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Sewu Temple

See one of the largest Buddhist temples in Java, a complex and beautiful architectural wonder that offers unique insight into Indonesia’s past.

A sprawling complex of over 250 religious structures, Sewu Temple, or Candi Sewu, is the second largest of Java’s Buddhist temples. Although it’s beaten by the Borobudur temple complex in terms of scale, its beauty and detail is on the same level. Come here to feel dwarfed by ancient statues and imagine the Javanese people of many centuries ago wandering among these structures.

Sewu Temple is even older than the neighboring Hindu temple of Prambanan. Thought to date from the 8th century, Sewu Temple has survived at least two major earthquakes, in the 10th century and in 2006. Remnants of these disasters are scattered around in the form of fallen stones. Restoration and conservation work on the site is ongoing. Due to its vast size, Sewu Temple was likely one of the most important Javanese places of Buddhist worship in its day, and was likely built for royalty.

Approach any of Sewu Temple’s four gates and look up at the huge statues that guard the entrance. These foreboding guardians, armed with clubs, are among the many particularly memorable features of the site. Pass them and head onwards to see the main structure, a towering temple that looms above the countryside like a mountain with nine different peaks. These peaks are in fact ornate pointed roofs. Come closer and admire the rich intricacy of the carvings that cover them and the rest of the building.

Take the time to admire the dozens of smaller shrines scattered around the complex. Each of these is as wonderfully detailed as the main structure.

It’s impossible to process all there is to see at this fascinating site. Spend as long as you need to appreciate the magical atmosphere here, then head to one of the neighboring historic temples. These include the famous Hindu temple Prambanan and the smaller Buddhist temples Lumbung and Bubrah.

Wear modest clothes for your visit. Take a taxi from Yogyakarta and get to the Prambanan temple area, where Sewu Temple is located, in under an hour. The hectic Java traffic will only make the spiritual calm of this ancient site seem all the more powerful.

Popular Activities at Sewu Temple

Want to make your time spent at Sewu Temple even more unique? Remember to try out a few of these activities:

Private A Day in Yogyakarta Tour is just one of the exciting experiences on offer here.

Take a look at our Prambanan things to do page to learn about more activities in the area.


Guide to Exploring Sewu Temple


Map

Top Sewu Temple Hotel Deals

See all 913 properties near Sewu Temple
Poeri Devata Resort Hotel RM135
Poeri Devata Resort Hotel

Poeri Devata Resort Hotel

Klurak - Taman Martani, Kalasan, Sleman, Prambanan, Yogyakarta
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated near the airport, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Ramayana Ballet and Prambanan Temple. Plaosan Temple and Tebing Breksi are also within 6 mi (10 km).

    RedDoorz near Candi Ratu Boko RM39
    RedDoorz near Candi Ratu Boko

    RedDoorz near Candi Ratu Boko

    Jl. Raya Piyungan - Prambanan, Bokoharjo, Prambanan
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Prambanan, this hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Ratu Boko Palace and 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from Prambanan Temple. Sojiwan Temple and Ramayana Ballet are also within 2 miles (3 km).

      Airy Syariah Prambanan KM 21 Klaten
      Airy Syariah Prambanan KM 21 Klaten

      Airy Syariah Prambanan KM 21 Klaten

      Jl Yogyakarta Solo KM 21, Dusun Tegal, Desa Kemudo, Kecamatan Prambanan, Klaten, Yogyakarta
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Klaten, this hotel is 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Plaosan Temple and 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from Prambanan Temple. Sojiwan Temple and Lumbung Temple are also within 3 miles (5 km).

        Bueno Colombo Hotel & Resorts
        Bueno Colombo Hotel & Resorts

        Bueno Colombo Hotel & Resorts

        Jl. Raya Jogya - Solo KM 14, Kalasan, Yogyakarta
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Kalasan, this hotel is 0.2 mi (0.2 km) from Kalasan Temple and 2 mi (3.2 km) from Prambanan Temple. Candi Kalasan and Candi Sari are also within 15 minutes.

          Airy Bandara Adisutjipto Kalasan Sleman Yogyakarta
          Airy Bandara Adisutjipto Kalasan Sleman Yogyakarta

          Airy Bandara Adisutjipto Kalasan Sleman Yogyakarta

          Jl. Raya Yogya-Solo KM. 14, Sleman, Kalasan, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Kalasan, this hotel is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Kalasan Temple and 2 mi (3.3 km) from Prambanan Temple. Candi Kalasan and Candi Sari are also within 15 minutes.

            INNSIDE by Meliá Yogyakarta RM135
            INNSIDE by Meliá Yogyakarta

            INNSIDE by Meliá Yogyakarta

            JL. Ring Road Utara, Maguwoharjo, Depok, Yogyakarta
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Depok, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of TransMart Studio Mini, Sambisari Temple and Maguwoharjo Stadium. Jogja Bay and Museum Dirgantara are also within 3 miles (5 km).

              Airy Kalasan Sleman Purwomartani Sambisari A3 Yogyakarta
              Airy Kalasan Sleman Purwomartani Sambisari A3 Yogyakarta

              Airy Kalasan Sleman Purwomartani Sambisari A3 Yogyakarta

              Desa Sambisari RT 02 Rw 03 No. A3, Depok, Yogyakarta
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Depok, this hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Sambisari Temple and within 3 miles (5 km) of Kalasan Temple and Candi Kalasan. Candi Sari and Jogja Bay are also within 3 miles (5 km).

                OYO 405 Wisma Yosoputro RM42
                OYO 405 Wisma Yosoputro

                OYO 405 Wisma Yosoputro

                Cupuwatu I, Cupuwatu II, Purwomartani, Kalasan,Kabupaten Sleman,Daerah Istimewa, Kalasan
                   
                  2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Kalasan, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Sambisari Temple, Kalasan Temple and Candi Kalasan. Adisucipto Golf Course and Candi Sari are also within 3 miles (5 km).