Prambanan Temple

Prambanan Temple
Prambanan Temple

The Prambanan Temple is the largest Hindu temple on the Island of Java. In reality, it is a monumental complex with more than 200 temples that have been abandoned for many centuries. Even so, they are one of the best examples of historical religious architecture on this island and throughout Indonesia, very close to the other great monumental complex such as the Borobudur temple, although in this case it belongs the Buddhist religion.


Prambanan Temple

Prambanan would start to be built in the 9th century. In fact, there is an inscription that reads the date of the year 856 and mentions King Rakai Pikatan of the Sanjaya dynasty, which had returned to Hinduism and possibly proposed the construction of a religious compound that could compete with the grandeur of Borobodur.

So I would start with a first build dedicated to the god Shiva. And from there the rest would unfold. The heart of Prambanan is the Trimurti, three temples dedicated to the three main gods of Hinduism. That is, Shiva who represents destruction, Brahma who is the creator and Vishnu who is the protector. The most outstanding and largest space, with a height that reaches 47 meters, is dedicated to Shiva. And on its sides are the two temples dedicated to Vishnu and Brahma.

In turn there are next to them threesmaller towers, which are the place of worship of the mounts on which such deities ride and move. They are the magical cow Nandin on which Shiva rides, the magical goose Hamsa on which Brahma flies, and the magical bird Garuda of Vishnu.

The constructions do not end here. There are other notable ones like Lunbung or Bubrah. And it is that here there were about 250 different temples, all of them enclosed by a quadrangular wall on their side.

An incredible ensemble from an architectural point of view and also from a sculptural perspective, given the variety of reliefs and figures carved in stone that must have existed. However, its splendor was short-lived. Around the year 930, the capital of the kingdom moved from Prambanan to the east of the island. The reason is not clear. But the fact is that the abandonment of the place was not long in coming. And with it the spoils. It is also an area that suffered a strong earthquake in the 16th century. To this must be added the use of materials or theft with the arrival of Europeans to Java and this area of ​​Southeast Asia.

However, it was in the 20th century that its conservation and restoration of parts was undertaken. Something that was partially ruined after a devastating earthquake in 2006. Since then, restoration and consolidation work has continued on this treasure of Java, which in turn has been declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

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