Yogyakarta, in Indonesia, is a remarkable example of pluralism, with temples of different cultures and beliefs co-existing and flocked by many tourists. The focal point of this cultural richness is the Prambanan temple complex in Yogyakarta, which comprises 240 temples that suffered complete destruction in earthquakes. Currently undergoing extensive restoration efforts, 22 temples have been successfully renewed as part of this ongoing initiative.
The restoration project not only aims to revive the architectural splendour of the temples but also underscores the cultural significance of this historical site. As the restoration progresses, the Prambanan temple complex continues to serve as a symbol of Indonesia’s commitment to preserving its diverse cultural heritage for future generations.
Several people from the Hindu community went to Indonesia and that laid the roots of the deep India-Indonesia ties. The Prambanan temple in Yogyakarta is a complex of 240 temples that were completely destroyed in earthquakes. The restoration work is under progress due to which, 22 temples have been restored till now.
It is also a UNESCO heritage site, hence, the restoration work is being done as per UNESCO norms.
The experts said this is also the reason why restoration work is taking time because the norms don’t allow more than 25 per cent of new stones to be used for restoration. This site holds immense historical value and priests offer regular puja every day outside the Shiv Temple in the complex.
Speaking to ANI, the temple priest said, “I perform this puja three times a day. At 8 in the morning, then 12 at noon and then around 4 in the evening…In the morning it is ‘Surya Puja’, the second one is ‘Raina Puja’ and third one and the third one is around sunset. The prayers are offered in one place but for three Gods, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva”.
The authorised tourist guide at the temple complex opened up on the unique construction style of the complex and also spoke about the roots of India-Indonesia ties. “Parmanand Temple was built in the 9th century. 22 temples have been restored till now, most of them were destroyed due to earthquakes and volcano eruptions.
The restoration work was difficult because there were no pictures, but the system of the building is interlocking. Every stone has a key and we join them by trial and error. India and Indonesia share a strong connection as many Hindus here came from India only,” the tourist guide said.
There is another famous Borobudur Buddhist temple in Yogyakarta city, which is considered the largest Buddhist Temple in the world.The tourist guide at the temple spoke about the unique construction, specialities of the temple and its historical significance.
“It is the largest temple, made with 2 million blocks of stone, interlocking stones, depicting 10 stages to perfection, decorated with 3 km storeys, 500 statues sitting in six different positions. It is around 1200 years old,” he said.