Sacred Sites in Southeast Asia | Candi Kethek

Candi Kethek
Indonesia, Central Java, 15th century, Andesite

Candi Kethek is built into the terraced landscape of Gunung Lawu, the tea-covered mountain that also houses the better-known sites of Candi Sukuh and Candi Cetho.

Path leading through jungle, with metal banister on one side


Candi Kethek is approached via an unpaved pathway that extends from an upper terrace of Candi Cetho’s northern side.

River far below in a ravine

Stones at base of dry waterfall


The path tracks along a steep ravine and then descends steeply to a waterfall.

Rock with quarry marks

Rock with quarry marks

Sheered rock


Straight lines, right angles, and sheer faces on the boulders reveal that the waterfall’s basin was an ancient stone quarry. Proximity to a water source and this quarry likely factored into decisions about where on Gunung Lawu to build temples, which were constructed from the mountain’s stone.

View from top of terraced temple

Small shrine with thatch roof


The top of the temple is marked with a small thatch shrine that looks out over the steep ascent.

Foggy mountaintop landscape