I was overly excited to see this majestic building came alive right in front of my eyes. All this while it had been buried in my form one History textbook [under the chapter "Ancient Kingdom"] and suddenly it just popped out and came alive. Your visit to Jogjakarta would not be complete without visiting Borobudur, even though it is actually NOT located in Jogjakarta but rather in Central Java.
It was like we were going through a time travel kind of thing. We arrived there quite late but there were still many people around. Taking photos without having strangers (and even my own friends) in the background was almost impossible. But that did not really matter.
Here are some interesting things that I found out about Borobudur in note form, for your reading pleasure. [SOURCE: Wikipedia]
■ Borobudur was first built in the 8th Century by the Syailendra Government.
■ Borobudur is a Buddhist temple and it is the greatest Buddhist monument in the world.
■ Borobudur was once abandoned, and remained hidden under volcanic ash and jungle growth.
■ It was rediscovered by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles in 1814.
■ Restoration work was done first by the British and later by the Dutch.
■ Borobudur then became a goldmine for thieves, stealing sculptures.
■ In 1896, King Chulalongkorn of Siam was given permission to take home EIGHT cartloads of sculptures from there.
■ In the major restoration work done in 1975, over ONE MILLION stones were removed and then put back together again - just like a jigsaw puzzle.
■ Too many people visiting Borobudur has posed a threat to the temple - one of which, the soles of the visitors' footwears eroded the stones of the surface and made them thinner and smoother.
I just hope that Borobudur will remain intact for many more centuries to come, for the future generation to see of the remnant of the past.
I am really glad I had made it here. And I am glad that I loved History and Geography when I was in school.
For one thing, make sure you wear the right kind of shoes when you come visiting as there will be a lot of walking and climbing up and down the stairs.