IFTravels: YOGYAKARTA 29 Jan - 2 Feb 2017 (DAY 3 - PRAMBANAN COMPLEX)



This day, we had new supir which is the one I contacted when I was in Malaysia, Agus. Agus is quite popular supir in Yogyakarta especially among foreigners. At first I thought Agus is much older than I am, but surprisingly he is younger! But, he has a lot of experience with foreigners already.

I told Agus to pick us up early. Our first destination is the Prambanan Complex. It opens at 6AM too, just like Borobudur. We arrived at Prambanan before 630 AM if I'm not mistaken. Already outside the complex we could see school children wandering around, waiting to go inside Prambanan. We immediately went inside, presented our tickets (the combo ticket that we bought at Borobudur), and walked straight in. The complex is big, the walk is...lumayan lah! But Alhamdulillah, slow and steady. Our target is Prambanan temple and Sewu temple.

What's interesting is Prambanan is a Hindu temple and Sewu is a Buddhist temple. It's situated not far from each other and it is believed that during the 8th century, the Syailendra and Medang Mataram dynasty co-existed wih one another and had intermarriages between Buddhism and Hinduism. However, the history between the two kingdoms are quite complicated, thus it's best for you to research and read on your own. I've yet to understand the co-existence and the history of these two kingdoms.

Anyway, when we got to the temple, apparently we were the first there. No one had gone in yet! For a long while, it was just me & FF exploring Prambanan temple. Prambanan was also founded by Stamford Raffles but before the official discovery, the locals actually knew about the temples ruins, only they didn't know about its historical value. Thus, the locals associate the Prambanan & Sewu temples into made up tales about Loro (aka Roro) Jonggrang. 

Looking up one of the main temples.

The Prambanan temple is dedicated to the Trimurti (Brahma, Visnu & Siva). So, here you will see the names for each temple dedicated to the specific God. The cause of abandonment of this temple could be the same as the abandonment of Borobudur. 

We enjoyed our own sweet time in the complex as they weren't many people anyway. When we were about to go from Prambanan to other temples, we saw a group of school children starting to go inside it. So our time was just right. We made our way to Sewu Temple. On the way we passed by two Buddhist temples, Lumbung & Bubrah. Lumbung is smaller than Bubrah but there was major restoration being carried out at Bubrah, so we weren't able to get into it.

Sewu Temple is part of the Loro Jonggrang legend too. The story of the ancient legend in short is as below:
There was once two neigbouring kingdoms, Pengging and Boko. Each ruled by giants; Pengging by Prabu Damar Moyo who had a son Bandung Bondowoso and Boko ruled by a man-eating giant Prabu Boko who had a beautiful daughter named Rara Jonggrang (sometimes Roro, Loro or Lara). 
During a battle of land dispute, Prabu Boko was killed by Bandung Bondowoso's powers thus broke princess Rara Jonggrang's heart. Bandung Bondowoso fell in love with the princess' beauty when he beseige the palace and proposed marriage to her. As she is too heartbroken, she refused but the prince persisted. She then agrees but with two conditions:
1. The prince must build a well named Jalatunda
2. He must build 1000 temples in one night, before the sun rise.  
The Jalatunda was made and resided in Ratu Boko's palace.
For the second condition, the prince conjured up his magic and started to construct the temples. When 999 temples have finished and the prince started to build the last one, the princess urged her maids to light a fire in the east and begin pounding rice, a dawn morning activity. This tricked the spirits who worked for the prince into thinking it was the sun rising and they left the temple unfinished. 
The prince, when learned of this deception became furious and cursed princess Rara Jonggrang into a stone, thus making her the 1000th temple, which is the Sewu temple. "Sewu" in Javanese means "seribu" (a thousand).


As we started our day early, we had a lot of time to spare. So, we went to the Ramayana Ballet theatre to buy tickets for the night's Ramayana Show. We paid 200k rupiah each for the seats. The cheapest is 125k seat which you will be seated at the side. If you're going on a weekday and a non-peak season, there will be a lot of seats. Here, you can pay by credit card.

This is the outer theatre. For the outdoor performance, it will be held in the month of April, May, June because that's when Yogyakarta in dry season. For our show, it's indoor. 

After buying the tickets, we went back to our hotel to checkout and checkin in another hotel at Malioboro area. We also did Batik shopping (because my mom asked me to buy for my dad) and bought Bakpia, a traditional Javanese kuih.

Continuation of Day 3 in next post.


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