Symbolic penes at Candi Sukuh

A trip to erotic temple Candi Sukuh: Part 2

This post is part 2 of 3 of D and my trip to erotic temple Candi Sukuh in Indonesia. Find out how we decided to visit the location and our journey to the site in part 1.
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The motorcycle drivers deposited us at the foot of a hill after a rather calm ride (no one was tossed off their bikes, thank goodness). The way uphill was steep and would have taken forever if we had walked.

We couldn’t see the ruins from the entrance but the site didn’t look big.

I read someone’s blog which described Candi Sukuh as a mini Mexican temple. Did the ancient architects go to the same school of building design?

After paying for our entrance, we read the only description available of the site in the form of a faded poster on a display board behind a pane of dirty glass.

After reading, we entered the real site by climbing a flight of stone steps. I would rather climbed through the narrow staircase of the stone building near the steps but the gate was locked.

Stairs to Candi Sukuh
Stairs to Candi Sukuh

The real Candi Sukuh

When I first saw the real site, I was slightly disappointed at its petite size. I was expecting something on a grander scale but the area was rather small and could be seen in about half an hour time.

It was interesting how the ancient people “layered” the temple grounds so the main building was the highest.

Candi Sukuh
Candi Sukuh

Once I’ve gotten over my first world problem of being disappointed by the smallness of the site, I was in awe of the sculptures. I could not even draw half of these beings, how did they get them onto the rocks.

Gate of Candi Sukuh
Gate of Candi Sukuh
“I believe I can fly”
Candi SUkuh deco
Candi Sukuh deco
Wall carvings of Candi Sukuh
Wall carvings of Candi Sukuh
Basin of Candi Sukuh
Basin of Candi Sukuh
Mask of terror
Mask of terror

There was a couple taking pre-wedding photographs on the temple grounds. I think it’s really cool to take photos there because it’s a lot more unique than the general fake screens we see.

Wedding shoot at Candi Sukuh
Wedding shoot at Candi Sukuh

To the altar of Candi Sukuh

To the altar of Candi Sukuh
To the altar of Candi Sukuh
Stairs to rooftop bar of Candi Sukuh
Stairs to rooftop bar of Candi Sukuh

The highlight of the site was the rooftop altar which could only be reached by climbing a narrow staircase. The width of the entrance showed how petite 15th-century people were but us 21st century big boned folks also made it.

On the rooftop, it was a bit dizzying to see the tea gardens. I kept thinking I might slip and crash head first onto the stone pavement. Ouch!

Hi from Candi Sukuh's rooftop altar
Hi from Candi Sukuh’s rooftop altar

My only complaint

One embarrassing complaint I have about Candi Sukuh is the lack of erotic symbols. For a fertility temple, there’s too little eroticism around.

I was hoping for something like Haesindang Park but I only found two statues that were explicit.

Why Candi Sukuh is called an erotic temple
Why Candi Sukuh is called an erotic temple

I’ll leave you with this song from Flight of the Conchords titled Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor.

Follow me as I end my trip to Candi Sukuh with a hot sweet tea at a local warung.

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More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

5 Comments

    1. What do you mean not enough erotic symbols? All the lingam (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingam) behind you in the 2nd last picture are all objects representing the penis and the male. The ancient kings used to pour water on the lingam so the land will be blessed.

      The shape is like that because the king is supposed to pour water from the highest point in worship. Water was very important in ancient Javanese animism.

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