Sanggrahan > Prambanan temple > Sawitan (56km)


Today I’m experiencing the visit of the hindu temple called Prambanan. This is very impressive and something I’ve never seen before. The Prambanan complex used to count 240 temple when today 18 are visible after years of renovations.



Let’s start from the beginning of the day. Last night I’ve set up my camp between these two trees. Behind the yellow shed which protect a water system (certainly pumps) there is the road. There was a bit of traffic last night but no one could see me from the road.


Behind me, there is hectares of rice fields.


Back on the road, I know I don’t have much to cycle to reach Prambanan temple and before I want to get some breakfast.


An hour later, I got to the entrance to pay. First I’ve seen the price like 30.000IDR on the counter window. The guys from Sidoharjo told me that the price was 20.000IDR. Well it’s more expensive but that’s still cheap I guess. When I arrived front of the counter a guy told me. “You need to go to the international entrance”. This smells bad to me… I found the place but the price was not the same at all, 235.000IDR! Only 11 times more than the other price and Borobudur is more expensive. Fortunately, they propose a package which is 375.000 for two days two temples. That’s better. The Indonesian people would pay 50.000IDR for the same ticket.


The Prambanan World Heritage Compounds is the largest Hindu compounds in South-East Asia comprising the three main temples of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma with the three Wahana (vehicule) Temples, and surrounded by 224 Perwara (shrines). This temple complex was built around 900 A.D. and inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1991.
As a World Heritage site, Prambanan Temples Compounds represents a masterpiece of the human creative genius and is an outstanding examples of the Hindu and Buddhist religious heritage of the 10th century (sources on site).


It looks like there is still some archaeological research or restorations made here.


All the ruins around the place used to be like the one in the center.


Close up.


That’s impressive.


Public doesn’t have access to this part of the area.


Shiva temple

Shiva temple is the main temple of the Rara Jonggrang temple complex. The temple was built for the God of the Gods who was adored by the ancient Javanese. The bas-reliefs along the four sides depict the legend of Ramayana.
The inner part of the temple consists of four rooms containing the statues of Shiva, Ganesha, Agastya, Durga Mahisasuramardini as Rara Jonggrang, as well as Mahakala and Nandiswara as the guardian statues.
The first archaeological works ware conducted in 1902 under de Dutch authority. The restoration started in 1926 and was completed and inaugured by the then President Soekarno in 1953.
Cracked: 201 blocks / Broken: 479 blocks / Deformed: 81 blocks / Collapsed: 12 blocks.


Big steps for the small people they might be at that period.


View from Shiva temple.


The bas-reliefs along the sides of the Prambanan temples depict the Hindu legends of Ramayana and Krishnayana (on site sources).

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Shiva I guess.

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All those temples has been destroyed with the time and earthquakes.


They used to be like the one on the back.

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Brahma temple

The temple was built for the God of Brahma, known as the creator of the universe. Inside the temple, the statue of Brahma has four different faces symbolizing the four directions of the winds and the four weda (holy texts). The bas-reliefs along the four sides of the temple depict the legend of Ramayana. Brahma temple was restorated by the Indonesian authorities in 1978-87.
Cracked: 38 blocks / Broken: 21 blocks / Deformed: 14 blocks / Collapsed: 80 blocks.

Angsa temple

The Angsa temple symbolizes Brahma’s vehicule, which is represented as swan. Angsa temple was restored by the Indonesian authorities together with the other two Wahana temples and eight Patock temples in 1991-93.
Cracked: 26 blocks / Broken: 5 blocks.

Gadura temple

Gadura temple is one of the three wahana (vehicule) temple. The temple symbolizes Vishnu’s vehicule, which is represented as a bird. Gadura temple was restored by the Indonesian authorities together with the other two wahana temples and eight temples in 1991-93.
Cracked: 3 blocks / Deformed: 13 blocks / Collapsed: 35 blocks.

Vishnu temple

The temple is dedicated to the God of Vishnu which is known as the protector of the living creatures of the universe. The bas-reliefs along the four sides depict the legend of Krishnayana. Vishnu temple was restored by the Indonesian authorities from 1982 to 1991.
Cracked: 6 blocks / Broken: 58 blocks / Deformed: 23 blocks / Collapsed: 48 blocks.

Nandi temple

The Nandi temple symbolizes Shiva’s vehicule, which is represented as a cow. Nandi was restored by the Indonesian authorities together with the other two temples and eight Patok tenples in 1991-93.
Cracked: 22 blocks / Broken: 18 blocks / Deformed: 8 blocks / Collapsed: 72 blocks.


Just ruins today.

Temple atmosphere.


The visit was incredible and it’s not finished yet :-)


They is 3 more temples in this area. Next one, Candi Lumbung.


Lumbung Temple is one of the Buddhist Temple complex which was built around 9th century, the same period with Sewu Temple. This complex has 17 temple consist of 1 main temple and surrounded by 16 small temple.


Looks like they are renovating another one.


Four of the small temples still remain.


Next temple: Candi Bubrah.


