Prambanan Temple and The Legend of Roro Jonggrang

Traditional tales are built by many factors : nation’s ways of thinking, behavior, and off course, moral values. Indonesian tales is somewhat different from Western tales where the good and the evil confront each other. Not all evil is defeated and who’s on the side of evil, by the way?

I had seen it in Rara Jonggrang legend, an intriguing story of princess Rara Jonggrang of the Boko Kingdom.

An enemy named Bandung Bondowoso killed Rara Jonggrang father’s, Prabu Boko, the King of Boko.  The mighty young man fell in love at the first sight with the Princess and tried to propose her twice.

Rara Jonggrang hated Bandung Bondowoso, but she were afraid what would happened to her Kingdom if she rejected the proposal. She gave him two conditions : built a well and constructed a thousand temples in only one night.

Rama Sita dance at the complex of Prambanan

Before sunrise, the princess fooled the prince in the process. The furious prince burst with anger, cursed on Rara Jonggrang into a stone statue.

The legend of Rara Jonggrang and thousands temples connects to Prambanan shrine, the Sewu temple, and Durga statue inside the chamber shrine.

Tourist at the Prambanan Temple

I visited the Prambanan Temple several times and admitted there were mystical atmosphere inside the area, including the Durga statue in Shiva Temple. The abandoned parts of Candi Sewu was scattered because of the eruption of Mount Merapi volcano in the 16th century.

The abandoned part and the Durga statue

There were a vague moral story in Rara Jonggrang tale. We didn’t see it coming in Snow White or Cinderella. Readers used to see Rara Jonggrang character as a cheater, an example of female betrayal. In my point of view, the princess were just an ordinary woman who tried her best to save both her Kingdom and her dignity. A mere victim of politics. If Bandung Bondowoso were lived today, he would be found guilty of crime of passion.

After The Dark (The Philosopher) movie was set around the temple complex of Prambanan

An interesting story, though. The impact of the tale will be even magical if we take a self-guided or guided through the legendary temple of Prambanan. Just give it a try.

2 Replies to “Prambanan Temple and The Legend of Roro Jonggrang”

  1. Hal says:

    Interesting indeed!
    Moral Value:
    Don’t cheat, because it will do harm
    themselves
    Thing about other people’s feelings, do not do things we like

    Reply

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