Wonderful Indonesia | Prambanan Temple, A Grandiose Past

Built on the ninth Century, Prambanan Temple (Loro Jonggrang) is the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia. The first mention of Prambanan was in the Syiwagrha Inscription (856AD). With three main temples for the Trimurti; Shiva the destroyer of the universe, Vishnu the keeper of the universe, and Brahma the creator of the universe. Back in the glory days of the old Mataram Kingdom, Prambanan is used as a Candi Agung for various royal and religious ceremonies.



The high structures are typical of Hindu architecture, and the plan of the temple complex is a Mandala, as is Borobudur. As a symbol of the Hindu cosmos, the temple is vertically divided into three parts, both vertically and in plan. The three part is divided into Jaba/Bhurloka, Tengahan/Bhuvarloka, and Njeron/Svarloka.


At the Garbagriha (innermost sanctum) of this temple sits a three meters statue of Shiva. Prambanan as a Hindu Temple was made High and slim compared to Borobudur, with the main Shiva shrine stands 47 meters in the middle of the complex surrounded with smaller temples. Prambanan has a bas-relief on the inner side of the gate around the three main shrine. The bas-relief tells the story about Ramayana and can be read from the east gate clockwise around the inner compound.



The Prambanan Temple complex (Candi Prambanan) is an ancient Hindu temple built in the 10th century and is the largest of its kind in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Following a major earthquake in the 16th century, Prambanan laid abandoned for hundreds of years until it was discovered in 1811 and restored by Dutch conservationists in 1918.  It was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1991.



Originally built with 240 temples, Prambanan currently has six prominent temples standing. The biggest and central tower dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva stands at 154 feet. This central tower is surrounded by smaller towers dedicated to Vishnu, Brahma and other Hindu deities. The brick remains of the earlier temples can also be found in the grassy part surrounding the main complex.



While the Prambanan is already a spectacular sight to behold during the day, the temple also is also wonder at night. The ancient temples are bathed by LED lights, setting a breathtaking background for the Ramayana ballet that visitors can watch in the evening.

We availed our day tour through Kresna Tour. It is also possible to combine the tour to include the Ramayana Ballet.

Prambanan Sunset Tour (5 Hours)
Tour Operator: Kresna Tour Jogja
Rate: IDR 100,000 / Entrance Fee: USD 25 per pax (USD 40 if combined with Borobudur)
Inclusions: Return transfer

Ramayana Ballet Combination Rate:

  • VIP (Red Section) : IDR 400,000
  • Special (Green) : IDR 300,000
  • 1st Class (Blue) :IDR 200,000
  • 2nd Class (Yellow) : IDR 125,000


By Plane. So far, there are no direct flights emanating from Manila. One has to take a flight either via Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Jakarta. In our case, we took a Cebu Pacific flight to Jakarta then onward to Yogyakarta via Air Asia.

By Train. Sleeper trains are available in Jakarta. This is another cheaper but longer option.


From Adisucipto International Airport, there are metered taxis waiting at the arrival area. You can approach the information counter for guidance. The airport is a quick 15-20 minutes drive to the city center. It is also possible to take the commuter bus going to the city proper and directly to Prambanan. To go around the city, you can from buses and taxis.


Being a popular destination, there are a variety of hotels and inns to choose from in Jogja. We managed to book a cheap deal via Agoda.com at Adhisthana Hotel.

Photo Courtesy of Agoda.com

Sample Itinerary (Weekend Tour)

DAY 0: Manila-Jakarta (Cebu Pacific or Air Asia evening flight) | Overnight @ Jakarta (Check-In near airport) [Option:  Take night flight to Singapore or KL then take morning flight to Yogyakarta]

DAY 1: Take early Jakarta-Yogyakarta flight / Check-In @ Hotel / Take Afternoon Prambanan Tour / Watch performance

DAY 2: Borobudur Sunrise Tour / Yogyakarta City Tour / Souvenir Shopping / Night Tour

DAY 3: Yogyakarta-KL flight / Quick KL Tour / KL-Manila Flight


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