The expression of experts who had been studying Borobudur Temple varied someway. Bernet Kempers' expression was: "Borobudur is Borobudur", meaning that Borobudur Temple is very unique in her own way. Nieuwenkamp (an artist) imaginated Borobudur as "a big lotus flower bud ready to bloom" which was "floating" on a lake. Nieuwenkamp’s imagination was supported by N. Rangkuti (1987) that from the air, the Borobudur Temple looks floating. From the geological studies, experts were able to prove that Borobudur area was one time a big lake. Most of the villages around Borobudur Temple were at the same altitude, 235 meters above the sea-level. The same altitude included the Pawon and Mendut temples. Thus the area under 235 meter altitude was below the lake water level.
Borobudur was built by Sanmaratungga in the 8th century, and belongs to Buddha Mahayana. Borobudur was revealed by Sir Thomas Stanford Raffles in 1814. The temple was found in ruined condition and was buried.
Borobudur is facing to the East with a total of 1460 panels (2 meters wide each). Total size of the temple walls was 2500 square meters, full of relief. The total number of panels with relief was 1212. According to investigations, the total number of Buddha statue was 504 including the intact and damaged statues. The temple undergone restoration from 1905 to 1910, and the last restoration was done in 1973 to 1983.
Ever since the first excavation, most experts speculated on the exact shape of the temple. Hoenig, in his book "Das form problem des Borobudur" speculate that the original form of Borobudur Temple had four gates and nine floors. The form of Borobudur Temple is similar to temples found in Cambodia. According to Parmenteir, the huge single stupa on top of the temple made the smaller stupas in the lower part looked drowned. Stutterheim who had been studying stupas in India and other parts of Asia concluded that the stupa structure was an Indian origin. The original purpose of stupa building was as storage of Buddha Gautama and other holy priests cremation ash.
According to Stutterheim, the overall form of Borobudur Temple is a combination of zigurat (middle Asian Pyramid) and Indian stupa. Stutterheim opinion was supported by the existence of this type of form in Ancient Javanese literature.
The relief of Borobudur temple started from the base of the temple up to the fourth platform. The relieves at the base contained the story of Karmawibhangga. Under the main panel and above the Karmawibhangga relief, a wide-sized relief was inscripted at the wall. From this point along the alley, the relief did not show story in the sequence, but as a repeating part of the story with the same motives which expressed the world of spiritual beings such as half demonic body (Gandharwa, giants or Yataka, dragon, Sidha or angels and their ladies friends, Apsara and Nagi, all of them are heavenly beings who are tender and beautiful.
Division of panels are: the first panel expressed a heavenly being in sitting position, on both side of this panel are small panel with a small standing statue. This figures are repeated 26 times for each side of the wall. Between the panels is carved three bodies, a male flanked by two women.
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