The Medieval World, C. 400–1300

India and Southeast Asia

Why is Borobudur considered one of the greatest Buddhist temples in the world?

The mountain-like Borobudur is an enormous Buddhist temple built in the ninth century in Java, Indonesia, and not discovered by outsiders until the nineteenth century. Based on the stupa form, the temple is covered in ornate sculptures and staircases oriented to the points of the compass. The mountain form is no accident—it is in fact a key element of the temple’s complex symbolism.


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