This was my second trip to Indonesia in as many years. The focus on this trip was Prambanan, a Hindu temple located just outside of Yogyakarta. Much like some of the other amazing temples in Indonesia, this place is VERY busy. Interestingly, foreign tourism isn’t popular at this site; Locals outnumber foreigners 8:1.
Prambanan Damage throughout the years
Indonesia is home to some of the world’s most deadly and active volcanoes. Prambanan sits in the shadows of Merapi, an active and deadly volcano that has destroyed many cultural icons in Central Java and Yogyakarta.
Earthquakes in the region are mainly caused by the movement of magma (lava) under the earth’s surface from Merapi or the friction (and subsequent release) of the Indo-Australian techtonic plate subducting under the Eurasian plate. In non-nerd terms, Pramabanan is in danger of being destroyed by earth’s natural forces.
The geologic instability has definitely taken a toll on Prambanan. Originally 240 stone temples were constructed, sadly on 18 survive today. The 2006 earthquake severely damaged the temple, which caused the closing of it. It took many weeks of repairs and structural assessments before it could be reopened to the public.
Watch the sun set
There is nothing more spectacular than watching the sun slowly set in the west, casting long shadows and warm orange light on the back of the temples. Bring a good camera and you’ll be able to snap pictures that your friends will be jealous of. Be mindful of the time. The temple area closes at 19:00 (7:00pm) and they will promptly ask you to leave.