Central Java, Sambisari Temple, Hamlet, Purwomartani Village, Kalasan

Written by on June 21, 2012 in Java Heritages with 0 Comments

Central Java, Sambisari Temple, Hamlet, Purwomartani Village, Kalasan

http://candi.pnri.go.id/jawa_tengah_yogyakarta/index_e.htm

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Sambisari Temple is situated in Sambisari Hamlet, Purwomartani Village, Kalasan Sub-district, District of Sleman, Yogyakarta Special Region. The temple is only 15 kilometers away from downtown Yogyakarta to the north east. Sambisari is a Hindu-Shiva temple built in the beginning of 9th century. Experts believe that Sambisari Temple was built by Rakai Garung, a Mataram Hindu king of Syailendra Dinasty. Sambisari Temple was discovered by chance when a farmer working in his paddy field accidentally hit a solid object in the ground with his hoe. Being curious, he dug and had a closer look at the object. He soon realized that it was a carved stone. Following up the discovery, Yogyakarta Archeological Office conducted necessary examination and excavation. In 1966, based on the report, experts concluded that a temple was concealed at the site, under the sand and rock sent by Mount Merapi when it erupted in 1906. The excavation, reconstruction and restoration of the temple finished in 1987. Sambisari Temple is unseen from a distance as it stands about 6.5 meters below the ground. It is believed that the surrounding ground used to be no higher than the temple. The sand and rock sent from Mount Merapi however, buried the whole area, including the temple. As the result, Sambisari Temple is lower that its vicinity. The area around the temple has been cleared out and arranged, and now the temple is on an open square, with a stairway on each of the four corners. Sambisari Temple compound is enveloped by double enclosures. The outer court is 50 x 48 meters square enclosed by low stone walls, while the inner court are encircled by two-meter-tall stone walls, 50 centimeters in width. On each side of the walls, there is an entrance without a gate or any decoration. Sambisari Temple consists of one main temple and three ancillary temples which are situated opposite the main one. The main temple, which faces west, remains intact while of the three ancillary temples, only the platforms remains visible to date. Each of the ancillary temples is 4.8 square meters. The main temple is 7.5 meters tall. The temple sits on a 13.65 square meter platform, two meters in height. The temple body is five square meters, and the rest of the platform space makes a walkway encircling the temple body. The walkway is sided with 1.2-meter-tall walls. With only its roof seen rising high upwards from outside while the body is concealed by walkway walls, the temple looks chubbier. The temple base is plain without any decoration. However, the outer side of the walkway walls is embellished with a row of finely engraved pictures of flowers and twining plants. The staircase leading to the walkway is located in front of the door, in the west. The staircase has sides decorated with a couple of dragon heads, their mouths are wide open. The stone below the each head is engraved with an image of a squatting Gana, both hands raised up as if they held the dragon head from falling. Gana, also called Shivaduta, is a small creature escorting Shiva. Pictures of Gana are also found at the entrance into bigger temples at Prambanan. At the upper end of the staircase, there is a Paduraksa gate decorated with sculptures of patterned stone tiles on its frame. The base of gate frame is decorated with dragon heads looking outside, and their mouths are wide open. The same decorating designs are also found at the entrance into the cella, with an addition of a Kalamakara head without a lower jaw sculptured on the door frame. On each outer side of temple body, there is a niche to hold a statue. At the south side of temple body, the niche holds the statue of Agastya or Shiva Mahaguru. The niche at the east side of temple body holds Ganesha statue, while the one at the north side holds the statue of Durga Mahisasuramardini. The Shiva inside the niche is pictured as a two-handed man sporting a beard and standing on a lotus. To his right is a trident, his main weaponry. The statue is similar to the one found at the south niche of Shiva Temple, Prambanan Temples compound, only slimmer. The Ganesha statue in the east niche is almost similar to the one found in the east niche of Shiva Temple. The Ganesha is also sitting on a lotus-shaped throne (Padmasana), both knees are wide apart and both feet meet. However, while the right hand is on the knee facing upwards, the left hand is holding a bowl and the tip of the trunk is dipped into the bowl, sucking something from it. Inside the north niche, there is a statue of Durga Mahisasuramardini, Durga the goddess of death. As pictured in Shiva Temple in Prambanan, Durga is also portrayed as a eight-handed goddess standing on Nandi the cow. One of Durga’s right hands is propping against a bludgeon while the other three right hands are gripping an arrow, a sword and a spiky disk, respectively. One of Durga’s left hands is touching the head of Asura, and the other three left hands are holding a bow, a shield and a flower, respectively. However, unlike the one in Shiva Temple, the Asura, the dwarf giant escorting Durga, is pictured in a squatting position. Durga in Sambisari Temple is also more sensual judging from the way Durga is standing, the fact that the fabric covering her hip is revealing her thighs, her bosoms are bigger and the smile she is smiling. At the center of the chamber inside the temple, there is a Lingga and a Yoni. The Lingga is made of white stone, while the Yoni in the middle of the Lingga is made of hard, shiny black stone. There are gutters along the edge of the Lingga to flow the sacrificed water into a spout decorated with a snake head.

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