Borobudur's Inner, First Gallery

Borobudur is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Central Java. It is the world's largest Buddhist temple, consisting of nine stacked platforms, six square and three circular, topped by a central ‘stupa’ dome. I am investigating Borobudur as part of a project that compares symbols of kingship in Japan and southeast Asia.

My interest is in the ways rulers deployed symbols of sacred geography to sacralise their environment and assert an anthropocosmic connection between themselves and the divine. I'm convinced that certain Hindu-Buddhist idioms of kingship that took form in Southeast Asia also found expression in Japan between the 9th and 14th centuries.

Key terms include 'axis mundi', and 'mandalic space'.

This site provides access to a complete photographic record of the inner, first gallery of Borobudur. The survey was conducted over three days in January 2017.

Users may print, download, display, and link to these compressed images, provided the integrity of the individual works are maintained and full bibliographic citations are provided. Please cite 'Copyright Matthew Stavros (2017), Contact for more information.

The images in the photo gallery begin at about the point of the arrow above, and progress clockwise around the inner wall.