The first time I visited Borobudor Monument just outside Jogjakarta, Indonesia, was in 1996. I returned yesterday and it was as impressive as I had remembered it. There were many things that drew me back -- the peacefulness of the place, the thousands of reliefs that tell a story and the exercise. It's lots and lots of climbing -- in hot and humid conditions, but I was so into the visit -- I forgot about the heat and humidity. Besides, once you are on top -- there's a really nice breeze!
Borobudur was constructed sometime in the 7-8th century -- on a hillside -- the name means: Monastery on the Hillside.
Inside the stupas above -- are Buddhas -- when UNESCO restored Borobudor in the late 20th century -- it left two Buddhas exposed -- one facing east and one facing west -- as seen above. Peer into the holes of the stupa and you see Buddha.
Some Muslim girls posing on a stupa near the top of Borobudor.
The reliefs are amazing to look at -- the sculptors have chiseled a virtual textbook of Buddhist stories into the stone.
It's been suggested that the monument was conceived as a Buddhist vision of the cosmos in stone, starting in the everyday world and spiraling up to nirvana.*