Grand, exotic, and well-located, the temples of Indonesia are a must-see as they do provide a great way to see more of Indonesia’s culture and panoramic views of its landscapes. With so many temples to visit, however, it can be tough to get to all of them. So, here is a list of the top temples in Indonesia.
Besakih, Rendang, Karangasem Regency, Bali 80863, Indonesia
The holiest of the holy, Pura Besakih is considered Bali’s largest and most important temple. Perched 1,000 metres up on the slopes of the giant Mount Agung, the impressive temple casts a beautiful landscape with the towering volcano in the background. With a complex that is made up of 23 temples, make sure to visit the biggest one first before going through the smaller temples. You don’t want to run out of steam and miss the best one.
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Also known as the Elephant Cave, the top attraction at Goa Gajah are its ornate cave carvings that were raved about by poets as far back as 1365. Beyond the menacing faces of the cave guardians are the sexual symbols of Shiva. Outside the cave are bathing pools with elaborate female sculptures. To enter, a sarong is necessary. You can choose to buy a colourful sarong from the vendors outside or you can wear the standard issue that comes with your entrance fee.
Jl. Candi Plaosan, Plaosan Lor, Bugisan, Kec. Prambanan, Kabupaten Klaten, Jawa Tengah 57454, Indonesia
The Hindu-Buddhist temple that is so beautiful it has won the pride and love of the Muslim residents of central Java, its massive complex consists of a labyrinth of 248 perwara temples. Look for the twin structures of the main shrine building as these are considered the most impressive temple structures in Java. Of course, you will have to bravely walk pass the temple guardians, who armed with the weapon of their choice: sword, club, or snake.
RATU BOKO TEMPLE
Jl. Raya Piyungan – Prambanan No.KM.2, Gatak, Bokoharjo, Prambanan, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Perched on a high plateau, the ruins of Ratu Boko Temple can be a mission to get to, but it is definitely worth the effort. At the highest point, the lookout pavilion frames the sunset and below the look out point is a panoramic view of Prambanan Temple and Mount Merapi.
Jl. Raya Solo – Yogyakarta No.KM.16, Bugisan, Prambanan, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, Indonesia
The second largest Buddhist temple in Java, Indonesia, Sewu Temple consists of 250 smaller temples that are each dedicated to a different god. It is in the complex’s main temple of Mahadeva that the Buddhist universe come to life with the various statues that stand within it.
Pecatu, South Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia
Located on top of a cliff overlooking the sea, Puru Luhur was created as a means of protecting the island from evil spirits. Beyond the temple’s amazing structures and regular cultural shows, a stunning sunset viewpoint adds to its allure. Beware of the monkeys as they can be a bit aggressive. Keep your backpack close and make sure nothing is hanging from it. They tend to grab food and water from the hands of unsuspecting travelers.
PURU ULUN DANU BERATAN
Danau Beratan, Candikuning, Baturiti, Tabanan Regency, Bali 82191, Indonesia
Dedicated to Dewi Danu, the goddess of lakes, rivers, and waters, the charming temple is set amidst Lake Beratan and the central mountains of Bali, creating a picturesque landscape that will bring tranquility to your heart.
Beraban, Kediri, Tabanan Regency, Bali 82121, Indonesia
What makes Tanah Lot unique is that the structure is carved into one of the rock formations jutting out of the sea. Accessible by foot only during low tide, the temple is a boon for photographers wanting to catch an authentic Balinese sunset.
Jl. Raya Solo – Yogyakarta No.16, Kranggan, Bokoharjo, Prambanan, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55571, Indonesia
The largest Hindi temple in Indonesia, the towering spires of Prambanan are gigantic masterpieces that will take your breath away. These ornately carved spires represent Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer.
Jl. Badrawati, Kw. Candi Borobudur, Borobudur, Magelang, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia
The largest Buddhist temple in Java, the impressive structure of Borobodur has survived earthquakes and terrorist bombings, making you believe that it is indeed protected from evil by the hordes of guardian statues that surround each floor and the 72 Buddha statues at its peak.
HAVE YOU SEEN THEM ALL?
Let us know which one is your favourite or send us some tips for navigating these mega temple complexes by commenting below.