Photo: Stunning locale.

Candi Gedong Songo

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Candi Gedong Songo is among Java’s oldest antiquities, a complex of seven small Hindu temples dating from the eighth or ninth centuries (plus several more in ruins).





Architecturally similar to the earlier temples scattered around Dieng Plateau, they don’t so much have the appeal of impressive (later built) Borobudur or Prambanan near Yogyakarta, however a devastatingly beautiful mountainous setting on the slopes of Gunung Ungara, makes them well worth the 35 kilometre trip from Semarang.

Very popular for group photos. Photo taken in or around Candi Gedong Songo, Semarang, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Very popular for group photos. Photo: Sally Arnold

Gedong Songo literally translates from Javanese as “nine buildings”, not the original name nor numerological accurate, nine is considered an auspicious number in Javanese culture, perhaps stemming from the nine virtues of Buddhism, or Java’s wali songo, nine Islamic saints (Ramadan also falls on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar).

Restoration works were commenced in the Dutch colonial period with ongoing projects by the Indonesian government in the 1980s and again in 2009. The reconstructed temples sit on five plateaus within the hilly landscape, signposted Candi Gunung I to V, around a looping two-and-a-half kilometre hillside path. Although the site is magnificent, we were shocked and disappointed to see much graffiti carved into the stonework of the temples, such a shameful disrespect of Indonesia’s ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Candi Gedong Songo
35 kilometres south of Semarang.
Admission: 75,000 rupiah for foreign tourists and 10,000 for Indonesians

Location map for Candi Gedong Songo

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