The Legend of Roro Jonggrang: The Story of a Bat Who Becomes a Princess and the Construction of the Largest Temple in Central Java

Roro Jonggrang legend is one of the most famous and interesting legends from Java. This legend tells the story of a bats’ daughter, who became a princess, and the construction of the largest temple in Central Java.

This legend comes from Java, a land known for its rich culture and history. The story is set in ancient times, where there was a powerful king named Prabu Baka, who ruled over the kingdom of Prambanan.

King Prabu Baka was a wise and just ruler, but he had one weakness: he was extremely proud of his power and wealth. One day, while he was out hunting, he saw a beautiful palace made of gold and silver materials, and he was struck by its magnificence.

As he approached the palace, he saw a beautiful princess, named Roro Jonggrang, who was also known as the Queen of the South. King Prabu Baka was enchanted by her beauty, and he asked for her hand in marriage.

Roro Jonggrang wasn’t interested in marrying Prabu Baka, but she didn’t want to hurt his pride. So she agreed to marry him on one condition: Prabu Baka had to build her a thousand temples in one night.

Thinking that Roro Jonggrang’s demand was impossible, Prabu Baka accepted the challenge, and he started building the temples with the help of his army of supernatural beings.

At midnight, Roro Jonggrang realized that Prabu Baka was succeeding in building the temples, so she came up with a plan to stop him. She asked all the women in the kingdom to light a fire and make a lot of noise.

As the roosters started crowing, the army of supernatural beings stopped working and headed back to their realm. Prabu Baka was left alone, and he couldn’t finish building the last temple.

Roro Jonggrang was pleased with herself, but King Prabu Baka was furious. In his anger, he cursed Roro Jonggrang and turned her into a stone statue.

Today, Roro Jonggrang is still a statue at Prambanan Temple, which is the largest temple in Central Java. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is a testament to the strong cultural and historical legacy of Java.

The Legend’s Symbolism

The legend of Roro Jonggrang is rich in symbolism and cultural significance. The story represents the power of women in Javanese culture, where women played significant roles in society.

Roro Jonggrang is also seen as the embodiment of the goddess Durga, who is a symbol of strength and courage in Hindu religion. Durga was known for fighting against demons and protecting the people from harm.

The construction of the temple also signifies the importance of religion and spirituality in Javanese culture. The temple was built to honor the gods and to provide a place for people to worship.

Furthermore, the legend also gives a valuable lesson on the dangers of excessive pride and arrogance. King Prabu Baka’s pride led to his downfall, which serves as a reminder that no one is invincible, and that humility is a crucial trait to possess.

The temple’s construction, on the other hand, serves as a testament to the strength and determination of the Javanese people. Despite the challenges and obstacles they faced, they were still able to build such an impressive and grand structure.


The Legend of Roro Jonggrang is more than just a simple folktale. It is a cultural treasure that reflects the rich history and tradition of Java. The story’s symbolism, from the power of women to the importance of religion, provides a deeper understanding of Javanese culture.

Moreover, the temple’s construction stands as a testament to the hard work and perseverance of the Javanese people, which is why the temple remains a significant tourist attraction, drawing millions of visits yearly.

Overall, the Legend of Roro Jonggrang is an essential part of Javanese culture, and it is a testament to the rich history, legacy, and spirituality of the Javanese people.

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