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This large island is the home of Indonesia's capital city, Jakarta. But of more importance to travelers is that Java is also home to Borobudur. It is the world's largest Buddhist temple and a Hillman Wonders gold medalist.
History in brief
This massive Buddhist temple was built around the 8th century and, centuries later, was abandoned. Eventually, it accumulated dirt and volcanic ash. This half buried Borobudur -- and wild vegetation covered the rest.
A British colonial officer came upon the virtually hidden Borobudur in 1814. A minor restoration was made in the early 1900s.
However, it was never repaired to a respectable degree until 1984, the year UNESCO finished its decade-long project. Borobudur was literarily taken apart and reassembled stone block by stone block.
Borobudur's master design
The ancient temple is ten stories high and measures over 120 meters (400 feet) per side.
The structure has nine concentric terraces. The six bottom ones are square, the three top ones are round.
The square terraces are trimmed with over 1000 Buddhist relief panels. They depict Buddhist scenes and are the greatest treasure of Borobudur.
The round terraces are garnished with over 70 large bell shaped stupas (see photo above). Originally, each housed a statue of Buddha (as some still do).