Built on the ninth Century, Prambanan Temple is the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia. The first mention of Prambanan was in the Syiwagrha Inscription (856AD). With three main temples for the Trimurti; Shiva the destroyer of the universe, Vishnu the keeper of the universe, and Brahma the creator of the universe. Back in the glory days of the old Mataram Kingdom, Prambanan is used as a Candi Agung for various royal and religious ceremonies.
The high structures are typical of Hindu architecture, and the plan of the temple complex is a Mandala, as is Borobudur. As a symbol of the Hindu cosmos, the temple is vertically divided into three parts, both vertically and in plan. The three part is divided into Jaba/Bhurloka, Tengahan/Bhuvarloka, and Njeron/Svarloka.
At the Garbagriha (innermost sanctum) of this temple sits a three meters statue of Shiva. Prambanan as a Hindu Temple was made High and slim compared to Borobudur, with the main Shiva shrine stands 47 meters in the middle of the complex surrounded with smaller temples. Prambanan has a bas-relief on the inner side of the gate around the three main shrine. The bas-relief tells the story about Ramayana and can be read from the east gate clockwise around the inner compound.
The base of the temples, as well as the outer square is the underworld. It was a large space marked by a rectangular wall. This is a place for ordinary folk, mortals, both human and animal. This is the place where lust and desire are commonplace. It is an unholy area. Bhurloka is 390 square meters wide, it used to have stone walls surrounding it.
The central body of the temples and the middle square of the complex, represents the ‘middle world’ the place for those who have left their worldly possessions. This is where people begin to see the light of truth. The middle world had four rows of 224 small individual shrines, where all shrines are identical. Bhuvarloka is 222 square meters wide and used to have stone walls. This compound consist of four levels, with the innermost level the highest. The first level has 68 small stupas divided into four rows. The second level has 60 stupas. The third level has 52 stupas, and the top level has 44 stupas. All stupas in this compound has the same size, 6 meters wide and 14 meters high. Almost all structure in the middle square is now in ruins.
The top of the temples and the innermost square represents the realm of the gods, the holiest zone, and is crowned. There are 16 temples that consist of 3 main temples: Brahma the Creator, Shiva the Destroyer, and Vishnu the Keeper. Shiva temple is the biggest and the tallest amongst all with 47.6m high, while Brahma and Vishnu are 33m high. In addition to the three main temples, there are three Wahana Temples, four Kelir Temples, two Apit Temples and four Patok Temples.
The Svarloka area is 110 square meters wide and 1,5 meters higher than the central area. This area is surrounded with stone walls, with four Gapura Paduraksa on four sides, only the southern gate is still in its original state. In front of the gate is a small square stupas 4 meters high.
There are three main temples dedicated to the trimurti. Across the trimurti temples are the Wahana (vehicle) temples. Each temple is named after the vehicle of the gods. Garuda temple is across Vishnu, Nandi (ox) temple is the vehicle for Shiva, and Angsa (swan) temple for Brahma.