I have to say that Candi Prambanan (Rara Jonggrang Temple) exceeds all the other temples I’ve seen in Indonesia. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia. The original compound consists of 240 temples but the main ones are those dedicated to the Hindu gods, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, which remain standing together with other temples. It is good to go around the boundaries of the temple and see it from different angles.
We entered each individual temple in the compound with flight of narrow stairs and entrances. All temples are tall and pointed, typical of Hindu temple architecture, and are covered with intricate wall reliefs depicting the Ramayana epic. It was amazing to look up to the highest point of the temples and still see the beautiful stone carvings. Each corner tells a story. Each piece contributes to the magnificence of this structure.
Some parts are off limits to visitors because of the damage and danger caused by the 2006 earthquake. You can even see some ruins scattered around the fences. To enter the largest temple, that of dedicated to Shiva, we had to line up because only a specific number of people can get inside at one time. The structure is too fragile to accommodate large crowds and we had to wear a helmet inside.
At the topmost level of each temple is a statue of Hindu god to whom it was dedicated. Most of them are either not well-lit or closed from the public. I managed to take some photos of them but the clearest one I got is that of Brahma and these are my favorite of all the photos we’ve taken from there. Seeing these statues are moving for they are the symbols of faith for many believers who were inspired and worked hard to build these structures in their honor.
Going around the complex is like revisiting the past. I may not be a Hindu but I can feel how important and sacred this place is. After the earthquake, piece by piece, the reconstruction is in progress. After all, a heritage like this must be preserved so others who will come after us can also retrace the traces we left.
See Candi Borobudur from my previous post.
Next post will be about Candi Sewu, a few hundred meters away from Candi Prambanan and it will be my last post about this trip in Indonesia.