Prambanan Temple was built in the 9th century. Towering 47 meters high with stunning ornaments, the beauty of this Hindu temple is unmatched. Prambanan Temple has located 17 km to the east of the city center and can be reached by Trans Jogja bus.
LEGEND OF RORO JONGGRANG
Once upon a time, there was a very beautiful daughter named Roro Jonggrang. Beauty that lured a prince to ask for her hand. Roro Jonggrang put forward the conditions to build a thousand temples overnight as a subtle refusal of the proposal. However, Bandung Bondowoso still agreed.
Bandung Bondowoso then asked for the help of spirits to build a thousand temples overnight. When the 999 temples were standing, Roro Jonggrang ordered the villagers to light bonfires and pound rice with mortars. The genies thought dawn had arrived and then ran hurriedly. Bandung Bondowoso, angry at Roro Jonggrang’s ruse, condemned him to become a stone statue to complete the 1000th temple.
HISTORY OF PRAMBANAN TEMPLE
Prambanan Temple is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia as well as one of the most beautiful temples in Southeast Asia. According to the Siwagrha inscription, this temple was built during the reign of Rakai Pikatan (mid-9th century) of the Ancient Mataram Kingdom.
However, for reasons that are still mysterious, the center of the kingdom moved to East Java at the end of the 10th century. This magnificent temple was neglected and partly buried by the material from the eruption of Mount Merapi. Slowly, the Prambanan area became a dense forest.
Hundreds of years later, the ruins of this temple were found again. At that time, the history of this temple was not known, so the legend of Roro Jonggrang was created which was told from generation to generation.
Serious efforts to restore the temple began in the 1930s and the restoration of the main temple was only completed in 1953.
PRAMBANAN TEMPLE COMPLEX
It is estimated that there are 240 large and small temples in the Prambanan temple complex. However, only 18 temples have been restored, the rest are scattered piles of stones.
Three of the 8 main temples are called the Trimurti (“three forms”), dedicated to the 3 supreme Hindu deities: Lord Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer.
The Shiva Temple in the middle is the largest building in the Prambanan Temple complex and has 5 rooms: east, south, west, north, and the main room in the middle of the temple. The eastern room is connected to the main room which contains a 3-meter high statue of Shiva Mahadeva. The north room contains a statue of Durga Mahisasuramardini, Shiva’s wife. This Durga statue is what is known as Roro Jonggrang in local legends.
Right in front of the Trimurti temple, there are 3 smaller temples for vehicles or vehicles of these gods; the ox Nandi rides Shiva, the Swan rides Brahma, and the Garuda rides Wisnu.
RAMAYANA’S STORY RELIEF
Prambanan Temple is decorated with reliefs telling the story of Ramayana and Krishnayana. The story of Ramayana begins with the birth of Rama, the kidnapping of Sinta (Rama’s wife) by Rahwana, efforts to save Sinta by Hanoman (the monkey commander), the reunion of Rama and Sinta, to the handover of Rama’s throne to his son.
The reliefs of the Ramayana story are carved on the inner wall of the fence along the gallery aisle that surrounds the main temple. The relief is read by circling the temple clockwise, starting from the east side of the Shiva temple (42 scenes) and continuing to the Brahma temple (30 scenes).
Not far from Prambanan Temple, the timelessly carved love story of Rama and Sinta is also staged in the form of a ballet every Tuesday, Thursday night, and Saturday night.
The Ramayana Prambanan Ballet holds the Guinness World Records world record as the Ramayana dance performance that involved the most dancers as well as the longest and regularly performing Ramayana dance from 1961 to 2012. London and New York have The Phantom of the Opera, Jogja has the Ramayana Ballet. During the dry season, the performance takes place outdoors with the Prambanan Temple being lit as the background.
PRAMBANAN PHOTO SPOT
There are several spots to take the best photos at Prambanan Temple, including the Bu Ani spot, the Perwara temple ruins spot, and the Syiwa Mandala spot.
Before entering the temple grounds from the main road, turn south. Here we can take photos of all the main temples framed by mahogany trees. This spot is also called the Bu Ani spot.
Another spot popular with photographers is the ruins of the ancillary temples as a dramatic foreground for the main temples.
Before dusk, visitors to Prambanan Temple will be asked to leave by security officers.
However, we can still capture the sunset view at Prambanan Temple from the Siwa Mandala field near the exit of the main temple courtyard. If there is a Ramayana Ballet performance that night, the lights will illuminate the main temples. The result is incredibly beautiful photos.
Location: Jalan Raya Jogja – Solo Km 16, Prambanan, Sleman, Yogyakarta 55571, Indonesia
Opening Hours: Every day, 06.00 am – 05.00 pm
Entrance Ticket Prices (2019):
– IDR 50,000 (adult)
– IDR 25,000 (children)
– USD 25 (foreign tourists)