Hindu-Buddhist Candis from the Singhosari Period

Yesterday, after some rephotography at one of the sites near Blitar, we moved on across country to Malang, for one of the longer stays on our journey through East Java.

Whereas Trowulan was the capital of the Majapahit empire, Malang was the centre of the earlier Singhosari kingdom, which flourished in the 13th century and at its height covered most of modern-day Indonesia.

The Singhosari kingdom was the first of the distinctive Hindu-Buddhist states that arose in Java, and eventually gave rise to the Majapahit. These sorts of syncretic states were found for the last few centuries in classical Java, and had a Siva-Buddha as the main diety.

The first monument we visited in the morning was Candi Jago, which was also one of the best we have seen on the trip; not much more than a 4-storied building is left, but it again had fine reliefs carved on the outside of its walls, depicting mainly Hindu stories. An unusual feature of this temple is that the carvings are read from left to right, going against the normal practice.

One of the main statues in the park is of the King Vishnuvardhana, who was deified as an incarnation of Siva after death, but portrayed in the form of Avalokiteśvara.

The second of the monuments we visited, Candi Kidal (Southern Monument) was evidently earlier than Jago, with mainly decorative patterns on the outside, and some fine Kāla sculptures at the quarters.

Having some free time we next visited Candi Badat, a small Hindu shrine from around the same period. As with the other monuments we have seen along this trip, all of these monuments are well kept in a clean and well cared-for environment.

We went to the aptly named Rescue Museum, which had some statues, reliefs and carvings from nearby sites, and an introduction to the Singhosari kingdom; and also the Ken Dedes statue set in a park along a busy a road. The Prajñapāramitā statue is an enlarged replica of the original, a national treasure, which is now in the National Museum in Jakarta.

Candi Jago

Candi Jago

Candi Jago Relief

Candi Jago Relief

King Viṣṇuvardhana at Candi Jago

King Viṣṇuvardhana at Candi Jago

Candi Kidal

Candi Kidal

Candi Kidal Kāla

Candi Kidal Kāla

Ken Dedes Prajñapāramitā

Ken Dedes Prajñapāramitā

 

 




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