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The historic Plaosan Temple, or Candi Plaosan, is often overlooked in favor of its larger neighbor, the Prambanan temple complex. But while it may be smaller, it’s no less fascinating, and the relative lack of attention it receives means that it’s less likely to be busy when you come. Explore this lavish temple, which was inspired by a blend of Buddhist and Hindu architectural styles, as you reflect upon the romantic story behind its construction.
Like Prambanan, Plaosan Temple is thought to have been built in the 9th century by the Hindu monarch Rakai Pikatan. His wife, Queen Sri Kahulunan, was a Buddhist. Legend has it that this temple, divided into two sections, was built to represent their union. This is why it includes features drawn from both religions.
Walk to the temple from any of the other religious sites in the Prambanan temple area. As you approach, enjoy the wonderful views of the rice paddies that surround this impressive structure. Expect a somewhat surly welcome from the stone dwarapalas, guardian statues who look after the entrance. Pass them and find yourself in a courtyard scattered with beautiful, intricate stone structures of all sizes.
Linger a while to study the carvings and reliefs that cover these structures. Then continue to the main temple and take some time to appreciate the exterior adornments and many-pointed roof that make it so impressive.
Many features of the interior have been lost due to the age of the building, but there’s still lots to see here. Look at the Buddha statues in the central chamber and see the wall niches created to hold lanterns. Imagine how the temple must have looked hundreds of years ago, illuminated by candlelight.
Instead of an entrance fee, you will be asked to leave a donation for the upkeep of Plaosan Temple. Do keep in mind that modest clothing is expected at most religious sites, and this one is no different. A visit to this lovely spot is best combined with a trip to the wider Prambanan temple area, which is around 11 miles (18 kilometers) from Yogyakarta by taxi.
Give yourself loads of time at Plaosan Temple. Here are some of the best things to do:
Private A Day in Yogyakarta Tour is just one of the interesting experiences on offer here.
For many more activities, peruse our Prambanan things to do page.
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