Kalasan Temple

A short walk away from Candi Sari is the Kalasan temple. This is very likely the oldest of the Buddhist temples in the entire region, and possibly even in all of Java. Kalasan was constructed in 778 AD based on the inscription in Sanskrit carved right into the stone building. The entire temple was designed to honor Dewi Tara, or the female god Tara.

Candi Kalasan

The shape of Kalasan is slightly unusual, as it boasts a cross-shaped design and a base that forms a polygon with 12 corners. Access to the temple is provided by four staircases, one on each side of the structure. The central section of the roof is octagonal, creating even more visual interest for the temple. Although there are many beautiful decorations and carvings at Kalasan, it is the relief carvings that get the most attention. Many of the carvings of Buddhist deities are still in pristine condition and worth photographing. There is also a stunning throne carved out of animal figurines, and historians believe the temple used to be filled with large bronze statues that were either stolen or destroyed in centuries past.