Built in the 15th century, this ancient temple sits atop the rolling hills of Gunung Lawu, some 900 meters above the Solo plain. It’s a destination for travelers looking to venture into an unfamiliar world where mysterious fertility cults once practiced sacred rituals and ornate carvings and life-like statues prove unlike those in Java’s more traditional Hindu and Buddhist temples.
Visitors will find three statues of turtles upon entering Sukuh, as well as a giant phallus that reiterates the temple’s focus on birth and sexuality. The ground’s central pyramid is the tallest of the three located on site. While typical Hindu gods, like Ganesha, are stationed around the site, relief work, carvings and statues at Sukuh more often depict intercourse and genitalia, making it a truly unique stop on a tour of typically more conservative temples.
Candi Sukuh is open daily from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is 10,000Rp per person. The easiest way to access the temple is on an organized tour, though public transportation is possible, though complicated. Visitors can take a bus from Solo to Karangpandan, then catch a minibus to Kemuning.