Prambanan is a temple complex, but Borobudur is basically a single enormous stone construction shaped roughly like a mountain.
Six increasingly smaller square stone platforms are topped by three circular ones, and then crowned with 72 stupas (each originally holding a Buddha statue) grouped around a central large stupa.
The whole thing is a representation of the Buddhist cosmos: the first two represent the human sphere, the next four the transitional sphere where humans are released from worldly matter, and the last three the sphere of the gods. From the air, the whole thing is in the shape of a mandala (which represents the universe).
It was built in the 9th Century and abandoned during the 14th Century, to be mostly forgotten until 1814, when it was rediscovered by a Dutch engineer at the behest of Sir Stamford Raffles (the founder of Singapore and ubiquitous in SE Asian history).
|Buddhas guarding the approach to the monument|
|Walls covered in carvings|
|Stairs up: they are really steep!|
|Each level is basically a wide walkway|
|The transition between the symbolic world of humans and the world of the gods|
|I love Borobudur!|
|Uppermost levels, with central stupa (it is empty)|
|View from the top|
|I liked how well the stones still fit together, even after a millennium|
|All the stupas contain Buddhas but it's difficult to see them due to the stone covering (which has been removed from this one). Love the peaceful expression on his face.|