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All You Need to Know About Visiting Prambanan Temple, Indonesia

Deepa Kartha Jul 2, 2020
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Indonesia's Prambanan Temple is an ancient Hindu temple built in the 9th century.
Located on the outskirts of Yogyakarta in Central Java, Prambanan Temple is the epitome of stunning architecture and surreal beauty.
History of Prambanan Temple
Prambanan Temple is the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia. It is believed to be built by King Rakai Pikatan from Sanjaya Dynasty of Mataram Kingdom.
While King Pikatan had built a temple on a small scale, his descendants added the numerous other temples found on the complex, subsequently.
The Prambanan Temple was abandoned for several years, until Thomas Raffles, a British surveyor, rediscovered it in 1811. However, restoration of the temple started only in the 1930s.
Originally, the complex had around 240 temples; although many were destroyed due to natural disasters and lack of maintenance. Many of the statutes of the temples have been looted during the years it was abandoned.
About Prambanan Temple
The Prambanan Temple complex is divided into three zones. The first or the outer zone is the park area, which may have had a fence in the past.
The second or middle zone is known as Candi Perwara. This area has roughly 224 shrines, which are known as Guardian Temples.
The third or the inner zone has 8 main temples and 8 smaller temples. The main temples here belong to the Hindu trinity (trimurti), Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the Preserver) and Shiva (the destroyer).
As the temple was originally built for Lord Shiva, the temple of Shiva is centrally located and is also the tallest and the biggest. Each of the vehicles of the Gods also has a separate temple.
Architecture and Design of Prambanan Temple
Prambhanan Temple was built based on the Hindu architecture traditions, which rely heavily on Vastu Shastra.
While the stone structures look enthralling from the outside, the carvings on the inside are intricate ones. The place has various bas-reliefs that tell the story of popular Hindu epics like Ramayan and Bhagvata Purana.
Tips for Visiting
Here are some of the things you need to know while visiting Prambanan Temple in Indonesia.
Opening and Closing Hours
Prambhanan Temple opens at 6 AM and closes at 6 PM. The best time to explore the temple is either early in the morning or in the evening, if you want to avoid large crowds and to click some perfect pictures.
Entry Fee
The entry fee for Prambhan Temple is US$25 for foreigners and US$4 for Indonesians. The tickets can be bought at the entrance of the temple.
Best Season to Visit
Indonesia has a warm climate throughout the year, although April to October is the peak holiday season in the country, as the weather is relatively pleasant. If you want to avoid crowds, November to March is best but you would have to deal with rains during these months.
Dress Code
As it is a religious place, it is important to dress modestly. Although you would have to wear a sarong provided at the entrance, it is best to dress in clothes that cover your knees.
Hire a Tour Guide
If you want to do more than sightseeing at the Prambanan Temple, it would be best to hire a tour guide at the entrance at an extra cost. A knowledgeable guide would give you a deep insight into the history and culture of the temple.
Wear Sturdy Shoes
You would have to do quite a lot of walking while exploring the Prambanan Temple, so it is important to wear good, sturdy shoes.
Protection from Heat
The heat can be extremely strong at the temple complex, as there are no shady trees here. Hence, it is crucial to apply sunscreen, wear a hat and sunglasses, and keep yourself hydrated during your visit. Carrying an umbrella or a raincoat is a must during monsoon.
What Not to Miss?
Apart from touring the temples, you must also make time to visit the Prambanan Musueum and the Prambanan Audio Visual Center to know more about this beautiful temple and its origins.