Rara Jonggrang Legend and The Temple of Prambanan


Traditional tales were built by many factors : involving nation’s ways of thinking, behavior, and off course, moral values. As far as I’m concern, Indonesian tales is somewhat different with the Western tales where good and evil confront each other Not all evil always defeated and who’s on the side of evil, by the way?


Roro (Rara) Jonggrang (Durga statue) image : commons.wikimedia.org

I had seen it in Rara Jonggrang legend, an intriguing story of princess Rara Jonggrang of Boko Kingdom. An enemy named Bandung Bandowoso killed Rara Jonggrang father’s, Prabu Boko, the King of Boko. But the mighty young man fell in love at the first sight with the Princess and tried to propose her twice.

Rara Jonggrang didn’t like Bandung Bandowoso. On the other hand, she were affraid what would happened to her Kingdom if she rejected the proposal. Finally, she gave him two conditions, built a well and constructed a thousand temples in only one night.


The dance at the complex of Prambanan (image : commons.wikimedia.org)

The princess fooled the prince in the process and the furious prince burst with anger, cursed on Rara Jonggrang into a stone statue.

The legend of Rara Jonggrang and thousands temples connects to Prambanan shrine, the Sewu temple, and Durga statue inside the chamber shrine.


I took the pictures in 2010 with my old Blackberry camera.

I visited the Prambanan Temple several times and admitted there were mystical atmosphere inside the area, including the Durga statue in Shiva Temple. The abandoned parts of Candi Sewu is scattered because of the eruption of Mount Merapi volcano in the 16th century.


The abandoned part

There were a vague moral story in Rara Jonggrang tale. We didn’t see it coming in Snow White or Cinderella. Our dear readers used to see Rara Jonggrang character as a cheater princess, a perfect example of female betrayal. In my point of view, the princess were just an ordinary woman who tried her best to save both her Kingdom and her dignity. A clever girl and a mere victim of politics. Who else can blame her for doing all those tricks? If Bandung Bondowoso were lived today, he would be found guilty of crime of passion.

After The Dark (The Philosopher) movie was set around the temple complex of Prambanan

An interesting story, though. The impact of the tale will be even magical if we take a self-guided or guided through the legendary temple of Prambanan. Give it a try.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s