Indonesia may limit number of visitors in Borobudur temple grounds

The structure’s integrity will be compromised with so many tourists pouring into the grounds at one time. Pic: Isriya Paireepairit/flickr

THE Indonesian government has plans to limit the number of visitors at the iconic Borobudur temple to 15 at one time.

Antara news agency reported that Nadjamuddin Ramly, the director of heritage and cultural diplomacy at the Ministry of Education and Culture, is concerned about the preservation of the UNESCO World Heritage structure.

Hundreds of visitors often pour into the temple grounds at one time, which may compromise the structure’s integrity in the long run.

Ramly said visitors often lack discipline and that many do not appreciate the historic and cultural value of one of the world’s greatest Buddhist monuments.

He added, “”Many people litter anywhere they want. They throw their cigarette butts everywhere and some even urinate there. There are also some companies that have commercial filming sessions without permits.”

Last month, Borobudur Conservation Agency profusely advised tourists against touching statues and stupas in the temple.

Public relations officer at the agency, Mura, said, “Touching the stupa can cause damage to the temple. Although it’s made from stone, it can be broken.”

“The bottom part of the stupa has become soft and it lost its original shape due to being touched repeatedly by tourists,” he added while pointing out a palm print over a corroded stone.

The temple management also bans tourists from touching the statues inside the stupa, as many climb onto stones to access the stupa, which could eventually lead to breakage.

Borobudur is the biggest Buddhist monument in the world, and is largely considered to be one of the world’s most remarkable. On Wesak Day each year, some 15,000 gather at the grounds for a candlelit procession.

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