Candi Prambanan

Prambanan Temple Title Pic

My journey to Yogya, didn’t just entail a visit to Borobudur, I also visited ‘Candi Prambanan‘ – Prambanan Temple; a Hindu-Javanese temple which was built in the 9th century {about 50 years after Borobudur}, and similarly to Borobudur, Prambanan made the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1991.Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia, and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia.

The Prambanan Temple Complex is home to 240 temples! Wow! In the inner area there are 16 temples – three main temples that all face to the east – Vishnu {the Preserver}, Brahma {the Creator} and Shiva {the Destroyer} Temples and each of these has an accompanying smaller temple facing to the west.

These are;
Garuda – Vishnu,
Angsa – Brahma, and
Nandini – Shiva.

There are also: 2 apit temples, 4 kelir temples and 4 patok temples.

In the outer area there are 224 temples…well, small shrines that they call ‘guardian temples’.

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The multitude of these temples scattered around Prambanan inspired the local legend of Loro Jonggrang.
{There are obviously many versions of this legend, this is the one I have chosen to share…}

The legend tells the story about Prince Bandung Bondowoso who fell in love with Princess Loro Jonggrang, the daughter of King Boko. Princess Loro Jonggrang rejected the Prince’s proposal of marriage because he had killed her father, King Boko, and ruled her kingdom. Prince Bandung continued to insist on the marriage union, until the Princess relented but she insisted on one impossible condition: Bandung must build her a thousand temples in one night!

The Prince meditated and conjured up many spirits and from the help of these supernatural beings, the Prince succeeded in building 999 temples. However, at this same time, the Princess woke up her servants and ordered the women of the village to start pounding rice and to begin burning the dried paddy stalks in the nearby paddy fields, attempting to make the Prince and the spirits believe that the sun would rise. When the cocks were fooled by the light and the sounds of morning time, they began to crow and this scared off the supernatural helpers and they disappeared.

Prince Bandung was so angry about the Princess’ trick, that in revenge he cursed Loro Jonggrang to stone! She became the last and most beautiful of the thousand statues.

According to local traditions…the unfinished thousandth temple became the Sewu Temple nearby {Sewu means thousands in Javanese} and Princess Loro Jonggrang is the image of Durga in the Shiva Temple at Prambanan.

So, I was on my way to visit Princess Loro Jonggrang at Prambanan.

As I walked through the Prambanan Complex, I could see ahead of me in the distance, the three main temples ..well, you could not miss the central temple when it stands 47 metres high! But what I saw next devastated me….there were piles and piles of stones all throughout the outer area of the complex, leading through to the inner area.

The 27 May 2006 earthquake caused large damage to many of the temples at Prambanan and large areas were blocked off to public access. Also, since the earthquake, one can only enter Zone 1 {inner area} of the complex and entry to the Shiva temple requires wearing a hard hat and is limited to 50 visitors every 15 minutes.

It was really quite devastating for me to see that what seemed like the majority of the Prambanan temples were now just piles of stones scattered around the complex. I could see that a lot of work was taking place to restore the temple, however I think it will take a very long time.

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