Indonesia has a lot of temples that honor the Hindu deity. And the largest Hindu temple compound in here is the Prambanan Temple or locally known as Candi Prambanan. I heard that this Temple which is located in Central Java exceeds most of the temples in Indonesia with its size and beauty. Being one of the largest Hindu temples in Southeast Asia, Prambanan Temple has been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rakai Pikatan, a descendant of King Sanjaya, built the Prambanan Temples in 856 A.D. in commemoration of the Sanjaya’s Dynasty return to power. Later, the temple collapsed during a terrifying earthquake in the sixteenth century. In 1930, restoration of the temple began and is still being conducted today.
The Legend of Bandung Bondowoso:
This folklore tells the story about a tragedy of a highly respected and powerful man named Bandung Bandowoso. He wanted to marry a beautiful princess named Roro Jonggrang – daughter of a King named Prabu Boko.
The princess refused him conditionally, requesting that he make a thousand statues in one night. While Bandung Bandowoso was making the last statue with the help of a group of genies, Roro Jonggrang gathered some women to repeatedly hit rice pounders, and to make a huge bonfire on the east side, causing the eastern light to become red. Both activities traditionally signaled the arrival of dawn.
These signals caused the genies helping Bandung Bondowoso to believe that the morning had come, and they disappeared. Roro Jonggrang immediately came and woke Bandung Bondowoso from his meditation to let him know that he had failed in fulfilling her request. After discovering Roro Jonggrang’s trick, Bandung Bondowoso became so angry that he cursed her to be a Dewi Durga statue. This final statue brought the total to exactly 1000 statues, in accordance with Princess Roro Jonggrang ‘s request.
The three temples on the main grounds dominate the complex, one for each of the Hindi trinity. However, the most impressive temple is the Roro Jonggrang Temple, a huge building in the middle of the complex which rises up to 47 meters tall which honors Shiva. The two smaller temples in the north and the south of Roro Jonggrang are dedicated to Vishnu and Brahma. The middle temple is the only temple in the complex with four entrances and has five chambers. This temple houses the statue of Shiva as well as smaller sculptures of other Hindu gods, namely: Agastya, Shiva’s teacher, is in the south chamber; Durga, Shiva’s consort, is in the north chamber; and Ganesha, Shiva’s son, occupies the west chamber.
On the south part of Shiva is the Brahma’s temple. It houses the statue of Brahma in its only chamber. These temples are plastered with bas-reliefs of the Ramayana legend. Vishnu’s temple being last of the main shrines, have almost the same design of Brahma’s temple. The difference is that Vishnu’s chamber is larger and the outer wall are plastered with bas-reliefs of the Krishnayana.
Each at the east of the main temples are the three other shrines. These are dedicated to their vehicles: Hamsa, the swan, for Brahma; Nandi, the bull, for Shiva; and Garuda, the eagle, for Vishnu.
Roro Jonggrang Temple
Roro Jonggrang Temple
800 meters to the south of Roro Jonggrang Temple is the Sewu Temple and Lumbung Temple. The complex of Sewu consists of 240 small temples surrounding a main temple but most of them are destroyed now.
The symmetrical configuration of the building symbolizes the form of universe’s harmony, a tradition followed by the Palace both in Surakarta and Yogyakarta. All buildings inside the temple complex have a rock fence and dwarapala (a large rock statue armed with a club) guarding the entrance door. This kind of big stomached guardian rock statue also exists in the inside hall of Yogyakarta Palace.
Candi Lumbung is a Buddhist temple built around 850AD by the Mataram Dynasty, which consists of a single central temple surrounded by 16 smaller temples. The temples house niches and altars for carved imagery. In all, the temple complex was built to house over 120 images. Female deities grace the exterior of the central temple.
The Prambanan Temple depicts the wondrous Hindu temple architecture in its classic glory.