Though not quite as large as nearby Borobudur, the ancient Hindu temples that make up the impressive Prambanan are spectacular in their own right. Built by the Mataram Kingdom in Central Java around 860 CE, the first temples here were meant to honor Lord Shiva. While many of the later temples erected on this site fell to ruins in an earthquake curing the 16th century, Prambanan still attracts visitors from across the globe seeking to experience walking through one of the Hindu religion’s most prized sites.
Prambanan is divided into three main zones, which include an outer open space, a middle zone housing rows of 224 identical shrines, and an inner zone where eight temples and small shrines dedicated to gods are located.
The complex opens at 6 a.m. daily and locals say it takes the better part of a day to truly experience Prambanan’s wonder. Crowds typically begin arriving by 9 a.m., so travelers seeking to wander in silence and free of foot traffic would do well to arrive earlier.