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Candi Prambanan

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Jl. Raya Solo - Yogyakarta No.16, Kranggan, Bokoharjo, Kec. Prambanan, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55571, Indonesia

Opening Hours

6:30 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

IDR 100,000

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expert
Verry
Local tour guide
"Make sure to catch the Ramayana ballet performance during the full moon at Candi Prambanan for a truly enchanting experience; the temple's silhouette against the moonlit sky is an unforgettable sight. For a peaceful visit, come early in the morning right when it opens, when the crowds are thinner and the temperature is cooler, allowing you to explore and appreciate the site at your own pace."

What is Candi Prambanan?

Candi Prambanan, or Prambanan Temple, is the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia, and one of the most stunning in Southeast Asia. This architectural marvel is located on the island of Java, not far from the city of Yogyakarta. It's a sprawling temple complex with towering structures that reach up to the sky, adorned with intricate stone carvings depicting various deities, scenes, and narratives from Hindu mythology, with a particular emphasis on the Ramayana epic.

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As an iconic landmark, Prambanan attracts visitors from around the globe not just for its religious significance but also for its cultural and archaeological importance. The temple serves as an active place of worship and a site for studying Javanese heritage and ancient engineering. When you walk through its grounds, you are treading along pathways centuries old, surrounded by the whispers of history and the grandeur of Javanese artistry.

History of Candi Prambanan

The construction of Prambanan dates back to the 9th century CE, when it was built during the reign of the Mataram Kingdom, specifically under King Rakai Pikatan's rule. The temple's original name was probably derived from the ancient Javanese term "Rara Jonggrang," referring to a legend associated with the site. However, it wasn't always in the glorious state we see today. Following a series of volcanic eruptions, possibly the massive eruption of Mount Merapi, and subsequent earthquakes, the temple was abandoned and fell into disrepair.

Over the centuries, Prambanan lay hidden, covered in volcanic ash and overrun by the jungle, until its rediscovery in the 19th century by the Dutch. The restoration process has been a careful and ongoing effort since then, with the main temple's restoration completed in 1953. Interestingly, the discovery and restoration of Prambanan have been instrumental in understanding the architectural and cultural history of Java and the region's Hindu-Buddhist traditions. It provides insights into the profound historical ties between Java and the cultures of mainland Southeast Asia and India.

Why is Candi Prambanan Important?

Prambanan is important for several compelling reasons. It is not just a masterpiece of Hindu culture in Indonesia but also a symbol of the country's religious pluralism and historical depth. Architecturally, it is renowned for its tall and pointed architecture, typical of Hindu temple architecture, and by its towering central building inside a large complex of individual temples.

One of the key aspects that make Prambanan so vital is its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This designation underscores its global significance as an art historical and cultural monument. Furthermore, it's a living testament to the skills and aesthetic sensibilities of the Javanese people of the time and a cornerstone for scholarly research into Hinduism's spread in Southeast Asia. Prambanan is also a source of national pride and a pivotal locale for cultural festivals and rituals that continue to this day, connecting the past with the present.

Things to Do & See at Candi Prambanan

When you visit Prambanan, you're stepping into a realm of myth, history, and extraordinary architecture. The experience starts with the main temple, dedicated to the Trimurti gods: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. These towering structures adorned with reliefs are an impressive sight. You can explore the temples dedicated to the animals that serve them, as well as smaller shrines that form an integral part of the complex's layout.

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Another unmissable highlight is the Ramayana Ballet, performed on an open-air stage with the illuminated Prambanan as a backdrop—it is a visually stunning performance combining music, dance, and drama retelling the epic story. If you're into photography or just appreciate nature, the temple against the backdrop of sunrise or sunset offers a view few places in the world can match. Lastly, do take time to stroll through the Prambanan Archaeological Park for a broader understanding of the site and its place within Javanese history.

Remember, there's more to Prambanan than just the main structures; the ruins surrounding them are a maze of stories waiting to be uncovered. Let your curiosity guide you through the lesser-visited corners of the complex, and keep an eye out for the intricate details that reveal the artistry of a bygone era. It's these subtleties and forgotten corners that often leave the most indelible marks on your memory of this majestic site.

Frequently asked questions

What is Candi Prambanan?

Candi Prambanan is a 9th-century Hindu temple compound located near Yogyakarta, Indonesia, dedicated to the Trimurti: the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the Preserver (Vishnu), and the Destroyer (Shiva). It is one of the largest Hindu temples in Southeast Asia and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

How can I get to Candi Prambanan from Yogyakarta?

You can reach Candi Prambanan from Yogyakarta by bus, car, or taxi. There are frequent bus services from central Yogyakarta to the temple, and it's a short drive if you prefer to go by car or taxi.

What are the opening hours for Candi Prambanan?

Candi Prambanan is typically open to visitors from early morning until late afternoon. However, hours may vary, so it's recommended to check the latest opening times before planning your visit.

Is there an entrance fee to visit Candi Prambanan?

Yes, there is an entrance fee for Candi Prambanan. The fee helps with the maintenance and preservation of the site. It's advisable to check the latest prices as they may change from time to time.

What should I wear when visiting Candi Prambanan?

When visiting Candi Prambanan, it's important to dress respectfully as it is a religious site. Modest clothing that covers the shoulders and knees is recommended. It's also advisable to wear comfortable shoes as there's a lot of walking involved.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Jl. Raya Solo - Yogyakarta No.16, Kranggan, Bokoharjo, Kec. Prambanan, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55571, Indonesia

Opening Hours

6:30 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

IDR 100,000

Find it on google maps