Prambanan Temple Complex

A Brief History of Prambanan Temple Complex

Prambanan temple complex is Hinduism temple which has 8 main temples and more than 250 small temples in the surroundings. This temple is also popularly called Roro Jonggrang temple since according to the folks, the development of this temple was done alone by Bandung Bondowoso to express his love towards Roro Jonggrang. Roro jonggrang was then became one of his sculpture creation inside the temple.

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1. Location

Prambanan temple complex is located in the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta, to be exact in Prambanan sub-district and listed into 2 administrative city areas (Klaten regency and Sleman regency). It is located 20 km away from Yogyakarta downtown, 40 km away from Surakarta city and 120 km away from Semarang.

2. The development history

The temples in Prambanan temple complex were first built around 850 AD, during the reign of Mataram Hindu by Rakai Balitung ( a king from Syailendra dynasty) and Nalendra Rakai Pikatan who controlled several areas in Yogyakarta and central Java. There are also several opinions stated that the development of Prambanan temple complex was started since the reign of Sanjaya dynasty led by Balitung Maha Sambu.

3. The temples

in the Prambanan temple complex, there are 3 main temples which called as “trisakti”. These 3 main temples were built as offerings to the Sang Hyang Trimurti including Batara (Gods) Brahma, Batara (Gods) Siwa and Batara (Gods) Wisnu. In the surrounding area, there are several temple companions. Some of the temple companions are including Nandini temple (temple companion of Batara Siwa temple), Garuda (temple companion of Batara Wisnu temple) and Angsa (temple companion of Batara Brahma temple). Beside these 4 temple companions, there are 2 other temples in middle, 4 temples for a show and 4 other temples in the corner of the Prambanan temple complex.

Among all temples, Batara Siwa temple is the biggest temple. It has 4 rooms inside the temple that each of the rooms has Siwa statue and the rest 3 rooms are each filled by Durga (wife of Siwa – this statue is also commonly known as Roro Jonggrang statue), Ganesha (son of Siwa) and Agastya (guru of Siwa). Durga Statue is the one which has been mentioned frequently in the folks as Roro Jonggrang –  a beautiful woman who later being cursed into a statue by Bandung Bondowoso. Batara Siwa Temple is around 47-meter-tall that also considered as the biggest temple in South-East Asia.

4. Relief

The carved relief surrounds the wall of the temples in Prambanan temple complex tells you about Ramayana story. In Ramayana story which was expressed on Prambanan temple was a bit different from the old Javanese Ramayana story.  One of them is a story of Kalpataru who tried to tell the life of local citizen in the 9th century. According to Kalpataru story, the local citizen had the spirit of keeping and preserving the environment for the sake of having a comfort life not only for the people who live nearby Prambanan temple complex at that time but also for the future generation.

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