The Prambanan Temple is one of the iconic structures often forgotten when you mention Yogyakarta. It is always overshadowed by the Buddhist Temple of Borobudur which is much more popular. However, this does not mean that this ancient Hindu Temple structure is to be forgotten and crossed off your list. The Prambanan is said to be the world’s most beautiful Hindu Temple and also the largest on the island of Java. The architecture style of the temple is very different from Borobudur. Built in the 9th century, this masterpiece features a collection of sharp, jagged sculptured towers. This gives the temple a unique silouhette when seen during the sunset.
Prambanan Temple was our first stop when we landed in Yogyakarta. We were supposed to visit the temple right after we landed because it was nearer to go from the airport but I told our driver, Lilik that I wanted to go there later in the day to check out the sunset instead. Of course, after seeing the shots I brought back I did not regret this decision at all. We headed to Prambanan in the late evening. On the way, we visited the Sambisari Temple and Plaosan Temple. Upon arriving, we went to the main temple complex and was greeted by tons of tourists. Since it was still early, Fann and I decided to take a stroll along the complex and enjoy the intricate details that was carved onto the temple’s facade. It would have been more enjoyable if it was crowded with tourists.
The Prambanan was built during the Mataram Kingdom. The center tower is the tallest and houses Lord Shiva. The interior consists of 4 rooms. One main room contains Shiva statue, while the other three rooms contain the statues of Durga (Shiva’s wife), Agastya (Shiva’s teacher), and Ganesha (Shiva’s son). It would take hours to fully appreciate every single detail of the Prambanan Temple. We briefly walked through the temple complex and decided to scout for locations for the sunset thereafter. Despite the day getting late, tourist were still pouring in. There were even large group of students around the temple compound. When we identified our sunset photography spot, we had to find the exit because it was located outside the fence. Since it was a one way exit, we had to walk a big round across the garden and compound just to get there. Fortunately, while still far away from our spot, I managed to steal some beautiful shots of the sunset from different angles.
During sunset, most of the tourists have already left the compound. That leaves the Prambanan Temple in it’s tranquil state which was extremely romantic. While we were waiting for that perfect sunset moment, an old caucasian couple came along our way. They saw our camera gear and assumed that the spot we were standing were the best. They found a few larger rocks from the ruins nearby and sat near to us while they enjoyed the sunset with us. It didn’t bother us at all because the sunset was really gorgeous. I guessed they made the right choice. Unfortunately for them, they left early even before the sun has disappeared. That was the most beautiful part of the sunset.
We left Prambanan when the guard came with his whistle. We started packing and had to take that huge U-turn again. Along the way, we tried to steal some shots of the temple. It was still as enchanting especially when it was getting darker. Here are some of the shots we have taken. Enjoy.