Restored in 2005 after landslides destroyed it and rebuilt a second time in 2018, hillside Selogriyo Temple (Candi Selogriyo) is an atmospheric and rarely visited Hindu temple dating back to the 9th century. The rice-field views are especially scenic, while the water from its fountain is said to heal disease and impart eternal youth.
There is a token charge for visiting Selogriyo Temple, which is the same for both foreigners and Indonesians. For many, the walk through mountainous rice-field landscapes is a big part of the attraction of a temple visit. Some Borobudur tours include a stop here, particularly bicycle tours, for the beauty of the ride up more than for the temple itself. Many visitors find the temple’s emptiness the perfect counterpoint to the busyness of Borobudur and Prambanan.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Even when Selogriyo Temple is closed for restoration, the timeless Javanese landscapes of rice fields, palm trees, and buffalo are charming.
- The narrow rice-field road can be slippery and the route includes around 200 steps.
- Bring a water bottle as there are no vendors on-site.
- Whether walking, cycling, or riding a motorbike, it pays to wear sunscreen.
How to Get There
Selogriyo Temple stands about an hour’s drive north of Borobudur—20 miles (32 kilometers), with a walk 1.25 miles (2 kilometers) from the nearest car parking. There is effectively no public transport, so most visitors choose to drive, join a tour, or even join a bicycle tour that includes Borobudur.
When to Get There
Selogriyo is rarely busy, but the walk through the rice fields can become uncomfortably hot during the middle of the day. If possible, visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to beat the heat. As with elsewhere on Java, avoid travel during the Lebaran holiday period at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, when roads are choked with traffic.
The Cycle of the Rice Fields
As you walk, or cycle, to Selogriyo Temple, meet Javanese villagers working in their rice fields. Rice cultivation is labor-intensive and time-consuming: you might see them ploughing, planting seeds, spreading out young seedlings, harvesting rice, or preparing their terraces for a new crop. Small wonder that the Indonesian language contains at least four distinct words for “rice”.