Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist temple and one of Indonesia’s most popular attractions, is set to get expensive as it will soon be subjected to a price hike in order to preserve “the rich history and culture” of the religious monument.
“We plan to limit the quota of tourists who want to go up to Borobudur Temple to 1200 people per day, with a fee of $100 for foreign tourists and 750 thousand rupiahs ($51) for domestic tourists. Especially for students, we charge only 5000 rupiahs,” Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Indonesia, wrote on Instagram.
Currently, tourists entering Borobudur pay a fee of $25 per person, CNN reported.
“We took this step solely for the sake of preserving the rich history and culture of the archipelago,” he added.
Additionally, all tourists will now also have to employ the use of a local guide while visiting Borobudur. “We did this in order to generate new jobs while at the same time foster a sense of belonging, and responsibility to care for and preserve one of the historical sites of this archipelago continues to grow in the hearts of people.”
One of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world, the Borobudur Temple is believed to have been built in the 8th and 9th centuries AD, during the reign of the Syailendra Dynasty. It is located in the Kedu Valley in Indonesia.
According to UNESCO World Heritage Convention, the vertical division of the Borobudur Temple into base, body, and superstructure perfectly accords with the conception of the Universe in Buddhist cosmology.
“It is believed that the universe is divided into three superimposing spheres, kamadhatu, rupadhatu, and arupadhatu, representing respectively the sphere of desires where we are bound to our desires, the sphere of forms where we abandon our desires but are still bound to name and form, and the sphere of formlessness where there is no longer either name or form. At Borobudur Temple, the kamadhatu is represented by the base, the rupadhatu by the five square terraces, and the arupadhatu by the three circular platforms as well as the big stupa. The whole structure shows a unique blending of the very central ideas of ancestor worship, related to the idea of a terraced mountain, combined with the Buddhist concept of attaining Nirvana,” it stated.
It was used as a Buddhist temple from its construction until sometime between the 10th and 15th centuries — when it was abandoned. After its rediscovery in the 19th century and restoration in the 20th century, Borobudur is once again seen as a Buddhist archaeological site.