Prambanan Temple, a Long History of Restoration Process

One of the biggest temples in Indonesia is Prambanan Temple besides Borobudur Temple. The Perambanan Hindu Temple Complex or also known as the Roro Jonggrang Temple was built in 850 AD by King Balitung Maha Sambu of Wangsa Sanjaya. The original name of Prambanan Temple is Siwagrha Temple, based on the Siwagrha Inscription. The construction of Prambanan Temple was after a century of construction of the Borobudur Temple by Samaratungga, the King of Ancient Mataram.

In fact, it is not certain when the construction of Prambanann Temple was carried out, it could be that the construction was carried out older than 850 AD. This estimate is based on the Siwagrha Inscription stored in the National Museum in Jakarta. In the Siwagrha inscription there is an inscription of the year 778 Saka or 856 AD which historians claim to be the year of writing. The inscription was made by order of Rakai Pikatan, one of the Mataram Medang Kings.
Prambanan, Prambanan Temple In Central Java
The peak of Shiva Temple in the Prambanan Temple Complex
Rakai Pikatan with the title Sri Maharaja Rakai Pikatan Mpu Manuku who became the 6th king of the Medang Kingdom in the Central Java period. This king reigned from 840 AD to 856 AD.

Such was the length of the construction period for the Prambanan Temple that the construction was continued by the son of Rakai Pikatan who later became the next king of Medang Mataram, namely Balitung Maha Sambu who became the 7th king of the Medang Kingdom and at the same time the 2nd king of the Medang Mataram combined Kingdom.
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A tourist is coming down from the Shiva Temple in the Prambanan Temple Complex
Rakai Pikatan married a Queen from the Mataram Kuni kingdom named Pramodhawardhani, who at that time was the Princess of the Crown because he did not have a biological brother, the descendant of the King of Ancient Mataram, Samaratungga from the Syailendra dynasty. This Sailandra dynasty built Borobudur Temple.

The position of this temple complex is located in the middle between DI Yogyakarta and Central Java, namely between Sleman Regency, Yogyakarta Province and Klaten Regency, Central Java Province. Prambanan Temple is located in two sub-districts with the same name, namely Prambanan District, Yogyakarta Province and Prambanan District, which are included in the nomenclature of Central Java.
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The best photo spot area to get a picture of the entire Prambanan Temple

Administratively, the Prambanan Complex is in two villages, namely; Bokoharjo Village, Prambanan District, Sleman Regency and Tiogo Village, Prambanan District, Klaten Regency. The Prambanan temple complex is about 17 km from the city of Yogyakarta, which is in the east, and 120 km to the south of Semarang city.

Prambanan, Prambanan Temple In Central Java
Shiva Temple Gate
In one of the Prambanan Temple complexes there is the largest temple, namely the Shiva Temple, then there are temples that stand around it which are smaller than the Shiva Temple, namely the Brahma Temple, the Vishnu Temple, the Wahana Temple, the Apit Temple, the Kelir Temple and the Patok Temple. Each temple has its etymological and philosophical history. All the temples in the middle are circled by the Perwara Temple which surrounds all corners of the wind. Unfortunately, until now, only 2 of the 224 temples have been restored.

The main material for making Prambanan Temple is andesite stone for the outside, top and walls. Andesite stone is obtained from mountains or hills. Andesite stone is black and very hard, strong and resistant to climate change. Andesite stone is also used in Borobudur Temple.

As for the foundation and main bone structure using white stone. The process of unifying the structure of the temple by using the keys of the stone itself which interlock each other. The fusion process does not use any kind of cement or soil, all fish on the strength of the interlock.

Prambanan Temple was Built with High Technology

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Prambanan Temple has a detailed and difficult construction. Instructions for use of advanced technology.

Judging from the construction and architecture, the most beautiful temple in Southeast Asia is so complex and sophisticated. It is clear that the construction of Prambanan Temple was carried out by very skilled people at that time. It is unlikely that it was only done by ordinary people.

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The reliefs on the intricate walls of the temple seemed to be printed with 3D technology

Judging from the precision of the exact building forms, architectural mathematical calculations, detailed reliefs based on historical stories, and the large number of temples surrounding the main temple, namely the Shiva Temple. It can be estimated that the people involved in the development of the temple construction at that time already possessed capable technology. This is proof that our culture in the past is very high.

The thing that cannot be explained is how the temple makers arranged the stones so that they are interlocked and interlocked with one another, such as putting together a difficult puzzle. This is even more difficult than the puzzle because it involves a very large number of stones. One more question we ask about how to move heavy stones to high positions on the tops of the temples.

As an illustration, the Agastya statue or what is also called Syiwa Mahaguru is a single stone that is 5 meters high. How to place this huge rock at its peak in the past? Meanwhile, during the restoration period, you have to use heavy equipment like an eskapator to lift it. This of course was done not by ordinary people but by the sophisticated masons at that time.

Prambanan Temple Becomes a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Prambanan Temple is included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the largest Hindu temple in Southeast Asia. The architecture of the Prambanan temple building which is extraordinarily difficult and artistic shows the advancement of the science of architects at that time. The main temple has a height of up to 47 meters which is the center of the other temples around it. The grandest temple in Southeast Asia attracts tourists from abroad.

