If you visit Indonesia, remember to visit Candi Prambanan. There’s a wonderful story behind it. There are several candi (temples) standing there. One of those has a statue of a standing woman. Villagers said that it was the statue of a princess long time ago named Roro Jonggrang.
Roro Jonggrang was a very beautiful princess from a Javanese kingdom, Prambanan Kingdom hundred years ago. Her famous beauty was known throughout the country, and princes from far and different land and kingdoms came to propose her. However, her beauty did not make her humble, instead she grew her arrogance even more. She refused all their proposal, and sometime in harsh as well. Many returned brokenhearted.
There was a famous prince by that era, Prince Bandung Bondowoso. He was famous by his strength, power, and good looking. He owned a big kingdom with thousand of soldiers. He too heard of Roro Jonggrang’s amazing beauty that he set up to the kingdom to propose her.
Having heard that Prince Bondowoso was coming to marry her, Roro Jonggang grew worried. She disliked the idea of getting married, however, she too understood the consequence if she refused the proposal. She knew that Bondowoso had thousands of soldiers that could attack her kingdom if she disappointed him. So when Bondowoso arrived and proposed her, she was willing to accept it with one condition.
Bondowoso had to make her 1000 temples in one night time. If he failed, then Roro Jonggrang would not marry him. Now, Bondowoso was not only strong, he had thousands of men working for him, and not only men, he owned the power to control the genies as well. He agreed to fulfill Jonggrang’s wish and started to work it immediately. He used his power to call all the genies and asked them to keep on working until they completed 1000 temples by the time the rooster crowed the next morning.
The genies worked without stop any second. They would only stop by the time the rooster crowed. Soon hundreds of temples were completed. This made Roro Jonggrang restless. She could not sleep or even closed her eyes. She tried to think any way to fail Bondowoso. Finally, she got an idea. She cut paper in the shape of a circle and glued it in front of a candle holder. She lit the candle and carried it to the chicken coop where the rooster slept. When the rooster saw the candle, it thought that it was almost dawn and the sun was going to rise soon. The rooster quickly got up and in a second, it crowed.
The working genies heard the rooster and thought that the morning had come. Instantly, they stopped working and disappeared leaving the undone temples. There were 999 temples that completed. One more to be built. Bondowoso was disappointed to see this. He was very mad. When he found out that it was the work of Roro Jonggrang, he came to her and cursed her into a stone.
Uptill now, we can still see the statue of Princess Roro Jonggrang in one of those temples that Bondowoso built for her. The temples are now named Prambanan. That is the legend that more and less adapted from the History I heard. Whether it is true or not…. it is you who judge it! 🙂