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4 interesting hidden temples near Prambanan
Prambanan Temple in Sleman, Yogyakarta, around 20 kilometers from the hub of Yogyakarta city, alongside the highway leading to Surakarta in Central Java, is a very well known tourist destination. Rising to a height of 47 meters, the 10th century building is the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia and has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At its vicinity, there are many other historical relics as old as Prambanan, such as small temples, statues and shrines. These sites are actually relics from the ancient Mataram kingdom or also known as Medang, which was established around the 8th century and has built many places of worship to the gods of Hinduism and Buddhism around its kingdom's capital. There are also several small temples located in the middle of the countryside and hills. Though they are not as big as the Prambanan, each has its own unique qualities, a must-visit for those seeking an adventure. Other than being marvelous historical tours, these temples offer gorgeous scenery as well. Crossing a small road among rice paddies and fields in the countryside, climbing the hills with winding streets, meeting and getting to know the locals, are just some of the things you will get to experience. If you are short on time, you should at least visit these four temples that offer not only breathtaking architecture, but also great histories and beautiful natural surroundings. Plaosan Lor Temple The Plaosan Lor Temple can be found less than one kilometer away from the Prambanan Temple, specifically in Bugisan village in Klaten, Central Java. Not far from it, there is another temple that looks about the same but is smaller; this temple is commonly known as the Plaosan Kidul. The Plaosan Temple complex is a Buddhist temple adorned with many beautiful stupas; more than 100 of them, to be exact. According to an inscription carved on the temple's stone, Plaosan was built in the 9th century by Rakai Pikatan as a gift to Queen Pramudyawardani. This love story led to a myth that if a couple came to visit the place, they would be blessed with a harmonious and long-lasting relationship. Sojiwan Temple Sojiwan Temple is located in the middle of the countryside near Kebon Dalem village in Klaten, around two kilometers from the Prambanan Temple. According to the Rukam inscription (829 Caka/907 AD), this temple was built by Dyah Balitung, a king of the Medang Kingdom, around the 9th century. Sojiwan was later discovered by Colonel Colin Mackenzie in 1813 and restored in 2005 after being damaged by earthquakes and eruptions from Mount Merapi. The building consists of one main temple adorned with reliefs depicting the story of Pancatantra and Jantaka, a fable from ancient India which contains the teachings of wisdom. Sojiwan Temple is conveniently surrounded by a garden with several big trees as well as some stones from the temple's ruins. Its front yard is often used by the locals as a venue for traditional art performances. Around the temple, you can also see villagers engaging in daily activities such as farmers working in the fields, collecting grass or herding cattle; a typical rural atmosphere, which is always quiet and far from tourists. Barong Temple A trip to this particular temple is an adventurous one. Situated on a hillside in the southern part of Prambanan, commonly known as Boko Hill, getting to Barong Temple requires a journey that traces the winding roads through trees, rocks and rural slopes. Geographically situated in Sambirejo village in Sleman, this Hindu temple was built in the 9th century by the Medang Kingdom, intended to worship Vishnu and Sri Goddess. Its design is quite unique; it resembles punden berundak (terraces) and has three levels with a stone staircase at the front of the temple. The staircase leads to a large field with three small temples in the background, which were used as the altar for the gods' statues. Seen from a distance, the Barong Temple looks like a giant stage made of stones, magnificent among the surrounding green hills. From the temple's highest level, you will get to enjoy the scenic beauty of Boko Hill: the rice fields, forests and the quiet hillside โ€“ a very suitable atmosphere to escape for a while. Ijo Temple Not far from Barong Temple, there is another temple located on a hilltop near Sambirejo village in Sleman, Yogyakarta, around four kilometers from Prambanan. Nestled at an altitude of 400 meters above sea level, the Ijo Temple is a Hindu structure built during the Medang Kingdom, which is strongly associated with the other temples in the Boko Hills such as the Barong Temple, Ratu Boko Temple, Abang Temple and Banyunibo Temple. In the heyday of Medang, this hilly area was said to be the center of spiritual activities; the locals used to call it the Shiva plateau. Ijo Temple is interestingly shaped in multilevel terraces. The highest terrace was intended as the main temple. In front of it, there are three ancillary temples, which symbolize the trinity of the Hindu gods. You can also find a Linga-Yoni statue inside the main temple, a symbol of the union of two different elements to create a new life in the universe. Presently the building's lower terrace is under renovation, but there are still many stories and hidden mysteries worth discovering among the temple's pile of stones. - See more at: http://www.jakpost.travel/news/4-interesting-hidden-temples-near-prambanan--kmrQY2915L6NMUh0.html#sthash.5mzyISol.dpuf
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