Located on the island of Java, the magnificent Borobudur temple is the world’s biggest Buddhist monument, an ancient site widely considered to be one of the world’s seven wonders. The temple sits majestically on a hilltop overlooking lush green fields and distant hills. Built in the 9th century during the reign of the Syailendra dynasty, the temple’s design in Gupta architecture reflects India’s influence on the region, yet there are enough indigenous scenes and elements incorporated to make Borobudur uniquely Indonesian.
Borobudur temple is located 17.4 km from the nearest city of Magelang and about 40km to the northwest of the city of Yogyakarta, in Central Java.
It lies between two rivers (the Progo and the Sileng) and rather unfortunately, between two twin volcanoes (Merapi-Merbabu to the north-east & Sundoro-Sumbing to the north-west).
The monument was built on a slightly elevated area and lies at 265m above sea level. The surrounding verdant ‘Kedu Plain’ is a highly fertile agricultural area and is known as ‘the garden of Java.’
Much of the immediate area in the environs of the monument has been designated as the Borobudur archaeological park. The entire area is off-limits (in theory) to those without a valid ticket. The park also features several adminstrative buildings and two interesting museums for those who are seeking additional information and interpretation.
How to get around
The only practical means of getting around Borobudur is on foot. A toy train of limited practical use shuttles around the temple, and between the museum and entrance gate for Rp 5,000.
If you are staying in the area, most local hotels and guesthouses will rent bicycles for about Rp 30,000-50,000 per day. This is a good way of exploring the other sights and local villages around Borobudur.
To get out go to the main entrance. Be wary of the Exit signs as they lead to a maze of souvenir stalls.
Additional Information and Some Reminders
The site is open to the public from 6am to 5pm daily. Ticket are $25 USD per person for adults and $15 USD for children aged 3-10 (kids under 3 enter free).
A combined ticket for Borobudur as well as the Prambanan temples will cost $45 USD per person ($27 for kids).
You’ll want to dress respectfully and conservatively, as this is a religious complex. Wear loose-fitting clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. I’d suggest you wear pants as the steps leading to the top of the temple are high and not suited to shorts or skirts. Also, wear comfortable footwear since you’ll be on your feet for a while. Watching the sunrise at the top of the temple can be cool, especially in winter, so bring a light jacket or sweater.
When to visit Borobudur
Borobudur is at its most atmospheric during sunrise or sunset. However, busloads of tourists like to arrive at sunset for their selfie snaps so the best way to beat the crowds is to arrive before dawn.
Normally around 5h30, to best see sunrise you have to go to a little hill near by Manohara Hotel, be aware of the people that will try to guide you there if you don’t know the way. The entrance to the viewpoint is 15,000rp for locals and 30,000 for foreigners. Normally by motorbike it takes 1h15m-1h30m from Yogyakarta.
However, the Manohara Hotel runs a daily Borobudur Sunrise Tour for Rp 320,000 for foreigners (Rp 185,000 if you are a hotel guest) and Rp 220,000 for Indonesians, which gets you a flashlight and a lift up to the temple gate at 4:30AM. This is in time to see the sunrise, and to explore for an hour and a half before the hordes arrive. This is well worth the money. The sun rises in the same direction as the entrance you used to gain access to the temple. The top few levels offer a great view wherever you position yourself. If you’re so inclined, grab a private spot facing East and enjoy your own precious few minutes of reflection (or photography).
How to Reach Borobudur Temple
Borobudur is only one hour’s drive from Yogyakarta. The easiest way to get there is by joining a tour or renting a car. During your journey to Borobudur, enjoy the fresh cool air of Magelang city with its roads lined with big shady trees. Borobudur itself stands tall against the spectacular backdrop of the Menoreh mountain range that surrounds it.
Entering the temple compound is easy and most visitors choose to wander around on foot. Alternatively, cruise passengers who disembark at Semarang can take a day tour driving through Wonosobo to Borobudur.
Tour Packages We Have
Here are some tour packages that cover the UNESCO site – Borobudur Temple inside the trip.
You can also visit our sites at https://tourinindonesia.com/ to view more related trips or you can contact our staff at our websites.