Once upon a time there was a very beautiful princess named Roro Jonggrang. That beauty lured a prince to ask for her hand. Roro Jonggrang put forward the condition to build a thousand temples overnight as a subtle refusal of the proposal. However, Bandung Bondowoso still agreed.
Bandung Bondowoso then asked for the help of spirits to build a thousand temples in one night. When the 999 temples were built, Roro Jonggrang ordered the villagers to light a bonfire and pound rice with a mortar. The genies thought dawn had arrived and ran away. Bandung Bondowoso, who was angry with Roro Jonggrang's ruse, cursed him into a stone statue to complete the 1000th temple.
Prambanan Temple is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia as well as one of the most beautiful temples in Southeast Asia. According to the Siwagrha inscription, this temple began to be built during the reign of Rakai Pikatan (mid 9th century) from Ancient Mataram Kingdom.
However, for reasons that are still mysterious, the center of the kingdom moved to East Java in the late 10th century. This magnificent temple was abandoned and partially buried by the eruption of Mount Merapi. Gradually, the Prambanan area became dense forest.
It was hundreds of years later that the ruins of this temple were rediscovered. At that time, the history of this temple was not known so that the legend of Roro Jonggrang was created which was told from generation to generation.
Serious temple restoration efforts began in the 1930s and the restoration of the main temple was only completed in 1953.
It is estimated that there are 240 large and small temples in the Prambanan temple complex. However, only 18 temples have been successfully restored, the rest are piles of scattered stones.
Three of the 8 main temples, called Candi Trimurti ("three forms"), are dedicated to the 3 highest Hindu deities: Lord Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Sustainer, and Shiva the Destroyer.