East Java, Bajangratu Temple, Kraton Hamlet, Temon Village, Trowulan

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

East Java, Bajangratu Temple, Kraton Hamlet, Temon Village, Trowulan

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

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Bajangratu Temple is situated in Kraton Hamlet, Temon Village, Trowulan Subdistrict, Mojokerto Regency. It is about 3.5 kilometers away from Wringinlawang Temple and 600 meters away from Tikus Temple. This temple hides many secrets, as most of information revealing when the temple was erected, the king who instructed its construction and its functions remains unknown. The name Bajangratu was first mentioned in Oudheidkunding Verslag (OV) in 1915. Archeologist Sri Soeyatmi Satari claims that the name Bajangratu is closely connected to King Jayanegara of Majapahit, since the word ‘bajang’ means a dwarf. According to Kitab (book) Pararaton and folklores, Jayanegara was enthroned at a tender age, when he was still a tiny young boy. The nickname Dwarf King or Bajangratu, however, stuck with him as he grew older. As regards the function of the temple, some experts suggest that Bajangratu Temple was constructed in honor of Jayanegara. The claim is based on relief sculptures of Sri Tanjung at the base of the gate, depicting a peruwatan (purification ritual) process. Another relief sculpture portraying a peruwatan process is also found at Surawana Temple, a temple that was built to honor the death of Bhre Wengker (end of 7th century). Kitab Pararaton states that Jayanegara died in 1328 (‘sira ta dhinar meng Kapopongan, bhiseka ring csrenggapura pratista ring Antarawulan’). It is also mentioned in the book that people made a shrine inside the palace for King Jayanegara, who departed this life into Vishnu’s universe in 1328. They also made his statue in the form of Vishnu and placed it in Shila Petak and Bubat. The exact location of Shila Petak (Selapethak) has not been able to discover yet. King Jayanegara statue is also found in the form of Amoghasidhi in Sukalila. According to Krom, the term Csrenggapura in Pararaton can be juxtaposed to the term Antarasasi (Antarawulan) found in Negarakertagama. Thus, it can be concluded that the ‘dharma’ (shrine) of King Jayanegara is situated in Kapopongan, alias Csrenggapura, alias Crirangga Pura, alias Antarawulan or currently called Trowulan. A statue portraying the king in the form of Vishnu is also found in Bubat (Trowulan). Other experts claim that the temple serves a different function. The fact that the design of the temple retains the shape of a paduraksa gate, or a roofed gate with stairs going up and down, leads some people to believe that Bajangratu was one of the gates to Majapahit Palace. This claim is amplified by the fact that Bajangratu Temple is close to the site of Majapahit Palace. It is also believed that Bajangratu was constructed between 13th century and 14th century, considering that: 1) The temple is assumed to be a peruwatan temple for King Jayanegara who died in 1328; 2). The temple, which takes the shape of a gate, resembles a temple in Blitar which has an inscription of year on it; 3) The relief sculptures decorating the entrance frame are similar to the relief sculptures depicting Ramayana epic seen at Panataran Temple; 4) The relief sculpture that pictures a dragon shows Yuan Dynasty influence. J.L.A. Brandes estimates that the construction of Bajangratu coincided the building of Jago Temple in Tumpang, Malang, as evidenced by the fact that the relief sculpture picturing lions flanking a Kala head is also found in Jago Temple. The latter was built in 13th century. Bajangratu Temple occupies a vast area. The whole structures were built using bricks, except for the stairs and the inner part of the roof. Since the shape of the temple is a roofed gate, Bajangratu faces two directions, east and west. The temple is 16.1 meters tall, from the base to the rooftop, and it is 6.74 in length. There is a wing on each side of Bajangratu Gate. There are pictures of lions and long-eared animals decorating each side of the stairs. At the base, on the walls flanking the stairs, there is a relief sculpture of Sri Tanjung, while at the front wall, on the left and right sides of the wall, between the entrance gate, there is a relief sculpture picturing Ramayana epic. The entrance into the temple is adorned with a relief sculpture of kala head, placed on top of the frame. At the lower part of the frame, there are holes suggesting that there used to be a doorframe fastened into them, with a door closing the entrance. The inner design of the temple suggests the shape of a passageway with two ends, east and west. The stairs and the passageway floor are made of stone. The inside part of the roof is created by laying stone bars across from south to north, making a narrower space on top. The shape of the roof is called a meru or a mountain. It consists of several pyramidal layers with a square block on top of the roof. Each pyramidal layer is decorated with carvings picturing plants and upside-down pyramidal patterns. On the third layer, there is a relief sculpture of the sun, which is believed to be the insignia of Majapahit Empire. Although the temple lies from east to west, the decoration on the northern and southern sides is similar to the one on the other sides. On the northern and southern sides, there are carvings into the walls that resemble an entrance. On the upper part of the temple body, there are carvings picturing an eagle head and a sun flanked by two dragons. Bajangratu Temple underwent restoration during the Dutch administration, but no data is available regarding the exact time of restoration. During the restoration process, the corners of the temple were strengthened by injecting a hardener substance into cracked joints between stones, and wooden bars were replaced with molded concrete. Also, missing stones from the stairs were replaced.

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