others treated these statues as a means of their living by stealing it and selling it around the world.

Borobudur Temple The Secret Unveiled

A major restoration project was initiated by the Indonesian Government in the late 1960’s to bring back Borobudur to its former glory. Through the joint effort of the Indonesian Government and UNESCO between 1975 and 1982, Borobudur Temple evolved as what it is now today.

Borobudur Temple The Secret Unveiled

At the top is a giant bell-shaped stupa which is smooth and no holes at all. It is said to symbolize nirvana or enlightenment.


The travel experience we had in Borobudur left us with a huge admiration in a part of Indonesia’s history. This is what we love in travelling. We do not only see wonderful and majestic places, we can also experience it that makes our life richer.

Borobudur Temple The Secret Unveiled

Before Steven and I left this surreal place, some Indonesian kids approached and asked to have a photo with us which we granted eventually. In addition to that, I almost forgot to return my sarong. If I did not see a man holding a number of sarong, I might still have the sarong until now with me.

Borobudur Temple The Secret Unveiled

Steven bought me this souvenir of the Borobudur Temple.

Borobudur Temple was such an unforgettable experience that Steven couldn’t resist the temptation to buy the Borobudur souvenir in the Jakarta airport. It was a  perfect remembrance of our Indonesian trip but I did not get any single interest to purchase it for its high price. Knowing that I don’t like to buy it because of its price, Steven insisted that he wanted to have it for himself. I did not comment anymore as that was his wish. He took me in our house in the Philippines before his trip back to Korea. I was surprised to see that he left the souvenir at home. I sent a message that he forgot it in our house. After that he sent a message telling me he lied and the souvenir was really meant for me.  What a stubborn at the same time a very thoughtful boyfriend I have! Thank you, Honey!

Borobudur Temple The Secret Unveiled

Borobudur Temple The Secret Unveiled

© 2017 – 2018, Roads and Pages. All rights reserved.

Ana Rose was born and raised in the Philippines. A full-time teacher and a part-time student. She loves her simple and yet adventurous life. Roads and Pages serves as her outlet to share what she loves to do the most in her life. Those are spending time with people who matter the most, reading books, and traveling one country at a time.

Author : Ana Rose Alvaro

Ana Rose was born and raised in the Philippines. A full-time teacher and a part-time student. She loves her simple and yet adventurous life. Roads and Pages serves as her outlet to share what she loves to do the most in her life. Those are spending time with people who matter the most, reading books, and traveling one country at a time.

24 Comments to Borobudur Temple : The Secret Temple Unveiled

  1. now that i’ve read your post, I really want to put this in mybucket list of travels.. 🙂 it seems like a really magnificent place to visit and i believe people will really love the place.. 😀

    • Ana Rose Alvaro says:

      Thank you John Paul. I have been always fascinated with temples and history. This place is really worth a visit. 🙂

  2. Yeah! Your sharing here recalled my travel memories few years ago to Borobudur temple too 🙂 Thanks for your sharing, I missed my trip there & the local foods as well as friendly local people there 🙂 Cheers, siennylovesdrawing

  3. This is such a beautiful temple that so far I’ve seen and read in a blog. I love how intricate the designs are and very interesting to look at. The historical background is truly amazing. I love that they provide bottle water and sarong before entering the temple. You guys must have truly enjoyed the temple.

    • Ana Rose Alvaro says:

      Thank you Lai! Indonesian people are very hospitable. They made me feel like I was just in my own country. 🙂

  4. This is soooo high on my bucket list! I absolutely would love to see this and looking at your photos, it is so much bigger than I expected. Much of the bas reliefs remind me of Ang Kor Wat. So intricate and carved so expertly. And to think they have lasted the test of time!

  5. Amy Dong says:

    Oh, wow, I can only imagine how long this must have taken the artists and builders to create. It has such amazing intricacy to the architecture!

  6. Elizabeth O says:

    This place looks incredible. You are very lucky to see it in person. I love your photography here it really brings out all the culture.

  7. Daisy says:

    I am absolutely intrigued by all of the stunning and amazing sights you were able to view!! This looks like such a beautiful country!

  8. Wow! another interesting place to visit in south-east Asia! Actually, I already heard Borobudur before but I never thought that it was as amazing as it was in your pictures. Looks really incredible and historical.

  9. I really enjoyed the story of your visit weaved into the history of this amazing landmark. You’ve made me want to learn more about the whole area! So glad you get to enjoy your souvenir as a reminder of your trip 🙂

  10. Amrita Sen says:

    What a lovely post! Borobudur is indeed majestic and your narration was so beautiful. Steven was really thoughtful! 🙂
    There are so many temples and ancient architectures all around that have been neglected by the people and government and left in ruins. Now that the government is looking after these places, they are in better conditions. But the apathy still remains in many places.

  11. Followingtherivera says:

    I’ve only ever seen this place in photos, and it looks incredible. I hope I get to visit one day and see it for myself. A very detailed post with excellent photos to match too!

  12. Yogita says:

    I love this “There is no secret that time doesn’t reveal”. Great post, love reading about history and love architecture. Beautiful photos.

  13. Don says:

    Very informative and detailed post on Borobudur Temple. When is the best time to visit the temple? Seems like there’s alot of people from your photos.

  14. Lisa says:

    I have seen photos of part of this temple but you don’t realise the scale. Great photos – love the detail of the individual carvings.

  15. Borobudur temple! Again! Lool. I saw this temple on someone feed on Instagram but with little information on the caption. Reading about this detailed post now on Borobhdur temple, I really want to visit. I can imagine myself with the sarong wandering and even getting lost in this temple. It’s exciting. And the souvenior???? I want one too. Good to read about this once forgotten but now glorious temple.

    • Ana Rose Alvaro says:

      Hi Lydia! It might be my instagram post too. Haha! Anyone who is interested in History will have this great interest to see this temple themselves. I hope you will be able to see the Borobudur Temple in Indonesia.

  16. Aisha says:

    Wow this is place is spectacular! I always marvel at the intricacy of the architecture they were able to create without modern technology. Thanks for sharing!

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