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Delving into the Rich History of Candi Prambanan: A Journey Through Time
There is no denying that Indonesia is a beautiful country with a rich cultural heritage. With thousands of islands, each with their own unique charm and history, it is no wonder that tourists flock to this nation to explore its treasures. One of the most awe-inspiring historical sites in Indonesia is Candi Prambanan.
The Prambanan Temple, known locally as Candi Prambanan or simply Prambanan, is one of the largest Hindu temples in Southeast Asia. Built in the 9th century, the temple complex was dedicated to three Hindu divinities: Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma. The name “Prambanan” is believed to have come from the name of a nearby village.
The temple complex consists of three main temples and several smaller ones, each adorned with beautiful carvings and intricate details. The central temple is dedicated to Shiva, while the ones on either side are dedicated to Brahma and Vishnu. The complex is encircled by a wall with four smaller gates.
The Legend of Rara Jonggrang
Like most historical sites, Candi Prambanan is shrouded in legend and myth. The most well-known story associated with the temple is the legend of Rara Jonggrang. It is said that a prince named Bandung Bondowoso wanted to marry a beautiful princess named Rara Jonggrang. Rara, however, did not want to marry the prince.
So, the prince came up with a plan. He would use his magical powers to create a thousand temples overnight and make Rara Jonggrang the thousandth statue. Rara was unaware of this plan and unknowingly agreed to the prince’s request that she light a fire and begin working on the last temple.
When she realized what the prince had done, she agreed to marry him only if he could complete the thousand temples by morning. The prince was unable to do so and in his anger, turned Rara into stone, making her the thousandth statue.
The History of Candi Prambanan
Despite the legend surrounding the temple, the historical facts about Candi Prambanan are equally fascinating. The temple complex was built by the Sanjaya dynasty in the 9th century during the reign of Rakai Pikatan. The complex was constructed over a period of 50 years and housed the largest Hindu temple in the entire world.
The Sanjaya dynasty was known for its patronage of the arts and Prambanan was a testament to their support of traditional Javanese culture. However, after the fall of the Sanjayas, the temple complex fell into disrepair and was abandoned. It was only in the 18th century that the temple was rediscovered and restoration work began.
The Architecture of Candi Prambanan
One of the most impressive aspects of Candi Prambanan is its architecture. The temple complex is a perfect example of Hindu temple architecture, with each of the temples having its own unique style and design. The central temple, dedicated to Shiva, is 47 meters tall and has four levels.
The temple is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures, depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. The temple also has a large statue of Shiva, standing at 3 meters tall. The temples dedicated to Brahma and Vishnu are slightly smaller but equally impressive.
Visiting Candi Prambanan Today
Today, Candi Prambanan is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Indonesia. Visitors come from all over the world to marvel at the temple’s stunning architecture and learn about its rich history. The government of Indonesia has made significant efforts to preserve the temple complex and ensure that it remains accessible to visitors for generations to come.
Visitors to Candi Prambanan have the opportunity to learn about the temple’s history and explore its stunning architecture. The temple complex is open to visitors every day from 6 am to 5 pm. Admission fees are reasonable and include access to the entire complex.
Candi Prambanan is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, and culture. With its stunning temples, rich history, and fascinating mythology, there is something for everyone at this awe-inspiring site. Thank you for journeying with me through time as we delved into the rich history of Candi Prambanan.
Goodbye until our next exciting adventure!