Prambanan Temple Complex is the largest temple in Indonesia dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. It’s near Yogyakarta, near central Java and is not entirely what we expected.
I have to admit, I imagined a group of temples, off in the middle of nowhere, solemn and sacred. No, actually, Prambanan is in the middle of a busy city and there were activities for the whole family on the temple grounds. There were food places and fun stuff like archery and horse rides for the kids.
There was even a tram that went around the whole Prambanan complex. Of course, we didn’t realize how big the place really was and so we failed to jump on the tram. I’d say that was a mistake, and our sore legs at the end of the day might have agreed, but walking around on our own allowed us to have a little privacy at some of the smaller temples in the complex.
I mention privacy because there were people everywhere. The video is edited so you get as clear a picture of the temples as we could manage, but trying to get a shot without tons of visitors in it was challenging. The temples themselves are fantastic. Carvings everywhere with detail work and sculptor would be envious of. Some of the complex is still being reconstructed from earthquake damage in 2006, and even those piles of bricks are interesting.
This was another of those tourist sites where we were constantly getting asked to have our picture taken. It’s the thing in Indonesia to take a picture with foreigners. It was never a problem, but it was nice to be out of the crowd once in a while.
The people here were awesome, though. At one point, there were these stairs at Prambanan that had no railing, and blind guy Tim was taking them very slowly. Instead of getting upset, the people simply moved around him, smoothly. Then, in the typical Indonesian style of helpfulness, a guy got on each side of him and helped Tim to the bottom of the stairs. Then we all gathered ’round for pictures.
If you’re in Yogyakarta, the Prambanan Temple Complex is definitely worth the time, cost and effort. Plan for a full afternoon and try to be there for some great sunset pics.
Tickets: $25USD, but with combo deals available for other sights in Yogyakarta, like Borobudur (see below).
Getting There from Yogyakarta: Bus 1A is the cheapest and runs every 15 minutes. Grab (SEA Uber) works well, as does an arranged taxi. The ride takes 45-60 minutes, depending on traffic.
And if you’re in, or near, Yogyakarta, visiting Prambanan, you’ll probably want to check out the Borobudur Temple as well. Equally cool, but very different from Prambanan. Check out the video for Borobudur, here.
You may also want to visit the Sultan’s Palace in Yogya (Jogja to some). Of course, we have a video. It’s a performance given by young musicians on weekends.