Indonesia is termed as to the world’s largest island country with all the mesmerizing traditions, cultures and history. Every architectural structure here is genuinely marvellous in every sense of the word. One of them is the Prambanan temple, one of the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia and houses about 240 structures. The 9th-century Hindu temple is a magnificent spectacle and a true icon of Indonesia’s cultural heritage. Scroll down to know more about this temple.
All About The Prambanan Temple
Dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as the Transformer (Shiva), the Preserver (Vishu) and the Creator (Brahma), the Prambanan temple is a 9th-century Hindu temple. The temple compound is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia and also the second-largest in Southeast Asia. The tall and pointed architecture characterizes the Prambanan Temple.
History Of The Temple
The building at Prambanan temple was commenced in the middle of the 9th century-around 50 years after Borobudur(largest Buddha temple in the world). Although it is thought that the temple may have been built by Rakai Pikatan to commemorate the return of the Hindu dynasty. In the mid 16th century, the earthquake toppled the temple, and for years, Prambanan remained in ruins as locals were searching for building materials. Later, the efforts were made in 1855 to clear the site and around 1953, the reconstruction of the main Shiva temple was completed and inaugurated by Sukarno (Indonesia politician).
Extensive damage to the Prambanan temple was suffered in the 2006 earthquake. Although the main temples survived hundreds of stone blocks collapsed or were cracked. Moreover, today the main structures have been restored, but a lot of work remains to be done.
The Architecture of The Temple
The architecture of the temple follows the typical Hindu architecture traditions based on the Vastu Shastra. It incorporated Mandal temple plan arrangements and was originally names as Shivagrha and dedicated to the God Shiva. The whole temple complex is a layer of Loka (world) and is a model of Hindu universe according to Hindu cosmology. The main Prasada tower (central building) is 154 feet tall!
The whole complex contains 240 individual stone temples, but many of them have been scattered in ruins. The temple complex is divided into three zones. The outer zone is an open space that serves as a yard for priests or worshippers. The middle area has 224 small shrines all arranged into four concentric rows around the central compound. These small shrines are called Candi Perwara, meaning ‘guardian temples’. And the primary compound is where all the main temples are built, and there are eight of them with eight smaller shrines each impressively built and ornately carved.
The three largest temples are dedicated to the Trimurti or three forms of gods in Hinduism: Shiva the Destroyer, Brahma the Creator and Vishnu the Keeper. Among these three, Shiva’s temple is the largest and centrally located. It is the square elevated platform, all surrounded by a square stone wall with stone gates on each of the four points.
Spots And Attractions
The Prambanan temple attracts many visitors from around the world all year round. The major attractions of the temple are:
- The Brahma temple shows the final scenes of Ramayana on the walls and houses a big statue of Brahma in the chamber.
- The Shiva temple, the grandest and most ornate of them, has stone cravings of the epic Ramayana throughout its inner walls.
- The Vishnu temple holds an impressive statue of the god and stone carvings telling the story of Lord Krishna.
The pictures don’t do justice to the beauty and history of this gorgeous looking largest Hindu temple in Indonesia.
Featured Image Source: Wikipedia commons)