December 20, 2012

0424 INDONESIA (Java) – Borobudur, a masterpiece of Buddhist architecture (UNESCO WHS)

The legend say that a heavenly architect built Borobudur in a single day and laid a curse on anyone who dared ascend his holy shrine. According to Asian art historian, Jan Fontein: "There is a mountain south of Borobudur that when viewed from the monument looks very much like the profile of a man; the nose, lips and chin are clearly delineated. The story goes that the ridge depicts Gunadharma, the architect of Borobudur, who is believed to keep watch over his creation through the ages."

Built in the 9th century during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty, this Mahayana Buddhist Temple, located in Central Java, in an elevated area between two twin volcanoes, Sundoro-Sumbing and Merbabu-Merapi, and two rivers, the Progo and the Elo, consists of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome, placed at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside a perforated stupa. It was abandoned following the 14th century decline of Hindu kingdoms in Java, and the Javanese conversion to Islam, the world knowing about its existence in 1814 from Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, then the British ruler of Java.

Because "is a masterpiece of Buddhist architecture and monumental arts", it was listed in 1991, under the name Borobudur Temple Compounds, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The two stamps are part of a series of four, Year of the Dragon (Naga Tahun), issued on January 15, 2012, about which I wrote here..

Borobudur... historical records - Treasures of the world
Borobudur - Wikipedia

sender: Yenny Rere Andreastuti (direct swap)
sent from Balikpapan (Indonesia), on 13.03.2012
photo: Eric M. Dey

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