Ratu Boko Palace (The Cremation Temple) :
Photo – Ratu Boko Cremation Temple.
Ratu Boko Palace is an archaeological site in Java. Ratu Boko is located on a plateau, about three kilometres south of Lara Jonggrang Prambanan temple complex in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The original name of this site is still unclear, however the local inhabitants named this site after King Boko, the legendary king mentioned in Loro Jonggrang folklore. In Javanese, Ratu Baka means “Stork King”.
The site covers 16 hectares in two hamlets (Dawung and Sambireja) of the village of Bokoharjo and Prambanan, Sleman Regency. In striking contrast to other Classic-period sites in Central Java and Yogyakarta, which are remains of temples, Ratu Boko displays attributes of an occupation or settlement site, although its precise function is unknown. Probably the site was a palace complex which belonged to the kings of Sailendra or Mataram Kingdom that also built temples scattered across the Prambanan Plain. The argument was based on the fact that this complex was not a temple nor building with religious nature, but a fortified palace instead which evidence of a remnant of fortified walls and the dry moat of defensive structures. The remains of settlements also founds in Ratu Boko vicinity. Ratu Boko Palace is located 196m above the sea level, on the highest point in the site, there is a small pavilion from which one will be able to see a panoramic view of Prambanan temple with Mount Merapi as the background.
The Cremation Temple :
The Cremation Temple (Pembakaran Temple) is a three meters high terrace. It’s location is about 37 meters northeast of the main gate. The Cremation Temple is square shaped terrace like structure, with the second terrace smaller than the first. The second terrace is reinforced with river rocks. In the middle of the second terrace there is a well-like structure which is assumed to be used for burning of corpse in a cremation ritual. In the southeast corner there is an old well that was used as a source of holy water used for the rituals.
Protection and Management :
The property has been designated as a National Cultural Property in 1998 and the national law issued in 2010 also supports the protection and conservation of the property. Management of Prambanan Temple Compounds is accommodated in the Presidential Decree of 1992 that established the 77 ha that encompasses the property under central government ownership. This area is divided into two zones. The management of Zone 1 or the area within the boundary is conducted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism under two different regional offices, namely the Archaeological Preservation Office of Yogyakarta and Central Java. The Borobudur, Prambanan and Ratu Boko Tourism Park Ltd. are responsible for Zone 2 which comprises the buffer zone. In order to implement standard operations for the safeguarding of the property, the government has established a regulation concerning national vital object area. All regulations have been well enforced and implemented.
In order to improve the management of the property, government issued the law in 2007 and government regulation of 2008 concerning national spatial planning which means that spatial planning in World Cultural Heritage area will be prioritized. Prambanan site has been established as one of the strategic national area which consists of Prambanan temple Compounds and others related temple remains. To ensure the long term safeguarding of the property, an integrated management and regulation that support preservation is needed.
The Action Plan of 2007 has been implemented with the involvement of the local community around the property. The welfare of the local community around the property that was affected by the earthquake of 27 May 2006, is now improving with the recovery of the usual economic activity and especially in the creative industry sector. The Siva temple has not been rehabilitated but research activities or technical studies of the Siva temple have been carried out in 2010 and 2011. The results have been discussed at national and international level with the conclusion that it is still necessary to study and research to determine the method of handling Siva Temple, including monitoring through seismograph study and crack meter periodically.
More photos of Ratu Boko Palace here.
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