WHS: Prambanan Temple Compounds

Next to last stop on our Central Java tour is almost back to Yogyakarta again, but where we started out visiting the solely Bhuddist temples at Borobudur, this time we’re visiting the Hindu temples at World Heritage Site

Prambanan Temple Compounds 

Prambanan Temple Compounds


Prambanan Temple Compounds consist of Prambanan Temple (also called Loro Jonggrang), Sewu Temple, Bubrah Temple and Lumbung Temple. Prambanan Temple itself is a complex consisting of 240 temples. All the mentioned temples form the Prambanan Archaeological Park and were built during the heyday of Sailendra’s powerful dynasty in Java in the 8th century AD. These compounds are located on the border between the two provinces of Yogyakarta and Central Java on Java Island.

While Loro Jonggrang, dating from the 9th century, is a brilliant example of Hindu religious bas-reliefs, Sewu, with its four pairs of Dwarapala giant statues, is Indonesia’s largest Buddhist complex including the temples of Lumbung, Bubrah and Asu (Gana temple). The Hindu temples are decorated with reliefs illustrating the Indonesian version of the Ramayana epic which are masterpieces of stone carvings. These are surrounded by hundreds of shrines that have been arranged in three parts showing high levels of stone building technology and architecture from the 8th century AD in Java. With over 500 temples, Prambanan Temple Compounds represents not only an architectural and cultural treasure, but also a standing proof of past religious peaceful cohabitation…

While the Borobudur site is one massive pyramid rising to enlightment, the Prambanan compound is like wandering through a forest of temples:

Prambanan Temple Compounds

And while the outsides are carved in relief panels as well,

Temple Reliefs

inside each temple you’ll find statues. Anybody who’s been to India will no doubt recognize Ganesh, for instance:


Besides the main compound there’s a number of smaller ones you can walk to as well:

Outlying Temples

For more, check out Wonderful Indonesia; and make sure you spend a couple days in Yogyakarta so you can catch both this and Borobudur!

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