Jambi Candi Muaro Jambi, 26 kilometers east from the city of Jambi

Written by on June 2, 2012 in Sumatera Museums with 0 Comments

Jambi Candi Muaro Jambi, 26 kilometers east from the city of Jambi



Muaro Jambi (Indonesian: Candi Muaro Jambi) is a Buddhist temple complex, in Jambi province, Sumatra, Indonesia. The temple complex was built by the Melayu Kingdom. It is situated 26 kilometers east from the city of Jambi. Its surviving temples and other archaeological remains are estimated to date from the eleventh to thirteenth century CE. The archaeological site includes eight excavated temple sanctuaries and covers about 12 square kilometers, stretches 7.5 kilometers along the Batang Hari River, much of it as yet unexcavated.[1] It is one of the largest and best-preserved ancient temple complex in South East Asia.

The start of the rise of the kingdom of Melayu can be dated to 1025 when India’s Chola kingdom attacked and destroyed the capital of the Sumatran maritime empire of Srivijaya. This allowed a number of smaller Sumatran polities to expand their political and economic influence. During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries it seems that from its river estuarine basis along the Batang Hari, Melayu became the dominant economic power in Sumatra. The substantial archaeological remains at Muaro Jambi suggest that this may have been the site of the Melayu capital. The city’s age of glory came to an end in 1278 when Java’s Singhasari kingdom attacked the city, even succeeding in capturing members of the royal family. The site was rediscovered by Dutch explorers in the nineteenth century. It is now protected as a national monument.

Design and decoration

The temple complex of Candi Muaro Jambi is spread out over a large area along the banks of the Batang Hari River. Eight temple compplexes have been excavated but many more mounds and sites remain to be explored within the conservation area, much of which is still covered by thick jungle. The three most significant intact temples are known as Candi Tinggi, Candi Kedaton and Candi Gumpung. The temples are built from red brick and unlike the temples of Java, features very little ormentation, carving or statuary. A few pieces of sculpture are housed in a small, on-site museum. The wooden dwellings that are believed to have housed the city’s population have all disappeared without a trace.

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