The 5 Most Beautiful Temples in Indonesia

photo by Jos Dielis/flickr

Indonesia is well known for its religious diversity. Countless temples, shrines, pagodas and sacred places hold the heritages of Buddhist, Hindu and nowadays Islam and other religions and almost all of them are considered the dwelling-places of the Gods. The most ancient establishments can be found in more remote areas with scenic views of the surroundings. The newer shrines are mostly in bigger cities, so those are more accessible. Visiting at least one or two of these places is a must while on holiday in the country. And among the holy sites the 5 most beautiful temples in Indonesia are the following:

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Borobudur, Central Java

photo by Bernard Gagnon/Wikimedia

Borobudur, the unique example of spiritual architecture, is the world’s most mystical Buddhist shrine. The 8-story pyramid, which seen from above has the shape of a mandala, is considered by many the Buddhist teachings’ encyclopedia written in stone. The place has a vast amount of Buddhist statues, all sqattered around the grounds of the temple. On the upper plane of the structure, however, these statues are hidden inside bell-shaped stupas. The best view of the temple is from above or while on ground, during sunset. This amazing symbol of sacral architecture gives visitors a fantastic view and a unique insight into Buddhist beliefs and traditions.

Prambanan, Yogyakarta

photo by Gunkarta/Wikimedia

About 14km east from Yogyakarta, the Prambanan temple-complex is one of the UNESCO-s world heritage sites. Though the temple is considered mostly Hindu, it has various Buddhist architectural aspects, like the stupas on top of the towers. The various enormous praying halls are set across a huge plateau and it would take quite a few hours for someone to visit them and explore them all in-depth. The carvings and the detailed decorations on the walls are noticeable. The Prambanan is considered Indonesia’s highest and also the world’s most beautiful Hindu temple.

Sewu, Yogyakarta

In the close vicinity of Prambanan, only about 15-minutes walk away is the Sewu temple, a unique jewel of sacral Buddhist architecture. It is said that the Sewu temple complex is the second largest Buddhist sacred establishment after Borobudur. The walls of the structures are decorated with detailed carvings and two huge statues facing each other, stand guard at the main entrance.

Barong, Central Java

Another temple that is close to the Prambanan temple complex is Barong, a beautiful and quite unique establishment which got its name from the interestingly styled lion’s head (barong) situated inside one of its chambers. The surrounding terraces are built in a pre-Hinduism style, and diminish in size to the top. If you visit the place during sunset, the view is spectacular.

Taman Ayun, Bali

photo by Bernard Gagnon/Wikimedia

The temple of Taman Ayun, located on the island of Bali is a royal establishment. It is situated near a big fishpond, among beautiful gardens. The several-stories high pagoda-like rooftops are characteristic to Balinese architecture and the temple is considered a central piece in establishing harmony between nature, society and God.

Though Indonesia nowadays is dominated mostly by the Islam religion, the ancient sacred establishments still remain. And without visiting the 5 most beautiful temples in Indonesia, your stay there would not be totally complete.


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