|Trip category||: Easy|
|Minimum number of participants||: 1|
|Maximum number of participants||: -|
|Number of Instructor and assistant||: 1|
|Duration||: Half day|
|Price||: by request|
A raised central square, has a total of 11 temples, of various sizes, the largest being the Siva (Shiva) temple which towers dramatically at close to 50 metres high. It is flanked by temples honouring the gods Vishnu and Brahma. Three smaller temples sit in front of the larger temples and each of these is dedicated to the ‘vehicles’ or transportation of the gods represented: Nandi, the bull, for Siva; Hamsa, the sacred swan, for Brahma; and the eagle Garuda for Vishnu.
The second square radiates out symmetrically and contains paths through to the central square, as well as 224 smaller temples of identical design. These temples are known as perwara temples, meaning guardian or complementary. Although most of these smaller temples are currently tumbling ruins, a few have been restored and it is not difficult to imagine the sheer magnitude of what was once here.
A third and final square was also walled at some stage, is not on the same axis as the central two, and does not contain religious artefacts. It is thought that this area would have been for those involved in ceremonies to prepare offerings, and for buildings to house resident priests and pilgrims. These buildings no longer remain as the materials used have not survived over time.
The exteriors of the temples and the balustrade areas within the central square are dense with carvings, and in particular, the Siva temple is famous for the 62 relief depictions of the Ramayana Ballet, telling the story of King Rama and his wife Sita. The Ramanaya Ballet continues to have strong links with the temple complex
Based on an epic Hindu poem, the story of model king Rama was adapted to become an important local dance, encompassing the Javanese style, culture and music. Whilst the story originated in India, the Javanese version is truly representative of the local art and culture.
In the evenings, this ballet comes to life, enacted by over 200 professional
dancers and musicians on an open air stage that takes advantage of the Prambanan Temples as a backdrop
Prambanan’s Siva Temple depicts the ballet as interpreted locally in a series of
stone reliefs, making the link to the site hundreds of years strong.
The story revolves around the duties of relationships; the qualities of the ideal
wife, king, brother and servant. Gods, mortals, giants, monkeys and beautiful
women all come together to tell the colourful story of a courtship punctuated
by a kidnapping and battles.