Sabtu, 08 Juli 2017

BOROBUDUR TEMPLE PANORAMA CASTS LASTING CHARM by Fardah

   Jakarta, July 8, 2017 (Antara) - Borobudur Temple is known all over the world for its ancient and huge mountain-shape building, beautiful reliefs, statues, and stupas.
       The world's largest Buddhist temple has been popular worldwide particularly after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization included the place of worship on its World Heritage list in 1991.
        Built during the reign of a king belonging to the Saliendra Dynasty between 750 and 842 AD, the temple is located in Mendut Village, Magelang District, Central Java Province, about 42 kilometers from the city of Yogyakarta, at the center of Java Island.
        Borobudur Temple, with a massive step pyramid structure made from giant stone blocks, is built on a hill and is surrounded by valleys and hills. The levels rise up representing the stages of enlightenment.
         It was built in three tiers: a pyramidal base with five concentric square terraces, the trunk of a cone with three circular platforms, and at the top, a monumental stupa.
        On the lower rectangular levels, stone-carved panels depict the story of the Buddhist Sutras through 1,460 scenes intricately carved into the stone.
        The walls and balustrades are decorated with fine low reliefs, covering a total surface area of 2,500 square meters. Around the circular platforms are 72 openwork stupas, each containing a statue of the Buddha.
        The list of the Seven Wonders of the World has changed many times over the years, and Borobudur has often been included in that list.

         In addition to its attractive, historic, and cultural building, Borobudur Temple has a beautiful natural panorama, as it is surrounded by green rice fields, and four active volcanoes -- Merapi, Sindoro, Merbabu and Sumbing -- from which the building stones of the temple were produced.
         Sunrise sighting is popular among tourists visiting Borobudur, which is best seen at dawn, when the air is fresh and full of the sounds of chirping birds.
         A glimpse of Borobudur for the first time is often a deeply emotional experience, and dawn is the best time as the mist begins to lift, the sun scales the surrounding volcanoes and terraced fields and highlights the stone reliefs and the myriad faces of Buddha.
         The Borobudur temple tourism park management has actively promoted the tourist attraction, which is a combination of an ancient cultural monument and beautiful natural scenery surrounding the temple complex.
        The tourism promotion of Borobudur recently received a boost from the visit of former US president Barack Obama and his family who were on vacation in Indonesia from June 23 to July 2.
         Obama and his family arrived in the Borobudur area on June 28, 2017, at 4:35 p.m. local time and scaled the top of the temple.
        He enjoyed the panorama of Borobudur and admired the temple that symbolizes religious harmony and tolerance. He also reportedly lauded the preservation and good maintenance of the ancient temple.
        After accompanying Obama during the tour, Edy Setijono, President Director of the Borobudur, Prambanan, and Ratu Boko Temple Tourism Park Management, said that it was Obama's second visit to the tourist attraction.
       Obama, who had lived for four years in Jakarta during his childhood, claimed to have visited Borobudur when he was a child. However, it was first time that Obama had visited the largest Buddhist temple in the world with his family.
       Setijono hoped Obama's visit would provide a positive impact on tourism promotion of Borobudur. The visit of the former president also signaled to the world that the temple area is a safe place to visit.
         In June 2011, famous Hollywood actor Richard Gere had visited the temples of Borobudur and Prambanan to help promote Indonesian tourism internationally.
         A practicing Buddhist, Gere was also the guest of honor at the Masterpiece of Borobudur Ballet performed on an open stage in Aksobya, eastern Borobudur.
         Meanwhile, the number of visitors to the Borobudur Temple during this year's Idul Fitri Islamic holiday season, reached 322,980 people, an increase from 313,344 recorded in the same period in 2016. The Idul Fitri season began on June 22 and ended on July 2, 2017. The Idul Fitri (D-day) fell on June 25.
        The visitors comprised 316,471 domestic tourists and 6,509 foreigners, Chrisnamurti Adiningrum, general manager of the Borobudur Temple Tourism Park, stated in Magelang recently.
          The largest number of visitors was recorded on D+4, with 56,869 tourists; D+3, with 56,137 tourists; and D+2, with 47,471 tourists.
         "Thanks to the cooperation of every stakeholder, the number of tourists during the Lebaran (Idul Fitri) holiday season this year has surpassed our target," he remarked. ***1***
(f001/INE)
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(T.F001/A/BESSR/F. Assegaf) 08-07-2017

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