West Java, Cangkuang Temple, Kampung Pulo,Cangkuang village, Garut

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

West Java, Cangkuang Temple, Kampung Pulo,Cangkuang village, Garut



This temple is located at Kampung Pulo, the village of Cangkuang, sub-district of Leles, Garut district- West Java. The village of Cangkuang is surrounded by four huge mountains, namely Mt. Harumun, Mt. Kaledong, Mt. Mandalawangi and Mt. Guntur. The name Cangkuang for the temple is derived from the name of the village. The word ‘Cangkuang’ refers to a kind of pandanus furcatus plant family heavily growing in the grave yard of Mbah Dalem Arief Muhammad, the forefather of Kampung Pulo. The leaves of cangkuang are exploited to make sun hats, mats or cover sugar palm. Cangkuang cultural preservation is located in a plain likely an island in the middle of a small lake (in Sundanese, called Situ), by which one should take the raft to get to the place. Beside the temple, there is also a cultural residence namely Kampung Pulo that becomes one of the cultural preservation subjects of that region. Cangkuang temple was discovered by the historical team of Leles on 9 December1996. The research team sponsored by Mr. Idji Htadji (CV. Harumun) was under the coordination of Prof. Harsoyo, Uka Tjandrasasmita (the leader of Islamic History and archeological institution), and the students of Bandung IKIP (Teacher Training Institute). The excavation carried out was inspired by the notes of Vorderman in his book of Notulen Bataviaasch Genotschap, published in 1893, saying that there were an old grave yard and a damaged statue in the village of Cangkuang. It is said that the discoveries are located in a hill of Kampung Pulo. The grave yard and the statue of Shiva were discovered by the team. The old grave yard does belong to Mbah Arief Muhammad considered as the forefather of local people. At the beginning of the excavation, there was seen a heap of rocks likely ruins of a temple with the old grave nearby and a statue of Shiva lying among the ruins of the building. Discovering the andesite rock blocks, the team under the leadership of Tjandrasasmita became sure that the place around the space was originally standing a temple. Local people usually exploit the blocks of the rocks to build the tombs. To their convincing, they began to dig out the location. The team found the foundation of the Temple of 4.5 x 4.5 meters and the spreading rocks nearby the gravestone of Mbah Arief Muhammad. These initial discoveries have encouraged the Historical Team and The Archeological Institution to do further excavation at the location immediately. The excavation was carried out until 1968. The process of renovation was carried out during 1974 – 1975 and the reconstruction was done at 1976 covering the frame of the body, the roof and the Shiva statue and a joglo (Javanese roof style) museum. The museum was intended to keep and to register the archeological articles of archeological remains from throughout of Garut district. In carrying out the renovation in 1974, the rocks of the temple were discovered as the parts of the temple’s foot. The main impediment for temple reconstruction was missing of the rocks. Only 40 % of the whole original rocks were found. Hence, the rest parts were constructed with the mixture of stones, cement, split coral, sand and irons. Cangkuang temple was the parts of the remains firstly renovated; it was aimed to build historical missing link between Purnawarman and Pajajaran. The scientists came to their conclusion that Candi Cangkuang was built at eighth century, referring to the following considerations: 1. The decay condition of the rocks 2. The plain forms (no relief). After being renovated, the temple seems have the measures appropriate to the circumstances of the nature. The total height of the building is 8.5 m. The body of the Temple is standing on the longitudinal foot of 4.5 x 4.5 meters. The roofs were arranged in row forming pyramid. A long each side of the rows is decorated by a kind of little crowns like, similar to the Temples of Gedongsanga. The entrance gate into the Temple is on the east side. To the get to the gate one should pass through the stairs of 75 cm in width and 1 meter in height. The entrance gate is flanked by the walls forming the frame. There is no carved decoration at the gate’s frame. Presently, the entrance gate into the room is set a door of iron locked trellis. There is a room of 2.2 m square inside the temple, and the height is 3.38 m. The statue of Shiva of 62 cm is in the center of the room. It is said that here is a hole of 7 meter in depth underneath the statue, but it cannot be proved as no one is allowed to enter into the room. The cultural residence of Kampung Pulo The cultural residence of Kampung Pulo is a small village, comprises six houses and six family leaders. It has been traditionally assigned that the houses and the leaders of the families should be six with the arrangement three are on the right and the rest three on the left sides facing one to another. There is a mosque in the complex as the place to pray. It means that there is no new building, neither any diminishing. When a couple get married, lately two weeks after the wedding they should leave their original homes, building their own home out of the complex. Those who leave outside of the complex might some day be allowed to inhabit one of the six houses when the member of the family is died. However, there is certain conditions to be followed. It should be a lady and based on the family’s consensus. Mbah Dalem Arief Muhammad Mbah Dalem Arief Muhammad and the local people have built the dikes around the area, and hence, it is filled with the water likely a lake called Situ Cangkuang. After building the dikes, the low plan turns into the lake, and the hills become the islands. The islands are Pulau Panjang (the place of Kampung Pulo), Pulau Gede, Pulau Leutik (small), Pulau Wedus, Pulau Katanda, and Pulau Masigit. Mbah Dalem Arief Muhammad was a soldier of Mataram Kingdom, Central Java. He and his troops were sent to attack the VOC army in Batavia and to spread the Islam in Cangkuang village. The village of Cangkuang, particularly Kampung Pulo, has been inhabited by the Hindu people. The Hindu Temple being renovated is the evidence to the past situation. Mbah Arief then began to let the local people know about Islam applying the teaching method applied by Wali Songo. Prudently, he suggested the people to take Islam. Teaching guidelines carried out by Mbah Arief Muhammad referred the Islamic ideology avoiding anarchist and compulsion, oriented to the peace and all one’s soul and heart. His teachings and notes written in the manuscript were not different from those we get from the ulamas in this time being. He taught all things based on Al-Qur’an and Hadits, to bring the people facing the reality forming the real personality of a Moslem in the unity of Almighty God, having good morals, and leaving behind what is forbidden. The evidences concerning the spreading of Islam carried out at the beginning of XVII century, such as: The manuscript of Friday’s sermons written on goat leather of 176 x 23 cm. Although in quite poor condition, but the writings are still clearly read. The Al Qur’an was made of saih (the leather of the tree) with the size of 33 x 24 cm. Due to its old age, the condition of this Al-Qur’an is badly damaged, but can be read clearly. The book of Fikih was made of Saih with the size of 26 x 18.5 cm. The grave yard of Mbah Dalem Arief Muhammad is located on the southern part of Cangkuang temple. This indicates that there have been harmonious lives among Indonesian people of different back ground of religions. The people of Kampung Pulo then turned one by one to take Islam as their religion, but part the old traditions based on Hindu are still carried out. Take for example, the holy day for them is Wednesday, not the Friday.

Tags: , , , , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Leave a Reply