Yogyakarta Temples: 5 places to visit for your temple fix

Yogyakarta is known for it's amazing culture, art, and handicrafts scene. A lot of tourists flock here to learn these, some to purchase, while others to observe. And while some of them skip all of these and just go directly for the greater attractions (largest temples in Indonesia), others don't mind experiencing it all in Yogya.

So if you ever want to experience both the culture and the temples, here are five temples that are worth spending time for.

1. Candi Prambanan

Candi Prambanan (Prambanan Temple), Foursquare.com

Candi Prambanan (Prambanan Temple), Foursquare.com

Prambanan is the second to the largest temple (temple is candi in Bahasa, Indonesia's local language) in Yogyakarta. But is the largest Hindu temple in the country and the biggest temple dedicated to Shiva. It is one of UNESCO's world heritage sites and though it is located about 17 km away from Yogyakarta's city center, you can still use the buses in the city to get there.

Name:
Candi Prambanan (Prambanan Temple)
Address:
Jalan Raya Jogya - Solo Km 16 (Prambanan), Sleman, DI Yogyakarta 55571, Indonesia
TEL:
+62 274 496402
HP:
Official Foursquare.com

2. Candi Plaosan

Kompleks Candi Plaosan, Foursquare.com

Kompleks Candi Plaosan, Foursquare.com

The Plaosan Complex is Prambanan's neighbor and is located one kilometer away. This is a Buddhist complex and is made of two temples, Plaosan Lor and Plaosan Kidul. Inside, you will find 174 small buildings - 116 are stupas and 58 are shrines.

Name:
Kompleks Candi Plaosan
Address:
Plaosan, Bugisan (Prambanan), Klaten, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia
HP:
Foursquare.com

3. Candi Kalasan

Kalasan Temple, Foursquare.com

Kalasan Temple, Foursquare.com

Candi Kalasan was built in the 8th-century. It is a Buddhist temple and is located 13 km east of Yogyakarta on the way to Prambanan temple. As it is very near the main road, you won't have a hard time walking to it, unlike the Prambanan which is in the middle of a park. It's also free to enter.

Name:
Kalasan Temple
Address:
Jln. Kalasan (Jln.kalasan), Kalasan, Sleman, Indonesia
HP:
Foursquare.com

4. Candi Borobudur

Candi Borobudur (Borobudur Temple), Foursquare.com

Candi Borobudur (Borobudur Temple), Foursquare.com

Candi Borobudur (Borobudur Temple), Foursquare.com

The grandest of all the Indonesian temples is Candi Borobudur, a Buddhist temple. It is located outside of Yogyakarta, approximately 40 kilometers (25 mi) northwest of it. What makes the structure so unique is that when you view it from the top, you can see that it's a single stupa made in the form of a giant tantric Buddhist mandala. Though not as massive as the Angkor Wat, the Borobudur has 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. It's also best to visit the temple during sunrise.

Name:
Candi Borobudur (Borobudur Temple)
Address:
Jalan Salaman - Mungkid (Jalan Badrawati Borobudur), Magelang, Jawa Tengah 56553, Indonesia
HP:
Official Foursquare.com

5. Taman Sari

Taman Sari Water Castle, Foursquare.com

Taman Sari Water Castle, Foursquare.com

Taman Sari Water Castle, Foursquare.com

The last one on this list is not a temple. I repeat, it's not a temple. But it's worth a visit if you're on a temple pilgrimage to have a break and to avoid being "templed out" whilst in Yogyakarta.

This is called a water castle or what you may know now as a bathing place. It was built for the royal family who ruled from 1755 to 1792 as a resting area, a workshop, a meditation area, a defense area, and a hiding place. If you notice from the photos, there is an open bathing area and there are windows in the small tower across it. This is so the sultan can watch the ladies shower. A bit creepy during those times.

Name:
Taman Sari Water Castle
Address:
Jalan Taman (Kraton), Yogyakarta, DI Yogyakarta 55133, Indonesia
HP:
Foursquare.com

Conclusion

Indonesians are lucky that the major temples in their country are located in one area, so they can temple hop easily. And since these temples were built for their ancestors, going inside them require minimal monetary value. But if you're a tourist, expect that you need to pay more than the locals.

Author

Geninna
5 things I can't live without: coffee, books, my iPod, wifi, and my husband :D Born and raised in Manila, Philippines but I've lived in Qatar, Indonesia, and the UAE. I am currently living in Romania, and I have been on vacations to Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam :) And does a stop over in Bahrain and Germany count?