8 Famous Buddhist Hindu Temples in Indonesia, These are Their Characteristics and History

Famous Buddhist Hindu Temples in Indonesia – Has Sinaumed’s ever traveled or visited Hindu Buddhist temples in Indonesia? That’s right, we must be familiar with cultural heritage in the form of temples because Indonesia has many amazing temple tourist destinations. Even the cultural heritage of our temple is also a world heritage. Of course, we must be proud and have the awareness to protect our culture.

Hindu Buddhist temples in Indonesia are historical evidence that our nation used to have an advanced civilization. As a nation’s generation, we must know history as our effort to maintain Indonesian culture.

We may have gotten to know the temples from elementary school. That means we really have to get to know history as early as possible. Cultural values ​​in the history of our nation do not fade in the younger generation. The following is the history, characteristics, and list of Hindu Buddhist temples in Indonesia that sinaumedia needs to know.

History of Buddhist Hindu temples in Indonesia

The entry of the Hindu-Buddhist belief in Indonesia must have left an influence on the habits or behavior of the Indonesian people. Moreover, the glory and development of Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms that are spread throughout the archipelago will create its own civilization.

Relics from the glorious history of the kingdom are in the form of shrines, temples, inscriptions, books, statues, and so on. Currently these relics have been preserved as a tourist spot for the community.

One of the most amazing and popular remains is the temple. Temples are ancient buildings made of stone which were usually used as burial places for kings, Hindu Buddhist priests, and places of worship in ancient times.

The name of the temple comes from the name of Goddess Durga (goddess of death) Candika. From the meaning of the term, the temple is used to glorify a deceased king. Inside the temple is not the body or ashes of the king, but objects such as metal, stones and offerings.

The temples in Indonesia are closely related to the minds and cultural makeup of the people. There are temples that were built alone, or even in groups, and then the building also marked the development of carving.

This can be seen in the size or carvings on the walls of Hindu and Buddhist temples. The carvings depict certain meanings of magical creatures, plants, leaves, vines, lotus flowers, and so on.

An extraordinary trace of the existence of Buddhism in Indonesia is the Borobudur temple which is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Meanwhile, Roro Jonggrang, who existed in the 9th century, is a great evidence of Hindu religious reliefs. The reliefs in several Buddhist and Hindu temples also depict mythical spiritual beings in Hindu-Buddhist beliefs such as gods, asuras, bodhisattvas, and so on.

Characteristics of Hindu Buddhist temples in Indonesia

1. Characteristics of Hindu temples

  • The entrance to a Hindu temple usually has a kala head equipped with a lower jaw
  • Hindu temples tend to be slimmer
  • Hindu temples are usually in the form of a group of several temples and the main temple is behind ancillary temples such as Prambanan Temple.
  • Hindu temples usually have a statue of the goddess Trimurti
  • At the top of the Hindu temple there is a pearl shape
  • Hindu temples have 3 structures, namely Bhurloka, Bhuvarloka, and Svarloka
  • Hindu temples are usually the burial places of kings and places of worship to the gods

2. Characteristics of Buddhist Temples

  • Buddhist temples are used as places of worship
  • The Buddhist temple has 3 building structures, namely kamadatu, rupadatu, and arupadatu
  • At the top of the Buddhist temple there is a stupa
  • Buddhist temples must have a statue of Buddha
  • Buddhist temples usually have a main temple surrounded by surrounding temples such as the Borobudur temple
  • Buddhist temples have reliefs that tell their own story
  • The Buddhist temple has a building shape that tends to be chubby
  • The door to a Buddhist temple usually has a kala head with a gaping mouth without a lower jaw with a double makara on each side of the temple door
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1. Borobudur Temple

On the walls of the Borobudur temple there are 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. This temple building is crowned with the largest main stupa which is located in the middle and is surrounded by three circular rows totaling 72 stupas. The main temple is surrounded by smaller temples containing Buddha statues sitting cross-legged in a perfect lotus position with the Dharmachakra mudra.

Borobudur is a model universe built as a sacred place that glorifies Buddha. Apart from that, this temple is also used as a place of pilgrimage for mankind in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha which diverts the worldly nature of human desires towards enlightenment and wisdom. Pilgrims will usually enter the temple from the east side and start the ritual by walking around the temple in a clockwise direction.

Pilgrims will then continue to ascend to the next steps through three sections or levels of realms in Buddhist cosmology that have meaning, namely kamadhatu, Rupadhatu, and arupadhatu.

During the ritual, pilgrims will see approximately 1,460 relief panels engraved on the walls and fences of the Borobudur temple. The following is a recommendation for sinaumedia books that Sinaumed’s can read to find out what’s around the Borobudur temple.

2. Prambanan Temple

Prambanan Temple actually has the real name Siwagrha which in Sanskrit means ‘House of Shiva’ based on the Siwagrha inscription. There is a three meter high Shiva Mahadeva statue in the main room (garbagriha) of this temple which shows that in this Prambanan temple the god Shiva is prioritized.

Apart from being one of the wonders of the world according to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, this temple is also the most beautiful temple in Southeast Asia. Prambanan temple architecture has tall and slender buildings like other Hindu architecture. The main temple is a Shiva temple with a height of 47 meters in the middle of another smaller temple complex.

Prambanan Temple is estimated to have existed in 850 AD based on the Siwagrha inscription. Then this temple continued to grow during the Medang Mataram kingdom during the reign of Balitung Maha Sambu.

