By the time it was rediscovered in 1815, it was covered in volcanic ash and crumbling.
It was reconstructed with UNESCO funds in the 70s and 80s, but according to my trusty Lonely Planet, bombed in 1985. It's like two million puzzle pieces, with stupas and reliefs telling stories. There are gods and goddesses, and in one section animals.
The surrounding countryside is lush and green. We were lucky with the weather. It poured all afternoon.By the time we left, the monument was filled with tour groups, mostly local schoolchildren. Half of them wanted to take pictures with me. Everyone I've met in Java has a smartphone, mostly Chinese iPhone clones.
It's similar to the Bayon in Cambodia, which I visited in 1999. But Borubudor's setting is more spectacular up on a hill.
Crazy Bali tourists fly over for the day. Technically it's possible, but Java is enormous and there's so much to see here.