Yogyakarta is the most popular tourist destination on Java. Famous for its rich heritage, cultural performances such as gamelan music, classical dance, shadow puppet shows, can be enjoyed daily.
Prambanan is the masterpiece of Hindu culture of the tenth century. The slim building soaring up to 47 meters makes its beautiful architecture incomparable. Reputated as the biggest and most beautiful Hindhus Temple in Indonesia, and locally known as Roro Jonggrang. Excursion to Prambanan temple complex-the most beautiful Hindu temple then proceed to Solo visit to the Mangkunegaran's Palace, Triwindhu flea-market. Continued drive on to Sukuh temple located on slope of Mount Lawu and surrounded by beautiful sceneries. Also visit to Cetoh temple.
The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, currently is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia, and is one of the largest Hindu temples in south-east Asia. It is characterised by its tall and pointed architecture, typical of Hindu temple architecture, and by the towering 47m high central building inside a large complex of individual temples.
There is a legend that Javanese people always tell about this temple. As the story tells, there was a man named Bandung Bondowoso who loved Roro Jonggrang. To refuse his love, Jonggrang asked Bondowoso to make her a temple with 1,000 statues only in one-night time. The request was nearly fulfilled when Jonggrang asked the villagers to pound rice and to set a fire in order to look like morning had broken. Feeling to be cheated, Bondowoso who only completed 999 statues cursed Jonggrang to be the thousandth statue.
The architecture of Prambanan temple follows the typical Hindu architecture traditions based on Vastu Shastra. The temple design incorporated mandala temple plan arrangements and also the typical high towering spires of Hindu temples. Prambanan was originally named Shivagrha and dedicated to god Shiva. The temple was designed to mimic Meru, the holy mountain the abode of Hindu gods, and the home of Shiva. The whole temple complex is a model of Hindu universe according to Hindu cosmology and the layers of Loka.
Just like Borobudur, Prambanan also recognize the hierarchy of the temple zones, spanned from the less holy to the holiest realms. Each Hindu and Buddhist concepts has their own terms, but the concept's essentials is identical. Either the compound site plan (horizontally) or the temple structure (vertically) are consists of three zones:
- Bhurloka (in Buddhism: Kāmadhātu), the lowest realm of common mortals; humans, animals also demons. Where humans still binded by their lust, desire and unholy way of life. The outer courtyard and the foot (base) part of each temples is symbolized the realm of bhurloka.
- Bhuvarloka (in Buddhism: Rupadhatu), the middle realm of holy people, rishis, ascetics, and lesser gods. People here began to see the light of truth. The middle courtyard and the body of each temples is symbolized the realm of bhuvarloka.
- Svarloka (in Buddhism: Arupadhatu), the highest and holiest realm of gods, also known as svargaloka. The inner courtyard and the roof of each temples is symbolized the realm of svarloka. The roof of the Prambanan temples is adorned and crowned with ratna (sanskrit: jewel). In ancient Java temple architecture, ratna is Hindu counterpart of Buddhist stupa, and served as the temple's pinnacle.
During the restoration, a well which contains pripih (stone casket) was discovered under the center of the Shiva temple. The main temple has a well of 5.75 m depth in which a stone casket was found on top a pile of charcoal, earth and remains of burned animal bones. Sheets of gold leaves with the inscription Varuna (god of the sea) and Parvata (god of the mountains) were found here. The stone casket contained sheets of copper mixed with charcoal, ashes and earth, 20 coins, jewels, glass, pieces of gold and silver leaves, seashells and 12 gold leaves (5 of which in the shape of a turtle, Nāga serpent, padma, altar and egg).