9 / 10th Century Indonesian Stone Buddha Head
AGE: – 9 / 10th Century
CONSTRUCTION: – Stone
HEIGHT: – 34cm
WEIGHT:– 18.35 kg.
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9 / 10th century Indonesian Stone Buddha Head from the Island of Java where one of the most famous Hindu Buddhist temples was built between the 8th and the 9th centuries during the reign of the Syailendra Dynasty. The famous ruins of Borobudur are considered to be the largest Hindu/Buddhist structure in the world, located in the Kedu Valley in the southern part of Central Jave, the complex consists of approximately seventy-two stupas with both a Hindu and Mahayana Buddhist influence.
There are however, many smaller lesser known temple ruins in West Java dating from the 8th century. We acquired two stone Buddha heads more than forty years ago whilst residing in Jakarta. According to an expert in Buddhist artefacts from Indonesia they are believed to be authentic and likely to have come from one of the lesser-known sites. The other stone head can be viewed here.
Another Buddhist temple – Ngawen, which dates from the 8th century CE, is located 10 km from the main temple of Borobudur and the ruins of the Banon Hindu Temple located several meters north of Pawon. There are no written records of who built these massive structures, academics assume that they were built during the height of the Shailendra dynasty in central Java.
The Borobudur temple complex lay hidden undisturbed under layers of volcanic ash and dense jungle for centuries and was discovered in the early 1800s when Java was for a time under British administration. The governor at that time was the British Lieutenant-Governor Thomas Stamford Raffles, he governed between (1811-1815) and was General of Bencoolen in Sumatra between (1817-1822). In 1991 Borobudur was declared a UNESCO world heritage site.
During Raffles’s tenure in Indonesia, he took a keen interest in Java and its history and wrote a book “The History of Java” describing the history of Java from ancient times which was published in 1817.
Whilst Thomas Stamford Raffles was visiting Semarang in 1814 he became aware of a huge monument located in the jungles near Jogjakarta and sent a Dutch engineer to investigate. The uncovering and restoration of this great site have been ongoing until the present time.
Today Borobudur is visited by thousands of Buddhist pilgrims annually on Wesak Day, a celebration of Buddha’s birthday and is the most sacred day to millions of Buddhists all over the world.