With vivid photography and insightful commentary, this travel pictorial shines a light on the Buddhist art and architecture of Borobudur.
The glorious ninth-century Buddhist stupa of Borobudur-the largest Buddhist monument in the world-stands in the midst of the lush Kedu Plain of Central Java in Indonesia, where it is visited annually by over a million people.
Borobudur contains more than a thousand exquisitely carved relief panels extending along its many terraces for a total distance of more than a kilometer. These are arranged so as to take the visitor on a spiritual journey to enlightenment, and one ascends the monument past scenes depicting the world of desire, the life story of Buddha, and the heroic deeds of other enlightened beings-finally arriving at the great circular terraces at the top of the structure that symbolizes the formless world of pure knowledge and perfection.
John N. Miksic, an archaeologist born in the USA, has lived in Southeast Asia since 1968. He has written numerous books on Indonesian sites and artifacts.