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Sewu Temple, Prambanan, Central Java

Sewu TempleSewu Temple is a Buddhist temple built in the 8th century is just 800 meters north of Prambanan temple. Sewu is the second largest Buddhist temple complex after Borobudur in Central Java and older than Prambanan. Though originally only 249 temples, local people called “Sewu” which means a thousand in the Java language. Naming is based on the story of the legend of Loro Jonggrang.

Based on inscriptions found in 792 and in 1960, this building was the original name of “Manjus’ri grha “(House of Manjushri). Bodhisattva Manjushri is one of the Buddha’s teachings. Sewu Temple was probably built in the 8th century BC to the end of the reign of Rakai Panangkaran. Rakai Panangkaran (746-784) is a renowned king of the ancient Mataram kingdom. The temple complex is probably restored, expanded, and completed during the reign of Rakai Pikatan, a prince of the Sanjaya dynasty of Sailendra dynasty Pramodhawardhani married. After Sanjaya dynasty to power people still embraced before. The existence of the Sewu temple Buddha patterned side with patterned Hindu temple Prambanan shows that since time immemorial in Java Hindus and Buddhists live together in harmony and religious tolerance. Because of the grandeur and vastness of this temple complex, the temple is a Buddhist temple Sewu allegedly kingdom, once the center of religious activities that are important Buddha in the past. The temple is located in the Prambanan valley that stretches from the southern slopes of Mount Merapi in the north to the mountains in southern Sewu, around the border of Yogyakarta with Klaten district, Central Java. In this valley scattered temples and archaeological sites within just a few hundred meters of each other. This suggests that this region is an important region in the religious sector, political, and urban life of ancient Javanese society.

The temple was badly damaged by an earthquake in May 2006 in Yogyakarta and Central Java to the south. Very real damage to building structures and the main temple suffered the most severe damage. Fractional rocks scattered on the ground, cracks and fissures between rocks visible connection. To prevent the collapse of the buildings, metal frame mounted on four corners of the building to support and hold the body of the main temple. Although the site was reopened to visitors a few weeks later after the earthquake in 2006, the entire main temple remains closed and should not be entered for security reasons.

Sewu temple complex is a collection of the largest Buddhist temples in the area around Prambanan; with a land size of 185 meter spans the north – south and 165 meters east – west. The entrance of the complex can be found in the four corners of the wind , but look at the arrangement of the building , known to the main entrance is located on the east side . Each entrance guarded by a pair of statues Dwarapala. Giant statues guard height measuring about 2 meters in pretty good shape, and a replica can be found at the Sultan Palace.

Originally there were 249 temples in the complex’s buildings are arranged to form a mandala, the embodiment of the universe in the Mahayana Buddhist cosmology. In addition to the main temple is the largest , the stretch of the central axis , the north- south and east – west , at a distance of 200 meters from each other , between line 2 and 3 ancillary temples ( guard ) there are 8 small corner temple also called main Perwara , these temples the second largest in size after the main temple . Original in every corner of the wind is each pair of corners of the temple facing each other, but now only parts of the twin temples of the eastern and northern parts of the temple are still intact.

Perwara (guard) which is smaller than the original consists of 240 pieces with a design that is nearly identical and arranged in four concentric rows. Seen from the deepest part (middle), the first line consists of 28 temples, and the second line consists of 44 temples constructed with certain intervals. The two outer rows, the third row consists of 80 temples, whereas the outer fourth row consists of 88 small temples are arranged close together. Some of these ancillary temples have been restored and stands, while most of the others are still in the form of stones scattered about.

The fourth line of the ancillary temples, the fourth line (outer) has a shape similar to the design of the first line (deepest), which is at the cross section of the wicket door, while the second and third row has a higher shape design with a different wicket door. Many statues and ornaments that have been lost and the arrangement has been changed. Buddha statues that used to fill these temples are similar to manikin Buddha statues at Borobudur.

The temples are smaller surrounds the main temple of the greatest but some parts are no longer intact. In the 4th row behind the temple there is a small stone floored courtyard and stood in the middle of the main temple.

The main temple has a 20 angled floor plan polygon that resembles a cross or cross with a diameter of 29 meters and height of buildings to 30 meters. In each structure there are winds that jut out of the building, each with its own staircase and room arrangement and crowned effigies. The entire building is made of stones. The room at the four compass points is interring- connected by galleries fenced corner ledge. Based on the findings at the time of the restoration, estimated initial design of the building is only a single roomed temple. The temple was later expanded by adding additional structure around him. The door is made to connect additional buildings with the main temple and the main temple building creates with five rooms. The main room in the middle of the roof is greater with the higher, and can be entered through the east room. Now there are five statues in this room.  However, based on the presence or foundation stone carved lotus throne in the main room , allegedly first in this room there is a bronze statue of the Buddha whose height reaches 4 feet . But now the statue has been lost, may have been plundered to take the metal since centuries ago.

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