Barong Temple: Receiving Blessings From Goddess Sri With Kala Barong

Benedictus O.

Sunset at Barong Temple with silhouetted temple structures.
The beautiful sunset paints the sky over Barong Temple in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. (Benedictus Oktaviantoro/

Barong Temple, constructed in the 9th century by Sri Kumbaja during the Mataram Kingdom, invites you to immerse yourself in ancient Javanese spirituality. The temple’s intricate three-level design and carvings, showcasing motifs such as the protective Kala Barong, symbolize a cosmic ascent to the divine.

Visiting this historical site provides an opportunity to engage in spiritual rituals and offer prayers to Goddess Sri, all while being surrounded by a vibrant cultural heritage.

Amenities such as rest areas, clean restrooms, and designated parking enhance your visit. For a deeper understanding of the temple’s historical significance and detailed visitor guidance, further exploration will be beneficial.

History of Barong Temple

A Lingga structure at Barong Temple.
One of the Lingga structures at Barong Temple in Sleman, Yogyakarta, symbolizing the power of Lord Shiva. (Benedictus Oktaviantoro/
Farmers working in the rice fields near Barong Temple.
Farmers tending to rice fields with Barong Temple in the background. (Benedictus Oktaviantoro/

The origin of Barong Temple can be traced back to the 9th century, as indicated by the Prasasti Ratu Baka inscription from 856 M. This historical marker signifies the reign of the Mataram Kingdom, highlighting the temple’s cultural significance. Archaeological findings reveal that Barong Temple was a site of immense importance, serving not only as a religious monument but also as a center for ancient rituals and practices. Sri Kumbaja, a figure pivotal to the region’s spiritual history, is attributed with the temple’s construction.

Exploring Barong Temple uncovers layers of its past through various inscriptions and relics. These artifacts provide insight into the religious practices observed by the ancient Javanese people. The temple was a hub for ceremonies dedicated to deities such as Dewa Wisnu and Dewi Sri, reflecting the syncretism of Hindu-Buddhist traditions prevalent during that era. Ancient rituals performed at the site included the veneration of linggas—symbolic representations of divine power.

Understanding these practices deepens the appreciation of the temple’s role in preserving the spiritual heritage of the Mataram Kingdom.

Architecture of Barong Temple

The top view of a Lingga structure at Barong Temple.
A close-up of a Lingga structure at Barong Temple in Sleman, Yogyakarta, symbolizing the power of Lord Shiva. (Benedictus Oktaviantoro/

Delving into the architecture of Barong Temple reveals a fascinating blend of intricate carvings and unique structural elements that reflect the artistic prowess of ancient Javanese craftsmen. The temple complex is divided into three levels, each ascending higher and offering a deeper insight into the architectural ingenuity of its creators.

Symbolic carvings adorn the structures, particularly the makara and batara kala motifs, which resemble barongs and serve both decorative and protective purposes. These meticulously detailed carvings showcase the artistic details characteristic of the period. They not only enrich the temple’s aesthetic appeal but also imbue the space with cultural and spiritual significance.

The second level of the complex features scattered stone remnants that hint at its past grandeur, despite the absence of standing structures.

Ascending to the third level, visitors encounter two primary temples dedicated to Dewa Wisnu and Dewi Sri. Positioned on the highest terrace, these temples offer a panoramic view of the surrounding area. The narrow stairs and small gate leading to this level are perfect for capturing picturesque moments, making it a favorite spot for photographers and history enthusiasts alike.

Function and Meaning of Barong Temple

The main area of Barong Temple with clear stone structures.
The spacious main courtyard of Barong Temple in Yogyakarta. (Benedictus Oktaviantoro/

Understanding the architecture of Barong Temple sets the stage for appreciating its function and meaning in ancient Javanese culture. Dedicated to Dewa Wisnu and Dewi Sri, this temple served as a sacred site for ritual practices. The intricate design and layout reflect its significant role in religious ceremonies. The temple’s elevations, with the main structure being the highest, symbolically represent the ascent to the divine, enhancing the spiritual experience for worshippers.

The symbolic carvings adorning Barong Temple are deeply embedded with cultural meanings and aren’t merely decorative. These carvings, especially those resembling barongs, are protective symbols meant to ward off evil spirits, ensuring the sanctity of the rituals performed within. As you investigate the temple, the presence of these carvings underscores the ancient belief in the protective power of these mythical creatures.

The temple’s layout, with its ascending terraces, mimics the cosmic mountain, reflecting the Hindu conception of the universe. This design underscores the temple’s function as a bridge between the earthly and the divine domains. Through these elements, Barong Temple encapsulates the spiritual and cultural ethos of ancient Javanese society.

Things to Do at Barong Temple

Sunset at Barong Temple with a colorful sky.
Barong Temple in Sleman, Yogyakarta, is one of the best places to enjoy a sunset in the region. (Benedictus Oktaviantoro/

While discovering Barong Temple, you can immerse yourself in a variety of activities that blend cultural enrichment with serene enjoyment. Engaging in spiritual rituals is a primary attraction; the temple offers an ideal setting to offer prayers and seek blessings from Goddess Sri. The peaceful environment enhances your spiritual experience, allowing for deep reflection and connection.

Delving into the temple’s intricate kala decorations is another enriching activity. These unique carvings resemble barongs and offer a glimpse into the ancient artistry of the Mataram Kingdom. Spend some time photographing these remarkable features to capture the essence of this historical site.

Sampling local cuisine adds a delightful culinary dimension to your visit. Nearby food stalls offer traditional Javanese dishes, allowing you to savor the flavors that reflect the region’s rich cultural heritage. Whether it’s a hearty gudeg or a spicy sambal, these local delicacies perfectly complement your temple exploration.

