9th century Hindu Temple of Prambanan, the 2nd largest in Southeast Asia?

Prambanan is the biggest Hindu Temple compound in Indonesia built in the ninth century and the second largest in Southeast Asia next  Anchor Wat in Cambodia. Located 17 kilometers from the northeast of Yogyakarta city, this temple was constructed during the ancient Mataram kingdom started by Rakai Pikatan in the mid-9th-century, expanded continuously by King Lokapala and  Balitung Maha Sambu, the Sanjaya king of the Mataram Kingdom

Prambanan Temple compound was abandoned when the center of the Government shift to East Java which established by the Isyana Dynasty. The massive eruption of Mount Merapi believed to be the reason for their migration following the cause of the destruction of some parts of the Temples.

The Dutch facilitated the first reconstruction of the compound that began in 1918 to 1930s while the Shiva Temple completed in 1953. Then, a series of renovation is made until this day when numerous natural calamities struct the city. And today, Prambanan Temple became a tourist magnet that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year and considered one of the most visited Archeological sites in Indonesia.   

Temple Compound 

September when I visited Yogyakarta for the second time but never been through in this temple since Borobudur, however, is the recommended temple at that time by some colleagues, but later realized they were very different and nothing to be wasted if given an opportunity to visit one of the UNESCO Heritage Site in Indonesia.

Prambanan Temple compound comprising the 244 temples with 47 meters standstill above the ground with an epic and fascinating architectural design that would definitely catch everyone's attention when passing on the highway.

The Temple compound is segregated with two different entrances, for Domestic tourists with  Rp 75,000 entrance fee and, US$25 or RP 363, 000 rupiahs for International tourists. The best moment to visit Prambanan Temple in the early morning upon opening at 6:00, when tourists still few and still not hot. 

Prambanan is also one of the best spots if you wish to catch up with the sunset while waiting for the Ramayana Ballet show. But, you need to be there before the entrance gate is closed before 5:00 PM.  The Ramayana Ballet performance starts at 7:30 in the evening.    

Aside from the exotic temples, this compound has almost complete facilities featuring various enjoyable activities, cultural museums, rest areas, and restaurants. 

Prambanan temple play an important part in ancient legacies in which the construction material is very susceptible. Leaving any kind of marks or vandalizing is strictly prohibited and penalized by law. Do not attempt bringing drone inside the temple compound, the guard assigned at the entrance gate will surely confiscate it. Flying drones inside the temple compound is strictly prohibited unless a permit from the authority has been presented. 

The Legend of Prambanan
Long-time ago, a kingdom called Prambanan is ruled by the respected King Baka who possessed a supernatural power with a strong physical person. King Baka has a beautiful and lovely daughter named Rara Jonggrang.

Another big Kingdom far far away is called Pengging which led by the strong and brawny warrior named Bandawasa. He has strong followers called Bandung and has the ability to call the troops of spirit when he needs them. One day, Bandawasa together with his troops were tasked to conquer the kingdom of Prambanan and they easily defeated its troops, including the death of King Baka.

Then, the cold-blooded warrior was assigned to lead the Kingdom of Prambanan after the war including King Baka’s family and the new crown leader gained his new namesake as Bandung Bandawa. On the first day in the palace, he saw the very beautiful Rara Jonggrang and fascinated to be his wife, and....  he proposed.

Rara Jonggrang was hated Bandung Bandawa for killing her father but also in fear. Instead of refusing him for the offer, the princess agreed but with condition; Bandung Bandawa should build a thousand temples and two wells in one night, and... he agreed.

When the daylight ends, Bandung Bandawa immediately called the troops of spirit to help him building the request of the very beautiful princess. They working quickly as a thousand temples were nearly completed in the middle of the night. Rara Jonggrang is uneasy! and should do something in order for the newly crowned leader's promise cannot be fulfilled. 

The princess commanded her followers to burn the hay, pounded of rice and pour flowers on the streets to slow down the constructions. By then, the sun is about to rise with only 999 temples were completed, Bandung Bandawa himself made his try finishing the last temple but time got short and Rara Jonggang was relieved. 

Days past when Bandung Bandawa realized that the princess cheated him which he feels betrayed, thus, the princess was punished by turning her as a statue. This statue until this day stands still at the Rara Jonggrang Temple located in the Prambanan Temple Complex and said to be the 1,000 temple build by the Bandung Bandawa.


Catch a flight going to Adisucipto International Airport (Bandar Udara Internasional Yogyakarta) serving 8 domestic routes and international flight going to Kuala Lumpur.

Domestic flight from-to-Yogyakarta
Banjarmasin, Jakarta, Batam, Bandung, Balikpapan, Makasar,  Halim, Surabaya, Palembang, Denpasar, Kualanamu, Pontianak,  Lombok, 

To Prambanan Temple
The cheapest way to get here is to ride with Trans Jogja, an affordable Public Utility Bus connected to a different tourism spot in Yogyakarta with a less than Rp 5,000 rupiah fare per person. 

  • From Yogyakarta Airport: catch up a Jogja Trans route A1 and then get off at Halte Prambanan
  • From Tugu Train Station: catch up a Trans Jogja route A1, then, get off at Halte Prambanan

If you're from the Bus station then follow this route;

  • At Giwangan Bus Station,  take a route 3A then get off at Yogyakarta Airport station, then catch up a route AI to reach the Prambanan station. 
  • At Jombor Bus station, catch up a route 2B bus to reach the Condongcatur station (1st stop). From there, take the route 2B then get off to Airport bus station (2nd stop). catch a rout A1 bus then get off at Prambanan Bus Station.   
Grab and Gojek, online transportation service is also available in Yogyakarta City



  1. Lovely Post with such in-depth information and beautiful pictures. Never known such temples existed, will visit them for sure thanks...!

  2. Nice destination.
    Should be on the bucket list.

  3. soo beuatiful my sister is looking for a place to visit i will recommend this to her