Sunday, October 4, 2009

Prambanan Temple

If Borobudur Temple which was one of the seven wonders of the world is a legacy of Buddhist culture, then Prambanan Temple is the greatest and the oldest hindunese legacy in Indonesia which was built during Sanjaya dynasty of Mataram kingdom after the kingdom was converted from Buddhist to Hindunese.

This amazing temple was built in the the 9th century (850 AD and finished in 856 AD) about 25 years after Borobudur temple was finish built and centuries before the famous Hindunese temple Angkor Wat in Cambodia. This is based on the inscription of Siwargrarha stated 850 AD and also a relief with the name Pikatan (name of the king who ruled Mataram Kingdom in that year). Although there are also some people who say Prambanan temple was built in the 10th century (915 AD) during the Shivaist Dynasty by king Daksha. This is because Prambanan Temple is dedicated to worship Shiva.

Prambanan is actually a complex of temples with 3 main temples located on the main ground. These temples are dedicated to Hindunese Gods, Wishnu (The creator), Brahma (The keeper), and Shiva (The destructor), These Three temples stand facing East. Each of these temples has its own smaller "companion temple" which is dedicated to each God's ride. Wishnu's ride called Garuda, Garuda is a mythological creature which described as a half-bird human with golden body, white face, red wings, with the shape of beak and wings look like an eagle. It's assumed to be the hindunese adaptation of Bennu (means 'rise' or 'shine') usually associated to Re in old egyptian mythology or phoenix in greek mythology. Many people admire this mythological creature, and it was said that Indonesia's symbol - Garuda Pancasila is actually the adaptation of this Garuda. Two other temples are Angkasa (swan) as Brahma's ride and Nandini (cow) as Shiva's ride.

Beside these 6 temples, there are still other 8 temples on the main ground, 2 Apit Temples, 4 Kelir Temples, and 4 Sudut Temples. While on the second ground we can find 224 temples.

Inside Wishnu temple we can only find one room consists of the statue of Whisnu and also inside Brahma temple consists only one room with the statue of Brahma in it, But not with the Shiva temple. Shiva Temple is the largest and tallest temple among other temples in Prambanan and located between Brahma and Wishnu temple. Shiva temple has 4 rooms, in the main room lies Shiva statue, in the other 3 rooms each consist the statue of Agastya (Shiva's Guru), Ganesha (Shiva's Son), and Durga (Shiva's Wife).

There is an interesting legend about this Durga statue, according to the legend long time ago there was a beautiful princess named Roro Jonggrang the daughter of King Bhoko. Roro Jonggrang was forced to marry Bandung Bondowoso, a prince with great magical power. Since Roro Jonggrang didn't love Bandung, so she told Bandung that she would marry him if he could build her temples with 1000 statues in one night. With his magical power and the help of his unseen geenie force, surprisingly Bandung Bondowoso was almost completed the task. By the time he was about to make the 1000th statue, Roro Jonggrang ask the villagers to mashed the paddy and make a great fire so it looks like the morning has come. The geenie troops who afraid of light were running away and left Bandung alone so that he couldn't finish the job. When Bandung Bondowoso found out what Roro Jonggrang has done, he was so furious and then he cursed Roro Jonggrang to become the 1000th statue in the temple he built. It was said that Durga statue inside Shiva Temple was actually Roro Jonggrang statue stated in this legend. That's why Prambanan Temple is also called Roro Jonggrang Temple.

we can also find the relics of a great epic story of Ramayana engraved on the temple. We can follow the story by walking around the temple. Prambanan is surrounded by beautiful green gardens which usually used as the resting place for visitors.

Prambanan is located 17 Km to the East of Jogjakarta, it's very easy to reach, you can take a charter vehicle or regular public transportations to get there.

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