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How Did They do That?

Indonesia's ancient temple is a cosmic journey in stone...

THE BUDDHIST STUPA

ILLUSTRATION: SOL 90 IMAGES, GETTY X

STACKED

Borobudur was built on a hill and has a pyramidal structure with nine platforms: the lower six are square and the three above are circular.

Burial mounds containing relics date back to Neolithic times. Tey were also common during the lifetime of the Buddha and he instructed his disciples to erect them at crossroads to commemorate great sages and heroes. After the Buddha's death, a monument (known as a stupa) was to be raised in his honour. Te legend says that eight of the mightiest princes fought for his ashes and bones. Tese relics were distributed to eight different kingdoms, and stupas were erected over them. Most well- known is the Borobudur Temple Compounds on the isle of Java.

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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

August 2016 issue of History Revealed.