Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Visitors in Borobudur

For this entry, I'm not gonna tell you about the splendour of Borobudur cause you can always Google it. You can also click here for the official website and let the professionals tell you about it.

Instead, I'm gonna show you what visitors do in Borobudur, the world's biggest Buddhist temple and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Let's begin with the numerous signages reminding people not to climb onto the reliefs.

"No climbing" signages are found almost everywhere in Borobudur.

Clearly the folks who visit Borobudur don't know how to read, or they just don't give a damn. Take a look at these kids:

Being cheeky.

"Look at me ... I can climb onto the stupa!"

"Don't look cause someone is trying to snap a picture of me being bad."

"I wonder how's the view from the top?"

Busted. This boy was sitting beside the Buddha statue to snap a photo. He must have noticed that I was watching him.

A cardinal rule when visiting any ancient monument is not to touch the reliefs. But take a look at these people:

According to a Borobudur handout, there's a legend that anyone who can reach in and touch the cloth of the Buddha near the East stairway will have their wish come true. Maybe that's why these fellas are so enthusiastic in touching the Buddha statue inside the stupa. But this is not even the East stairway!

Borobudur was swarming with people when I was there. As a person who appreciates ancient monuments and reliefs as well as all UNESCO World Heritage Sites, I watched in disbelief at what the visitors were doing.

Borobudur was restored from 1907 till 1911 by Theodore van Erp. From 1973 till 1983, the ancient monument underwent a major restoration by the Indonesian government with help from UNESCO. It is hoped that the temple will survive for another 1,000 years.

But by the look of things, I don't think Borobudur can even stand another 100 years, let alone 1,000 years!

More efforts need to be done like placing more officers around to remind visitors about the importance of preserving this national heritage. Otherwise the future generations will not be able to see and appreciate beautiful reliefs like this:

Buddha image in Borobudur.

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