Ratu Boko Temple

Located just over a mile from Prambanan is Ratu Boku, a temple constructed in the ninth century by either the Sailendra or the Mataram kingdoms. Ratu Boko is not a solitary temple, but is instead the name for a large archeological site that contains countless ruins, structures and incredible historical artifacts. Ratu Boko is unique in its design because unlike other Javanese temple complexes, it appears to be built as a true settlement, where thousands could live and work as well as worship in the temples themselves. Yet again, Ratu Boko is an example of a Javanese complex that was largely unknown until the Dutch rediscovered it at the end of the 18th century.

Ratu Boko

Ratu Boko is a sprawling area, and there is no shortage of attractions to capture your interest and imagination. A wonderful place to start is at the enormous main gate, which is actually a series of three gates connected to the fortress-like walls that surround the complex. Once you enter through the main gates, you can spot the Candi Batu Putih, a stunning white temple constructed from limestone. The Candi Pembakaran looks like the base of a temple, but it contains no walls and a large central hole. This structure was likely used as a crematorium in the ninth century.

Other noteworthy landmarks within Ratu Boko include the male and female caves called Gua Lanang and Gua Wadon, the walled enclosures that were used as ancient bathing houses, three miniature temples and the Pendopo, a large terraced stone hall that was akin to the auditorium for the former residents.

One of the most fascinating things about Ratu Boko is the fact that both Buddhist and Hindu artifacts and symbols were used. Ceramics, statues and carvings come from both religions. It is possible that residents of Ratu Boko belonged to both religions, or it may be that believers of Hinduism and Buddhism were able to harmoniously coexist, making this a landmark of peace around the world.