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We’ll forgive you if you’ve never heard of Prambanan until now, as Borobudur certainly steals the limelight when it come to antiquities in Central Java. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed temple complex of Prambanan however is captivating in its own right.

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Perhaps due to its lack of fame internationally, the temples here offer delightful surprises and constantly charm visitors—believe us, you’ll be in awe. The complex contains the greatest legacy of ancient Hindu and Buddhist sites in Indonesian built between the eighth and tenth centuries when the ruling Hindu Mataram empire and Buddhist Shailendra kingdoms of Java were in their heyday.

Awesome in the original sense of the word: Prambanan. Photo taken in or around Prambanan , Yogyakarta, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Awesome in the original sense of the word: Prambanan. Photo: Sally Arnold

Prambanan Temple Complex encompasses the temples of Prambanan (locally called Loro Jonggrang), Lumbung, Bubrah and Sewu. Outside the fenced compound, other temples (requiring separate entry fees) include Plaosan, Kraton Ratu Boko, Sajiwan, Kalasan, Sari, Sambisari and more. Perhaps there are still yet relics of the ancient metropolis beneath the silt and sands. You could spend days exploring the area, but make the most of your entry ticket and make the effort to see all within the Prambanan Temple Complex itself. We certainly weren’t disappointed.

Prambanan The magnificent Hindu Shivaite temple, Prambanan is by far the most commonly visited and the most complete in regards to restoration. The architectural style looks to a degree similar to Angkor Wat, with a number of tall slender somewhat jagged spires, the largest soaring 47 metres. Based on a square mandala plan, it once comprised more than 240 temples. Two hundred and forty. Many of the smaller shrines are still in ruins, and the slow jigsaw puzzle of reconstruction is ongoing. Extensive damage in the 2006 earthquake hampered this process, however the main structures are restored to their ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,600 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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How to get there
Prambanan lies 18 kilometres northeast of central Yogyakarta or just eight kilometres from the airport. Conveniently, Prambanan is a stop on the TransJogja busway. Route 1A (grey) takes about 45 minutes from central Yogya. The fare is 3,600 rupiah. Alternatively, many travel agents offer Prambanan trips, either separately or bundled with Borobudur or other attractions, starting around 85,000 rupiah for a return trip excluding entry fees.

A terrific way to explore the temple area is by bicycle. Both Satu Dunia Tours & Travel (250,000 rupiah) and Via Via (360,000 rupiah) offer bike tours (or motorbike tours if you are lazy) to explore the area. Options vary so have a chat as to what’s included. Disclosure: both companies are our friends, however they both offer good service.

Via Via: 30 Jalan Prawirotaman, Yogyakarta; (027) 437 2874;;

Satu Dunia Tours & Travel: 44 Jalan Prawirotaman, Yogyakarta; Jalan Sosrowijayan, Gang 1/70, Yogyakarta; (0274) 414 431; (0274) 580 643;

18 km from Yogyakarta
Daily 06:00-17:00.
T: (0274) 496 402, (0274) 496 406

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