Prambanan or the temple Candi Lara Jonggrang

After visiting Borobudur we went to the temple of Prambanan, the other great attraction of Yogyakarta. If Borobudur is Buddhist, Prambanan is Hindu (although with much Buddhist influence in its architecture). It is actually a compound of 240 temples (of which the majority have been demolished by several earthquakes and wars).

Built in the tenth century, it is the largest Shivaite ensemble in all of Indonesia. At the center of the complex stand three temples dedicated to the three great Hindu deities: Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma; and three other temples dedicated to the animals that served as a mount to these three gods.

Some temples have been restored after the 2006 earthquake but many of them are still a pile of stones. Prambanan is also part of UNESCO World Heritage.

How to get to Prambanan from Yogyakarta?

As we had already said in our article on Borobudur, we decided to get an agency to visit the two temples (Borobudur and Prambanan) in a single day. We chose the agency Losari with its excursion “sunrise from the hill + visit of Borobudur + Prambanan” for 140,000 IDR per person (about 10 €). The agency is in charge of transport by van (we were only 4 people) and you must pay the entrance fees to the monuments.

Visiting Prambanan

We arrived in Prambanan around 10am, after visiting Borobudur. And there were many people already! However, since most of the visitors were Indonesian, we got in pretty quickly through the specific door for “foreigners”.

After crossing the gardens, we arrived at the main compound. The remains of the ancient temples destroyed by earthquakes were already visible on the ground. Among the rubble, three impressive temples stood out among the others. How cool!

We visited several temples, in general they are more beautiful from the outside. It is possible to walk on them and to get inside, but it is a dark room without much interest.

Our opinion

The temples are just great, the architecture is beautiful. This is a surprising place, even if it is not as impressive and original as Borobudur. We have a slight preference for Prambanan, we find it to be nicer! It is highly recommended if you are in Yogyakarta.

Tips for the visit

  • Dressing in long clothes although they provide free sarongs at the entrance
  • It is very hot, so take enough water and sun protection
  • Take good shoes (especially if you’re seeing the sunrise)
  • Go on weekdays to have fewer people
  • Take combined tickets if you visit this temple and Borobudur (you will save a little).
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