Prambanan and the Hidden Temples

When we went to Prambanan and the Hidden Temples we did an alternative tour rather than the generic minibus-transfer-plus-entrance-ticket-tour.

On our visit to Prambanan and the Hidden Temples, the four of us hired motorbikes with driver, which meant we were able to take the scenic route along the country lanes and away from the main roads.

Taking the tour by motorbike also meant that we were able to discover a few of the region’s hidden temples on our way to Prambanan, which are well off the beaten track and are otherwise inaccessible.

We booked this tour with Via Via, and they organised our four drivers and motorbikes. One of the drivers, Mukhlas, was also our guide, and at every stop he explained us the temple’s history and and many things about architecture and symbology.

Setting off on our tour of Prambanan and the Hidden Temples

We climbed aboard our respective two-wheel vehicles and and set off away from the bustling city towards the green farmlands and tiny villages.

All our drivers spoke excellent English and chatted enthusiastically to us during the drive. The told us about being freelance guides and working for Via Via, about their studies, and about things we saw along the way.

The Hidden Temples

First we visited three of Yogyakarta’s hidden temples. The hidden temples are ruins of temples that have only been discovered in recent times after having spent centuries buried.

Candi Sambisari

Candi Sambisari

Candi Sambisari

The first one was Candi Sambisari, a Hindu temple which turned out to be my favourite.

There was so much to say about this temple that I have actually dedicated a post to it. Please read it here.

Candi Sari

Candi Sari, Yogyakarta

Candi Sari

Then we went to Candi Sari which was also charming. This had been a Buddhist temple and was once used by monks as a dormitory, library and general quiet area.

When we went inside it was deliciously cool and clear to see why the monks had chosen that space for themselves.

Candi Plaosan Lor

Candi Plaosan Lor

Candi Plaosan Lor

The last of the hidden temples was the biggest and most impressive.

At the previous temples the guide guide had made us guess whether they were Hindu temples or Buddhist temples. We learnt that the Hindu temples had smaller temples surrounding the main one, as though to protect it. And the Buddhist temples had stupas. Candi Plaosan Lor had all the elements combined.

Turns out a Hindu prince fell in love with a Buddhist princess and built this huge combined complex to represent both faiths.

This temple had been destroyed by the volcano Mount Merapi and had also suffered more recent setbacks during reconstruction in the earthquake of 2006. So even though the main twin temples dedicated to the prince and princess had been reconstructed, many of the smaller, surrounding temples were just piles of volcanic rock waiting to be put together.

Imagine how frustrating that must be!

The people who are reconstructing these temples are also faced with another problem: in the past, villagers were pilfering the stones to use in the construction of their own houses, and as a result, many pieces are missing, not just from this temple but from many, and there are scores of these hidden temples in this small area.

Jogja Motorbike Tour

Prambanan

We cruised around the country lanes enjoying the gorgeous scenery and the peace and quiet. For me, this was just as nice as visiting the temples themselves and really added to the day.

Our last visit was to Prambanan; the biggest and most important temple of the group. Prambanan is a Hindu temple and takes two hours to visit. The whole thing is very spread out and there is a lot of walking between edifices in the heat.

The whole day out to Prambanan and the hidden temples, but especially the Prambanan part, is very tiring. Prambanan is well worth a visit though; it is quite magnificent.

Here are my photos from Prambanan:

Prambanan

Prambanan

Prambanan

Prambanan

prambanan and the hidden temples

Prambanan

Prambanan

Prambanan

You can see all of my photos from this day out in the slideshow below or by clicking here.

I would like to remind you that all the photos used on InMyShoesTravel.com are my own unless otherwise stated.
You can see my whole collection of Travel Photos here.

Filed Under: asiafeaturedIndonesiaJavaReligion and CultureYogyakarta

About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....

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  1. susan sykes says:

    Great photos

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