The Great Heritage of An Ancient Javanese Kingdom

Asia, Indonesia

I am a big enthusiast of ancient places because they are silent witnesses of societies who lived long before us. When visiting those sites I often imagine how life feels like at the time when the site was still in use. Sometimes I also imagine ancient people walking down the alley of ancient temples or royal families sleeping in their rooms. For me, one of the most intriguing features of an ancient site is its carvings, statues and all other things which decorate the site. It is amazing to know that hundreds, even thousands of years ago human already had the ability to do such craftmanship.

In this post you can find photos of carvings which adorn the great Buddhist temple of Borobudur and the elegant Hindu temples of Prambanan. Both were built around 800 AD during Medang (Old Mataram) Kingdom’s rule in Java. Although it was not the greatest kingdom in Indonesian history, but it had with no doubt left the greatest heritage, in terms of monuments and buildings.

1.Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple

Carvings and Statues

Wall of Relief Carvings

The Life of Buddha

Relief Carving depicting Seafarers

The Man in The Middle Seems from Different Ethnicity

The Statue of Buddha Looking Down the Valley

Asian Equivalent to Gargoyle

2.Prambanan Temples

Prambanan Temples

One of The Beautifully Carved Reliefs

The Story of Ramayana

Brahma, One of Hindu’s Trimurti (The Others are Shiva and Vishnu)

Monkey, One of Animal Carvings in Prambanan Temples

You can also click here to read the story of Borobudur and Prambanan in my earlier post.

Bye for now.

Related Post: Jogja: The Soul of Java

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Based in Jakarta, always curious about the world, always fascinated by ancient temples, easily pleased by food.

28 thoughts on “The Great Heritage of An Ancient Javanese Kingdom”

  1. Nice post and great pictures. I gotta say, some of these really reminded me of Ahgkor, especially the “friezes”. I actually had to take a asecond look and read the text again to make sure they weren’t. Nice work, John


    • Thanks John!
      A little fact here, Angkor was part of Javanese kingdom until around 9th century. So, I think that explains the influence of Javanese architecture to the whole Angkor Wat compound.


    • Thanks Mark! However Borobudur needs a restoration right now due to the ash and other volcanic materials after the eruption of Mount Merapi.


  2. Wow. Such beautiful photos. The craftsmanship truly is amazing, even by today’s standards, let alone thousands of years ago.


    • Thanks Erin! Indeed, it is amazing. You should travel to Southeast Asia someday, and make Indonesia one of your stops. Then, witness the temples yourself.


  3. hakanimert says:

    Good work. Great architecture. I enjoyed to read. Thanks for sharing.


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  5. First off, I love your layout…it looks surprisingly like mine. Nice choice 😉 Second these pictures are gorgeous! I feel a new bucket list item coming on…


    • Thanks and yes, we picked the same theme. But I see you have a more sophisticated menu than mine 🙂 I think you should put those temples into your bucket list 😉


  6. Dakota says:

    Thanks for always commenting on my posts and saying nice things, you’re a great reader!

    The story of Ramayana is one of my favorites. I LOVE any Ramayana art.

    I hope to visit Indonesia soon… It’s a place that is on my travel list!!!


    • Hi Dakota! I only post my comments to the blogs that really inspire me for traveling more and more 🙂 and your blog is one of them.
      I always like the way you captured every detail in everything.
      Hey, you know Ramayana? that’s cool!!!
      By the way, in terms of natural view and adventure, New Zealand is on my top list! (well, along with few other countries, such as Iceland)


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  8. Hey, that’s borobudur absolutely…..and even this temple is included in 7 amazing world….I’m Indonesian and I’m proud of it. 😀


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