Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Central-East Java: Prambanan Temple

When in Jogja, YOU wouldn’t want to miss this place – Prambanan Temple. Opss, I mean, I wouldn’t want to miss this place as it is one of UNESCO World Heritage Site! Located about 15km north-east of Jogja and just 8km from Adi Sutjipto Yogyakarta, it is the best place to visit right after you have landed. TransJogja bus from airport brings you directly to near the site and after a 500m walk (or becak ride), you’ll find yourself at the entrance. There’s a luggage storage room, so don’t worry having to carry your bag throughout the temple spotting.
Having heard the legend of Prambanan had connection with Ratu Boko, I bought the Prambanan-Ratu Boko Package for USD20 which entitle me to visit both temple objects with free transportation. It is definitely not cheap for frugal traveler like me but witnessing myself the buildings with massive history behind it was priceless.
Legend had it Prambanan is also called Loro Jonggrang (it means Slender Virgin) after the local name of Durga, a statue stands in the north chamber of Shiva Temple. The statue believed to be a petrified body of Loro Jonggrang, a princess of King Ratu Boko. Prince Bandung Bandowoso was in love with Loro Jonggrang and asked to marry her from the king. However the king answered he could have his princess only if he could kill him in a battle which Bandung Bandowoso did eventually. To refuse the love of a man who killed his father, Loro Jonggrang gave an impossible task as a condition to Prince Bandung Bandowoso – build a temple with 1000 statues in one night! With the help of spirits and supernatural labourers called by Bandung Bandowoso, the quest was almost fulfilled. To fail him, Loro Jonggrang asked the villagers to pound rice and to set a fire mocking the arrival of dawn that caused all spirits to run away from their work, leaving only 999 statues completed. Feeling cheated, Bandung Bandowoso curse Loro Jonggrang to be the 1000th statue.
However, this temple complex which was built during 9th century was a symbol of grandeur of Hindu kingdom during Sanjaya Dynasty and in response to the construction of Borobodur, Buddhist temple during Sailendra Dynasty. It has three main temples namely Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva as a symbol of Trimutri in Hindu belief. Each of these temples has accompanying small temple dedicated for its animal vehicle – Swan (Vishnu), Eagle (Brahma) and Bull (Shiva). Shiva temple being the most significant one, stood 47 meter in the middle of the complex has 4 statues inside it – Shiva, Durga (Shiva’s wife and also Loro Jonggrang as legend above), Agastya (Shiva’s teacher) and Ganesha (Shiva’s son) while Vishnu and Brahma only has one statue of them inside.
Prambanan’s panels of relief describe the story of Ramayana. Read more on Ramayana here. On every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, there is Ramayana ballet performance at the Outdoor Theater Taman Wisata Candi Prambanan which I missed L
After knowing all the history of Prambanan, you might think how it got its name while none of the names mentioned Prambanan right? Well, it got its name from the village the temple stood – Para Brahman which with Javanese corrupted pronunciation turned it into Prambanan.   
Prambanan definitely deserves the selection as UNESCO World Heritage Site for its criteria in masterpiece of human creative genius and as an outstanding example of type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrate significant stages of human history.



Tobias said...

Wow, simply stunning!
Now i have more places to visit...

Lily Riani said...

dont you just love jogja

Diana Diane Teo said...

One thing I noticed about this place is there is always with a very clear blue sky. Tons of nice pic there. Really wish I could go now.

fatt said...

loads of nice shots byya! :)

Traveller's Anatomy said...

Yeah I know, this place is magnificent! Add it to your bucket list :) Oh, and to Malaysia too!

So much in love :)

Traveller's Anatomy said...

Thanks D. Yeah, the sky was clear and it was so hot. But the sunny day didn't last till evening, it rained halfway.

Thanks :) I bet u enjoyed Prambanan too aight?