From the all-night shadow-puppet performances to the bold and socially aware graffiti covering many a wall,  the cultural and spiritual capital of  is above all a city of art and culture.

On any given day of the week, visitors to Yogyakarta can pick from an array of cultural events, including rock concerts, puppet shows and art exhibitions, taking place in and around the city.

Despite Indonesia being largely an Islamic nation today, the most spectacular of these cultural performances is the Ramayana ballet. It features dozens of dancers and musicians, elaborate costumes and explosive pyrotechnics as it recounts the story of the Ramayana, an ancient Hindu epic poem.

Although Ramayana ballets take place at a couple of venues in and around Yogyakarta, by far the most impressive is held in front of the thousand-year-old Prambanan temples just outside Yogyakarta.

Built between the 8th and 10th centuries, the Prambanan temples are the finest remaining examples of Hindu temple architecture in Java. The most impressive of these temples is Candi Shiva Mahadeva, and the complex forms a spectacular backdrop to the performance.