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Candi Prambanan dibangun pada perkembangan abad 9 dan 50 tahun setelah pembangunan Candi Borobudur. Diyakini pula pembangunan Candi ini atas perintah Rakai Pikatan dari kerajaan hindu Mataram yang menikahi Pramodhawardhani, putri Raja Syailendra yang beragama Buddha -Mahayana yang memerintahkan pembangunan Borobudur

Kemungkinan besar, Pakai pikatan yang berkuasa disekitar tahun 865 Masehi membangun Prambanan untuk merayakan kembalinya dinasti hindu menjadi penguasa tungga di tanah jawa. Tak heran bila candi ini merupakan peninggalan Kerajaan Hindu terbesar di kawasan jawa tengah dan Yogyakarta. Bentuknya menyerupai gunungan wayang kulit setinggi 47 m dengan candi induk mengarah ke timur.

Ada tiga buah candi utama (Trimurti) dalam komplek candi prambanan. Candi tersebut adalah Candi Brahma, Wisnu dan Syiwa. Ketiganya melambangkan ajaran hindu yang dikenal dengan sebutan Trimurti, yakni Dewa Brahma yang pencipta, Dewa Wisnu sebagai sang pemelihara, dan Dewa Syiwa sebagai perusak.

Bilik utama Candi induk ditempati Dewa Syiwa sebagai Mahadewa, sehingga banyak yang menyimpulkan bahwa candi Prambanan meruapakan Candi Syiwa. Sedang Candi Brahma dan Candi Wisnu hanya memiliki bilik satu buah yang ditempati oleh patung dewa yang bersangkutan.

Seperti halnya Candi-candi lainnya, candi Prambanan pun memiliki berbagai relief. Candi Syiwa atau sering disebut candi induk dihiasi dengan relief Ramayana. Kisah Ramayana ini bisa dinikmati bilamana kita berparadaksana, yakni berjalan mengelilingi Candi dengan pusat candi selalu disebelah kanan kita melalui lorong candi.

Cerita itu berlanjut pada pagar langkan Candi Brahma yang terletak disebelah kiri atau sebelah selatan candi induk. Sedang pada pagar langakan candi Wisnu yang terletak di sebelah kanan atau utara candi induk, terpahat relief Kresnadwipayana yang menceritakan masa kecil Prabu Kresna sebagai penjelmaan Dewa Wisnu dalam membasmi keangkaramurkaan yang hendak melanda dunia.

Dihadapan ketiga candi Trimurti ini terdapat tiga candi wahana atau kendaraan ketiga dewa tersebut. Didepan candi Syiwa berisi patung seekor lembu bernama Nandi menjadi kendaraan Syiwa. Lalu, patung angsa sebagai kendaraan Dewa Brahma dan patung burung Garuda sebagai kendaraan Dewa wisnu.

Enam candi itu saling berhadapan menjadi dua kelompok dalam sebuah halaman berbentuk bujur sangkar dengan masing-masing panjang sisinya sekitar 110 m. selain enam candi itu masih ditemukan candi lain, yakni dua buah candi pengapit berketinggian 16 m yang saling berhadapan. Satu ada di utara dan satunya ada disebelah selatan, serta empat buah candi kelir dan enam buah candi sudut.

Komplek candi prambanan terletak lebih kurang 17 km disebelah timur kota Yogyakarta atau hanya beberapa ratus meter ditepi jalan raya Yogya - Solo. Untuk mengagumi keindahan Prambanan, pengunjung domestik dikenakan tarif Rp 3000 dan pelajar Rp 2000. harga tiket untuk orang asing berbeda, untuk turis asing US$ 5 sedang orang asing yang masih berstatus pelajar tarifnya US$ 3. Lokasi ini setiap hari dan pukul 06.00 hingga 18.00 WIB

Prambanan Temple is situated in Prambanan Village, Bokoharjo Sub-district, within Prambanan tourism park, about 17 kilometers to the east of Yogyakarta municipality. It easy to find Prambanan tourism park because it is only 100 meters away from the highway connecting Yogyakarta-Solo. The park lies 154 meters above sea level, and half of its area is within Sleman District while the other half is in Klaten District.

Prambanan temple is the biggest Hindu temple in Indonesia. Although no solid evidence is available to explain exactly who built the temple and when, it is believed that the temple was built in the middle of 9th century by King Balitung Maha Sambu of Sanjaya Dynasty. The belief is supported by the writing on Syiwagrha stone inscription, which was found nearby Prambanan Temple and is now kept at the National Museum, Jakarta. The stone inscription was made during Rakai Pikatanís reign, dated Caka 778 (856 AD).

Originally, Prambanan Temple was situated on a rectangular area comprising three different courts, Jaba ( outer court), Tengahan ( middle court) and Njeron (inner court). The outer yard is an open area enclosing the outer court. The latter is 390 square meters and was encircled by stone walls, which are now in ruins. The outer court is now vacant. Whether or not there was a building or any other decorating materials on the court remains unknown.

The middle court is situated in the middle of outer court. The middle court is a 222-square-meter rectangle. There used to be a stone wall enclosing the middle court, but the wall has now crumbled. This court consists of four steplike stone terraces, one on top of the other. On the bottom terrace, there are 68 small temples standing in a row along the terrace edge. The long row is interspersed with four access ways connecting between terraces. On the next terrace, there are 60 temples, while the terrace above it holds 52 temples. On the top terrace, there are 44 temples. All of small temples at the middle court are alike, they have the same size and design. The base is six square meters and the temple is 14 meters tall. However, most of them have fallen into ruins.

The inner court is the highest place at the temple compound and considered as the most sacred place. This court is a 110-square-meter rectangle and raised 1.5 meters higher than the top terrace of the middle court. The inner court is enclosed by stone walls and plaster. There used to be a Paduraksa gate on each of four inner court sides. However, only the gate on south side that remains intact. There are two small temples placed in front of each gate. Each of those small temples is only four meters tall and the temple base is 1.5 square.

There are two rows of temples lying across from north to south in the inner court. The west row consists of three temples that face east. The temple at the north end of the row is Vishnu Temple, the one in the middle is Shiva Temple, and the last one at the south end is Brahma Temple. The east row consists of three temples facing west. Those three temples are called Vehicle Temples as each of them is named after the animal on which a god whose temple is situated across from it usually rides.

The temple located across from Vishnu Temple is Garuda Temple, the one situated across from Shiva Temple is Nandi (cow) Temple, while the one opposite Brahma Temple is Swan Temple. There is an alley separating these two rows of temples. The size and design of Vishnu, Brahma, Swan, Garuda and Nandi Temples are alike. Each of them is 25 meters tall, and the temple base is 15 square meters. There is a smaller temple at each end of the alley. The temple at north end faces its counterpart at south end, and both are called Apit Temples.

1. Bus Jurusan  Solo - Yogyakarta turun di Prambanan.

2. Kereta api Prambanan Ekspres jurusan Solo-Yogya turun di stasiun Brambanan. Dari stasiun naik ojeg atau dokar, atau jalan kaki sekitar 500 meter.

 

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