One of the most treasured and visited locations in Indonesia is a temple which holds a rich history and a thriving expression of culture; the Prambanan Temple, or also known as the Roro Jonggrang Temple in Indonesia, or also the “Temple of the Slender Virgin” is located in Yogyakarta. It is a temple that was built during the 9th century, which holds a mystical charm that entices its visitors and gives such an exotic atmosphere. It has eight shrines in total, three of which are the main shrines that are for Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.
Composed of more or less 240 magnificent temples, Prambanan is one of the four temple sites in Prambanan Temple Compounds. The other three temples are Sewu Temple, Bubrah Temple and Lumbung Temple.
Prambanan Temple has attracted many tourists all across the world. The archaeological greatness of the shrines is enough to awe its visitors, and even more so when two theaters were built in the temple complex. The one located in the southern area of the temple was built during the 1960’s, while the other, which is located in the western area of the temple, was built during the 1980’s. These temples hold amazing performances of Ramayana ballet from the months of May-October, to showcase and illustrate local culture.
Because of the many years this temple has stood, and because of the many things it has witnessed and survived, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) selected this temple complex to be labeled as a World Heritage Site. In order to be characterized as such, one landmark should have historical, cultural or scientific kind of relevance; the Prambanan Temple gave exactly just that. The UNESCO website describes this temple complex as place that display the complex culture of the country, but more specifically on the Siva art. It is one of the classical period masterpieces in the region of Asia, which articulates intricacy in design and built.
All year round, the temple gets a lot of visitors, but to maximize your visit and the experience, try avoiding the wet season. Even if Indonesia does not get a lot of heavy rainfall, during the months of January and February, light rain does occur. There are cases that it also happens during December but it is not as common. If you want to avoid having to experience a little drizzle, then avoid these months.
But just because you’re avoiding the rainy months does not mean that the other months are completely convenient. One thing that any tourist should expect when going to Indonesia is that it is usually hot. Since this is the best time to visit the Prambanan Temple, what you do instead to make it more comfortable is to prepare for the hot weather. So, this means you wear comfortable clothing when you go there-- wear a cap or a hat and bring sunglasses. You should also bring water to keep you hydrated.
Seeing the site of the Prambanan Temples is a treat in itself, but there are other activities that can be done. As mentioned earlier, you can watch the Ramayana Ballet, learn about Javanese culture through dance. Visit all the temples and take pictures of the uniqueness of each one. You can also dine at the restaurants near the temple after a long day.
- Prambanan Temple is open from 6:00AM to 5:00PM; visitors can stay until 6:00PM for the sunset.
- Make sure to allot enough time - the complex is quite large. It will take time to explore the grounds and appreciate the sights and architecture.
- Bring along a camera - the views are amazing!
- Flying a camera drone is not allowed in Prambanan Temple Complex.
- Bring cash around as some of the best stalls and services in Yogyakarta are cash-based and does not accept debit/credit card.
- Remember to wear appropriate clothes - the weather in Yogyakarta is generally hot and humid.
- There is a good mobile phone signal in Prambanan Temple complex.
- Toilets/restrooms are available.
RATES / FEES
- Entrance Fee (for foreign tourists) is USD 25 (around IDR350,000 or Php1300 - exchange rate as of this writing) for adult and USD 15 (IDR210,000 or Php780 exchange rate as of this writing) for child/student.
- The child/student need to show their Passport or student ID at the ticketing counter to avail child/student rate.
- Prambanan temple and Borobudur temple combined ticket is also available - more cheaper than buying each temple ticket. Combine ticket for Prambanan and Borobudur Temples is valid for 2 days.
HOW TO GET THERE
From Yogyakarta City center, you can book a Grab Car, GoJek, Taxi or take a public bus going to Prambanan Temple. In our case, since we’re 6 in the group, we rented a car for our 2-day DIY tour – a much cheaper way to explore Special Region of Yogyakarta.
From Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, to Yogyakarta City
|(c)googlemaps, Jakarta to Yogyakarta Route|
- Fly directly from Jakarta City to Yogyakarta City – flight time is approximately 1 hour.
- Cost: IDR 450,000 (approx. Php1700 or 32 USD) to IDR 1,200,000 (approximately Php4400 or 85 USD)
- Below is the list of airlines and sample cost – as of this writing.
|(c)google.com/flights, Jakarta to Yogyakarta|
- Train ride from the capital city Jakarta to Yogyakarata is approximately 8-9 hours.
- Cost: IDR 300,000 (approximately Php1000 or 21USD).
- Routes: Gambir Station to Tugu Station in Yogyakarta orPasar Senen Station to Lempuyangan Station in Yogyakarta
- Below is the schedule of train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta – as of this writing.
|(c)google.com, Jakarta to Yogyakarta train schedule|
- Taking a bus going to Yogyakarta from Jakarta is a 12-hour ride. Bus stops are located in Jakarta Barat and Jakarta Selatan.
- Cost: IDR 150,000 (approximately Php550 or 10 USD) to IDR 230,000 (approximately Php 800 or 16 USD)
- Below is the schedule of bus trip from Jakarta to Yogyakarta – as of this writing.
From Bali Island to Yogyakarta City
|(c)googlemaps, Bali to Yogyakarta route|
- Fly directly from Bali to Yogyakarta City – flight time is approximately one and half hours.
- Cost: IDR 600,000 (approximately Php 2200 or 42 USD) to IDR1,200,000 (approximately Php4400 or 85 USD)
- Below is the list of airlines routing Bali to Yogyakarta – with sample cost – as of this writing.
|(c)google.com/flights, Bali to Yogyakarta flights|
By Direct Bus
- There are regular trips of buses directly going to Yogyakarta from Bali – travel time is approximately 15 hours. Available bus stops at Denpasar Ubung Terminal.
- Cost: IDR 180,000 (approximately Php700 or 12 USD) to IDR 350,000 (approximately Php1300 or 25 USD)
- Below is the schedule of bus trip from Bali to Yogyakarta – as of this writing.
|(c)easybook.com, Bali to Yogyakarta Bus schedule|
From Bandung City, West Java to Yogyakarta City
|(c)googlemaps, Bandung to Yogyakarta route|
- Fly directly from Bandung (Husein Sastranegara International Airport BDO) to Yogyakarta (Adisucipto International Airport) –flight time is approximately 1 hour (direct flight).
- Cost: Minimum of IDR600,000 (approximately Php2200 or 42 USD)
- Below is the schedule of flight from Bali to Yogyakarta – as of this writing.
|(c)google.com/flights, Bandung to Yogyakarta flight|
- Train ride is available from Bandung to Yogyakarta (vv) – see schedule and travel time below.
|(c)google.com, Bandung to Yogyakarta train schedule|
By Direct Bus
- There are regular trips of buses to/from Bandung to Yogyakarta City –travel time is approximately 10-11 hours.
- Route: Gedebage, Bandung, Jawa Barat to Banguntapan, Yogyakarta
- Cost: Minimum of IDR 140,000 (approximately Php550 or 10 USD)
- Below is the schedule of bus trip from Bandung to Yogyakarta from easybook.com – as of this writing.
|(c)easybook.com, Bandung to Yogyakarta Bus schedule|
I would like to say thank you to Indonesian colleagues and friends, Bu Sri, Bu Dahlya, Pak Priyono, Pak Bayu and Pak Sopono; travel buddies, Robin and Welland - for making this Yogyakarta weekend trip possible.