The Prambanan Temple was built in the 9th century and is the biggest and most complete remains of Java’s period of Hindu culture. Nowadays it comprises the remains of some 244 temples.
Prambanan is Indonesia’s largest Hindu site and a World Heritage site part of the UNESCO.
Prambanan’s temple highlight is the central compound, where eight main and eight minor temples are assembled on a raised platform. Each of them has beautiful carvings and a religious statue inside.
The three biggest temples, called Trimurti (“three forms”), are dedicated to the three Hindu Gods: Shiva the Destroyer, Vishnu the Keeper and Brahma the Creator.
Even though Prambanan is a big tourist sight, it wasn’t too crowded when we visited. I was there at the end of the day, which is a good time (just like early morning) to avoid larger groups of tourists. The complex is open from 6.00 to 18.00 daily.
Visiting the temple without a tour
Personally, I like to sightsee on my own and I always avoid tours unless completely impossible. I don’t really mind if it’s harder or it takes longer because I love the flexibility for doing what I want for as long as I like.
Visiting the Prambanan Temple on your own, its simple and easy to do.
The entry fee for Prambanan is Rp.325,000 ($23.85), but you can get a combined ticket to the Prambanan and Borobudur for Rp.520,000 ($38.15).
How to get there
Prambanan Temple is a one-hour drive from Yogyakarta, using the local public bus. From downtown, simply take a Route 1A or 1B bus to the final stop, Terminal Prambanan, because is the end of the line, you don’t have to worry about missing your stop.
Local bus tickets cost Rp.3,600 ($0.25), they run fairly frequently, are comfortable and have air-conditioned.
The other options you have is to hire a driver for the day, take a Grab Taxi or rent a scooter to have the flexibility to explore other sites.
Thoughts about Prambanan
Although I enjoyed the Borobudur temple more the Prambanan was also a highlight, It was absolutely lovely to spend the afternoon strolling around the temples and the lush green garden surrounding them.
If you are planning to go to Yogyakarta and Borobudur temple, you should definitely head over to Prambanan too. Just be prepared to have locals approaching you to take photos with you!
photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha