Candis from the Pasuruan Area, East Java
high-definition creative commons photographs from Candi Jawi, Gunung Gangsir and Candi Belahan dating to the 13th century in the Pasuruan district in East Java together with further information.
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This temple, also called Candi Jajawa, is mentioned in one of the most important literary sources from Javanese history, the Nagarakertagama as being built to house the remains of King Kertanagara, the last of the Singhasari Kings.
It is rather unusual as being built of two types of stone, black stone from local quarries, and white stone in the middle section, which must have been brought from Central Java. The compound is around 60x40m and is surrounded, unusually, by a moat. The temple itself is around 14x9m and rises to a height of 24 metres, resembling somewhat the temples at Prambanan.
The Singhasari kingdom was a unique blend of Saivism and Buddhism, and the temple, at least at one point clearly showed that, with statues of Hindu gods and goddesses on the lower parts of the structures, and Buddhas nearer the top. Unfortunately most of these have been removed now, and are either in the Trowulan or the Mpu Tantular Museums; or have gone missing altogether.
There are reliefs around the temple, but the story they illustrate has not been identified. They are a little worn down, and sometimes unclear. There is a gopura at the back of the temple, a brick built building, which is fairly dilapadated. I have included a photo of Durga taken at the Mpu Tantular Museum, which used to belong to the candi.
This is a very large and impressive construction on four floors, which must have had many statues and reliefs on it oiginally, as we can see from the remaining niches. However, most of these have disappeared now. We have little information about the temple from ancient times, and its exact role and purpose remain unknown. Entrance to the site nowadays is from the north-east, which faces the back wall of the candi.
This candi, which lies in the foothills of Mount Penanggungan, marks the spot where the last King of the Kediri kingdom, Airlangga, had his retreat. It was here that he divided his kingdom between his two sons. Eventually one of them would win out and found the Singhasari kingdom, which succeeded Kediri, although it lasted less than 100 years. There is little remains here now, just a small pond, and statues of the goddesses, Dewi Laksmi and Dewi Sri. The King is also supposedly buried at this place, though there are no markers now.
Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu
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