Ratu Boko is an archaeological site known to modern Javanese as Kraton Ratu Boko or Ratu Boko's Palace. Ratu Boko is located on a plateau, about three kilometres south of Lara Jonggrang Prambanan
temple complex in Yogyakarta Indonesia
. The original name of this site is still unclear, however the local inhabitants named this site after King Boko, the legendary king mentioned in Loro Jonggrang folklore. In Javanese, Ratu Boko means "Stork King".
The site covers 16 hectares in two hamlets (Dawung and Sambireja) of the village of Bokoharjo and Prambanan, Sleman Regency. In striking contrast to other Classic-period sites in Central Java and Yogyakarta, which are remains of temples, Ratu Boko displays attributes of an occupation or settlement site, although its precise functions is unknown. Probably the site was a palace complex which belongs to the kings of Sailendra or Mataram
Kingdom that also build temples scattered across Prambanan Plain.
The argument was based on the fact that this complex was not a temple nor building with religious nature, but a fortified palace instead which evidence in the remnant of fortified walls and the dry moat as defensive structures. The remains of settlements also founds in Ratu Boko vicinity. This site is located 196 m above the sea level, on the highest point in the site, there is a small pavilion from which one will be able to see a panoramic view of Prambanan temple with Mount Merapi as the background.
Ratu Boko stands 196 meters above sea level and covers an area of 250.000 square meters. It is divided into four parts, the central, the west, the southeast and the east. The central section of the compound consists of the main gates, a crematorium temple, a pool, a stone pedestal and the paseban (or audience hall). The southeast part covers the pendopo (attached open pavilion), balai-balai (public hall or building), three miniature temples, a pool and a walled compound popularly named by locals as kaputren (women's quarter).
The first of three terraces is reached through a massive gateway built on two levels. On the western edge of this terrace is a high talud of soft white limestone. The second terrace, separated from the first by andesite wall, is reached through a gateway in paduraksa form consisting of three doors, a larger central one flanked by two of lesser dimensions.
Literally, Batu Putih means white stone. It is a structure made from white limestone on the north side of the first row of the gate on second terrace.
Beyond the second row of gates on third terrace, on the north side of the plateau there's a structure similar to the base part of the temple with two terraces about 26x26 m in size. On the center of upper terrace is an empty descending square hole.
On the plateau on the third terrace, beside the Candi Pembakaran, there are also several square stone structures. On the structures there are some umpak or stones which serve as the base for wooden columns with holes to support the pillars.
On the second terrace on the southeast side of the plateau, lies the pendopo (audience hall). The pendopo is a square stone enclosure surrounded with andesite stone wall with the small paduraksa entrance gates in the north, west, and south sides of the walled enclosure.
On the south side on the pendopo, there are three miniature temples with a square stone basin in front of it. This small temple probably served a religious purpose, as some kind of Hindu or Buddhist shrine in the Ratu Boko complex.
Kaputren and bathing place:
On the eastern side of pendopo on the lower terrace, there are several andesite stone walled enclosure with paduraksa gate and a gallery leads to the several pools within the walled enclosure. This structure is associated by local folks as kaputren (women's quarter), since the pool is believed to be the pleasure garden for king and his concubines.
At the northern part from pendopo, isolated from the rest of the site, lies two caves that were formed of sediment stones. The upper cave is called Gua Lanang (Male Cave) and the lower cave is called Gua Wadon (Female Cave).