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East Java, Tikus Temple, Dinuk hamlet, Temon village, Trowulan

East Java, Tikus Temple, Dinuk hamlet, Temon village, Trowulan


Tikus Temple is located in Dinuk hamlet, Temon village, Trowulan Subdistrict, Mojokerto Regency, East Java, 13 kilometers to the southeast of Mojokerto. To reach the temple site, visitors, when taking the highway connecting Mojokerto and Jombang, turn left through Segaran Pool and Bajangratu Temple which are located on the left. Tikus temple is also on the left of the street, around 600 m from Bajangratu temple. Previously buried under the ground, Tikus Temple was rediscovered in 1914. Site excavation was conducted based on report by Mojokerto Regent R.A.A. Kromojoyo Adinegoro, informing the discovery of miniature temple at a public cemetery. Complete restoration was implemented between 1984 and 1985. The name ‘Tikus’ (rat) is used by the local community. They say that the site was the den for a colony of rats. No written information is available that clearly describe the time, purpose, and the builder of the temple. However, the discovery of a miniature tower indicates that the temple was built between 13th to 14th century AD, because miniature tower was a characteristic of architecture of that period. The structure of Tikus Temple that resembles a pool has invited arguments among historians and archaeologists with respects to its function. Some scholars believe that the temple was a pool, a bathing place for imperial family, but some others think that the building was a water reservoir and distribution channel for Trowulan people. However, the pyramidal tower suggests that the temple also functions as a worship shrine. The design of Tikus Temple resembles that of a bathing place, as it has a pool and several buildings inside the temple precinct. Most of the buildings are made of bricks, square with the dimension of 29.5 meters x 28.25 meters. It is interesting to note that the whole structure stands in a pit, 3.5 meters below the ground. Above the temple, there is a 75 cm wide walkway encircling the brink of the pit. Just one meter below it, there is a wider walkway surrounding the pool. A descending entranceway to the temple is found at the north side. The entranceway is a stairway, 3.5 meters in width that leads to the bottom of the pool. There are other two pools; each is situated by each side of the stairway. Each of the rectangular pool is 3.5 meters x 2 meters in width and 1.5 meters in depth. Near the outside walls of each pool, there are three lotus flower-shaped fountains made of andesite stone. Facing towards the stairs, located a bit to the south, there is a square structure with the dimension of 7.65 meters x 7.65 meters. On this building is a 2-meter tall ‘tower’ capped with a leveled mountain-shaped roof. The biggest tower in the middle is surrounded by eight ancillary towers. Meanwhile, the building is encircled with a row of fountains taking the shape of a lotus flower and a makara. It is important to note that the temple was built using bricks of two different sizes. The base of the temple consists of bigger bricks layered with smaller bricks. Also, the temple has two different types of fountains. There are fountains made of bricks and there are ones made of andesite rock. The fact that there are two different sizes of bricks used in the temple leads to the opinion that there are two stages in the construction of Tikus Temple. It is concluded that the bigger bricks were used at an earlier stage, indicating that this type of bricks is older, while the smaller ones were used later. It is also argued that the fountain made of bricks were created during the earlier stage of temple construction. The claim is based on the fact that in comparison to andesite rock fountains, the design of brick fountains is less fine and smooth. Still, the exact date of temple construction remains unknown.

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