Prambanan is a super cool 9th century Hindu Temple, hiding in shadows of Merapi, one of the world’s most active and deadly volcanoes. Located in Jogjakarta, the intricate and amazingly detailed Hindu temple stands as one of Indonesia’s top cultural attractions.
The Prambanan complex consisted of:
- Three Trimurti temples (Main temples dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma)
- Three Vahana temples (Temples in front of Trimurti temples dedicated to the vahana of each of the gods; Garuda, Nandi, and Hamsa)
- Two Apit temples (Located between the rows of Trimurti and Vahana temples on north and south side)
- Four Kelir temples (Small shrines located on four cardinal directions right beyond the four main gates of the inner zone
- Four Patok temples (Small shrines located on four corners of the inner zone)
- 224 Pervara temples (hundreds of temples arranged in 4 concentric square rows)
Originally 240 stone temples were constructed, sadly only 18 survive today. The 2006 earthquake severely damaged the temple, which caused its closing and many weeks of repairs before it could be reopened.
Prambanan’s future is uncertain due to the number, frequency, and severity of earthquakes in the region. These earthquakes are the result of the movement of magma (molten-hot-lava-death) under the earth’s surface from Merapi or the friction (and subsequent release) of the Indo-Australian tectonic plate subducting under the Eurasian plate (yay, geology!). In non-nerd terms, the geniuses who built Pramabanan couldn’t have done it in a worse place – earth’s natural forces will destroy it, it’s not a matter of if, but when.
Prambanan Temple Uncensored
Interestingly, locals who visit Prambanan outnumber foreigners and tourists 8:1 – It’s a trendy destination, so be ready to deal with lots of shenanigans.
After a long day exploring all of the badass Hindu temples, there is nothing more spectacular than watching the sunset cast long shadows and a warm orange light on the back of the temples.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW, NOW YOU KNOW…
Be mindful of the time; the temple closes at 19:00 (7:00 pm) and they don’t like working overtime (i.e., they’ll kick you out).