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23 holy places that promise a connection with nature

Borobudur Temple

Photo: Katerina Sysoeva/Shutterstock

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Borobudur Temple

Deep within the Kedu Plain, between two volcanoes and two rivers, reigns the world's largest Buddhist temple. Built in the 9th century, the Candi Borobudur in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia is an architectural feat: six platforms, 504 Buddha statues, and over 1,000 relief panels over three levels that symbolize and illustrate three worlds in the Buddhist cosmology. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, its history remains murky. No one knows who built it, but one thing is for certain: it was abandoned for some reason, and had to be dug out from the overgrown landscape once it was re-discovered.