Revealing the beauty of Ratu Boko Temple, Yogyakarta

Standing majestically on a hillside plateau overlooking the magnificent Prambanan temples and the mystical Mount Merapi as its backdrop, the Ratu Boko Palace ruins are the remnants from the glorious 8th century golden age of ancient Javanese kingdoms. Located approximately 17 km east of the city of Yogyakarta in the sub-district of Bokoharjo, Sleman Regency, the Ratu Boko Palace Complex is a unique archeological site which features a meld of Hindu and Buddhist architecture.

Kraton Ratu Boko is one of the fascinating ancient palace complex inYogyakartaIndonesia. Unlike the other huge heritage of Borobudur and Prambanan temples, the Ratu Boko was destroyed – only some parts of the palace can be seen as parts of buildings. That is why it is not as famous as the other two temples.

The site takes its name from the legendary king Boko, one of the main characters in the famous folk legend of “Roro Jonggrang”. This folklore links the Ratu Boko Palace with the Durga statue in the Prambanan temple, and with the Sewu temples, or the Thousand Temples near Yogyakarta.

Ratu Boko is an archaeological site known to modern Javanese as Kraton Ratu Boko or Ratu Boko’s Palace. Ratu Boko is located on a plateau, about three kilometres south of Lara Jonggrang Prambanan temple complex in Yogyakarta Indonesia. The original name of this site is still unclear, however the local inhabitants named this site after King Boko, the legendary king mentioned in Loro Jonggrang folklore.

The site covers 16 hectares in two hamlets (Dawung and Sambireja) of the village of Bokoharjo and Prambanan. In striking contrast to other Classic-period sites in Central Java and Yogyakarta, which are remains of temples, Ratu Boko displays attributes of an occupation or settlement site, although its precise functions is unknown. Probably the site was a palace complex which belongs to the kings of Sailendra or Mataram Kingdom that also build temples scattered across Prambanan Plain. The argument was based on the fact that this complex was not a temple nor building with religious nature, but a fortified palace instead which evidence in the remnant of fortified walls and the dry moat as defensive structures. The remains of settlements also founds in Ratu Boko vicinity. This site is located 196 m above the sea level, on the highest point in the site, there is a small pavilion from which one will be able to see a panoramic view of Prambanan temple with Mount Merapi as the background.


Surrounding the temple structure is a splendid view of greenery. Shifting the view to the north, there are the spectacular sights of Mount Merapi and Prambanan temple in the distance. During clear days, seeing the sunset from the hilltop is an experience sought by many visitors. The temple was first discovered by Van Boeckholzt in 1790. The inscriptions led to the estimation that it was built int he 8th century by Rakai Panangkaran, a descendant of the Sailendra dynasty of Medang kingdom (ancient Mataram).

The Sailendra dynasty is also known as the dynasty who built the Prambanan and Borobudur temples.

The building’s structures, such as its stone gates, ramparts, moats along with its royal square, Keputren (special rooms for women) as well as its bathing pools suggest that it might have been a palace from the past. It is decorated with Hindu religious symbols such as the Linga Yoni statue as well as Buddhist symbols such as the Dyani Buddha. Until now Ratu Boko temple is still considered sacred by Hindus as well as Buddhists. To honor this, visitors must wear a sarong when entering the temple.

After exploring the Ratu Boko, the next location was the Plaza Andrawina, on the western side of the hill. This restaurant serving Indonesian and Western cuisine features a view of the valley and an open air-theater. Srandul is an art of storytelling in the form of songs and dances accompanied by a bamboo music ensemble. This traditional art is often performed in important events in the villages around Gunung Kidul, Sleman and Klaten. At dusk, lights in the distance began to glow like flickering stars. Accompanied by a cup of hot coffee and the strains of Srandul, while savoring the final moments of the visit with pleasure.


Perched at the top of a hill around three kilometers south of the famed Prambanan temple in Yogyakarta is a landmark called the Ratu Boko temple. The temple that precise location is within in Sambirejo village, Sleman, Yogyakarta, is also a part of the highland area called Pegunungan Seribu.

Ratu Boko Palace Complex is located on a plateau, south of Prambanan in the province of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. To get to the Ratu Boko Palace, take the minor road from Prambanan towards Piyungan for less than half an hour and you will easily find the palace complex.

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