3. Dieng Temple

Dieng Temple is a 7th Century Masterpiece heritage temple from the Sanjaya Dynasty located in the Dieng Plateau, Central Java. Previously there were about 400 temples that had existed in this temple complex. That is why the Dieng area where this collection of temples is also known as the Javanese Hindu Temple Complex.

Inscription evidence found there shows that this temple complex has existed since the 8th and 9th centuries AD. The temple complex was built as a manifestation of the community’s devotion to Lord Shiva and Sati Shiva or Shiva’s wife.

Of the 21 buildings in the Dieng Temple complex, they were divided into 5 groups. 4 Groups of temple buildings in the form of ceremonial sites or places of worship as follows:

  • Arjuna Temple Group (pandavas 5)
  • Gatotkaca Temple Group
  • Bhima Temple Group
  • The Dwarawati/Parikesit Temple Group.
  • Magersari Temple Group.

Furthermore, the Fifth Group is buildings for residence or settlement sites where currently only remnants of debris can be seen around the Arjuna temple complex. While in the process of preservation, another temple complex was recently discovered, namely Setyaki Temple.

4. Gedong Songo Temple

Gedong Songo Temple is a cultural heritage of temples from Hindu teachings in Indonesia which is located in the village of Candi, Bandungan, Semarang Regency, Central Java province.

This temple is located on the slopes of Mount Ungaran with nine temples located in different places with quite a distance.

Raffles was the founder of the Gedong Songo Temple for the first time in 1804 and became a Hindu cultural heritage from the 9th century Syailendra dynasty or around 927 AD.

This temple is almost the same as the Dieng Temple complex in Wonosobo. The location of this temple is at an altitude of about 1,200 m above sea level. So the air temperature in this complex is quite cold, ranging from 19 to 27 °C.

The 9 Gedong Songo temples scattered on the slopes of Mount Ungaran have stunning natural views. In this tourist attraction there are also hot springs from springs containing sulfur, camping areas, horseback riding tours, and several other facilities.

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5. Penataran Temple

Penataran Temple is a Hindu Siwaistis temple building located in Penataran Village, Nglegok, Blitar, East Java province. This temple is the grandest and widest temple in East Java which is located at an altitude of 450 meters above sea level on the southwest slope of Mount Kelud, to be precise in the north of Blitar.

The Penataran Temple existed during the time of King Srengga from the Kingdom of Kediri in 1200 AD based on the inscriptions left by this temple. After that this temple was used until the reign of Wikramawardhana, King of the Majapahit Kingdom in 1415.

The contents of the Desawarnana book or also commonly called the Negarakertagama book which was written in 1365 states that the Penataran Temple is a sacred building or “Palah”. The meaning is that the temple was once visited by King Hayam Wuruk on a royal trip around East Java.

6. Plaosan Temple

This Plaosan temple was made when Rakai Pikatan decided to marry Pramodhawardhani. Rakai Pikatan and Pramodhawardhani’s love affair caused a lot of criticism and rejection because of their different religions.

At that time Rakai Pikatan embraced Hinduism because he came from the Sanjaya Dynasty, while Pramodhawardani followed Buddhism because he came from the Syailendra Dynasty.

This temple was later made by Rakai Pikatan as a symbol of his love for his wife and this temple is also a sign that he gave his wife freedom to embrace a different religion.

7. Sewu Temple

The Sewu Temple Complex is a temple building that was founded in the 8th century to the north of Prambanan Temple. Sinaumed’s needs to know that in Central Java, Sewu Temple is the second largest Buddhist temple complex after Borobudur Temple.

The building of this temple is estimated to be older than Prambanan Temple. Actually there are 249 temples in this temple complex, but by the local community this temple is called “Sewu” which means a thousand in Javanese because there are so many of them.

The naming of Sewu Temple is based on a legend from Roro Jonggrang who asked that 1,000 temples be built overnight. The complete address of the Sewu Temple complex is in Bugisan Bener Village, Prambanan, Klaten, Central Java. The following are book recommendations that Sinaumed’s can read to learn the complete history of Sewu Temple:

Category : Social Sciences

Book : Sewu Temple (2018)

8. Kalasan Temple

The Kalasan inscription is historical evidence of the construction of this temple which was previously found not far from the location of the temple. The Kalasan inscription was written using Sanskrit and pranagari letters from 700 Saka or around 778 AD. In the inscription, the construction of the Kalasan Temple began with the advice of religious leaders during the Syailendra dynasty who ordered to build a holy place.

So, that’s an explanation of the history, characteristics, and a list of Hindu Buddhist temples in Indonesia that Sinaumed’s friends need to know. Is there a temple that Sinaumed’s has visited? Each of the temple remains has its own history and cultural significance.

By getting to know and observing the differences between Hindu and Buddhist temples, we have learned a lot about how amazing our nation’s cultural wealth is. Besides that history can give us valuable life lessons that a nation can grow because of the history and development of its civilization.

If Sinaumed’s is interested in learning more about the history of Indonesian Hindu-Buddhist temple buildings, sinaumedia has a diverse collection of books related to Hindu-Buddhist temples and history.

Sinaumed’s is not only able to study Hindu Buddhist temples from their history, but more broadly related to other fields. For example the architecture of the building and the meaning of the amazing temple art and design. The following is a book that Sinaumed’s recommends reading to learn about Hindu Buddhist temples in Indonesia. Have a good study. #Friends Without Limits.

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