A Stroll Through Prambanan

Prambanan 1

Candi Prambanan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest Hindu temples in Southeast Asia

What prompted this trip to Jogjakarta was not for sight-seeing purposes. It was really to even out the playing field. Years ago, my older brother was able to visit Jogja with my great uncle but I was never given that opportunity so I thought it was a great travesty to my rights as a sibling. This happened such a long time ago but I can hold grudges really well so I made sure the next time I went to Indonesia, I had to one up my brother. Thankfully, I’ve done that during this trip since I went to Bali and he still hasn’t and now I was able to see charming Jogja!

Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia and one of the largest in Southeast Asia. I used to get this mixed up with Borobudur (more on that later) but basically Borobudur is Buddhist while Prambanan is Hindu. The legend behind how Prambanan was built is a story of love, determination, and betrayal. There was a prince who wanted to marry a beautiful princess, named Loro Jonggrang, but she didn’t want to marry him because he had killed her father who was a beast. He fell in love with her beauty and insisted on marriage so she allowed it under the condition that he build a thousand temples in one night. With some magic, he managed to build 999 temples but then the princess tricked him into thinking that the sun has risen and in turn, he didn’t finish the thousandth temple. However, he soon discovered the princess’s treachery and turned her into stone. Her fossilized figure is said to be in one of the temples. What remains of those supposed 999 temples are about 240 temples, many damaged from the 2006 earthquake and in need of restoration.

Prambanan 3

One of the reliefs on a temple

Prambanan 2

The many twists and turns of one temple!

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