Sewu Temple

Attraction Prambanan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia Published on: 21-03-2016

1 hour
06:00 AM - 06:00 PM
07:30 AM
08:30 AM
First-time visit
Must see
Temple & Monument
0.00 USD

Sewu Temple is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
Sewu Temple is an 8th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple located 800 meters north of Prambanan in Central Java. Candi Sewu is actually the second largest Buddhist Temple in Indonesia after Borobudur.

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Why Sewu Temple is special ?

Candi Sewu is the second largest Buddhist temple in central Java after Borobudur and dates from 8th to 9th centuries AD. The temple is dedicated to the Buddha Vairocana, whose statue would have been contained in the main chamber, however it is no longer there. The complex is based on a Mandala design, a trait of Vajrayana school complexes. Vajrayana learning came to Java in the 8th centruy through contacts with the Pala empire. The main temple structure has been well restored and can be explored inside. There are dozens of smaller structures surrounding it, some restored but many simply piles of stones. Although just adjacent to the main Prambanan temples, few visitors to that site make it to Candi Sewu, making it a more peaceful place to explore.


What to explore at Sewu Temple?

Sewu Temple has four gates on the east, north, west, and south that lead to the outer court, and each of them is guarded by a couple of Dwarapala statues facing each other. From the outer court into the inner court, there are also four gates, each guarded by a couple of Dwarapala statues similar to those at the outer gates.

Each of the Dwarapala statues is made of a single block of stone, placed on a square base 1.2 m high with one leg on its knee, the other one bended, and one hand holding a club. The statue stands 2.3 m high.

The temple’s body is constructed on a 2.5 m high platform. The base is adorned with reliefs of flowers in vases. To go to the temple platform, which forms a walkway, one can use 2 m-wide stairs with stone railings. The end of each railing holds a makara, dragon’s head with open mouth, with Buddha statue inside. The outer part of the railing is adorned with Kalpawreksa, a figure of giant.


How to get to Sewu Temple?

Sewu Temple is located just to the north of its more famous big brother, Prambanan temple. You can reach these two temples:

By public transport: Departed from Malioboro, take Trans Jogja line 1A or 1B and get off at Prambanan Market bus shelter. From there, cross the road and walk north.

By private vehicles: Departed from Yogya, take the route to Solo City by passing through North Ring Road. At the end of the ring road, turn left and keeps going east. You will find the temple on the left side of the road after 20-30 minutes driving.


Selling points

  • A majestic temple ruin all for yourself
  • Hidden behind Prambanan but very nice
  • Second Largest Buddhist Temple in Indonesia
  • Ruined but beautiful temple
  • Quiet, excellent view, peaceful and big temple
5 Days 4 Nights in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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5.0 days
111.53 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
14 places




Prambanan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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Tips for you

  • The heat can become quiet overwhelming so make sure you have plenty of water on hand.
    What to bring
  • All places in Yogyakarta is very hot. It's better to bring you hat, sunglass or umbrella to avoid the heat. You should also wear comfortable shoes as you walk a lot here.
    What to bring
  • The entrance ticket is included with Prambanan temple's ticket.
    Ticket and Pricing
  • If you drive yourself to reach the temple, there will be some tricky turns in the road and you should watch the scooters, it's not safe at all.
  • If you travel by tram from Prambanan to Sewu, they'll give you about 5minutes to visit the place. You should tell the tram driver that you're staying and take a 15min walk back to the main complex to truely appreciate the place.
    Things to do
  • Only very few of the tourists visit this temple, so you're free to do anything you want. You can also go inside the main tower.
    Things to do
  • If walking quite makes tired, there is a mini train ready to pick up passenger to look around the complex (IDR 7500).


TripAdvisor View more

Part of the main Prambanan complex, this is also quite striking to look at. Many people tend to skip it so you might find it empty. Make sure you stay on for the mini train that drives you there.

TripAdvisor View more

This temple is in the same compound as Prambanan, similarly impressive and worth the trip. There are much fewer visitors here which makes it a very pleasant, peaceful place!

TripAdvisor View more

an incredible temple... so much detail and so ancient... and well revived by unesco... the photos in the museum show how they did it... amazing place

TripAdvisor View more

Part of the main Prambanan complex, this is also quite striking to look at. Many people tend to skip it so you might find it empty. Make sure you stay on for the mini train that drives you there.

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