--> Skip to main content

Penataran – Second Largest Hindu Complex in East Java – Indonesia

Penataran is the site of the second largest Hindu complex in East Java, Indonesia. The site is famous for the remarkable shrine, Candi Penataran, built during the rule of Mojopahit dynasty (14th Century AD).

In its size and beauty, Penataran temple complex is unique as it is a sepulchral temple, entombing the ashes of the Mojophait monarchs, probably built by Queen Jayavishnuvardhana. The ashes of the deceased kings were buried beneath the sanctuary, but the spirits were identified with Hindu deities.

The principal structure is guarded by representations of rakshasas and bears which corresponds to Shaka Era 1242 (1320 AD).

The temple raises from a square base in diminishing terraces, the walls of which are covered with sculptured panels depicting scenes from the Ramayana and illustrations of fables and scenes from Javanese literature and Wayang Theater, the dramatic art form of the island. The reliefs are executed in a highly decorative style close to native Indonesia art.

Some of the noteworthy episodes depicted on the panels are Hanuman speaking to Sita in the Ashoka grove, Hanuman in the palaces of Lanka before he set them on fire, Ravana conferring with his commanders, and Mandodari with her lady attendants.

The figures in the Ramayana scenes display the masks used by actors in the drama. They reflect local ethnic features and display the distinctive eastern Javanese style.

Notes take from - Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume VIII - IHRF - page 2.