emple of Majapahit
The archaeological sites of Majapahit consist, for the most part, of the remains of religious foundations, or candi, built usually from stone or brick. From the two most important and informative literary sources dealing with the history of Majapahit, the Nagarakertagama and Pararaton, we learn that a large number of sacred buildings were constructed as memorial shrines to deceased rulers and their families. The death of a king or queen saw the beginning of a series of funeral rites designed to guide the departed soul back to the source from which it had originated. These rites culminated in the shraddha ceremony, held 12 years after death, upon completion of which it was believed that final liberation was ensured. In memory of the deceased,a stone image of a god or goddess, with whom the ruler had been identified in life, was fashioned as an 'ideal portrait' and placed within a shrine. The Nagarakertagama gives a very complete description of the sbraddha ceremony conducted on behalf of the Rajapatni, grandmother of King Hayam Wuruk, in the year 1362.
It appears that more important rulers often had monuments built in several places, and were further identified with more than one divine image. Thus, King Wishnuwardhana of singosari Shiwa at Waleri (Blitar) and as Amoghapasha (a Buddhist form) at Candi Jajaghu, east of Malang. Likewise, his son and successor, Kertanagara, had memorial shrines built at Pandaan (Candi Jawi) and at Singosari. The Pararaton is especially informative concerning the names and locations of the shrines dedicated to the royal families of Singosari and Majapahit ( see page 158).
The word candi, which is commonly used to identify ancient remains dating from Indonesia's classical period, needs some explanation. The term is generally accepted today as stemming from the sanskrit candika, a name of the Hindu goddess Durga, who inhabits the graveyard. Technically speaking, therefore candi is used to denote an ancient tomb or shrine.In reality, however, we find the word employed in a much wider context, and nowadays it is applied to all manner of archaeological sites, including gateways and bathing places. In a contemporary context, then, a candi may be seen as a place containing a residing spirit, revered for both its age as well as its qualities of mystery. In this sense, it is not different to a pusaka, or sacred heirloom.
The Nagarakertagama differentiates four types of sacred building, but it is difficult to know with certainty which ones among them are properly candi and which are not. It has been suggested that buildings referred to as dharma baji, of which 27 are listed, may be considered as royal shrines. These include Kagenengan, Tumapel, Kidal, Jajaghu, Weda-wedwan, Tudan, Pikatan, Bukul,Jawa-jawa, Antang, Antasari, Kalangbret,Jaga, Balitar, Cilabrit, Waleri, Babeg, Kukap, Lumbang, Pagor, Antahpura, Segala, Simping, Ranggapura, Buddhi Kuncir, Prajnaparamitapuri and Bhayalango.
Of the above-mentioned, the only ones which we can identify with certainty today are Tumapel (Singosari), Kidal, Jajaghu (Jago), Jawa-jawa (Jawi), Simping (Sumberjati) and Bhayalango. Kagenengan and Antahpura are known from literature as being connected with Ken Angrok and Kertarajasa respectively, but the exact locations of these places are not yet known.
Surveys of East Javanese temple architecture usually begin with Candi Kidal, which lies to the south east of Malang. Built around the mid 13th century, Kidal is the earliest known example of a new stylistic tendency; a move away from the massive structures which characterized the monuments built by the Sailendra dynasty in Central Java some four centuries earlier, towards more slender buildings with tall, tapering spires. True, we see a foreshadowing of this new style in the Central Javanese temple complex of Prambanan, but the almost total absence of archaeological remains from the intervening period makes it difficult to re-construct any coherent development of architectural design between, say, A.D. 930, when the centre of Javanese political power shifted to the east, and about 1250, the approximate date for the building of Candi Kidal.This new style is quite clearly apparent in a number of other monuments of the 13th and 14th centuries, among them Candi Jawi, Candi Sawentar, Candi Sumberjati (Simping), Candi Bangkal, Candi Bajang Ratu, as well as the 'dated' temple at Penataran.
A further development occurred in spatial orientation. In the classical architecture of Central Java, the layout of a temple or temple complex tended to be symmetrical, with the principal building situated in the centre, almost invariably aligned with the cardinal points. The whole was conceived as an earthly reflection of the subtle regions inhabited by the gods, according to the principles of Hindu and Buddhist cosmology. With the temples of East Java, however, there appears to have been a move away from this closed, centrally focussed orientation, to one where the most important and sacred building was placed at the rear of the complex, furthest from the entrance.
We see a clear example of this idea at Candi Penataran, where the site is divided into three separate courtyards, into which a variety of buildings have been placed in a seemingly haphazard fashion. Symmetry has been all but abandoned. The principal building, which faces west, can be found at the far eastern end of the compound. It has frequently been noted, incidently, that Penataran appears to have been a prototype for the modern day Balinese pura, which usually consists of three courtyards, known as jaba, jaba tengah, and jeroan, The temple is essentially a consecrated space enclosed and protected by its surrounding wall.
