Candi Prambanan or Candi Rara Jonggrang is a 9 century Hindu temple compound in Central Java, Indonesia, dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the Sustainer (Vishnu) and the Destroyer (Shiva). The temple compound is located approximately 18 km east of Yogyakarta city on the boundary between Yogyakarta and Central Java province.
The temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia, and is one of the largest Hindu temples in Southeast Asia. It is characterized by its tall and pointed architecture, typical of Hindu temple architecture, and by the towering 47m high central building inside a large complex of individual temples.
A temple was first built at the site around 850 CE by Rakai Pikatan. According to the Shivagrha inscription of 856 CE, the temple was built to honor Lord Shiva and its original name was Shiva-grha (the House of Shiva) or Shiva-laya (the Realm of Shiva).
The temples themselves collapsed during a major earthquake in the 16th century. Although the temple ceased to be an important center of worship, the ruins scattered around the area were still recognizable and known to the local Javanese people in later times.
The temple officially caught the international attention in early 19th century. Reconstruction of the compound began in 1918, and proper restoration only in 1930. The reconstruction of the main Shiva temple was completed around 1953.
Since much of the original stonework has been stolen and reused at remote construction sites, hampering restoration and since a temple can be rebuilt only if at least 75% of the original masonry is available, only the foundations of most of the smaller shrines are now visible with no plans for their reconstruction.
One of the most majestic temples in the Southeast Asia, Prambanan attracts many visitors worldwide. Efforts at restoration continue to this day.