Prambanan Temple – Is This the World’s Most Beautiful Hindu Temple?

Is Prambanan Temple in Yogyakarta (Indonesia) the world’s most graceful and most beautiful Hindu Temple? That’s the tagline that you see and read in tourism brochures in Yogyakarta, but without a question mark. Is it really? Ok, I’ve been to India where there’s a huge Hindu population and I visited some of the temples there – and I’d say that, yes, Prambanan Temple in Indonesia deserves that title.

Things to do in Prambanan Yogyakarta Indonesia
Visiting this Hindu temple is one of the recommended things to do in Yogyakarta.

At first glance, the architectural design made think of the Angkor Wat of Cambodia.

Angkor Wat or Prambanan
Am I in Cambodia? Nope!

While they might look the same, it is important to know that Prambanan is a Hindu temple while Angkor Wat is a Buddhist temple.

Things to do in Yogyakarta Indonesia
The ruins surrounding the Prambanan Temple is from the earthquake in 2006.

Prambanan Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located just outside Yogyakarta City.

Prambanan Temple in Yogyakarta Indonesia.
Prambanan Temple in Yogyakarta Indonesia.

Archaeologists counted around 240 temples in the area, but not all of them are open to the public.

Hotel Yogyakarta Hostel
I know this is a very touristy thing to do here. 😀

If you have to see all of them, a day might not even be possible.

Hindu god
This statue of a Hindu deity is inside one of the temples.

However, the temples in the central part of the archaeological site still stand gracefully through the test of time.

Yogyakarta Indonesia Temples

As you can see, the temples in the central compound sit on a platform. They’re a little bit elevated than the surrounding temples.

Things to do in Prambanan
Much of the ruins you see here are from the 2006 earthquake in Java.

The 8 major temples are surrounded by another 8 smaller temples.

Prambanan Temple Yogyakarta Indonesia
Looks like the Angkor Wat, eh?

Fortunately, visitors could still climb the steps and see the Hindu statues that have been there for centuries.

Prambanan Temple in Yogyakarta Indonesia.
Prambanan is just 20 kilometres from the city of Yogyakarta.

Prambanan Temple was built in the 8th century, 50 years after Borobudur Temple.

Tourist attractions in Yogyakarta
Much of the ruins you see here are from the 2006 earthquake in Java.

If you are a keen observer, you will notice the incredible carved statues on stones.

Prambanan Temple - Is This the World's Most Beautiful Hindu Temple? Indonesia
Prambanan Temple – Is This the World’s Most Beautiful Hindu Temple? (Yogyakarta, Indonesia).

These statues depict the scenes from the Indonesian version of Ramayana.

Ramayana stone carved statues
The carved statues depict the Indonesian version of Ramayana.

Look closely again on how the temples are built, one stone after another, and you’ll be impressed.

Things to do in Prambanan

The brilliant stone engineering technology makes this place worth a UNESCO Heritage stamp.

Tourist attractions in Indonesia

How to Explore and Get the Best PhotoShoot

Ok, I know everyone will be doing a photoshoot when visiting Prambanan for their social media feeds.

Hostel Yogyakarta Hotel Indonesia
Go around the temples first going inside the main compound.

Rule #1: Never wear black or grey. Or even brown. Ew! Wear something bright and bold because as you can see in the photos, the temples are dark. Bring props, like a rainbow umbrella, a fan, or even a colorful sarong!

Prambanan rainbow umbrella
Prambanan Temple inYogyakarta, Indonesia.

Rule #2: Do not follow the crowd. Just in case you are going there during peak hours, like I did, make a detour. As soon as you enter the main site, walk on your left and explore the stone ruins scattered around. From here, you’ll see the whole site with no one in the background.

Ruins of temple Prambanan Yogyakarta Indonesia
Prambanan Temple – Is This the World’s Most Beautiful Hindu Temple? (Yogyakarta, Indonesia).

How to get to Prambanan from Yogyakarta

Hiring a Grab bike was the cheapest and fastest option for me. The 20-km ride only took us 35 minutes! If there are 3 or 4 of you going, I think hiring a Grab car is a wise decision. If there are two of you, rent a bike from your hotel or hostel. Of course, there’s also a bus, but it takes longer to get there.

Cheap Hostel Yogyakarta Hotel Indonesia
A statue inside one the temples.

Hostel / Hotel in Yogyakarta

I stayed at One Baek Hostel where it is surrounded by bars, restaurants, and convenience stores. The room was clean, and they will allow you to check-in as long as the beds/rooms are ready. The staff members are nice and they’re willing to help out on where to go and what to do in the city. They also offer tours to Borobudur and Prambanan. Ask for their tour list and decide which tour you’d take. You can book this hostel through TripAdvisorExpedia, and HostelWorld.

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