This one is not in a good shape.


But Indonesian government is actively working on it apparently.


The next and last one in this area is Candi Sewu.


I like because there is nearly no tourist here. Everyone go only to the first famous one and ignore the rest just because it’s not that big. Pff!


I turn around because I cannot take any good picture being against the sun.


This Sewu temple is actually very impressive.


This is a massive piece of engineering!




Sewu temple is the second largest Buddhist Temple Complex in Java Borobudur. It was probably built in the 8th century at the end of Rakai Panangkaran kingdom to serve as a royal temple.


Candi Sewu map.


Sorry, this is out of subject but there is a google who is visiting the temple. Then it passed just next to me, stopped and then a guy with a backpack and the google camera on the top of it walked in and around the temple. This is part of the Google museum program I guess.


This is Candi Sewu :-)


Let’s have a walk in.


Close up on one of the statue.


I’m walking towards the centre.

Candi Sewu temple live! Note: The voice is coming from a conference or ceremony just next to the temple.


The view from inside.

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Halo :-)


The inside is like the outside. No fancy red carpet, no gold statue, no window, no luster, only stone, bas-relief and stories :-)


Impressive carving.


That’s another archaeological site over there.


Let’s come back to the entrance now.


To get out, we must pass through the tourist trap. I bought one new bracelet as I gave one to a girl when I was travelling around Malang. I had a orange one and a green one. She chose the green. Today, I bought a pink one :-) 1000IDR each, very cheap!


Nearly arrived at the end of the row, I finally decided to get some drink and some food here so I won’t have to search again when I be on my bike again.


I’ve seen on google map that there is another temple called “Candi Plaosan” in this area. I will have a look.


This is the one. I wanted to stop but a guy asked me to pay another 3000IDR to park my bike. Well it’s nothing really but it’s makes me continue cycling around.


The temple from the back.


And from its side.


l’m now on a tiny path and just got an idea. A nap would be great!


Hammock set up in 3 minutes, Aaaah, this is good :-) I can even see the temple on the background.


Hammock view, peaceful :-)


After an hour spent half asleep in my temporary forest I’m back on rubber. I’ve chose to avoid Yogyakarta centre as there is certainly lots of traffic and so much stuff to buy which I don’t need. I want to get closer to Borobudur tonight so I could visit the temple tomorrow morning and spend the rest of the day cycling.


The roads in this area are tiny, the traffic is good, I enjoy.


Unfortunately the most direct way to get where I want is to take the highway.


Few! the highway is done. I found a warung and a park where to spend the night.


There is another temple here called Candi Mendut but I’m lazy to go there even if it’s on the other side of the road. I know I should not be.

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Later, I found one more Pertamina gas station (next to Paradise bali), had a shower and went to the park I found on google satellite view. Following that main road towards the north, you can see that big green area which looks like a park to me. The centre is like used and some sand is visible. I like searching a spot this way. I have a nice view on where the rivers are, where the fields are and where the population is concentrated. It’s a very modern way to do it of course but its efficiency let me spend less time to find a place so I sleep more!

Lucky enough it looked like I expected. The park is situated along the road. On its opposite side runs a river and between then there is some trees. I could set up my hammock easily and even a clothes line to let my clothes dry during the night. I’ve washed them at the gas station :-)

In Australia, I’ve always checked for McDonald’s to use their clean toilets, have some food late at night or use their internet. In Indonesia, I’m looking for the Pertamina gas stations for toilets, shower, washing few close each day, water that I can filter or even buy some snacks. Very useful place :-)
Let’s come back to this night. As I said, I’ve set up my camp for the night. Everything was good. I’ve seen few guys driving their motorbike around the park. They certainly saw me but did not bother me at all. I did not really sleep though as I keep an eye open. Then, as soon as I felt asleep a noise woke me up again. A car, some voices, rah! This might be the police… Torches were pointed in my direction and I could hear two voices. Am I in trouble this time?

The guys got closer and in fact it was the police. They asked me where I was coming from. What I was doing here. How long I was going to stay here. The one who was talking did not really speak well english and used his phone to translate. I tried to use the few words I’ve learnt to explain my situation. The other policeman was even laughing at his mate, front of me, because he could not speak english. They told me this place is not the safest and I could stay in Pertamina gas station (that place again! it does everything, even hotel haha) or in a rest area. Then they asked me if I was okay here and I said I was so they added: “There is a police station in 1km this way, if you have any problem come to us, travel safe, you are awesome”.

Wow! I definitely love the Indonesian police. Again they show me how good they are, their human manner is totally right, they take care of the population, make sure everyone is fine! Why it is not the case in France, Europe, Australia and the other “developed” countries. I think we develop ourselves on the wrong direction where the police protect governments, not people like here. Indonesian police, YOU are awesome!

2 thoughts on “Sanggrahan > Prambanan temple > Sawitan (56km)

  1. Impressive temples. Are those stone bricks?
    Foreigner’s price is a lot more…. still we can afford it, but locals can not. They know it well. ;-)

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