Unveiling Sambisari Temple: Yogyakarta’s Hidden Gem

Sambisari Temple is an ancient Hindu temple in the countryside near Yogyakarta, Indonesia. With its intricate stone carvings, mystical ambience, and historical significance, Sambisari Temple offers visitors a captivating glimpse into Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage. Situated just a short drive from Yogyakarta, Sambisari Temple dates back to the 9th century. It is believed to have been buried beneath volcanic ash for centuries before its rediscovery in the 1960s. The temple’s unique underground design, with its central chamber partially submerged below ground level. This temple sets it apart from other regional Hindu temples.

As one of the lesser-known attractions in Yogyakarta, Sambisari Temple offers visitors a serene and peaceful atmosphere to explore. The temple’s beautifully preserved architecture and intricate stone carvings depict scenes from Hindu mythology. It provides insight into ancient Java’s religious and cultural practices.

Today, Sambisari Temple is a testament to Indonesia’s rich and diverse cultural heritage. This site attracts visitors worldwide, eager to discover its hidden treasures. Therefore, visiting Sambisari Temple promises an enriching and unforgettable experience.

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Sambisari Temple

Address Jl. Candi Sambisari, Sambisari, Purwomartani, Kalasan District, Sleman Regency, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, 55571
Phone (0274) 562628
Managed by Yogyakarta Cultural Heritage Conservation Center
Opening Hour 08.00-16.00
  • Intricate Stone Carvings
  • Central Chamber
  • Main Shrine
  • Guardian Statues
  • Decorative Relief Panels
  • Sacred Pond
  • Photography Opportunities


General Information

Sambisari Temple is a 9th-century Hindu temple located approximately 6 kilometres east of Yogyakarta. The temple was discovered beneath volcanic ash and debris in the early 20th century and underwent extensive restoration to reveal its magnificent splendour to the world. Built during the Mataram Kingdom’s reign, Sambisari Temple is renowned for its unique underground design, with only the uppermost part visible above ground level.

Nestled amidst the lush greenery of Yogyakarta lies the hidden treasure of Sambisari Temple, a remarkable testament to Indonesia’s rich cultural and architectural heritage. Tucked beneath the earth, this ancient Hindu temple offers visitors a glimpse into the past with its intricate carvings, sacred shrines, and mystical ambience.


Sambisari Temple is nestled in the lush countryside near Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The temple holds a fascinating history that dates back to the 9th century. Built during the reign of the Mataram Kingdom, Sambisari Temple is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of ancient Java.

Originally constructed as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva, Sambisari Temple served as a place of worship and pilgrimage for devotees across the region. Its architectural style and design reflect the influence of both Hindu and Javanese traditions. Hence, it makes it a unique and significant cultural landmark.

For centuries, Sambisari Temple lay buried beneath layers of volcanic ash, its existence unknown to all but local villagers. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the temple was rediscovered during excavation work, revealing its hidden treasures to the world once again.

The following excavation and restoration efforts unearthed the temple’s intricate stone carvings, underground chambers, and sacred relics, shedding new light on its historical significance. Today, Sambisari Temple is a testament to the resilience of Java’s ancient civilizations and a symbol of Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage.

Visitors to Sambisari Temple can explore its ancient corridors, study its intricate carvings, and immerse themselves in the spiritual atmosphere of this historic site. With its fascinating history and architectural beauty, Sambisari Temple continues to captivate the imagination of all who visit, offering a glimpse into Indonesia’s glorious past.


Explore the enchanting highlights of Sambisari Temple:

  1. Intricate Stone Carvings: Marvel at the exquisite stone carvings adorning the walls and facades of Sambisari Temple. These intricate carvings depict scenes from Hindu mythology, including gods, goddesses, and mythical creatures.
  2. Central Chamber: Explore the central chamber of Sambisari Temple, which is partially submerged below ground level. This unique underground architecture sets Sambisari apart from other Hindu temples in the region and offers visitors a glimpse into ancient architectural techniques.
  3. Main Shrine: Admire the main shrine of Sambisari Temple, where devotees once gathered to worship and make offerings to the gods. The shrine’s architecture and design reflect the temple’s religious significance and historical importance.
  4. Guardian Statues: Observe the guardian statues that flank the entrance of Sambisari Temple. These imposing figures, dwarapalas, are believed to protect the temple from evil spirits and intruders.
  5. Decorative Relief Panels: Study the decorative relief panels that adorn the walls of Sambisari Temple. These intricately carved panels depict various scenes from Hindu mythology, offering insights into the beliefs and traditions of ancient Java.
  6. Sacred Pond: Discover the holy pond near Sambisari Temple, where worshippers once performed purification rituals before entering the temple. The pond’s tranquil waters and serene surroundings add to the site’s spiritual ambience.
  7. Photography Opportunities: Capture stunning photographs of Sambisari Temple’s architecture, carvings, and surroundings. The temple’s unique design and mystical ambience make it a popular subject for photography enthusiasts.

Other Tourist Attractions Nearby

  • Borobudur Temple
  • Pawon Temple
  • Mendut Temple
  • Kaliurang
  • Kotagede
  • Malioboro Street
  • Prambanan Temple
  • Taman Sari Water Castle
  • Parangtritis Beach
  • Parangkusumo Beach
  • Fort Vredeburg Museum
  • Ratu Boko
  • Kalibiru
  • Jogja Bay Waterpark
  • Ramayana Ballet
  • Dieng Plateau
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Related Tours

Embark on an enchanting journey to Keraton Yogyakarta with one of our curated tours:

  • One-Day Yogyakarta Tour: Explore the highlights of Yogyakarta, including Sultan Palace, Borobudur Temple, and Malioboro Street.
  • Borobudur Sunrise Tour: Experience the breathtaking sunrise over Borobudur Temple before visiting Sultan Palace and other cultural landmarks.
  • 2-Day Bali Yogyakarta Borobudur Tour: Immerse yourself in the cultural splendor of Yogyakarta and witness the beauty of Sultan Palace and Borobudur Temple.
  • 2-Day Bali Yogyakarta Borobudur Sunrise Tour: Indulge in a sunrise adventure at Borobudur Temple and delve into the royal legacy of Sultan Palace at dawn.

MAP of Sambisari Temple