Candi Cetho

Central Java

Candi Cetho (pronounced 'Cheto') is spread over terraces rising up the misty hillside, on the northern face of Gunung Lawu at around 1400m. Thought to date from around 1350, the candi (temple) closely resembles a Balinese temple in appearance, though it combines elements of Shivaism and fertility worship. The entrance is marked by temple guardians and there's a striking platform with a turtle head and a large lingam on the upper terrace.

The temple, which rises spectacularly through six tiers of narrow gateways and processional steps, remains a focus of active worship. Balinese and Javanese Hindus visit Candi Cetho to pray and give offerings regularly. Indeed, the villagers who live just below the temple form one of Java's last remaining Hindu populations. The third tier attracts the most offerings of fruit, flowers and incense. Temple sarongs are mandatory, for a small donation, for those in Western dress.

There are several homestays in the village, with simple rooms available for around 120,000Rp per night. Few visitors tend to stay the night, however, as Cetho is usually included in the temple tours from Solo and Yogyakarta.

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