Candi Prambanan quickie

*Candi, pronounced as “chandi” is an Indonesian word for stupa or temple.

For some reasons, we left Malioboro at past 3PM and we arrived in Candi Prambanan complex at around 5:00 PM. Perhaps it was the rain that kept us from leaving at an earlier time or was it the difficulty of meeting at the appointed place and time or my companions were more interested in shopping for souvenirs in Malioboro.

The time of our arrival would have been perfect for a sunset shoot, but it was raining the whole morning that gave a gloomy weather for the rest of the day. After queueing up to buy tickets, we were finally inside the complex.

Realizing that I have barely over an hour to explore the sprawling grounds of this temple complex, I made some mental notes that I had to follow a strict time. To do this, I decided to explore the area alone.

Candi Prambanan quickie

I started by standing in the middle of the complex, took a 360-degree turn and made an imaginary transect while quickly planning out which area to shoot, which temple had to be climbed, and which architectural detail had to be checked out. This gave me an idea which quadrant I had to visit first, what to do, allowing some time to stop, photograph an interesting angle, observe people and scenes and just admire the architectural wonder right before my eyes.

I got the chance to go up the main temple (Temple of Lord Shiva) but it was already dark inside for me to do some photography. Then the sky began to get dark. It was a signal for me to go back to the meeting place.

Candi Prambanan quickie

I think I covered the main site but I missed some nearby and equally interesting temples like Candi Sewu and Candi Lumbung that require hiking or taking the shuttle service.  I just took photos of any part that interests me. I did not have so much time to check details of the bas-relief engraved on each temple and without saying, I missed the Kama Sutra reliefs [Smile!]. I rather went for the forest instead of the trees.

Be that as it may, exploring Prambanan for the first time gave me much delight, great sense of awe and wonder. The structure was just so massive, seemingly unfathomable and complicated that reflected the level of civilization, engineering and architectural prowess back in the day. I had very little knowledge of Prambanan. I did not even bother to research about it before exploring. I just went to experience it by just going along with the flow, and follow the well of excitement. It was just awesome that I was in the midst of Indonesian Hindu folklore, belief, and culture!

Candi Prambanan quickie

Candi Prambanan quickie

To think that Candi Prambanan was restored from the rubbles is definitely one for the books. The effort and resources they have put into its restoration are immeasurable. Built in the 10th century, this is the largest temple compound dedicated to Shiva in Indonesia. The temples collapsed during a major earthquake in the 16th century. It was only in 1918 when the Dutch colonizers began their reconstruction of the compound and the proper restoration only in 1930. The reconstruction of the main Shiva temple was completed around 1953. Efforts at restoration continue to this day.

One should not miss Candi Prambanan when visiting Yogyakarta, Indonesia. This fascinating architecture is said to be the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia, and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. It is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Candi Prambanan quickie

Candi Prambanan quickie

Depending on your location, it is just around 18-20 Kilometers from Jalan Malioboro and ideally, it will take you around 30 minutes by private car or taxi sans the heavy traffic. On a bad day, which we experienced, it took us more than an hour to get there. It was May 1 (holiday) and everyone seems to be going to Prambanan.

Click this for more photos of Candi Prambanan.

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Aside from my day job, I love photography and storytelling. Going places--be it a cliche destination or the far side of the road--stoke and free my soul. I dig deeper into the people’s psyche, culture and ethnicity, and heritage. I love to observe how they thrive and build social institutions, preserve their culture and traditions.

1 comment :

Julie - Beautiful Places in the Philippines said...

The temple is very majestic. I wish to see this when I fly to Indonesia one day.

Anyway, I am interviewing top pinoy travel bloggers and I found you. Are you open for an interview? Kindly let me know if you're interested, email is Thank you :)