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CENTRAL JAVA > CANDI PRAMBANAN > Candi Perwara & The Ruins
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LOCATION:
This biggest Hindu temple in South East Asia is located about 20km east of Yogyakarta, 40km west of Solo (Surakarta) or 120km south of Semarang. It is located in Desa Prambanan ("desa" means "a village") in Kabupaten Sleman ("Kabupaten" means "a regency" or "a district"). Prambanan Temple still lies within the Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta (special district) border. Right after the temple site, one will be entering the district of Surakarta (Solo).

Prambanan Temple is best arrived from downtown Yogyakarta by the city's many travel agents who will provide transportation to the temple, and if requested, to Ramayana Ballet Open Theatre nearby for an evening programme. The cost of tours vary: I paid Rp60.000 (about US$7) for a round trip tour of Prambanan and Ramayana Ballet. Often a visit to Prambanan is combined with another visit to Candi Borobudur for a full-day trip for about Rp100.000 (about US$12) per person.

DESCRIPTION:

Yes, despite the successful restoration the Trimurti temples (Brahma, Siwa, Wisnu), candi wahana, candi sudut, candi kelir and candi apit, these form a mere 16 structures of the original 240 temples that used to stand within the massive complex. The surrounding temples called candi perwara still remain in ruins.

If indeed the temple complex was erected some 1,200 years ago, surely it has witnessed some of the world's most destructive earthquakes and various occasions of Mt Merapi eruption. Near the entrance gate is an info booth where the photos dated in early 1900s showing the sorry state of the temples when they were discovered in modern time.

During the time of my visit, I noted that only 2 of the candi perwara have been completed near the entrance gate. The rest still lay in ruin, perhaps awaiting for restoration. It is said that should the whole restoration project is completed, the temple complex will look much spectacular than its present being.

Each of the original candi perwara has the same size - 2.5m x 2.5m at the base and 14m in height. It is hard to tell what is the purpose of these outlying temples, except that probably they were the offerings erected by each desa (village) in the vicinity to the Hindu gods.

MY VERDICT:
A pleasant visit in general.

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