For those of you who are going to visit Yogyakarta, Prambanan Temple is one of the tourist destinations that you have to visit. The beauty of the Prambanan temple that has been known to foreign countries makes its not only visited by domestic tourists, but also by foreign tourists. Its location close to the Borobudur Temple complex (Buddhist Temple) represent the harmony between Hindus and Buddhists at that time.
Prambanan is one of the largest temple complexes in Southeast Asia which has various kinds of statues and reliefs. This temple complex is located in Prambanan Village and administratively belongs to two districts and two provinces at once. Those are Sleman Regency in Yogyakarta Province and Klaten Regency in Central Java Province. The distance is about 20 km from the city of Yogyakarta and 40 km from the city of Surakarta. Apart from being on the border, the temple complex is also reachable from various directions because it is directly on the main road of Yogyakarta – Solo.
The Prambanan temple complex was built around 850 AD. It is still questionable which Prambanan was built by Rakai Pikatan, the second king of Wangsa Mataram I or Balitung Maha Sambu during the Sanjaya Wangsa. However, researchers agree that the Prambanan temple complex was abandoned and began to deteriorate shortly after completion. Prambanan Temple is also known by another name, namely the Rara Jonggrang or Lara Jonggrang temples. The second name is related to the legend of the temple construction.
Based on the legend, Prambanan temple was built by Bandung Bondowoso to fulfill the requirements of Rara Jonggrang. Initially, Bandung Bondowoso, who fell in love with the beauty of Rara Jonggrang, was about to propose to the king’s daughter. Rara Jonggrang, who does not love Bandung Bondowoso, did not dare to reject the proposal directly. That’s why he put a difficult condition to Bandung Bondowoso to build a temple with a thousand statues within one night. With his supernatural powers, Bandung Bondowoso can almost fulfill these requirements. But at the 999th statue, Rara Jongrang asked the residents for help to pound rice and make a big fire so that the cock crowed, and Bandung Bondowoso thinking that morning had come. Bandung Bondowoso, who was angry because he felt cheated, then cursed Rara Jonggrang to become the 1000th statue.
Prambanan has many kind of relief that producing various stories and symbols. The story of Rama – Sinta is one that is depicted in the Prambanan relief. There are also another reliefs in Prambanan temples, such as the mystical bird Garuda which is depicted as half human and half bird. Based on that, the usage of Garuda as a national symbol was inspired by this temple. Now the Prambanan temple complex has become one of the most popular tourist objects in Yogyakarta. Since 1991, the Prambanan temple complex has been designated as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO.
Within the temple complex there are three main temples, there are Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva temples. The three temples symbolize Trimurti in Hindu belief. Each temple faces east and is adjacent to the accompanying temple facing west. Nandini for Shiva, Swan for Brahma, and Garuda for Vishnu. In addition, there are 2 flank temples, 4 kelir temples, and 4 corner temples. Meanwhile, the second courtyard has 224 temples. The main temples in the Prambanan complex rise up to 47 meters, five meters higher than Borobodur temple. Prambanan is also surrounded by a great garden that can be used as a place for visitors to rest.
For visitors who want to know more about Prambanan temple, they can enter the museum close to the temple complex. In the museum, visitors could watch an audio visual display that presents the history of the temple’s discovery. Apart from the museum, there is also a playground for children and a mini train to take visitors around the temple complex. Accommodation around the temple complex is also complete. Lodges, restaurants, and souvenir shops are lined up waiting to be visited.
The Prambanan temple complex is open to the public from 08.00 a.m -17.00 p.m. Every full moon, the Ramayana Ballet is held from 20.00-22.00 p.m
Access to the Prambanan Temple is easy. Located on the main road of Jogja-Klaten, tourists can use Transjogja for Rp. 3000, -, or you can use the bus or public transportation with route of Jogja-Solo. For the entrance fee to the Prambanan Temple area, local tourists are charged Rp. 30,000, -, while foreign tourists are charged $ 18.