Updated: Oct 7, 2020
The Prambanan or Rara Jonggrang is the largest Hindu temple of ancient Java being the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia and the second-largest in Southeast Asia.
The temple compound is characterized by its tall and pointed ancient Hindu architecture and by the towering 47-meter-high (154 ft) central building inside a large complex of individual temples. Prambanan Trimurti is a 9th-century Hindu temple compound in a Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The temple is dedicated to the Trimurti, as the Creator (Brahma), the Preserver (Vishnu), and the Transformer (Shiva).
It is regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most beautiful monuments in the world with a history of many centuries.
The temple was primarily meant to mark the return of the Hindu Sanjaya Dynasty to power in Central Java after almost a century of Buddhist Sailendra Dynasty domination in the region. The first building was completed by the mid-9th century as the Hindu Dynasty's answer to the Buddhist Dynasty's Borobudur and Sewu temples in nearby areas.
The tallest and largest structure in the Prambanan Rara Jonggrang complex is dedicated to Lord Shiva, as a temple with the shrine of Lord Shiva at its central chamber and measures 47 meters tall and 34 meters wide. The eastern gate of Shiva temple is flanked by two small shrines, of guardian gods, Mahakala and Nandhisvara. The Shiva temple is encircled with galleries adorned with the tale of Ramayana carved on the inner walls of the balustrades. To follow the story accurately, you must enter from the east side and began to circle clockwise, the tale continues till the Brahma temple galleries. The central chamber is the largest temple in Prambanan, and a three-meter-high statue of Shiva Mahadeva (the Supreme God) is established there with the trident of Lord Shiva.
The shrine of Lord Vishnu is on the north side of the Shiva shrine, And the shrine of the Lord Brahma is on the south side. Both temples face east and each contains only one large chamber with a shrine, each dedicated to respected gods; Brahma temple contains the statue of Brahma, and the Vishnu temple houses the statue of Vishnu. Both the temple measures 20 meters wide and 33 meters tall.
The temples collapsed during a major earthquake in the 16th century. Although the temple ceased to be an important center of worship, the ruins scattered around the area were still recognizable and known to the local Javanese people in later times. The statues and the ruins became the theme and the inspiration for the Rara Jonggrang folktale.