Candi Prambanan: A Standing Tribute to Cultural Diversity and Religious Tolerance
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Indonesia is a land of diverse culture and traditions, and Candi Prambanan is one of the most remarkable structures that represents this cultural diversity. This 9th-century temple complex is located in Central Java, Indonesia, and is considered one of the largest Hindu temples in Southeast Asia. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and remains an iconic landmark until today.
Candi Prambanan is a living testament to Indonesia’s diversity and tolerance. The temple complex consists of three main temples dedicated to the Trimurti, which are the gods of creation (Brahma), preservation (Vishnu), and destruction (Shiva). Interestingly, the temples were built during the height of the Medang Kingdom, which was predominantly Buddhist, showing the religious tolerance that existed during that time.
However, it wasn’t just the religious tolerance that makes Candi Prambanan a special place. Its architecture and intricate carvings are also awe-inspiring. The temples’ construction involves interlocking stones without any cement, showcasing the incredible skills of ancient Javanese architects.
The main temple, Candi Shiva, is the tallest and the most remarkable temple amongst the three, standing at 47 meters high. It has four chambers, each chamber containing a statue of Shiva, his wife Parvati, and his sons Ganesha and Kartikeya. The temple is adorned with various carvings, which depict the essence of the Hindu epic, Ramayana.
The other two temples, Candi Vishnu and Candi Brahma, also have their unique features, like the impressive carvings and the towering height of the buildings. Each of the temples has a spacious courtyard, which is the perfect spot to take a break from the heat and explore the beauty of the temples.
Candi Prambanan was first discovered by the Dutch in the 19th century. Still, it wasn’t until the 20th century that major restoration works were initiated by the Indonesian government. However, the site was hit by a massive earthquake in 2006, causing substantial damage to the temple complex. The restoration works were carried out promptly, and the temple complex was reopened to the public in 2010.
Today, Candi Prambanan welcomes tourists from all around the world who come to admire this iconic structure’s beauty. The temple complex is decorated with lights every night, making it a popular destination for tourists who want to witness the breathtaking view of the temples illuminated against the night sky.
Candi Prambanan is a timeless treasure that represents Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage and religious diversity. It is a testament to the unity that existed between different religions, faiths and communities, and it continues to inspire people to embrace diversity and tolerance. So, if you ever find yourself in Indonesia, make sure you pay a visit to Candi Prambanan to witness the magical beauty of this iconic temple complex.
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