Ijo Temple: Overcoming Anxiety at the Green Hill

Benedictus O.

A person walking at night between ancient temple structures in Ijo Temple, with a bright moon and starry sky.
Exploring the ancient Ijo Temple under the night sky.

Perched atop the serene heights of Ijo Hill, the 9th-century Ijo Temple offers a historical immersion into ancient Javanese culture and a tranquil environment conducive to overcoming anxiety. Investigating the terraced platforms and intricate carvings reveals Hindu-Buddhist influences that showcase a rich cultural heritage.

This temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, provides stunning views of Yogyakarta’s landscapes, enhancing the tranquil ambiance. Amenities such as picnic spots, rest areas, and sunset viewing platforms ensure a comfortable visit. Peaceful nature walks around the temple further aid in calming the mind.

Learn more about this unique site below.

History of Ijo Temple

Silhouettes of people and ancient temples at Ijo Temple during sunset.
Visitors enjoying the sunset at Ijo Temple. (Reza Fitriyanto/Maioloo.com)

Dating back to the 9th century, Ijo Temple was constructed during the reign of King Rakai Pikatan and King Rakai Kayuwangi of the Ancient Mataram Kingdom. This historical site offers a glimpse into ancient Javanese architecture and stands as a testament to the region’s rich cultural heritage. Perched on a hill known as Gumuk Ijo, the temple has undergone several conservation efforts to preserve its intricate stone carvings and structures. These efforts are crucial in maintaining the temple’s integrity and ensuring that future generations can appreciate its historical significance.

Local folklore adds another layer of intrigue to Ijo Temple. According to local legends, the hill where the temple stands was once a lush green paradise, hence the name ‘Ijo,’ which means green in Javanese. The temple is also believed to be a spiritual site where ancient rituals were performed to appease the gods and ensure the prosperity of the kingdom. Such stories, passed down through generations, enrich the visitor’s experience, offering a deeper understanding of the temple’s role in the region’s history and culture.

Discovering these tales and conservation efforts will deepen your appreciation of this ancient marvel.

Architecture of Ijo Temple

Visitors relaxing and exploring the ancient stone temples of Ijo Temple.
People visiting the ancient Ijo Temple. (Reza Fitriyanto/Maioloo.com)
People walking and sitting around the stone temples of Ijo Temple.
Exploring the ancient temples of Ijo Temple. (Reza Fitriyanto/Maioloo.com)

The architecture of Ijo Temple showcases a harmonious blend of intricate carvings, terraced platforms, and Hindu-Buddhist influences that captivate any visitor. Touring the temple complex reveals the artistic symbolism embedded within each structure, reflecting the cultural fusion of Hindu and Buddhist traditions.

Built strategically on a hill, the temple follows the natural contours with 11 terraced platforms, culminating in the main temple on the highest terrace. Each terrace features finely detailed carvings depicting various deities, mythological creatures, and cosmic symbols, providing a visual narrative of ancient beliefs and practices.

The main temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is adorned with sculptures that highlight the fusion of Hindu and Buddhist architectural styles. The presence of lingga yoni in the main chamber symbolizes unity and cosmic creation.

Auxiliary temples and accompanying structures also exhibit a blend of artistic elements from both cultures, emphasizing the temple’s role as a spiritual and cultural center. The complex’s design showcases the architectural prowess of the ancient builders and offers insights into the spiritual and cultural landscape of the era, making your visit a deeply enriching experience.

Function and Meaning of Ijo Temple

Silhouettes of people and ancient temples at Candi Ijo during sunset.
Visitors watching the sunset at Ijo Temple. (Reza Fitriyanto/Maioloo.com)

Ijo Temple stands as a tribute to the spiritual and cultural aspirations of its creators, reflecting the intricate blend of Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Serving as a place of worship and meditation, the temple fosters a deep spiritual connection for its visitors. Through exploration, you can uncover the rich meanings behind the temple’s design and art.

The main chamber houses a lingga yoni, symbolizing the union of Lord Shiva and Dewi Parwati, embodying cosmic creation and fertility. Various sculptures and reliefs depict Hindu deities such as Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma, each adding layers of spiritual significance. The terraced structure, ascending to the main temple, symbolizes the spiritual journey towards enlightenment, encouraging introspection and contemplation.

Ijo Temple also functioned as a cultural hub, where rituals and ceremonies were performed, strengthening the community’s spiritual bond. The inscriptions and carvings found throughout the temple provide insights into the beliefs and practices of the era, allowing you to appreciate the profound cultural heritage of ancient Java.

Visiting this site, you engage with a place that encapsulates the harmonious coexistence of diverse religious influences.

Things to Do at Ijo Temple

Silhouettes of people enjoying the sunset at Ijo Temple.
Visitors capturing the beauty of the sunset at Ijo Temple. (Reza Fitriyanto/Maioloo.com)

Discovering Ijo Temple offers a variety of activities that enrich your understanding of its cultural and spiritual heritage. As you meander through this historic site, you’ll find numerous ways to connect with both the natural and human-made wonders that surround you.

Immerse yourself in nature walks around the temple grounds. Situated on the slopes of Mount Batur Agung, the temple provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. These walks not only allow you to appreciate the serene environment but also give you a closer look at the flora and fauna that inhabit the area.

Another engaging activity is bird watching. The peaceful ambiance of Ijo Temple attracts a variety of bird species. Bring your binoculars and a bird guidebook to identify and observe the different types of birds that frequent the area. This activity can be both relaxing and educational, offering a deeper connection to the natural world.

