Candi Sambisari is a little known and little visited monument on the edge of the Prambanan plain, only a few kilometres from Yogyakarta airport. In fact it was only because I saw a sign to the Candi shortly after leaving the airport that I decided to look it up when we had some time later.
That proved to be a fortunate sighting, as the temple itself is a very good specimen of a Hindu Śaivite temple from around the 9th century. Not all of the temple has been excavated but the main section is now visible. It is around 6 metres below the present surroundings, and had apparently been buried under volcanic ash for centuries.
It consists of a main temple, with three perwara (auxiliary) temples in front of it, and is set in well-maintained grounds. There is an ancient inner wall around the complex. Further out, on one side, an even larger outer wall has been uncovered, which shows the temple area must have been massive.
In the temple itself there is a linga in the main shrine, and three of the four statues that were at the cardinal points survive: Durga Mahisasuramadinī, Gaṇeśa and Agastya, and above them are some fine protective kāla carvings. The perwara are quite badly damaged and not much above the basements is seen now.
The temple itself seems to be relatively unvisited. When we were there there were just a few locals out for a quiet evening, even the doorman had abandoned his post, so we didn’t pay to go in. It was a really pleasant visit and afterwards we had a tea in the local shop while waiting for a ride to get back to the hotel.
There are just 14 photographs, and one 360° photograph from the site, but I have added an interesting introduction drawn from its well-written Wikipedia page.