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Like I said, Borobudur pictures were nothing to be proud of as we arrived right after the rain. The clouds were still dark and puddles of water were along the trail heading to the temple. The white wrap I had to don was bound to be dirty. Borobudur trip had its own tour guide. Our tour guide introduced himself as ‘Budi who is not a Buddhist’.

The temple or stupa was built from c. AD 760 to 830 with picture diagram engraved on the walls; each of the diagrams carries its stories, meaning and message. The monument, a shrine to Siddharta Gautama Budha and Buddhist pilgrame centre, is comprised of six square platforms topped with three circular platforms. It has been recorded to entail 2,672 engraved relief panels and 504 Buddha statues which to my belief, have been reduced in numbers due to earthquake and Merapi eruption.

The structure was composed of 55,000 square meters of lava-rock from the neighbouring river. The whole structure is in the form of a lotus, the sacred flower of Buddha. The temple is the highest symbol of Buddhism and also a replica of the universe. There are three levels connected with the temple:1. Man’s world of desire is influenced by negative impulses. 2. The middle level, the world in which man has control of his negative impulses and uses his positive impulses. 3. The highest level in which the world of man is no longer bounded by physical and worldly ancient desire.

The square circle terrace platforms which are located at the summit of Borobudur temple was closed when I visited it two weeks ago. Volcanic ash from Merapi fell on the temple complex which is approximately 28 kilometres of the crater. It was said that the layer of ash was as thick as 2.5 centimetres during the eruption in November. Archeologists fear that the acidic ash might damage the historic site. Thus the need for a thorough research to be done. The square circle terrace will be open to public in July.