Candi Arjuna – Dieng Plateau, Central Java, Indonesia

Dieng Plateau is located 2,093 metres (6,600 ft) above sea level, a few hours drive from the city of Semarang in Central Java…

The name “Dieng” comes from Di Hyang which means “Abode of the Gods”…

Here you can find eight small Hindu temples from the Kalingga Kingdom, estimated to range from mid 7th century to end of 8th century AD; believed to be the oldest known standing stone structures in Java…

It is believed that there were about 400 of these temples but over the years, now, only eight remain… The temples are named after the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata…

Dieng’s misty location along with its poisonous effusions and sulphur-coloured lakes make it an auspicious place for religious tribute.. The temples are small shrines built as monuments to the god-ancestors and dedicated to Shiva with the main temple being the elegant Candi Arjuna with its kala and makhara motifs and its beautiful roofline…

I could not get enough of looking around these beautiful ancient temple, as well as the restored Candi Srikandi and Candi Puntadewa, with their ancient but beautiful wall reliefs… It always amazes me how these buildings withstand the test of time and comes filled with the mystery and mystique of centuries ago…

Even the short, rectangular Candi Semar is pretty unique with its shape…

You won’t tire from walking around because of the beautifully mild altitude of Dieng Plateau where the climate is just cool and balmy!


It does tend to be cold at night or in the wee hours of the morning, but it is a nice relief from relentless heat and humidity in the low-lands of Indonesia or Malaysia for that matters… And at a certain time of the year, you could even find frost or slight snow if you were lucky..

The Kailasa museum which is located in the temple complex grounds is an interesting place to visit as well…


The Kailasa museum was named after one of the mountains where Shiva (the Indian God/ Diety) lived…

It is here you can learn about how Dieng was a center of religious activity, where the Saiwa sect priests practice asceticism, and how Dieng was also interpreted as Kailasa, the sacred kahyangan of Shiva, the center of the world, and the place where the spirits reside….

This museum stores various things related to Dieng, starting from history, records of people’s lives, culture, belief systems, flora and fauna…


It also showcase many pieces of sculpture and carvings removed from the temple grounds including various statues, mala, makara, peaks temple or roofs, lingga and yoni, stoves to put offerings, Goddess Durga, mahakala, cover stones, kinari kinara (heavenly beings), a statue of Shiva’s carrier – Nandi the bull (with the body of a man and the head of a bull), a headless image of Shiva and so on…

Overall it is truly a beautiful place to visit with breathtaking views and beautiful cool weather… I personally love it there a lot and could have been happy spending hours exploring the temples, but I am a huge fan of history monuments and find ancient monuments and buildings truly fascinating….


Address – Karangsari, Dieng Kulon, Batur, Banjarnegara, Central Java 53456, Indonesia

This trip was made possible by Kedutaan Besar Republik Indonesia Kuala Lumpur and Central Java Tourism…. 

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