Prambanan Temple

Built during the Sanjaya Dynasty in the 9th century, the central area has three main temples according to the Hindu Trinity - 'Vishnu' facing to the North, 'Shiva' in the centre, and 'Brahma' to the South. Facing each of these temples is a smaller shrine for their vehicles. The vehicle of Shiva (the Destroyer) is Nandi the bull, the vehicle of Vishnu (the God creator) is the Garuda eagle, and, Brahma (the Guardian god) has a vehicle of the swan, Angsa. Each temple has its own smaller courtyard. The main temple Vishnu, situated in the inner courtyard, is actually surrounded by smaller temples called Pewara temples.

Just about 10 miles outside of Yogyakarta in central Java is the temple complex of Prambanan. This huge complex of Hindu temples was constructed between the 8th and 10th centuries. The remains of 244 temples have been identified in the complex, making it easily the largest Hindu temple complex on Java. The temples fell into disuse when the kings of Java moved their capital to the East, and then many were destroyed by earthquakes. By the middle of the last century it was just a collection of rock piles from which locals would scavenge building materials. It was reconstructed over the last 50 years as Indonesia rediscovered its cultural heritage.

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