Prambanan Temple is located some 17 km from Yogyakarta. Tourists can't miss the temple because it is only a hundred meters off the main street. The Sanjaya Dynasty built this 47 meters high Hindu temple in the 9th century. It consists of three courtyards. The main temple is located in the inner courtyard and surrounded by several small temples called "perwara" temples. Local chieftains, as a token of their acquiescence to the king, contributed some of these.
As a Hindu temple the main temple has three shrines, dedicated to the Hindu trinity. Ciwa, Vhisnu, and Brahma. Each of these shrines is facing a smaller shrine for their vehicles. The cow Nandi is the vehicle of Ciwa the Destroyer God. The eagle Garuda is the vehicle of Vhisnu the Guardian God. And the swan Angsa is the vehicle of Brahma the Creator God.
Entering the main temple from the north, one will find a statue of a very beautiful princess, Roro Jonggrang. According to the legend, Roro Jonggrang was the daughter of King Boko, which was cursed into a statue. The legend also says that a young powerful man named Bandung Bondowoso wanted to marry Roro Jonggrang. Since she doesn't love him, Roro Jonggrang tried to avoid the marriage by asking Bandung Bondowoso a present. She would only marry him if Bandung were really a powerful man. To prove the power Bandung was asked to build a thousand temples in one night. Having supernatural power, Bandung has almost successfully finished his task, but Roro Jonggrang prevents this excellent achievement. Jonggrang asked the maidens of the east village of the temples to burn the hay and pound the rice in order to cause the situation like dawn time for sunrise.
So when the cocks begin to crow, all the supernatural beings flee away because they think it was already dawn. Being unable to control his anger, Bandung Bondowoso curses Roro jonggrang into a statue that now completes the temple. The relief carved around the foot of Civa Temple depicts heavenly creatures, symbolizing the cosmic system. Entering the temple from the east and walking around the sub base of the temple with the main shrine on the right (Pradaksina). Tourists will see the whole relief of the story of the Brahma Temple. The story of Kresnayana, which tells the childhood of Prabu Kresna, can be seen on the balustrade of the Vishnu Temple.
From May-October, at full moon, the Story of Ramayana is usually presented in the evening from 19.30-21.30. Being a traditional dance, it is performed on an open-air stage to the west of the temple.