Plaosan Temples (Candi Plaosan)
The Plaosan temple complex is typically visited with the Prambanan temple complex, around 2 miles (3 kilometers) away; there is a small additional “donation” to visit Plaosan. Like Prambanan tours, Plaosan tours most often leave from Yogyakarta as day trips, either combined with Prambanan itself or as part of a more in-depth visit that also takes in sites such as the Kraton Ratu Boko palace complex. The traditional Javanese farming villages around Plaosan are especially charming.
Things to Know Before You Go
Plaosan is a must-visit for history buffs, who won’t want to limit their Prambanan explorations to just the main temples.
Candi Plaosan combines both Hindu and Buddhist elements. Legend states it was built by or for a Buddhist-born princess, Pramodhavardhani, who married a Hindu king.
If exploring the sites independently, wear comfortable shoes: You’ll be doing a lot of walking.
How to Get There
The Plaosan temples stand around 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the Prambanan temple complex, which is about a 10-mile (17-kilometer) journey from Yogyakarta on the Trans Yogya 1A bus. On foot, they are about half a mile (1 kilometer) east of Sewu Temple (Candi Sewu). Visitors planning to tour many of the outlying temples will benefit from transport, whether as part of a tour or with a rental car or private driver.
When to Get There
The Plaosan temple complex is open morning to late afternoon seven days a week and is at its quietest early in the morning and later in the day, although it’s rarely terribly busy. The spires of the temples are especially photogenic when reflected in the rice paddies: Photographers will want to aim for the afternoon “golden hour.”
Is Plaosan Buddhist or Hindu?
Between roughly the eighth and 10th centuries, Java was divided between Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms: the Buddhist Sailendras and the Hindu Sanjayas. After the two dynasties were united by marriage, some of the Hindu architecture of the Sanjayas incorporates Buddhist elements—yet, like other temples around Prambanan, it remains primarily Hindu.