Vallaura's Blog

"Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted."

The Rara Jonggrang Legend

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Earlier today, I was looking at my small size starbucks create-your-own tumbler. I had decorated or re-create it with some of my photos taken at Sushi Tei, Gili Trawangan, Waterboom, Tidung island, and Prambanan Temple. Then I remembered that I could track all of the photos except for one, my Prambanan Temple photo. This one.

Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple of ancient Java. I remembered I visited that temple in 2009 with my friends. I knew an urban legend regarding to that famous UNESCO heritage temple. And if you are keen to read, here it goes:

taken from

The popular legend of Rara Jonggrang is what connects the site of the Ratu Boko Palace, the origin of the Durgastatue in northern cell/chamber of the main shrine, and the origin of the Sewu temple temple complex nearby. The legend tells of the story about Prince Bandung Bondowoso who fell in love with Princess Rara Jonggrang, the daughter of King Boko. But the princess rejected his proposal of marriage because Bandung Bondowoso had killed King Boko and ruled her kingdom. Bandung Bondowoso insisted on the union, and finally Rara Jonggrang was forced to agree for a union in marriage, but she posed one impossible condition: Bandung must build her a thousand temples in only one night.

The Prince entered into meditation and conjured up a multitude of spirits (demons) from the earth. Helped by supernatural beings, he succeeded in building 999 temples. When the prince was about to complete the condition, the princess woke her palace maids and ordered the women of the village to begin pounding rice and set a fire in the east of the temple, attempting to make the prince and the spirits believe that the sun was about to rise. As the cocks began to crow, fooled by the light and the sounds of morning time, the supernatural helpers fled back into the ground. The prince was furious about the trick and in revenge he cursed Rara Jonggrang to stone. She became the last and the most beautiful of the thousand statues. According to the traditions, the unfinished thousandth temple created by the demons become the Sewu templecompounds nearby (Sewu means “thousands” in Javanese), and the Princess is the image of Durga in the north cell of the Shiva temple at Prambanan, which is still known as Rara Jonggrang or Slender Virgin.

These photos were taken in 2009, quite some time, eh? There were five of us traveling to Yogya. Three of our friends decided to wait at the base of the temple where there were trees and benches where tourist can lay back and have picnic. But me and my friend decided to hike up to the temples to feel the exotic feeling. or simply the hot weather!

It was three years ago but I could still remember clearly how majestic the temples were. Everything stand still, as if they can stop the time. I could feel how my skin were burnt. It was very hot up there. I think it might be the hottest place that I ever visited. Or was it because of my attire? *wink*

After exploring the site, we also stopped at some stalls to buy some souvenirs, typical, pencils and key chains. We were there for more than 2 hours. Guess, hot stuff will not obstruct us from having fun. And indeed, it was a marvelous journey to ancient time. A great distraction from the hustle and bustle of big city like Jakarta.

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