East Java, Brahu Temple, Trowulan

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

East Java, Brahu Temple, Trowulan




Trowulan Subdistrict, Mojokerto Regency. It lies in front of the office of government agency for Preservation of Historical and Ancient Heritages, along a highway connecting Mojokerto and Jombang, East Java. To reach the temple, visitors must drive away from the traffic and follow a small, paved lane heading north. Brahu Temple is on the left, 1.8 kilometers away from the highway. Some people argue that Brahu Temple is older than any other temple in Trowulan. The name Brahu is said to derive from the word ‘Wanaru’ or ‘Warahu’, a shrine mentioned in an inscription on ‘Alasantan’ copper sculpture. The sculpture was found 45 meters to the west of Brahu Temple. The copper sculpture was made in 861 Javanese year, or to be precise, on September 9, 939 AD by the order of King Mpu Sindok of Kahuripan. According to local folklore, the temple served a crematory function, as a place where Brawijayan kings were incinerated. A research was conducted and the results turned to contradict the folklore as researches failed to find ashes or remains inside the temple. Ancient ritual objects, jewelries, golden ornaments, and metal statues were reported to be found within the temple compound. Those items, which bear the marks of Buddhist teachings, lead to the conclusion that Brahu Temple was a Buddhist Temple, although no Buddha statue was ever found. The design of the temple and the remaining of a stupa-pedestal profile located to the southeast of the roof, however, support the claim. It is believed that the temple was constructed in 15th century. The temple, facing west, is rectangular in shape with dimension of 18 meters x 22.5 meters, and it stands 20 meters high, measured from the base to the remaining roof. Similar to other temples around Trowulan, Brahu Temple was also made of bricks. However, unlike other temples in the vicinity, the temple body is unique in design, with multiple obtuse angles and folds. The design is curved in the middle, which makes the hip of the temple. At the western side, the front part of the temple, the pattern with which bricks were arranged provides more exposure to the hip. Adding to its uniqueness, the roof, instead of rectangular in shape or prismatic with multiple layers, is flat at the top with multiple angles. The temple base is twofold, one on another. The lower base is 2 meters high, with stairs at the west side leading to the lower open veranda that outlines the temple, 1 meter in width. On the lower open veranda, there are stairs, 2 meters high, to the upper open veranda. The temple stands on the upper open veranda. There is an opening at the west side that resembles an entrance, two meters above the veranda. Experts believe that there were stairs linking the upper open veranda to the opening. As the stairs no longer exist, visitors will likely to have problems when entering the temple. It is said that the space inside the temple is wide enough to accommodate 30 people. Although no carving or relief is found either on the base, body, or roof of the temple, the beautiful curves and the geometrical patterns in the arrangement of the bricks provide the decorative element. The restoration of Brahu Temple started in 1990 and finished in 1995. According to the local people, there used to be several other temples in the vicinity. They were Muteran Temple, Gedong Temple, Tengah Temple and Gentong Temple.

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