Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 9 June 2013 • Destination
Ratu Boko is located only about 3 km South to Prambanan temple. Is this archaic site a temple? Is it a monument? Or is it an alien runway? I used to think it was a temple like Prambanan, Borobudur and Mendut. Turns out, analysis of archeological researches say that Ratu Boko used to be a palace, or maybe a ‘getaway villa’, of the royals. It is said to have been built in the 8th century in the era of Syailendra kingdom, the rulers who also built the exceptional Borobudur temple.
Ratu Boko is known for the wonderful sunrise AND sunset views. Arriving there at 6ish AM, my friend Arya and I were unfortunately late for the sunrise. I’m not even sure if the park was officially open that early. We had to look for the staff, who then let us in.
The entrance of Ratu Boko site was a 3-door gate, which you could easily go around to get “in” the area. Teehee, it’s funny talking about entrance and getting in, when the whole area is now all open aired. Yeah, most of the complex building is gone, leaving only 2 gates, foundations of buildings that some even look like an alien landing in the movies.
Archeologists, in some reading materials I’ve read, said that the whole complex consisted of a main house, a pool for the princesses to bathe in as well as the house they live in, a cremation post, a fort, meditation caves and some more establishments. The wooden parts of the buildings are all gone, but some parts of the stone foundation still seem intact, some are left scattered on the ground.
We were looking around the area for about an hour. I tried to imagine how the royals’ life was like back then. They might have had everything and lived in the biggest house in town, but the princesses had to put more effort just to take baths because there was no ensuite bathroom and it was more of an outhouse. But I can also imagine the serenity of living on a hill with a lush forest view and dew on your hair.
After the make-believe, we decided to check out the restaurant at the entrance/exit. Standing at the balcony I could see Prambanan temple and Merapi Mountain from afar, vaguely emerging from the cloudy sky. It was a nice relaxing session, just sitting, looking, while sipping a cup of warm tea.
Ratu Boko, they say, is 200 meters above the sea level, hence the climate is quite cool (or maybe because it was early in the morning, heehee), and it’s high enough to have a look over the North side of the hill. I think it would be a great place to hunt photos, moreover with your tele lenses. Woot, woot!
However, please don’t ask me how to get to Ratu Boko. I left it all to Arya with his GPS. All I remember, it was about 30-45 minutes of motorbike ride from Yogyakarta’s train station 😛
*Note: The entrance ticket for Indonesian is IDR 10,000 on weekdays and IDR 25,000 on weekends per person, if I’m not mistaken.
Click here for the official website.