The Myth and Fact of Prambanan Temple

Long time ago, there was a kingdom in Pengging. The king had a son called Joko Bandung. Joko Bandung was a gallant young man. He had many magic in him, even greater than his father because he was apprentice of many great shaman.

Near Pengging, in a place called Prambanan, there was also a kingdom. The king name was King Boko. King Boko was a big man, some people even said he was a giant descendant. King Boko had a beautiful daughter called Roro Jonggrang.

Pengging Kingdom and Prambanan Kingdom was in a war. Kingdom Pengging was the losing side. Many of its army died in battle with Prambanan Kingdom’s army.

Hearing the lost of the battle, Joko Bandung intended to catch his father in the battlefield. On the way there, Joko Bandung met and fought with a giant called Bandawasa, which also had a great ability of magic. Bandawasa lost the fight and just before he died, he put his spirit inside Joko Bandung’s body. Their spirit become one, and the prince of Pengging now called Joko Bandung Bandawasa.

Joko Bandung Bandawasa reached the battlefield and helped fought Prambanan Kingdom’s army. The war went on for days, and finally the great Joko Bandung Bandawasa was able to win the war and killed King Boko.

When Joko Bandung Bandawasa entered the castle of Prambanan, he saw the beautiful Roro Jonggrang. Instantly, he fell in love and wanted her to be his wife. But Roro Jonggrang despised him, because she knew that Joko Bandung was the murderer of her father.

Roro Jonggrang afraid to refused Joko Bandung’s proposal directly. So she gave him a condition. She would like to be the wife of Joko Bandung if he made her a thousand temple and two deep wells in one night. Roro Jonggrang thought that surely Joko Bandung could not possibly fulfill the condition.

Alas, Joko Bandung was agreed to gave Roro Jonggrang what she wanted. The mighty Joko Bandung Bandawasa asked help to Jinn and other unearthly creatures. They worked hard after the sun was set, and one by one temple rose from the ground and finished.

Seeing that happened, Roro Jonggrang was amazed. A lot of temples already built. At midnight, only one temple left to be built. Roro Jonggrang woke up girls all around Pambanan village and asked them to milled rice with rice pestle so there would be a typical morning noise. The cocks crowed one by one. It worked! Hearing those noise, Jinn and other unearthly creatures thought it was already dawn and the sun coming up, so they went back to underworld where they belong.

The condition then cannot be fulfilled. Joko Bandung become very angry because he knew of her trick. Joko Bandung cursed her because she stubborn as a rock, and she become a statue made of rock. All of the girls in Prambanan village also cursed by Joko Bandung and became unmarried until they were old.

Those almost a thousand temples is what we known as Prambanan temple nowadays. Or at least that what the folklore said. The Fact is Prambanan Temple was not built by Jinn. It was built by King Rakai Pikatan in 10th century. Prambanan Temple was built as an honor for Shiva.

Long time ago Java was ruled by Syailendra Dynasty with Buddhism as the main religion. And finally after almost one century, the power of this dynasty faded and Sanjaya dynasty rose. To announce their greatness, the King Rakai Pikatan ordered to built a temple more majestic than Borobudur temple. The Prambanan temple construction began around year 850.

Prambanan Temple was still had not finished by the time of Rakai Pikatan ended. The construction continued by King Lokapala, and still went on under Balitung Maha Sambu’s power. The construction of hundreds of smaller temple around the main temple was done in King Daksa and Tulodong time.

Prambanan Temple was abandoned when Mataram Kingdom of Sanjaya Dynasty moved its center of activity to East Java. This was because Mount Merapi eruption and some major conflict inside Sanjaya Dynasty. Prambanan Temple started to crumble and had major destruction when earthquake happened in 16th century. Prambanan Temple left as a ruin.

Holiday At Prambanan

People around this ruin still appreciated it, and since they don’t know exactly about the constrution of this temple, Roro Jonggrang Legend appeared.

Some excavation was done at 1880, and 1981 under Dutch colonial government. Major restoration was done at 1930 and finished at 1953. Now the amazing Prambanan Temple is among main tourist attraction in Central Java.