Here are a few activities you shouldn’t miss:

  • Participate in spiritual rituals to seek blessings.
  • Investigate and photograph the intricate kala decorations.
  • Savor local cuisine at nearby food stalls.

These activities make your visit to Barong Temple both enlightening and enjoyable.

Amenities and Facilities at Barong Temple

Barong Temple offers a range of amenities designed to ensure your visit is both comfortable and enriching. The facilities are thoughtfully arranged to enhance your overall experience.

The temple grounds feature well-maintained rest areas perfect for relaxation. These shaded spots, equipped with benches, provide an ideal setting to reflect on the temple’s historical significance while enjoying the serene surroundings.

Clean restroom facilities are available near the entrance, making them easily accessible. These restrooms are regularly maintained to ensure hygiene and convenience for all visitors.

For those arriving by car, a designated parking area is provided. This spacious and secure lot allows you to leave your vehicle with peace of mind as you explore the temple complex.

These thoughtfully provided amenities help you focus on exploring and appreciating the rich cultural heritage of Barong Temple.

Best Times To Visit

Sunset view at Barong Temple with temple silhouettes.
The beauty of the sunset at Barong Temple in Sleman, Yogyakarta, creating stunning silhouettes of the temple structures. (Benedictus Oktaviantoro/

To make the most of your visit to Barong Temple, plan your trip during the dry season from May to September when the weather is more favorable. This period offers ideal weather conditions, with lower humidity and minimal rainfall, making it easier to discover the temple complex and its surroundings comfortably. The dry season guarantees that the pathways and stairs are less slippery, thereby enhancing safety and enjoyment during your visit.

Visiting during the dry season also means you can avoid the peak season crowds that typically flock to Yogyakarta’s numerous historical sites. Barong Temple may not be as crowded as more famous attractions like Borobudur or Prambanan, but the influx of tourists during peak season can still impact your experience.

How to get to Barong Temple?

Hand holding a GPS device showing the location of Barong Temple.
Using a GPS device to locate Barong Temple in Sleman, Yogyakarta. (Benedictus Oktaviantoro/

After deciding on the best time to visit Barong Temple, you’ll need to figure out how to get there efficiently. Several transportation options are available to suit different preferences and budgets.

If you prefer driving, rent a car or motorcycle from Yogyakarta. The drive takes approximately one hour from Tugu Jogja. Follow Jalan Piyungan-Prambanan, heading south of Candi Prambanan, until you reach Dusun Candisari.

For those who don’t wish to drive, public transport offers a viable alternative. Local buses and minibuses frequently travel the route from Yogyakarta to Prambanan. From there, hire an ojek (motorcycle taxi) to take you directly to Barong Temple. This method might be slower but provides a unique way to experience local culture.

Using GPS coordinates can simplify your journey by providing precise directions to the temple.

Whether you opt for the convenience of a rental vehicle or the immersive experience of public transport, finding your way to Barong Temple is straightforward. Focus on the cultural and historical richness that awaits you.

Entry Fees or Permits Required

When planning your visit to Barong Temple, you’ll find the entry fees quite affordable for both local and foreign tourists. Domestic visitors can purchase tickets for Rp 5,000, while foreign tourists will pay Rp 10,000. These reasonable prices make it accessible for everyone to experience the cultural significance and rituals associated with this historical site.

Barong Temple operates every day from Monday to Sunday, opening its gates from 08:00 to 18:00 WIB. This extended schedule provides ample time to explore the temple grounds, participate in rituals, and appreciate its intricate architectural details.

Key points to remember include:

  • Ticket Prices: Rp 5,000 for locals and Rp 10,000 for foreigners.
  • Opening Hours: 08:00 to 18:00 WIB, Monday to Sunday.
  • Cultural Significance: A glimpse into ancient rituals and architectural brilliance.

Visiting Barong Temple offers not only an affordable cultural experience but also a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the historical richness of the Yogyakarta region. Allocate sufficient time to fully engage with the temple’s serene and spiritually enriching environment.

Travel Tips to Barong Temple

Planning your visit to Barong Temple? Keep these travel tips in mind to enrich your experience. Aim to arrive during the early hours of the day or late afternoon. This timing helps you avoid the midday heat and capture the best lighting for travel photography. The temple opens at 9:00 AM and closes at 3:00 PM, giving you ample time to explore without feeling rushed.

Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy footwear, as you’ll need to climb several stairs to reach the temple’s upper levels. Bringing a hat and sunscreen is advisable due to limited shade in the area. Additionally, carry water and light snacks to stay hydrated and energized during your cultural exploration.

Here are some specific tips to contemplate:

  • Photography Gear: Bring your camera or smartphone with extra batteries and memory cards to capture the intricate carvings and panoramic views.
  • Guided Tours: Consider hiring a local guide to gain deeper insights into the history and significance of the temple.
  • Respect Local Customs: Dress modestly and behave respectfully, as the temple is a site of cultural and religious importance.


Stepping into Barong Temple immerses you in a world where history and spirituality converge. The intricate carvings of Kala Barong and the serene presence of Goddess Sri juxtapose the ancient past with your present experience.

Limestone hills frame your visit, transforming you from a mere tourist into a participant in a centuries-old tradition. Whether driven by historical curiosity or a spiritual quest, Barong Temple offers an enriching experience.

You leave with indelible memories and a profound sense of connection.



Benedictus O.

Benedictus Oktaviantoro is a dedicated mountaineer and adventurer who loves helping others. He began climbing Mount Salak in 2002 and has since explored many beautiful places in Indonesia. Benedictus is also active in social activities, such as Search and Rescue missions and disaster relief efforts. Currently, he is learning more about digital marketing to improve his skills.