Prambanan Temple: A Stunning Attraction To Visit In The Holiday

Prambanan Temple is the largest complex of Hindu temples in Indonesia Prambanan Temple. The overall shape of each temple is resembling a 47-meter-high gunungan. Gunungan is a representation of the amount in the Javanese shadow puppet show. The design is very unique but also beautiful, making people just want to visit it when they have a chance in Yogyakarta.  The temple is often called the Rara Jonggrang Temple. There is indeed a famous legend behind the establishment of Prambanan temple about a beautiful lady named Roro Jonggrang.

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The Legend of Roro Jonggrang

The legend tells about the story of Roro Jonggrang. For her beauty, many princes and aristocrats just wanted to marry her, including a man named Bandung Bondowoso. However, Roro Jonggrang was not interested in him while she could not reject his marriage proposal honestly. So, to prevent herself from marrying Bandung Bondowoso, she gave him a condition. If the man could fulfill it, Roro Jonggrang would accept his proposal.

The condition is to build her 1000 temples only in a night. When the sun rises, the 1000 temples must be done. Well, Roro Jonggrang was confident in the first place that Bandung Bondowoso would not be able to do that. But she was wrong. Bandung Bondowoso was a man who could do magics with help from ghosts and spirits. Therefore, he just accepted the condition.

Roro Jonggrang felt panicked when Bandung Bondowoso could fulfill her condition. It was still far from the time sun rises but he had made almost 1000 temples. Roro Jonggrang tried to stop him by hitting a lesung, a tool to grind rice, and woke up women in the village to do the same thing. All the roosters “thought” it had been morning and they were crowing. Ghosts and spirits who helped Bandung Bondowoso we’re gone thinking that it was morning. Bandung Bondowoso was very angry. He knew that his failure to build up temples was because of Roro Jonggrang. furious as he had made 999 temples, he cursed Roro Jonggrang to be the 1000th temple.

The History of Prambanan Temple

But a legend is only a legend. The real history of Prambanan Temple’s establishment was less magical than that. Prambanan Temple was built by Rakai Pikatan, the King of Ancient Mataram from Wangsa Sanjaya.  The construction itself is predicted to start in 850. The year is close to the construction time of Borobudur.

According to some sources, it is summarized that the construction of Prambanan Temple was to compete with the construction of Borobodur at that time.  The Shivarga Inscription mentioned that this construction was carried out to honor God Shiva, the highest god in Hinduism. Unfortunately, the glory of Prambanan Temple seemed to be gone when Mpu Sindok, the last king of ancient Mataram from Wangsa Sanjaya moved the center of his kingdom to East Java.

While it was mainly dedicated to Shiva, Prambanan Temple presents elements ofTrimurti. Trimurti is the three main gods in Hindu. They are Brahma as the creator god, Vishnu as the preserver god, and Shiva as the god of destruction.

Prambanan Temple as a Tourist Attraction

Prambanan Temple is located in Klaten Regency, near the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta Provinces. As it is placed right on the road, the access is very easy. You can do thereby riding Transjogja bus and stops right at the Prambanan bus stop. The temple is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area with around 2 million people coming before the Covid 19 pandemic. Despite enjoying the story and legend of the temple, people can also enjoy some events in it including the Ramayana Ballet Dance Show.