visit360.net, the guide to wonders of the world in 360°
Candi Kalasan (Kalasan temple) in 360°
Candi Kalasan (Candi Kalibening) is an 8th century Buddhist temple located 13 km east of Yogyakarta on the way to Prambanan temple. According to an inscription dated 778 AD, Kalasan temple is the oldest among temples built in the vicinity of Prambanan. The inscription says that Maharaja Tejapurnapana Panangkaran was persuaded by a guru to erect a temple devoted to goddess Tara with a buddhist monastery. This monastery might be the nearby located Candi Sari.
1. What to see
Despite being renovated and partially rebuilt during the Dutch colonial era, Kalasan temple is currently in poor condition. The layout of the temple follows a cross-shaped 12 corners polygon. Each of four cardinal points are adorned with giant faces of Kala (god of death)carvings.
A pair of Makara statues stand in front of the eastern entrance gate.
It is quite difficult to get inside due to the lack of stairs. No statues remained in the small rooms facing north, west, and south; but the lotus pedestals suggest that these rooms once contains statues of bodhisattvas. Inside the main room there is a lotus pedestal and a throne carved with makara, lion, and elephant figures, similar to the Buddha Vairocana throne found in Mendut temple.
2. When to see
Candi Kalasan is open daily 8am-5pm.
4. How to get there
If travelling on a package tour to Java, it might contain a few temples that are close to world-famous Prambanan temples.
If staying on the island of Bali, you can consider to take a one-day Yogyakarta guided trip. These trips usually include the famous Borobudur and Prambanan temples along with the sights of Yogyakarta. You'll arrive at the airport of Denpasar very early in the morning, fly to Yogyakarta with a local Indonesia flight (Lion Air / Garuda), enjoy the above mentioned monuments and finally get back to your hotel in Bali in the evening. It is important to know that you have to purchase the airplane tickets in advance, but it might be difficult, since Indonesian air flights only accept VISA cards issued in a few countries. Lion Air simply doesn't accept any European or US card, Garuda only accepts cards issued in Western Europe. If you are lucky, you can purchase your tickets in cash a few days before your excursion in a nearby country like Singapore.
It is not recommended to drive on your own in Indonesia due to the general negligance of driving rules. Singposts are written with Latin alphabet, but it might be difficult to find remote places on your own. The best solution is to rent a car with a driver for an entire day.
5. Where to stay
There are hotels in nearby Yogyakarta for every budget: from backpackers to luxuary 5* hotels.