Seluruh Nusantara itu bagaikan puisi - Pak Mukhriz, ICAF 2013
It is no wonder at all that Javanese legends are full of passion and filled with tales of love and conquest. The Prambanan temples in particular Ratu Boko inspired the legend of Rara Janggrang.
One can imagine the dashing Prince Bandung Bondowoso who fell in love with the unattainable Princess Rara Jonggrang, the daughter of King Boko. It was love doomed from the beginning for the prince had killed her father and conquered her country. Yet, Bandung Bondowoso was the most persistent suitor and finally Rara Jonggrang was forced to agree to marry him. But the princesses of the Nusantara are known for their wit and daring - she challenged the prince to build her one thousand temples - within one single night. By dawn, the temples must stand on the very site he killed her father as a fitting tribute.
However, Prince Bondowoso was not daunted by the task ahead of him. It only fanned his desire for the princess even more. He called upon the mambang, the dewa, the very spirits of the skies and east, the Djinns and together they succeeded in building nine hundred and ninety nine temples.
Rara Jonggrang hadn't slept the whole night. She was truly worried. Marriage to the murderer of her father was out of the question. She quickly ordered the villagers to pound the rice. The women set a fire in the far east of the temple, And a fiery flame began to light up the eastern skies.
The roosters crow.
The womenfolk chatter.
The dew a and the djinns
fled for they hated the heat of day
The final temple.
Prince Bondowoso was furious at being out-witted. With all his wrath, he cursed Princess Rara Jonggrang to stone - the final and most beautiful of all the thousand statues.