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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Prambanan Temple

Prambanan 12


The high structures are typical of Hindu architecture, and the plan of the temple complex is a Mandala, as is Borobudur.
As a symbol of the Hindu cosmos, the temple or candi is vertically into three parts, both vertically and in plan.

Bhurloka: The base of the temples, as well as the outer square is the underworld. A place for ordinary folk, mortals, both human and animal. The place where lust and desire are commonplace. This is an unholy area.

Bhuvarloka: The central body of the temples and the middle square of the complex, represents the ‘middle world’ the place for those who have left their worldly possessions. This is where people begin to see the light of truth.
Svarloka: The top of the temples, and the innermost square represents the realm of the gods, the holiest zone, and is crowned.

During the restoration of the Siva temple a well of over 5 metres depth was found, which contained a stone casket.


It is understood that when a king or prominent person died, the ashes of the deceased along with various objects representing physical and spiritual symbols of the cosmos, were placed in a stone casket. This casket was placed in a shaft in the base of a temple, above it was built a statue of a god, of whom the deceased was said to be an incarnation. This statue then becomes the object of worship for those honouring and worshipping the king. Ancestor worship has been an Indonesian cultural tradition since prehistoric times, and it has been adapted into the local adaptions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Some archaeologists suggest that the idol of Shiva in the central chamber of the Prambanan’s main temple is modelled after King Balitung, of the Mataram Kingdom. One of the possible instigators of the temple building.

The casket found in the well of the Siva temple at Prambanan was sitting on a pile of charcoal, earth and animal bones. It contained a variety of objects, including, coins, jewels, precious metals and ashes. Gold sheets with inscriptions of Varuna, the god of the sea, and Parvata, the god of the mountains were also found.


The temple complex was most likely built in stages. Estimated to have been commenced during the late 9th and early 10th Century, by either Rakai Pikatan or Balitung Maha Sambu the Sanjaya king of the Mataram Kingdom. It is suggested that it was built as a Hindu response to the Buddhist Borobudur, which was built by the concurrent Saliendra dynasty.

The temple complex was expanded in stages by successive Mataram kings, with the addition of the hundreds of ‘perwara’ temples around the central temples. Prambanan was used by the Mataram royal family for its religious ceremonies and sacrifices.

Just like Borobudur, when power moved to western Java around 930AD the Prambanan temples were left abandoned and suffered the ravages of earthquakes and nature before being rediscovered.

A large earthquake in the 16th Century led to a further collapse of the temples.
Dutchman CA Lons wrote a report on the state of the temple in 1733, with a great deal of the temple being under ground and covered with plants.The British also surveyed the ruins after Collin Mackenzie under Sir Stamford Raffles came across the temple ruins by chance in 1811. Restoration works commenced in 1830, the main Siva temple was completed in 1953, and works continue to this day. An earthquake in 1996 did cause further damage to Prambanan and many other temples in the area. The local Hindus, often of

Balinese heritage, have revived Prambanan as a religious venue, performing their ceremonies and rituals here.

Close by and within the archeological park, are the lesser known Sewu, Bubrah, and Lumbung Temples, all Buddhist, demonstrating the religious harmony experienced in Indonesia throughout the ages.

Source : http://www.borobudurpark.co.id


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