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Ratu Boku Java Indonesia

Ratu Boku Java Indonesia

  • It is also known as Palace of Ratu Boko. Ratu Boko is situated in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. This site’s original name is still not clear, but the local people named the site after King Boko.
  • The site is spread over 16 hectares in 2 hamlets. In sharp contrast to other sites in Yogyakarta and central Java, that are remains of shrines, Ratu Boko shows features of a settlement site or an occupation. Possibly the site was a palace compound that belonged to the kings of Mataram or Sailendra Kingdom which also built temples spread across Prambanan Plain. The reason was based on the truth that this compound wasn’t a temple or a building with spiritual nature, but instead a reinforced palace which is obvious from the remnant of reinforced walls as well as the dry moat as protective structures. The remains of settlements are also found in the vicinity of Ratu Boko. This site is situated 196 metres above the sea level. There’s a small pavilion on the highest point, from where a panoramic view of Prambanan temple with Mount Merapi in the background can be seen.


  • There were a number of European travelers to Java in the 17th century, who pointed out that there was an archeological site which related to King Boko. Van Boeckholtz, a Dutch researcher was the first to find out the archaeological ruins on top of Ratu Boko Hill in 1790. The hill itself is the northwestern part of a bigger Sewu mountain system. The announcement of the discovery fascinated scientists like Brumun, Junghun and Mackenzie to carry out research and exploration on the site in 1814. Researcher FDK Bosch thoroughly studied the Ratu Boko site in the early 20th century and published his findings in a report. From this report it was concluded that the ruins were the remnant of a palace. Mackenzie also found a sculpture of gold-headed woman and man embracing each other. Also found among the ruins was a stone pillar with decorations of zoomorphic figures among which are horses, elephants and others.
  • Abhayagiri Vihara engraving of 792 CE is among the written evidences found out in Ratu Boko. It was concluded from this engraving that King Panangkaran desired for a spiritual refuge and has built a reclusion of Buddhist hermitage in 792 named Abhayagiri Wihara. Rakai Panangkaran was a pious Mahayana Buddhist. However, some Hindu elements are also found in the site like the discovery of sculptures of Hindu gods; Yoni, Ganesha and Durga.
  • As per Shivagrha engraving the place was used as a defensive fortress consisted of hundreds of stones. In later days of Mataram Kingdom, the hilltop fort was used as a fortress during a power struggle.
  • The Ratu Boko complex consisted of a meditation cave, kaputren (women's quarter), pringgitan, pendopo, pools, paseban and gopura (gates).

Archaeological remains

  • Ratu Boko is spread over an area of 250.000 square metres, 196 metres above sea level. It’s divided into 4 parts, the central, the western, the southeastern and the eastern. The central part of the compound consists of the paseban (or audience hall), a stone pedestal, a pool, a crematorium temple and the main gates. The southeastern part consists of a walled compound popularly known as kaputren (women's quarter), a pool, 3 mini temples, balai-balai (public hall or building) and the pendopo (attached open pavilion).
  • At Ratu Boko, traces of possible secular buildings were built on a hill divided into terraces segregated by stone-faced ramparts and stone walls. The site was reached by a vertical path up the northwest incline of the plateau, in the direction of Prambanan. At Ratu Boko site, the structural remains in the terrace consist of areas with folk names linked with palaces like kaputren (women's quarter), pendopo (audience hall) and paseban (reception pavilion). A pool complex is on a balcony adjacent to the eastern side of the pendopo. A group of man-made caves, possibly for meditation is to the north, secluded from the rest of the site.

Ratu Boku Java Indonesia

Ratu Boku Java, Indonesia