One thing you should not miss in Yogyakarta is the spectacular sunset scene at Prambanan Temple. It´s quite magical to be surrounded by historical buildings, gorgeous architecture, happy travelers and golden light shining through temples. The grounds are impressive, and you could spend hours exploring this place. Continue reading our complete travel guide for a unique experience: Sunset at Prambanan Temple, Yogyakarta.
Recommended reading: Sunrise at Borobudur Temple, Yogyakarta
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Prambanan Temple, Yogyakarta
The magical Prambanan Temple was built in the 9th century, and is a hindu temple beyond compare. It reaches 47 meters off the ground, and is one of the biggest and most beautiful temples in Southeast Asia.
It is believed that the temple was constructed by Rakai Pikatan during his reign. However, no one really knows as the temples were moved, abandoned and left unattended for many many years. The temple was re-discovered hundreds of years later, and at that time no one really knew the history of this impressive sight. Because of this, a legend grew forward and was then passed down for generations.
Within the Prambanan Temple grounds, there are around 200+ temples, both large and small. Most of them, are today scattered around the grounds as piles of stones. However, there are 18 temples that have been completely and successfully restored to its former glory. And oh my – they sure are beautiful to look at!
Furthermore, there are 8 main temples, where 3 of them are dedicated to the most important deities in Hindu: Shiva the Destroyer, Brahma the Creator and Vishnu the Preserver.
The Legend of Prambanan
There is a story about a princess named Roro Jonggrang. She was very beautiful, and had many men asking for her hand in marriage. She attracted a prince named Bandung Bondowoso, who later asked her to marry him. The princess did not want this, and as a way of turning down the proposal, she demanded a thousand temples to be built overnight. The prince, completely in love with her beauty, said that he would do as she demanded.
The story has it that Bandung Bondowoso, together with a horde of spirits built the temples of Prambanan overnight. When the temples were nearly completed and the 999th temple was complete, Roro Jonggrang had ordered the villagers to burn the temples to the ground.
This turned Bandung Bondowoso so mad. Enraged by the princess actions, he cursed her and turned her into a statue to complete the 1,000 temples. Today you can see the stone statue standing inside the Prambanan Temple.
Sunset at Prambanan Temple, Yogyakarta
We arrived at the temple around 4pm, which allowed us approx. 1 hour the explore the grounds before sunset. There are a lot of other tourists and locals here as well, but not nearly as bad as other temple grounds we’ve been to.
We spent our time walking around the grounds, exploring the temples up close. The details of the architecture is so impressive. Spending the golden hour here was one of the best ways we could have ended our day.
The entrance ticket includes a welcome drink, and also make sure you roam through the local market on your way out. There are local handicrafts, clothes, painting and other things being sold.
Entrance fee: 350.000 IDR per person + 15.000 IDR for parking.
Book your tour: Prambanan Sunset Tour
How to get there
There are many ways to get to the Prambanan Temple, and the most popular methods is either by taxi or bus. We had a private driver for the day, and our last stop was Prambanan Temple. It is located 15km outside the city center of Yogyakarta, and it takes approx. 30 minutes to drive there.
Bus: 4000 IDR per person
Taxi: 300.000 IDR in total for 3 hours
Private driver: 950.000 IDR total for 10 hours