Thursday, April 11, 2013

Historical Prambanan

Friday, 22 March 2013

Another temple my friends and I visited (read Wonderful Borobudur) was Prambanan Temple, located in Yogyakarta. Another name of it is Rara Jonggrang Temple. There are two different stories about this temple.

The legend told is story of Rara Jonggrang, Prabu Baka's daughter.
There was a man, Bandung Bondowoso from Pengging Kingdom who fell in love with her. He proposed her. Rara Jonggrang couldn't refuse him because of the political situation. Then she asked Bandung Bondowoso to build her a thousand temples before dawn. If he succeed, she would marry him. Bandung Bondowoso helped by goblins could build 999 temples when midnight came. Rara Jonggrang, who didn't want to marry him, asked the girls in the village to make some noise: hitting the rice pestle. Because of the noise, the roosters crowed and the goblins stopped their work. Bandung Bondowoso couldn't finish the temple. He was angry to Rara Jonggrang and cursed her into a statue.

Another story, a history, tells that Prambanan temple was built for Trimurti (Hindhu gods): Brahma, Wisnu, Siwa in 850 AD. The name of Prambanan came from Javanese accent "Para Brahman" (The Brahmans).

The main entrance is the East one. When we get into the temple area, we can find several temples:
  1. Kelir Temples (4): built by each entrance
  2. Patok Temples (4): built at the corners
  3. Perwara Temples (224): unfortunately, they were crumbled because of the earthquakes
  4. Apit Temples (2): built between Trimurti and Wahana temples (South and North sides)
  5. Wahana Temples (3): Nandi temple, Garuda temple, Angsa temple
  6. Trimurti Temples (3): Siwa temple, Wisnu temple, Brahma temple

Nandi temple was built in front of Siwa temple, Garuda (kind of eagle) in front of Wisnu, Angsa (goose) in front of Brahma. Wahana temples represent the ride of those gods.

Nandi statue
My friends and I went into Nandi temple, and inside it is a nandi (cow) statue. However, we didn't go inside the Garuda and Angsa Temple.

Brahma and Wisnu temples was built for them. In Brahma temple there is Brahma statue, while in Wisnu temple Wisnu statue. Brahma temple is on the south of Siwa temple, and Wisnu temple is on the north.

Siwa temple is the most sacred and biggest one. There are four small rooms and one main room called garbagriha at the center. In the East room was put Siwa Mahadewa statue (3 meters height). It shows the Lak├žana (symbols) of Siwa: chandrakapala (skull on the crescent), jatamakuta (crown), dan trinetra (the third eye) on his forehead. It has four arms holding aksamala (prayer beads), camara (kind of ponytail), dan trisula (trident). It stands on padma (lotus) on a square block (yoni) with a cobra/dragon carving.

Siwa Mahadewa statue
In the other three rooms was put smaller statues: Resi Agastya, Ganesha (son of Siwa, the god of knowledge), and Durga Mahisasuramardini (Siwa's wife). Durga represents the conqueror of Mahisasura (the giant cow) which stroke Swargaloka. Durga statue has eight arms holding weapons. She stands on Mahisasura. People also believe that Durga statue is Rara Jonggrang statue (based on the legend). However, we cannot literally relate the legend to the history.

Durga Mahisasuramardini statue
In Prambanan area, there is a routine dance theater performance at night. You can find the schedule here. -JP-

My friends and I in Siwa temple area wearing helmet for protection

Hadi, I, and Ryan in front of Prambanan temple


  1. candi prambanan..
    selalu serta kenangan yang tak lekang oleh jaman :)