Architecture: Beleaguered Borobudur

Some have hailed it as the eighth wonder of the world, others as the rival to Angkor Wat. That may be slightly hyperbolic, but everyone who has made the pilgrimage to Indonesia's temple of Borobudur, just outside Jogjakarta, ranks the soaring pyramidal shrine as one of the world's most magnificent examples of Buddhist architecture. Virtually untouched by tourism, the massive monument rises symmetrically from the serene green plains of central Java.

Like most Buddhist shrines, Borobudur's architecture (see color opposite and overleaf) is symbolic. Rising in stepped terraces, signifying the ten stages...

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