Prambanan Temple

The Prambanan temple complex consists of three zones. The outer zone is a large space marked by a rectangular wall (destroyed). The original function is unknown; possibilities are that it was a sacred park, or priests' boarding school (ashram). The supporting buildings for the temple complex were made from organic material; as a consequence no remains occur. The middle zone consisted of four rows of 224 individual small shrines. These concentric rows of temples were made in identical design. Each row towards the center is slightly elevated. These shrines are called "Candi Perwara" or complementary temples, the additional buildings of the main temple. Some believed it was offered to the king as a sign of submission. The Perwara are arranged in four rows around the central temples, some believed it has something to do with four castes, made according to the rank of the people allowed to enter them; the row nearest to the central compound was accessible to the priests only, the other three were reserved for the nobles, the knights, and the simple people respectively.

Prambanan Main Temple

While another believed that the four rows of Perwara has nothing to do with four castes, it just simply made as meditation place for priests and as worship place for devotees. The central compound is the holiest among the three zones. Its the square elevated platform surrounded by square stone wall with stone gates on each four cardinal points. This holiest compound is assembled of eight main shrines or candi. The three main shrines, called Trimurti ("three forms"), are dedicated to the three gods: Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Keeper, and Shiva the Destroyer. The other three shrine in front of three main temples is dedicated to vahana of each gods. Between these row of main temple, on north and south side stands two Candi Apit.

Map of Prambanan Temple

Beside these 8 main temples, there's also 8 smaller shrines; 4 Candi Kelir on four cardinal direction of the entrance, and 4 Candi Patok on four corner. The Shiva shrine at the center contains five chambers, four small chamber in every cardinal direction and one bigger main chamber in central part of the temple. The east chamber connect to central chamber that houses a three meter high statue of Shiva Mahadeva. The statue of Shiva stands on Yoni pedestal that bears the carving of Naga serpents on north side of pedestal. The other three smaller chambers contain statues of Hindu Gods related to Shiva; his consort Durga, the rishi Agastya, and Ganesha, his son. Statue of Agastya occupy the south chamber, the west chamber houses the statue of Ganesha, while the north chamber contains the statue of Durga Mahisasuramardini depicting Durga as the slayer of Bull demon. The shrine of Durga is also called the temple of Rara Jonggrang (Javanese: slender virgin), after a Javanese legend of princess Rara Jonggrang.

The two other main shrines are that of Vishnu on the north side of Shiva shrine, and the one of Brahma on the south. Both temple facing east and each contain only one large chamber, each dedicated to respected gods; Brahma temple contains the statue of Brahma and Vishnu temple houses the statue of Vishnu. In front of each main temple is a smaller temples on the east side, dedicated to the mounts (vahana)of the respective gods - the bull Nandi for Shiva, the gander Angsa for Brahma, and Vishnu's Eagle Garuda. Garuda holds important role for Indonesia, which serves as the national symbol of Indonesia, also to the airline Garuda Indonesia. The bas-reliefs along the balustrades on the gallery around Shiva and Brahma temple depict the Ramayana legend. They illustrate how Sita, the wife of Rama, is abducted by Ravana. The monkey king Hanuman brings his army to help Rama and rescue Sita. This story is also shown by the Ramayana Ballet, regularly performed at full moon at Trimurti open air theatre in west side of the illuminated Prambanan complex. On the balsutrades in Vishnu temple there is series of bas-relief depict the story of lord Krishna.

The Legend of Rara Jonggrang
The popular legend of Rara Jonggrang is what connects the site of the Ratu Boko Palace, the origin of the Durga statue in northern cell/chamber of the main shrine, and the origin of the Sewu temple complex nearby. The legend tells of the story about Prince Bandung Bondowoso who fell in love with Princess Lara Jonggrang, the daughter of King Boko. But the princess rejected his proposal of marriage because Bandung Bondowoso had killed King Boko and ruled her kingdom. Bandung Bondowoso insisted on the union, and finally Rara Jonggrang was forced to agree for a union in marriage, but she posed one impossible condition: Bandung must build her a thousand temples in only one night.

Statue of Durga (Rara Jonggrang)

The Prince entered into meditation and conjured up a multitude of spirits (demons) from the earth. Helped by supernatural beings, he succeeded in building 999 temples. When the prince was about to complete the condition, the princess woke her palace maids and ordered the women of the village to begin pounding rice and set a fire in the east of the temple, attempting to make the prince and the spirits believe that the sun was about to rise. As the cocks began to crow, fooled by the light and the sounds of morning time, the supernatural helpers fled back into the ground. The prince was furious about the trick and in revenge he cursed Rara Jonggrang to stone. She became the last and the most beautiful of the thousand statues. According to the traditions, the unfinished thousandth temple created by the demons become the Sewu temple compounds nearby (Sewu means "thousands" in Javanese), and the Princess is the image of Durga in the north cell of the Shiva temple at Prambanan, which is still known as Rara Jonggrang or Slender Virgin.

(Source : Wikipedia)



Written By Tripzibit on Oct 13, 2008 | 19:46

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