The Marvelous Architecture of Candi Prambanan: An Epitome of Javanese Artistry

The Marvelous Architecture of Candi Prambanan: An Epitome of Javanese Artistry

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Indonesia is a country rich in culture and history. Among the most famous cultural landmarks in Indonesia is the Candi Prambanan temple, located in Central Java, Yogyakarta. It is known as one of the largest Hindu temples in Southeast Asia, and it is a remarkable masterpiece in Javanese artistry.

The temple complex comprises of 240 temples, where the main temples are dedicated to the trinity of Hindu gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. The Shiva temple is the largest one, standing tall at 47 meters.

The History of Candi Prambanan

The history of Candi Prambanan dates back to the 9th century, during the reign of the Sanjaya Dynasty. It is said that the king of Sanjaya, Rakai Pikatan, had a dream, wherein the Hindu gods instructed him to construct the grand temple of Prambanan.

The construction of the temple complex continued for over a century, until it was completed in around 1000 AD. The temple complex indicates the influence of Hindu culture and religion in Indonesia during the height of the Mataram kingdom.

The Architecture of Candi Prambanan

The Candi Prambanan temple is globally recognized for its stunning architecture. The temple’s towering spires, intricate carvings, and detailed reliefs showcase the vast artistic talent of the ancient Javanese people.

The temple’s structure comprises of three zones. The first zone details the confluence of nature and the spiritual world. This zone consists of relief sculptures whose themes revolve around the beauty of nature, plants, and animals.

The second zone represents a transitional phase, and the third and the most prominent zone represent the spiritual realm of existence. The third area is called a ‘kelir,’ a chamber with no ribs, and its function is to store sacred relics.

The Significance of Candi Prambanan in Modern Times

Candi Prambanan stands as a testament to the rich Hindu-Buddhist cultural heritage of Indonesia. It is recognized by the UNESCO World Heritage Site and is now a major tourist attraction in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Today, Candi Prambanan’s intricate beauty, grandeur, and history continue to amaze visitors from all over the world. Its magnificent architecture and design resonate the epitome of Javanese artistry that has stood the test of time.

The Legend Behind the Construction of the Temples

According to a Javanese legend, the temples were built by a powerful youth called Bandung Bondowoso. The prince of Pengging kingdom fell in love with Princess Roro Jonggrang of Boko Kingdom. Princess Roro Jonggrang, however, did not reciprocate his feelings and asked him to build 1000 temples. Bandung Bondowoso completed the task but only built 999 temples. To complete the number of temples, Roro Jonggrang ordered her maids to pound rice and light up the fire to make it look like dawn, thus tricking Bandung Bondowoso that the task had been completed. Believing it to be dawn, he stopped the work, and Princess Roro Jonggrang was saved from marrying him.

Visiting Candi Prambanan

Visitors are welcome throughout the year at the Candi Prambanan temple. Visitors can take a stroll along the neatly-kept gardens and admire the intricate designs and carvings that cover the galleries and halls of the magnificent temple complex. There are also performances of a traditional Javanese dance called the Ramayana Ballet, which tourists can enjoy during their visit.

As we conclude, it is undoubtedly clear that Candi Prambanan is one of the most remarkable and striking cultural landmarks in Indonesia, telling a rich history of Indonesian art and culture.

Thank you for reading, and we hope you look forward to another interesting article.

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