Indonesia’s oldest Hindu temple, the beautiful Prabanan temple is over 1,200 years old and is built up of nearly 300 smaller shrines. Located just outside Yogyakarta, it’s a must for any Indonesia itinerary.
There are plenty of tours leaving from Yogyakarta every day but they are expensive and it’s so easy to get there from the city centre that the tours are completely unnecessary, not to mention that you’ll need to save every penny you can considering entrance tickets are a whopping Rp325,000 per person.
The A1 bus leaves Yogyakarta every 15 minutes, it can be found on either Margo Utomo Road or Malioboro Road, bus stops are painted yellow and are on raised platforms so they are really easy to spot. Tickets cost Rp3,500 each way and take just under an hour. (The bus also stops at the airport on route to the temple.) It gets quite busy, don’t expect to get a seat, luckily all the buses are fully air conditioned.
Prabanan is the last stop so you can’t miss it, when you come out of the bus station turn left then walk 4-5 minutes then cross over the main road. You can’t miss it, you’ll pass the exit first, keep going till you get to the pedestrian entrance then cross the car park and the ticket booth is easily sign posted.
When to Visit:
The temple is beautiful at sunset, google what time it will be that day then catch the bus about 2.5 hours before that, that gives you 1 hour on the bus then 1 hour in full daylight to have a proper look around the temple, and the final half hour is when the sky is at its prettiest, make sure your camera is fully charged!
FYI, the entrance gates close at 5pm but the exit gates stay open way longer, we left at 5:45 and there were still quite a few other tourists hanging around.
There isn’t one, the temple is no longer a place of worship so there’s no need to be covered up, shorts and t-shirts are absolutely fine.
The Geeky Bit:
There is a lack of information at the site, so here’s a few things I found out on Wikipedia.
Originally built around 850AD by Rakai Pikatan, the temple was abandoned when the Mataram Dynasty moved its court to East Java, and the site became swallowed up by the jungle.
In 1811 it was rediscovered by a British survivor but proper restoration didn’t begin until 1930. The temple was awarded UNESCO status in 1991.
The complex was originally built with 240 shrines, smallest on the outside and getting bigger the closer to the centre they get. The majority of the outer shrines are rubble but work is in progress to repair and restore a handful of the outer shrines.
The inner shrines are surrounded by a wall with gates and have been fully restored.
Entrance Fee: Rp325,000
Return Bus Ticket: Rp7,000
Total Cost: 332,000
This seems expensive but it’s really a great experience and well worth the money.
I hope you found this interesting 🙂