Category: Prambanan.

About Prambanan Temple Compounds

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On the road to Solo 17km northeast of Yogyakarta, the temples at Prambanan village are the best remaining examples of Java’s period of Hindu cultural development. Not only do these temples form the largest Hindu temple complex in Java, but the wealth of sculptural detail on the great Shiva temple makes it easily the most outstanding example of Hindu art.

All the temples in the Prambanan area were built between the 8th and 10th centuries AD, when Java was ruled by the Buddhist Sailendras in the south and the Hindu Sanjayas of Old Mataram in the north. Possibly by the second half of the 9th century,
these two dynasties were united by the marriage of Rakai Pikatan of Hindu Mataram and the Buddhist Sailendra princess Pramodhavardhani. This may explain why a number of temples, including those of the Prambanan temple complex and the smaller
Plaosan group, reveal Shivaite and Buddhist elements in architecture and sculpture. These two elements are also found to some degree in India and Nepal.

Following this creative burst over a period of two centuries, the Prambanan Plain was abandoned when the Hindu-Javanese kings moved to East Java. In the middle of the 16th century there is said to have been a great earthquake which toppled many of
the temples. In the centuries that followed, their destruction was accelerated by treasure hunters and locals searching for building materials. Most temples have now been restored to some extent, and like Borobudur,
Prambanan made the Unesco World Heritage list in 1991.

World Heritage Inscription Background

Tiandi (temple) Prambanan is actually a grandiose complex of Siva temples. The natives called it Loro Joggrang (or Slender Maiden)
after an impressive statue representing the wife of Siva. Built during the first half of the 10th century, this religious complex is
the largest Siva ensemble in Indonesia. It is dedicated to the Hindu trinity (trimurti) of Siva, Visnu and Brahma. A square platform is
divided into concentric courts by square-plane walls.

In the middle of the last enceinte stand the temples dedicated to the three great Hindu gods and three small temples dedicated to
their animal vehicles (e.g. a bull for Siva). Other minor temples were located at the entrance gates or outside the central enceinte
(four ensembles). The temples of Siva, Visnu and Brahma are decorated with reliefs illustrating the Ramayana period (history of the Hindu hero Rama, written c.300). Restoration work on this ensemble, which began in 1937, continues.

The neighboring Buddhist ensemble at Sewu comprises a central temple surrounded by a multitude of minor temples. Surprisingly, it
shares many design attributes with the Hindu Loro Joggrang Temple, perhaps indicating the degree to which such temples also reflect state policies and control. Three other temples in ruins set between Sewu and Loro Joggrang complete the ensemble around
Prambanan: Lumbuna. Burah. and Asu.

– Criterion I. The site is an oustanding example of Siva art in
Indonesia, and the region.

– Criterion IV. The site is an oustanding religious complex,
characteristic of Siva expression of the 10th century.

Category: Prambanan