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The exit gate of the Prambanan dphoto complex from the green park

Early Discovery of Prambanan Temple

The discovery and the beginning of the flight were inseparable from the role of the Dutch and British, who at that time became the rulers of the archipelago. Initial discovery in 1733 by CA. Lons was a Dutch VOC employee while carrying out his duties from Governor Coyet to become an assistant on his way from Semarang to Kartasura for a meeting at the Mataram Palace.

The initial conditions for the discovery of the temple were still difficult to see clearly because many were covered by soil, mountain ash, sand and very dense thickets of shrubs. But the position of the rocks that look shaped and systematic shows that it is a temple building.

This discovery really attracted the attention of the world and became the attention of many parties after Great Britain controlled several areas of Java which was entrusted by the Queen of England to Thomas Stamford Raffles as British Governor General for Java Island in 1811.

Information about the discovery of the ruins of the Prambanan temple made Thomas Stamford Raffles curious and wanted to get information about the existence of the discovery of these very historic temples. Raffles sent a surveyor named Colin Mackenzie to see the temple discovery complex firsthand. As well as Raffles also asked to immediately carry out various stages of research and excavation.

Lots of Lost Prambanan Temple Stones

Unfortunately, the British period was not long and returned to the Dutch East Indies, so that for decades there has been no investigation and extraction, even until 1864. Moreover, at the stage of temple restoration. During the Dutch colonial period there was also the practice of pillaging stone temples and carvings. reliefs and statues.

The original stones of the temple ruins were also placed carelessly, even in the worst cases during the time of Isaäc Groneman, who placed the stones carelessly in the Opak River, which is in the southern area of ​​the temple ruins.

During this period, the Dutch took a lot of lost statues to be brought to the Netherlands or just for decoration to be displayed in a garden. There are also local residents who make this temple stone the foundation of their house or other necessities.
The Beginning of Excavation and Restoration of Prambanan Temple

When the condition of the ruins of the temple stones became even more alarming, N.W. Hoepermans reported several incidents related to the disappearance and reduction of stones in the Prambanan temple complex. There are even findings of the use of the stones for things that have nothing to do with excavation. This report was welcomed by the Governor-General in Batavia to form a nomenclature for the archaeological service.

Finally in 1918 a service called Jawatan Purbakala (Oudheidkundige Dienst) was formed whose operations were entrusted to P.J. Perquin. It is only then that restoration in an effort to return to its original state has just begun, but it has not used a systematic method in general.
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Prambanan temple ruins that have not been restored

A serious and systematic restoration was started in 1926 by De Haan. Unfortunately in 1930 De Han died so that the restoration stopped for a moment which was then continued by Ir. V.R. van Romondt from 1931 to 1942.

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Part of the restoration of the Prambanan Temple Complex is still not finished

After the Japanese entered and came to power in the country, the restoration conditions changed completely. Fortunately, Nippon still supported the restoration which was carried out by Indonesians themselves. Until finally in 1945 Japan came out.

The Dutch East Indies government through the Dutch-Indies Cultural Service continued the restoration process until 1949. In 1950 the restoration process was carried out by our own nation which was carried out in stages until now. Currently, the Yogyakarta Cultural Heritage Conservation Center (BPCB) is carrying out the restoration of the Perwara Temple in the Prambanan Temple complex, Sleman, DI Yogyakarta.

The ability of Indonesian archaeologists in the process of restoring temples has been recognized worldwide, as proof that in the restoration process of Angkor Wat in Cambodia it is believed to have participated in the restoration process. Manual restoration techniques commonly used by experts in Indonesia are also considered quite safe and do not damage historical sites.
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Prambanan temple tourists are not bothered by the ongoing restoration process

Expansion of the Prambanan Temple Historical Reserve Area

During the period of President Soeharto, a policy was issued to expand the area of ​​historical reserves so that the condition of the site can be more maintained and make the Prambanan complex an attractive and neat tourist destination. The expansion began in 1990 by moving settlements, markets and rice fields to other places. So that the area of ​​the Prambanan Temple complex becomes 39.8 ha.

To make the Prabanan Temple Complex area more attractive and pleasant to become a tourist area, green parks are also made. At the same time, to provide business opportunities for the surrounding population by selling souvenirs, the Government has also built a center for selling souvenirs and others in the Prambanan Complex with a separate arrangement from the reserve location.

Tourist Spots in the Prambanan Complex

One of the interesting facilities for traveling around the vast temple complex is that we can use a modified car like a tourist train. With this tourist train we can see the area and the temples which are located very far from the entrance gate and also from the main temple area. The ticket price for the increase is only Rp. 10,000, -.

To get around, we can also use a bicycle that is available for rent in the complex with a rental fee of Rp. 20,000, -. If we want to take photo spots to see other temples, it is most suitable to use this bicycle because it is more practical and flexible, in contrast to using a tourist train which only takes photos from inside the vehicle.

For those who like to explore history and want to know more about the history of Prambanan Temple, in this complex there is also the Prambanan Temple Museum. In it there are many collections of Prambanan temple relics and also the Medang Kingdom or Ancient Mataram.

If you want to get cultural tourism in the form of dance and theatrical then watching Ramayana Ballet in this complex is very interesting. The performance starts at 20.00 - 22.00 WIB which is held on the Trimurti open stage.
Photografer : Azzahra R. Team Writter

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Tag: Prambanan, Temple History, Prambanan Temple, Prambanan Tourism, Prambanan Temple Restoration, Prambanan Temple Restoration