The Largest Buddhist Temple Visited by Millions of Tourists

Borobudur, Magelang, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia
024 8646 2345

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Borobudur Temple is the world's largest Buddhist temple. Built in the 9th century, Borobudur Temple today has turned into a tourism magnet that attracts millions of tourists every year. Find unique facts, history, and pictures of Borobudur Temple here.

Updated on 15 November 2019

Borobudur Temple, world's largest Buddhist temple
( / Daniel Antonius Kristanto)

Jogja's rent car drivers have, among others, one particular joke. It is said that Indonesians would visit Borobudur Temple at least four times in their lives. The first visit to Borobudur Temple is usually during high school study tour. The second is with their boyfriends/girlfriends during college. The third is with their parents after they graduate from college. The fourth is with their spouses and children when spending holidays in Jogja.

Borobudur Temple has been somewhat like a must-visit destination in Jogja. Situated in Magelang, Borobudur Temple is only 1.5 hours by private/rent car from Jogja's downtown. Public Transportation to Borobudur is also available.

Borobudur Temple Pictures

Visited by millions every year, Borobudur Temple—dubbed the world's grandest and largest shrine complex and monument by the UNESCO—is indeed enchanting. See Borobudur Temple pictures at its best moments, sunrise, and on Vesak day.

Vesak Ceremony at Borobudur Temple
( / Jaya Tri Hartono)

On regular days, visitors will be asked to leave the temple before sunset. However, on Vesak day, visitors can see Borobudur Temple at night. This is a very special opportunity as Borobudur will look very majestic surrounded by spotlights.

Borobudur Sunrise
( / Daniel Antonius Kristanto)

The air was so fresh; the stars were flickering all over the dawn sky. It was very quiet and serene around the Borobudur Temple. In a few minutes, golden rays of the morning sun would sweep through the temple.

Borobudur Temple History

According to the Karangtengah epigraph, Borobudur Temple was built by King Samaratungga of the Syailendra Dynasty, but was only completed during the reign of his daughter, Queen Pramudawardhani, around the 9th century.

Little was known about other things, including who the architect that designed the building—which was constructed of 2 million (55,000 m3) interlocking andesite slabs arranged like a giant puzzle.

A Javanese legend told the story of Gunadarma, who lied staring to Borobudur Temple until he fell asleep and his body eventually turned into what now known as Menoreh hills. Gunadarma was then thought as the architect of Borobudur Temple, although there were no actual historical epigraphs stating such fact.

Borobudur Temple Reliefs

Borobudur's Relief
( / Daniel Antonius Kristanto)

Borobudur Temple consists of 2,672 relief panels which, if arranged in a single line, would reach 6 km in length.

The reliefs were divided into 4 main stories as follows: Karmawibhangga, Lalitavistara, Jataka/Avadana, and Gandavyuha. Besides telling the story of the Buddha's life and his teachings, the reliefs on Borobudur Temple also recorded the advancement found in the Javanese society during the era.

To follow the story told by the reliefs on Borobudur Temple, visitors will have to walk the temple clockwise from the east gate. Upon reaching the starting point, they will have to go up to the next floor. This is to be done several times until they eventually arrive at the topmost floor of Borobudur Temple. The ritual is known as pradaksina.

Operating Hours and Entrance Fee to Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple is open every day from 6 am to 5 pm. The best time to visit the temple is early in the morning, when the air is still fresh. Visitors taking Borobudur Sunrise tour package (IDR350,000/person) can enter the temple at 4.30 am from Manohara Hotel.

The entrance ticket is USD 25 for adults and USD 15 for children aged 3-10 years old.

Hotels Near Borobudur Temple

A big portion of tourists visiting Borobudur Temple also stay in Jogja for some times. It is perhaps because Jogja offers more options of hotel. Or, it could be because Borobudur Temple is easily accessible by private vehicles and public transportation from Jogja.

If you're staying somewhere near the temple instead, there are also many hotels around the temple. The only hotel located within the temple's complex is the Manohara Hotel.

  • Amanjiwo Borobudur Resort

    Amanjiwo Borobudur Resort is a luxury hotel on Menoreh Hill, near Borobudur Temple. Many tourists favor the hotel's privacy and luxury. Room rates start at IDR8,500,000/night.

  • Plataran Borobudur Resort

    Plataran Borobudur Resort is a luxury resort located 1 km from Borobudur Temple. The resort is close to Punthuk Setumbu, a very fascinating spot from where tourists can see the sun rises from above the hills, with the view of Borobudur Temple as its background. Room rates start at IDR4,000,000/night.

  • Plataran Heritage Borobudur Hotel

    The hotel is located just adjacent to Plataran Borobudur Resort. The 5-story hotel offers more rooms, which means that the rate is more affordable, while also maintaining the luxury. Room rates start at IDR1,600,000/night.

Easy now; not all hotels near Borobudur Temple are that expensive. You can also find other lodgings and inns at more affordable rates near Borobudur Temple, such as Lotus Guest House, Lumintu Hotel, or Bhumi Sambhara Hotel. They offer rooms at around IDR200,000/night.

Read also: Hotels in Yogyakarta, Inns, Homestays, and Guest Houses

Borobudur Temple Tour Package

If you're staying in Jogja, you can take affordable tour package offered by many car rents in Jogja. Tour packages including Borobudur Temple, volcano tour, Prambanan Temple, and city tour are usually offered at around IDR400,000—car rent fee, driver, and fuel included. Tourists traveling in groups will certainly find it easy to split the payment with their buddies.

Read also: Rent A Car + Tour Package in Yogyakarta, Start from IDR 400k/Car

Public Transportation to Borobudur:
  • Yogyakarta International Airport - Borobudur: IDR 46.000 (DAMRI)
  • Adisutjipto Airport - Borobudur: IDR 75.000 (DAMRI)
  • Yogyakarta Train Station - Borobudur: 75.000 (DAMRI)
  • Giwangan Bus Station - Borobudur: IDR 30.000 (regular bus)
  • Jombor Bus Station - Borobudur: IDR 20.000 (regular bus)