Religious sites may not always be the main reason for one to visit a particular destination (unless you are going on a pilgrimage), but this one makes a big exception. You will definitely want to set your foot in the Prambanan temple, one of the largest Hindu temples in the world! Interestingly, it is also one of the most exotic tourist destinations in the world!
Astonishingly beautiful with great historical significance!
Prambanan is a religious site with momentous historical significance. It’s actually a complex consisting of hundreds of temples but most of them have collapsed over time. Only the major ones, six of them, are rebuilt. These astonishingly beautiful temples were built in the ninth century when Java flourished under the rule of Mataram Kingdom, a powerful Hindu kingdom. Although much of the original structures have been reduced to rubbles, the main temples are still standing gracefully, as a valuable heritance proving that a great kingdom once ruled this land.
Beautiful architecture that tells a love story
In addition to its epic history, the architecture itself is admirable. The astounding building of Prambanan reveals the sophistication of the architecture that was built centuries ago. The structural design consists of huge stones skillfully and brilliantly carved and put together in artistic construction. Although the technology to build the temple is still a mystery, the carvings on the temple itself tells stories. In fact, they are not just artistic carvings on stones, but more than that, they are reliefs revealing the tale of Ramayana, the well-known love story of Rama and Shinta, the Hindu God and Goddess.
To ‘read’ the complete story of Ramayana, you have to walk around the temple clockwise since the tale of how Rama heroically rescued Shinta was carved on the outer walls of the temple. The tale revolves around Rama’s attempts to rescue his beautiful wife, Shinta, who was abducted by a demon king, Ravana. With the help of Hanuman, his monkey-general, Rama managed to bring back his loved one. In short, it’s a happy ending story.
Relax in the park around Prambanan
Typical of a tropical country, the weather in Prambanan is always sunny. The good news is you can get awesome pictures. If you are feeling hot, the complex is surrounded by a large park with numerous shady trees. Benches are provided here and there are shady spots in which you can get away from the heat, relax and enjoy the beauty of the temples from a distance.
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Feed spotted deers in the park
Prambanan is not just a historical place with magnificent structures. In addition to brick and mortar, there are also living creatures. The large green area of Prambanan Park is inhabited by numerous spotted deers. These beautiful creatures with their marvelous antlers are kept behind iron fence and visitors are allowed to feed them with leaves provided by the staff, which are available in a bundle for 2,000 IDR ( 0.14 USD) each.
Watch the Ramayana outdoor ballet performance for less than 20 USD
Your experience in Prambanan does not stop here. After enjoying the beauty of the temple and learning a great love story of Rama and Shinta, you can find pleasure in watching a beautiful ballet performance. The show performed by professional dancers is based on the story of Ramayana, thus called Ramayana ballet.
The ballet is presented outdoor with the three main temples in the beautiful background. Depending on the weather, the performance is normally held from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm. Since it’s only held occasionally during the year, be sure to check its schedules and come at the right time for the show. Tickets are available and reasonably priced. Prices are categorized into three classes of seating, based on how close you are to the stage: second class (100,000 IDR/7.41 USD), first class (175,000 IDR/12.96 USD), and special VIP class (250,000 IDR/18.52 USD). It’s absolutely a cheap price for such a classy ballet show.
Borobudur and Prambanan
This exotic sanctuary that will cost you 18 USD for the admission is not situated in Yogyakarta city, but in Sleman, which is only 16 km East of Yogyakarta. Prambanan is quite close to the majestic Borobudur temple in Magelang, which is only a 2-hour drive away. This is why many people include Prambanan in their Borobudur tour. Quite convenient, isn’t it? So, besides visiting Borobudur, make sure you also visit Prambanan, as both temples have different themes that give good reasons for one to visit!
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