East Java, Jawi Temple, Welirang Hill, Candi Wates village, Pasuruan

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

East Java, Jawi Temple, Welirang Hill, Candi Wates village, Pasuruan

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

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This temple is located on the foot of Welirang Hill, Candi Wates village, Prigen Subdistrict, Pasuruan Regency, around 31 km from the city of Pasuruan. The temple is relatively still intact after frequent restorations. The second restoration of Jawi Temple was performed between 1938 and 1941 out of its ruined condition. The work, however, was discontinued because there are many missing stones, and was completed further between 1975 and 1980. Verse 56 of Negarakertagama mentions that Jawi Temple was built by the last king of Singasari Kingdom, Kertanegara, as a worship shrine for Shiva-Buddhist followers. King Kartanegara was a Shiva-Buddhist follower. While being a worship shrine, Jawi Temple is also a place where Kertanegara ashes are kept. This is rather strange because Jawi Temple is located quite distant away from the center of Singasari Kingdom. It is probably because of the fact that the people in the area were so loyal to their king and many of them were Shiva-Buddhist followers. The assumption is founded on a reality that as Raden Wijaya, Kertanegara’s son-in-law, fled after Kertanegara was dethroned by King Jayakatwang from Gelang-gelang (Kediri); he had once hidden in this area before taking refuge to Madura. Jawi Temple occupies a large area of approximately 40 x 60 m2. The temple is encircled by a ditch, which today has lotus flowers. The temple stands around 24.5 meters high, 14.2 m long and 9.5 m wide. The temple is slim and high like Prambanan Temple in Central Java, while the pointed, pyramidal roof is a combination between stupa and cube. Facing the East, Jawi Temple has Pananggungan Mountain on its background, reinforcing the assumption of some experts that this temple is not a shrine or pradaksina, because worship temple usually heads towards mountains where the gods dwell. Some other experts retain their beliefs that Jawi Temple is a place of worship. Entrance position that does not face the mountain is considered to be resulting from Buddhist influence. One of this temple’s unique characteristics is the use of two types of stone as its construction materials. From the base to veranda, the temple uses stones of dark colors; the body uses white stones, while the roof combines dark and white stones. This temple was probably built in two period of construction. Negarakertagama mentions that in the Javanese year of 1253 (chronogram: Fire Shooting Day) Jawi Temple was struck by lighting. In the incident, the statue of Maha Aksobaya disappeared. The disappearance of the statue had made King Hayam Wuruk sad when the king visited the temple. A year after the incident, Jawi Temple was rebuilt. It is in this period that the white stones were presumably applied. The use of white stones also stimulates questions, because there are only dark-colored stones in Welirang Mountain. The stones were probably taken from the north coasts of Java or Madura. The temple base sits on a shelf 2 m high engraved in relives that depict a story of a meditating woman. The relatively narrow stairs are positioned right in front of the entrance to graba grha (room in temple body). Detailed engravings decorate the left and right handrails of the stairs into veranda, while the handrails of the stairs from the veranda into temple floor are decorated with a couple of long-eared animal figures. The temple body is encircled by wide enough verandas. It appears that there used to be a statue inside the temple. The door frame is plain without engravings, but reliefs of kalamakara with a pair of fangs, lower jaw and decoration on its hair are engraved above the door to fill the space between door top and roof base. There is a niche on each of the left and right hand sides of the door to place a statue. Sills above each of the niche are decorated with engravings of fanged and horned creature heads. The inner room of temple body is currently in empty. Negarakertagama mentions that inside the temple’s niche there was a statue of Shiva with Aksobaya on his crown. The book also mentions that there are a number of god statues in the Shiva system of belief, such as Nandiswara, Durga, Ganesha, Nandi, and Brahma statues. None of the statues remain in their place. Reportedly the Durga statue is now kept in Empu Tantular Museum, Surabaya. The outer walls of the temple body are decorated in reliefs, which to this day none can interpret. It is probably due to the excessively thin engravings, or because there is a lacking in supporting information such as sculptured stone or scripts. Even Negarakertagama, which tells this temple in detail, does not mention anything about the reliefs. According to gatekeeper of the temple, the reliefs must be read using prasawiya technique (counter-clockwise reading), similar to that used in reading Kidal Temple reliefs. Still according to the gatekeeper, reliefs engraved on the west side of the north wall describe the map of temple compound and its neighboring areas. A narrow stream separates the temple’s backyard, which is wide and orderly arranged, from settlement area. On the south corner of the yard, there is a ruined construction of red bricks, which probably was a gateway or gapura. However, there is not record available concerning its original shape and function.

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