post

Prambanan

PRAM_IMG_0652

The Prambanan temple is the largest Hindu temple of ancient Java, and the first building was completed in the mid-9th century. It was likely started by Rakai Pikatan as the Hindu Sanjaya Dynasty’s answer to the Buddhist Sailendra Dynasty’s Borobudur and Sewu temples nearby. Historians suggest that the construction of Prambanan probably was meant to mark the return of the Hindu Sanjaya Dynasty to power in Central Java after almost a century of Buddhist Sailendra Dynasty domination. The construction of this massive Hindu temple signifies that the Medang court had shifted its patronage from Mahayana Buddhism to Shivaist Hinduism.

A temple was first built at the site around 850 CE by Rakai Pikatan and expanded extensively by King Lokapala and Balitung Maha Sambu the Sanjaya king of the Mataram Kingdom. According to the Shivagrha inscription of 856 CE, the temple was built to honor Lord Shiva, and its original name was Shiva-grha (the House of Shiva) or Shiva-laya (the Realm of Shiva). According to the Shivagrha inscription, a public water project to change the course of a river near Shivagrha Temple was undertaken during the construction of the temple. The river, identified as the Opak River, now runs north to south on the western side of the Prambanan temple compound. Historians suggest that originally the river was curved further to east and was deemed too near to the main temple. The project was done by cutting the river along a north to south axis along the outer wall of the Shivagrha Temple compound. The former river course was filled in and made level to create a wider space for the temple expansion, the space for rows of pervara (complementary) temples.

Some archaeologists propose that the statue of Shiva in the garbhagriha (central chamber) of the main temple was modelled after King Balitung, serving as a depiction of his deified self after death.

The temple compound was expanded by successive Mataram kings, such as Daksa and Tulodong, with the addition of hundreds of perwara temples around the chief temple. Prambanan served as the royal temple of the Kingdom of Mataram, with most of the state’s religious ceremonies and sacrifices being conducted there. At the height of the kingdom, scholars estimate that hundreds of brahmins with their disciples lived within the outer wall of the temple compound. The urban center and the court of Mataram were located nearby, somewhere in the Prambanan Plain.

PRAM_IMG_0650PRAM_IMG_7016PRAM_IMG_7025PRAM_IMG_7030PRAM_IMG_7039PRAM_IMG_0590PRAM_IMG_0591PRAM_IMG_0595PRAM_IMG_0601PRAM_IMG_0602PRAM_IMG_0605PRAM_IMG_0609PRAM_IMG_0614PRAM_IMG_0615PRAM_IMG_0618PRAM_IMG_0619PRAM_IMG_0621PRAM_IMG_0627PRAM_IMG_0628PRAM_IMG_0629PRAM_IMG_0631PRAM_IMG_0632PRAM_IMG_0633PRAM_IMG_0635PRAM_IMG_0636PRAM_IMG_0644

March 2016, Canon 1000D, S90.

post

Borobodur Java

bor_IMG_0665 bor_IMG_7059 bor_IMG_7056

Borobudur, or Barabudur, is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist Temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument consists of nine stacked platforms, six square and three circular, topped by a central dome. The temple is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. The central dome is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues, each seated inside a perforated stupa. It is the world’s largest Buddhist temple, as well as one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world.

Built in the 9th century during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty, the temple was designed in Javanese Buddhist architecture, which blends the Indonesian indigenous cult of ancestor worship and the Buddhist concept of attaining Nirvana. The temple also demonstrates the influences of Gupta art that reflects India’s influence on the region, yet there are enough indigenous scenes and elements incorporated to make Borobudur uniquely Indonesian. The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path around the monument and ascends to the top through three levels symbolic of Buddhist cosmology: Kāmadhātu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness). The monument guides pilgrims through an extensive system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the walls and the balustrades. Borobudur has the largest and most complete ensemble of Buddhist reliefs in the world.
Evidence suggests Borobudur was constructed in the 9th century and abandoned following the 14th-century decline of Hindu kingdoms in Java and the Javanese conversion to Islam. Worldwide knowledge of its existence was sparked in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, then the British ruler of Java, who was advised of its location by native Indonesians. Borobudur has since been preserved through several restorations. The largest restoration project was undertaken between 1975 and 1982 by the Indonesian government and UNESCO, following which the monument was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage; once a year, Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument, and Borobudur is Indonesia’s single most visited tourist attraction.

bor_IMG_0698 bor_IMG_0694 bor_IMG_0688 bor_IMG_0685 bor_IMG_0678 bor_IMG_0673 bor_IMG_7054 bor_IMG_7053 bor_IMG_0780 bor_IMG_0776 bor_IMG_0769 bor_IMG_0764 bor_IMG_0763 bor_IMG_0756 bor_IMG_0755 bor_IMG_0753 bor_IMG_0746 bor_IMG_0740 bor_IMG_0739 bor_IMG_0735 bor_IMG_0729 bor_IMG_0728 bor_IMG_0721 bor_IMG_0720 bor_IMG_0718 bor_IMG_0717 bor_IMG_0712 bor_IMG_0708 bor_IMG_0707 bor_IMG_0706 bor_IMG_0704 bor_IMG_0703 bor_IMG_0700