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Sambisari Temple

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Jl. Candi Sambisari, Sambisari, Purwomartani, Kec. Kalasan, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55571, Indonesia

Opening Hours

7:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

IDR 5,000

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expert
Verry
Local tour guide
"Before visiting Candi Sambisari, try to reach out to local student groups who might offer guided tours as a part of their history or cultural studies – they can provide insights that aren’t in the regular guidebooks, and you'll also be supporting local education. Also, come early in the morning to enjoy the serenity of the temple with fewer crowds and cooler temperatures, making your exploration of this hidden gem much more enjoyable."

What is Candi Sambisari?

Candi Sambisari is an intriguing 9th-century Hindu temple located just a stone’s throw away from the bustling city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It's an unexpected gem, offering a serene and somewhat mystical experience. Unlike other temples in the region that sit atop hills or are prominently displayed, Candi Sambisari's main distinguishing feature is its subterranean position, as it was buried about five meters below the ground until its rediscovery.

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History of Candi Sambisari

The temple was accidentally discovered by a farmer in 1966, which was quite a revelation given that for centuries, it was hidden under volcanic ash believed to be from the eruption of Mount Merapi. After excavation, it became apparent that Candi Sambisari was a well-preserved relic of the past. Archaeologists estimate that it was constructed during the rule of Rakai Garung in the 9th century. Despite its smaller size compared to the more famous Prambanan Temple, which is not far from its location, Candi Sambisari provides an intimate glimpse into the region's spiritual history and the Hindu legacy of the Mataram Kingdom.

Historical inscriptions are sparse when it comes to this temple, which only adds to its enigma. However, the name 'Sambisari' itself possibly correlates with the name of a village in the vicinity. As for its construction, it reflects the Hindu architecture of the time, which is characterized by the presence of a central shrine surrounded by smaller temples, akin to the universe and its celestial bodies.

Why is Candi Sambisari Important?

Candi Sambisari serves as a unique testament to the resilience of cultural heritage. Despite being buried for more than a millennium, it remains incredibly well-preserved, offering us invaluable insights into ancient Javanese culture and religion. Its submergence and subsequent excavation is, in itself, a powerful narrative of the intersection between nature and civilization. Visitors to Candi Sambisari do not just see a temple -- they witness a historical site that has withstood the test of time and natural disasters.

Moreover, it's a poignant reminder of the ancient Mataram Kingdom's religious and cultural grandeur. Given its proximity to Prambanan and Borobudur, it enriches the story of a time when Hinduism and Buddhism thrived side by side in Java. For scholars and enthusiasts of archaeology and history, Candi Sambisari is an important puzzle piece in understanding the spread of Hinduism in Southeast Asia.

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Things to Do & See at Candi Sambisari

  • Explore the Main Shrine: Delve into the heart of the temple where a lingam and yoni, symbolic representations of Shiva and his consort, Parvati, are located. This central area is an important place of worship and a focal point of the entire complex.
  • Observe the Reliefs: The temple walls are adorned with exquisite carvings and bas-reliefs. These depictions narrate stories from Hindu mythology, in particular the Ramayana, and also showcase leaf patterns, which may tie back to the notion of fertility and prosperity.
  • Enjoy the Serenity: Candi Sambisari's relatively hidden location makes it a peaceful retreat from the more frequented tourist spots. The surrounding gardens are meticulously kept, providing a quiet space for contemplation and appreciation of Java's rich history.
  • Capture the Architecture: For photography enthusiasts, the temple's unique underground architecture, precise stonework, and the contrast of its ancient stones against the lush greenery offer perfect photo opportunities.
  • Attend Pujas and Ceremonies: If you’re lucky to visit during a Hindu festival, you might get to witness a puja (worship ceremony) which can be a profound cultural experience.
  • Visit at Sunset or Sunrise: While not as crowded as other temples in Yogyakarta, arriving during the quieter hours of sunrise or sunset bestows a magical light on the temple, enhancing its mystical aura.

Frequently asked questions

What is Candi Sambisari?

Candi Sambisari is a 9th-century Hindu temple located in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It is unique because it was buried about five meters underground for centuries before being rediscovered in 1966.

How was Candi Sambisari discovered?

Candi Sambisari was discovered by a farmer named Karyowinangun in 1966 when he was digging on his land and struck the top of the temple, which had been buried under volcanic ash.

What is the architectural style of Candi Sambisari?

Candi Sambisari is built in the classic Java Hindu temple architecture style, featuring a central shrine surrounded by multiple smaller temples known as perwara temples.

Are there any specific reliefs or carvings that Candi Sambisari is known for?

Yes, Candi Sambisari is adorned with bas-relief carvings that depict Hindu mythology, including the story of Lord Vishnu and the churning of the Ocean of Milk.

Is there an entrance fee to visit Candi Sambisari, and what are its opening hours?

There is typically a small entrance fee to visit Candi Sambisari, and it is open to visitors every day from morning until late afternoon, although exact times can vary, so it's best to check beforehand.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Jl. Candi Sambisari, Sambisari, Purwomartani, Kec. Kalasan, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55571, Indonesia

Opening Hours

7:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

IDR 5,000

Find it on google maps