The Legend of Candi Prambanan - One of the magical visits on the Island of Java is the fantastic Prambanan temple. Its Palaces or Candis are authentic royal mausoleums.
The set is currently made up of 244 temples (but it is said that in the past it even had up to a thousand temples). The central and most imposing part of the temple of Prambanan, is a temple that contains "Roro Jonggrang", which alludes to a petrified princess, whose beautiful legend we will tell next...
The temples are located around a central courtyard, where the eight main temples are erected. The main temple of Prambanan is dedicated to Shiva , and has a height of 47 meters, on its sides are those of "Vishnu" to the north and "Brahama" to the south; and opposite, and looking towards the east, other smaller temples rise, that contain to Shiva, to Brahama, and to Vishnu.
The architecture of the Prambanan temple follows the traditional Hindu models based on the Vastu Shastra, or design system in aligned directions. The complex of temples is a model of the universe according to Hindu cosmology, based on three levels that represent the three different kingdoms: the lowest kingdom is inhabited by mortals: human beings, animals and also demons; the middle kingdom is of the saints, ascetics and minor Gods; the highest and most sacred kingdom is that of the gods.
The construction of the Prambanan temple began in 850, probably as a Hindu replica to Buddhist temples of Borobudur and Sewu, and as a symbol of the return of a Hindu dynasty to power, after almost a century of Buddhist domination in the central region of Java.
If we enter it through the central corridor, walking towards the main temple of the Prambanan temple, we will find "Divine Master", one of the richest in decoration, with smaller niches containing lion carvings next to the trees of life, and a perfect balustrade of celestial beings, and 62 panels of classical dance from India, the Ramayana.
The temple of Prambanan is going according to the clock, until finally, with elaborate reliefs, the statue of "Ganesha" the son of Shiva, with his elephant head, the most popular of the Gods of India.
These wonderful temples of Prambanan, were in ruins for a very long time, until finally in 1937, they finally undertook restoration. The temple of Prambanan was named Patrimony of the Humanity in the year 1991.
The main temple Candi Shiva stood 47 meters before us, and with great curiosity we went to visit the famous statue of Durga, the wife of Shiva, which many identify with the petrified figure of Princess Roro Jonggrang: the Petrified Virgin, protagonist of a beautiful legend about this place.
The Legend of Roro Jonggrang
The legend tells the story of a prince who fell in love with the princess Roro Jonggrang and proposed marriage. As he did not want to marry, he put an impossible condition: the prince had to build a thousand temples for her in a single night.
But the prince conjured a multitude of demons from the interior of the earth and, with the help of these supernatural beings, carried out the construction of 999 temples in a single night. When the prince was about to complete his work, the princess woke the women of the village and ordered them to start their daily tasks and at the time caused a fire to the east, to make believe to the prince and the demons that the sun was about to get up. The roosters began to sing deceived by noise and light and the demons fled back to the bottom of the earth.
The prince, furious at the deception, took revenge by turning Roro Jonggrang into a stone statue....
And the princess continues in the Prambanan Temple, turned into a statue, and petrified forever...
According to tradition, the unfinished temple that would have made the number one thousand, is the nearby temple of Sewu (which means thousand in Javanese), and the petrified princess is the beautiful sculpture of Durga, which is in the main temple of Shiva in Prambanan.
The temple of Shiva, 47 meters high, is the main and largest. Beside them those of Vishnu and Brahma rise up to 33 meters. The three are decorated with reliefs explaining stories of the Ramayana and the temple of Vishnu contains a statue of the god inside. The temples dedicated to the mounts are smaller and only the statue of Nandi is preserved. Four rows of concentric squares surrounded the central courtyard with 224 identical sanctuaries, the majority of which are currently in ruins.
How to get to Prambanan Temple
Yogyakarta has one of the best public transport systems in all of Indonesia. Trans Yogya is made up of several air-conditioned bus lines that link the entire city, including the airport and even the Prambanan Temple.
In each station there is a marquee where a person charges you the ticket price (3,000 IDR, € 0.20 approx), another helps you pass it through a revolving door and another tells you when to enter the bus. Apart from the driver, inside the bus there is a setter that tells you where you have to sit.
The best way to get to the Candi Prambanan is through Trans Yogya. From the Malioboro street.Take the bus that goes to Prambanan Temple, which is line 1A. The bus leaves you about 10 minutes away from the gate of the temple.
Travel tips and our recommendation
The temple of Prambanan opens from 6:00 in the morning until 6:00 in the afternoon. Perhaps a good time to visit the temple is at dusk, as we did, when the sharp silhouette of its needle-shaped towers is distinguished by the setting sun. The access ticket costs 200,000 Rupiah (about 12.50 euros) for foreigners, compared to the 4 euros paid by Indonesians. For children and students a 50% discount is made on the price.