Finally, don’t miss the opportunity to examine the temple’s intricate architecture and historical significance.

Here’s a concise list to guide your visit:

  1. Nature walks
  2. Bird watching
  3. Examining temple architecture

These activities ensure a fulfilling visit to Ijo Temple, blending cultural exploration with natural beauty.

Amenities and Facilities at Ijo Temple

Ijo Temple offers a variety of amenities and facilities to enrich your visit. Designated picnic spots are available where you can relax and enjoy the serene environment. These areas are ideal for spreading out a mat and savoring a meal while surrounded by the temple’s historical grandeur and lush greenery. The well-maintained temple grounds ensure a clean and comfortable setting for your picnic experience.

Consider these amenities to elevate your visit:

  1. Rest Areas: Strategically placed benches and shaded spots provide comfortable places to rest and take in the surroundings.
  2. Information Boards: Detailed boards scattered throughout the site offer insights into the temple’s history and architectural significance.
  3. Sunset Viewing Platforms: Special areas are designated for watching the sunset, providing breathtaking, unobstructed views over the horizon.

The temple complex also features basic facilities such as clean restrooms and ample parking space.

While exploring, you’ll notice panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, including the distant cityscape and terraced rice fields.

The combination of historical intrigue, natural beauty, and thoughtful amenities makes Ijo Temple an enriching destination for all visitors.

Best Times To Visit

Silhouettes of people and ancient temples at Ijo Temple during sunset.
Visitors taking in the sunset at Ijo Temple. (Reza Fitriyanto/Maioloo.com)

To fully maximize your visit to Ijo Temple, it’s important to consider the best times to go, factoring in weather conditions and tourist seasons. Seasonal changes significantly impact the temple’s hilltop location.

The dry season, spanning from May to September, is ideal for visiting Ijo Temple. These months generally offer clear weather, providing unobstructed views of the surrounding landscapes and the best conditions for exploring the terraced grounds.

The wet season, from October to April, can bring heavy rains and muddy paths, making the climb to the temple more challenging. Visiting during this period requires appropriate footwear and preparation for sudden downpours.

Peak seasons also affect the experience. The temple sees a surge in visitors during Indonesian school holidays in June, July, and December. These months typically have larger crowds, which might detract from the serene experience that Ijo Temple offers.

For a more tranquil visit, plan your trip during the shoulder months of May and September when the weather is favorable, and the tourist influx is minimal.

How to get to Ijo Temple?

Finding your way to Ijo Temple involves a picturesque drive through Yogyakarta. A well-maintained vehicle is essential due to the steep inclines. From the city center, follow Jalan Solo (Jl. Adi Sutjipto) towards Kalasan, then proceed to Prambanan Terminal. Turn right towards Ratu Boko and continue uphill, then turn left to reach the temple complex.

Rental services in Yogyakarta offer both motorcycles and cars, enhancing accessibility for visitors. Opt for a reliable rental to navigate the inclines comfortably. Ensure your rental vehicle is in good condition to prevent any mishaps on the steep roads.

Public transportation options to Ijo Temple are limited. Bringing your own vehicle or renting one is necessary. No direct public transport routes serve this destination, making personal or rented vehicles the most practical choice.

Upon arrival, ample parking space is available near the temple complex. This allows visitors to park conveniently before exploring the site. The journey itself offers stunning views of Yogyakarta’s lush landscapes and terraced fields, adding to the overall experience.

With careful planning and the right vehicle, your visit to Ijo Temple will be smooth and memorable.

Entry Fees or Permits Required

After parking your vehicle, be aware of the entry fees required to access the Ijo Temple complex. The ticket prices are quite reasonable. Purchase them on-site or opt for online booking to save time.

Follow these steps to ensure a smooth experience:

  1. Verify the current ticket prices before heading out. Although generally affordable, it’s always good to know the exact amount to budget accordingly.
  2. Many visitors prefer online booking to avoid long queues. This method also allows checking for any special promotions or discounts that might be available.
  3. Due to preservation efforts and the site’s popularity, there might be access restrictions and visitor quotas. Booking in advance is advisable, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure you get a spot.

Travel Tips to Ijo Temple

When planning your visit to Ijo Temple, ensure your vehicle is in good condition to handle the steep incline leading up to the site. Public transportation isn’t available, so you’ll need your own mode of transport.

To guarantee a smooth and enjoyable trip, consider the following travel tips:

  1. Packing Essentials: Bring a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water. The temple sits at an elevation of around 410 meters above sea level, and the area can get quite sunny, making sun protection essential. Comfortable walking shoes are also recommended due to the uneven terrain.
  2. Local Cuisine: Sample local cuisine in nearby villages. Traditional Javanese dishes such as gudeg, a sweet jackfruit stew, are available in local eateries. These culinary experiences provide a deeper insight into the region’s culture and traditions.
  3. Timing Your Visit: Arriving early in the morning or late in the afternoon helps you avoid the midday heat and catch the best light for photography. The temple offers stunning views, especially during sunset when the sky is beautifully colored, creating a picturesque scene.


Standing atop Ijo Temple’s Green Hill, time seems to stand still. This sacred place, reminiscent of ancient sages seeking comfort and wisdom, offers panoramic views and a tranquil atmosphere.

Modern anxieties find a natural balm here, inviting you to reconnect with your inner self. Leaving with memories of intricate carvings and historical insights, you also gain a renewed sense of peace and clarity.

This experience is much like a pilgrim finding respite in a sacred haven.



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.