One temple which is often considered to contain elements of both early and late classical Javanese design is Candi Singosari. In that it has a symmetrical base with four projections aligned with the cardinal points, the temple follows a pattern commonly found in the Shiwaite monuments of Central Java. Yet there are marked differences, the most notable of which is the location of the four main chambers or niches containing statues. In Central Javanese temples these were almost invariably recessed into the main body of the building, which rested on a solid base. At Singosari, however, the niches have been set into the base itself, perhaps with the intention of creating an illusion of greater height. The roof, which has for the most part collapsed, exhibits further unique elements not yet found in other East Javanese temples.
In some cases, notably the principal temple at Penataran, as well as at Candi Jajaghu, there are indications that the roof was not made of stone, but rather of a combination of wood and sugar palm fibre (ijuk). An example of this type of structure can still be seen at the Pura Yeh Gangga at Perean, 60 kilometres north of Denpasar in Bali. The temple, which dates from the Majapahit period (inscriptions at the site display dates equivalent to A.D. 1339 and 1429) shows the typical 'pagoda-like' tiered roof (mew) of Balinese temples, in this case set on a stone base. Reliefs on the walls of Candi Jajaghu, moreover, display similar structures.
Majapahit's Sites - Majapahit Inheritances
Yet a further innovation which appeared in East Java was the construction of Majapahit's sites. These were of two types. On the one hand, there were buildings like Jajaghu temple, which consisted of a single solid structure built on a number of receding levels. Access was from the front, by means of a system of stone stairways, which led up to the most sacred shrine occupying the highest point.
The other type of terraced sanctuary, which seems to have become popular towards the end of the Majapahit period, was built on the mountain slopes. Examples of this kind of structure can still be seen today, notably at Sukuh and Ceto temple on Mt Lawu, as well as on Mt Penanggungan. These sites of 'altars', as they are sometimes called, appear to recall an earlier period of Indonesian history. Built against the natural hillside, orientated to the mountain peak, the levels of the sanctuary symbolize the divisions of the material and spiritual worlds, which must be traversed before reaching the 'ancestral seat' (pelinggih) situated on the topmost level. A contemporary example of the site mountain sanctuary is Pura Besakih, 'mother temple' of Bali.
Candi Lemari, a terraced sanctuary on the slopes of
Terraced "altars" on Mt. Penanggungan, dating from the late Majapahit period
A new type of structure which appeared during the Majapahit era was the Bentar temple, or split gateway. As to the origin of this form, there is no certain answer. The earliest known example, of which only the foundation remains, appears to come from the complex of Penataran temple. Dates equivalent to the year A.D. 1320 are inscribed on two stone guardian figures which seem to have been connected with the gate. Another Bentar temple, also in a ruined condition, can be seen at Jawi temple. According to the Nagarakertagama, this temple underwent reconstruction in 1331, which implies the possibility that the gateway was already in existence around the year 1300. Yet the wording of the text is not clear enough to draw a positive conclusion.
One gateway of this type which is still standing, and which is currently undergoing restoration, is Wringinlawang temple (or Jatipasar), located among the ruins at Trowulan. Wringinlawang is generally considered to have been the entrance gate to an important complex of buildings in the Majapahit capital, but its exact age is unknown.
Bentar temple are also found carved in relief on the walls of a number of temples, notably at Jawi and Jajaghu. The latter, which is known to have been the memorial shrine to King Wishnuwardhana of Singosari (d. 1268), invites the suggestion that these split gateways must therefore have been in use as early as the mid-thirteenth century. However, the style of the reliefs suggests a later date than that of the original monument, and they are thus considered to have been carved during the reign of King Hayam Wuruk of Majapahit. The conclusion to be reached from all this is that Bentar temple were almost certainly in use from at least the early years of the 14th century.
The narrative poem Nagarakartagama identifies Kidal temple as the burial shrine of King Anusapati, who died in 1248. The temple may then be deted around the middle of the 13th century. A statue of shiwa, said to have come from Kidal and thus assumed to be the portrait of Anusapati, is in the possession of the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam.
Kidal temple, located in Rejokodal village, south east of Malang.
Kidal temple, a detail of the roof, now partially collapsed
Kidal temple, a scene from the Garudeya
Candi Singosari, located about 12 kilometres north of Malang, is one of the monuments built in memory of Kertanagara, last king of Singosari, who died when his palace was seized by a usurper in 1292. The temple was partially restored in the 1930's. The roof, in its original state, would have mirrored the cosmic Mt Mahameru of Hindu mythology, four lesser pinnacles on each side surrounding a taller, central 'peak'. Yet it seems that the temple was never completed. The impressive kala heads, highly detailed on the roof, become mere outlines above the entrance and wall niches lower down, showing that the fine carving was executed from the top downwards. For unkown reasons, the artists appear to have abandoned their work.
West of the temple, at a distance of some 200 metres, two enormous guardian figures stand on either side of the road. It has been suggested that the location of these statues may be the site of the original entrance to the palace of Singosari.
One of two guardian figures (dwarapala), measuring almost 4 m. tall