Candi Kalasan

Central Java

One of the oldest Buddhist temples on the Prambanan Plain, the 8th-century Candi Kalasan stands just off the main highway, 13km east of Yogyakarta en route to Prambanan. It's been partially restored and features some fine detailed carvings on its southern side, where a huge, ornate kala (demonic face) glowers over the doorway.

At one time it was completely covered in coloured, shining stucco, and traces of the hard, stonelike ‘diamond plaster’ that provided a base for paintwork can still be seen. The inner chamber of Kalasan once sheltered a huge bronze image of Buddha or Tara.