Our tour of backpacking in Java also led us to the wonderful Prambanan, a series of Hindu Temples in the countryside 17 kilometres east of the city of Yogyakarta. This was the last stop on our day trip and to be honest I hadn’t researched it at all and for that reason, when we stepped out of the car on arrival, Rodrigo and I both went “wow! I didn’t expect that!”
Our tour guide for the day was Purnomo and the driver was Mr. Kiran. During the tour while in the car we began talking about football and I was to learn of the interesting football situation in Indonesia. I often wondered how the hell Indonesia don’t have a decent football team and never qualify for the World Cup. In fact China have made just one World Cup (2002 – only because Japan and South Korea qualified automatically) and Indonesia also (in 1938 when they were known as Dutch East Indies). The spread out geography of the countries themselves may have something to do with it, but in fact the league system in Indonesia is complicated. Sorry, temples, the reason I got distracted was that the TV at the entrance gate to the temples was showing Indonesian football so I watched a few minutes of it before we went on in!
Happy Chinese New Year at Prambanan.
A model of what Prambanan looked like. An earthquake destroyed it as we found out.
Entrance fee was 117,000 Rupiah or $20 US Dollars, but we were part of a tour for the day so had an all inclusive deal.
Ticket for Prambanan.
Odd looking cartoon gut at the entrance sign for Prambanan!
Amidst a flurry of tourists and a short walk over the grass, there is its glory was Prambanan.
These photos of mine from some of my recent travels have a ridiculous blur in the middle of them and these were some of those. If you can ignore that, you can begin to see the beauty of the pointed structures at Prambanan. Besides, Rodrigo my Brazilian mate had either lost or broken his camera so had no photos of this part of the trip, so it appears the only ones we have are my crap ones!
Made from dark stones and rocks, most of them aided in colour and make up by the volcanoes nearby, this series of temples are all Hindu. In contrast to nearby Borobudur which is Buddhist. Certainly Indonesia has a rich and varied history spanning different eras of religions, languages, cultures and ownership. It is now of course a muslim country, so all the influences of the Dutch, Chinese, British and Indian have had to make way slightly. Though of course a variety of monuments representing all these cultures and religions are still apparent.
Rodrigo and I enjoy the backdrop of Prambanan.
It’s my well travelled Northern Ireland flag doing Prambanan.
Some history of Prambanan, which was sadly destroyed by an earthquake as recently as 2006. There are at least 50 temples within this massive complex, and though most of them survived the earthquake, hundreds of bricks, blocks and rocks crumbled to the ground and there they remain. My girlfriend Panny Yu actually visited the temple before 2006 so she saw it in all its glory. I didn’t, and for this reason it is actually a lot less busy and less touristy than it used to be.
It is split into many temples representing different aspects and beliefs within the Hindu religion. Of course they are all very detailed and they have a reasoning behind them, but for the average tourist like myself, it was more about seeing the place and enjoying the magnitude and architecture of it rather than getting to understand the meanings behind the religion.
You can see how the earthquake affected it. All the bricks and rocks that fell however have been left on the ground where they lay. Well actually apart from a few cordoned off sections where they are trying to restore parts of Prambanan to its former glory.
One of many of these types of shapes.
Birds and a crown.
Each of these individual temples at Prambanan has its own purpose, as was explained to us on the tour. The main temples being the Shiva one (largest and with an elephant head to represent the Goddess Durga) and the Brahma one.
The Shiva is the one on the right here.
Again we went inside most of them.
View from inside one of the temples looking out.
I think this is me next to the God inside Brahma temple. Not sure about the pose, you just go with the flow and act on instinct when you are in there.
These stupa bell shapes are not dissimilar to those in the Buddhist temple of Borobudur which is not too far away.
View out the back to some kind of stadium.
More impressive Hindu carvings in the stone.
Again as I am not a Hindu, nor have a decent knowledge of their religion, these images to me are just great works of art, behind all that they probably represent something a lot more significant to Hindus.
Nice arty shot from inside one of the temples.
Prambanan was easy to navigate around. Although there are a lot of temples, they are all close together, not all of them are accessible and not all of them even have an opening.
The children of tomorrow enjoy making their own art designs in the sand. The sand incidentally is everywhere inside the complex and is like grain, sand and rock all mixed together. It is also a result of the volcanic activity nearby.
OK so this is definitely the biggest one – The Shiva Temple.
This might help explain the Shiva one a bit better.
Rodrigo and I outside the Shiva Temple, largest in Prambanan.
Bulls or cows head with a horn or ear broken off.
Brick work design at the top of the Shiva Temple.
More of the Shiva Temple.
Some of the broken parts of Prambanan have been left there since 2006.
In front of the Shiva Temple again.
With yet another Hindu God or Goddess!
Tourists and the view out the back of Prambanan. While I lived in London I used to give place names shortened names just for the craic, for example:
Leicester Square – Lesi’s Q (Lesi Sque)
Covent Garden – Covi G
Ravenscourt Park – Ravi C P
Shepherd’s Bush – Shepi B
Embankment – MB
I decided to call Prambanan, Prammy B!
More stupas at Prammy B.
At Prammy B I will let the photos do the writing as I don’t really know what to say!
Prammy B viewed from the back on the walk over to the museum.
We spent aboiut an hour or so i Prammy B
Relaxing at the gardens by Prammy B.
Some local Hindus wanted their photo with us. Nice people. Happy to oblige…
Nice experience at Prammy B.
I think this part was either graves of statues in respect of dead Hindu leaders at Prambanan.
The museum was quite busy and a lot to take in. Animals seem to play a big representative part of the Hindu religion from what I could tell.
On the way out there was a wee market for gifts etc. I actually know I bought some presents in Central Java, but don’t remember if it was here or not! Over in a flash – the magic of Prambanan!
Where – Prambanan
What – Hindu Temple complex dating back to the 9th Century
Nationalities Met – Malaysian, Indonesian
Some Decent information On It:
Key Song –
OASIS – THE HINDU TIMES (OF COURSE!!!):
My Videos from backpacking in Java and Prambanan –
ABOUT TO ENTER PRAMBANAN:
INSIDE PRAMBANAN TEMPLES:
BRAHMA TEMPLE IN PRAMBANAN:
SHIVA TEMPLE IN PRAMBANAN:
MUSEUM IN PRAMBANAN:
Join 15,017 Monthly Readers! If you enjoyed this article and LOVE travel and SAVING money, get e-mail updates from Don’t Stop Living – a lifestyle of travel! (It’s Free) 😉 Jonny
4 thoughts on “Backpacking in Java: Touring Prambanan (Prammy B) Hindu Temple”