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Candi Kalasan

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Kalasan Temple

Kalasan Temple

Location within Java Topography

7°46′12″S 110°28′12″E / 7.770°S

Architectural style Buddhist candi
Town near Yogyakarta (city), Yogyakarta
Country Indonesia
Client Sailendra
Completed circa 8th century

Candi Kalasan, also known as Candi Kalibening, is an 8th century Buddhist temple in
Indonesia. It is located 13 km east of Yogyakarta on the way to Prambanan temple, on the
south side of the main road 'Jalan Solo' between Yogyakarta and Surakarta.

[edit] History
According to a Kalasan inscription dated 778 AD, written in Sanskrit using Pranagari
script, the temple was erected by the will of Guru Sang Raja Sailendravamçatilaka (the
Jewel of Sailendra family) that succeed to persuade Maharaja Tejapurnapana
Panangkaran (in other part of the inscription also called as Kariyana Panangkaran) to
construct a holy building for the goddess (boddhisattvadevi) Tara and also build a vihara
(monastery) for buddhist monks from Sailendra family's realm. Panangkaran awarded the
Kalaça village to sangha (buddhist monastic community).[1]. According to the date of this
inscription, Kalasan temple is the oldest among temples built in the Prambanan valley.

Despite being renovated and partially rebuilt during the Dutch colonial era, the temple
currently is in poor condition. Compared to other temples nearby such as Prambanan,
Sewu, and Sambisari the temple is not maintained.

[edit] Architecture
The giant Kala's head on the southern door

One of the niches on the wall of Kalasan temple adorned with carvings of Kala giaft and
scene of deities in svargaloka

The temple stands on square 14.20 meters sub-basement. The temple plan is cross-shaped
12 corners polygon. Each of four cardinal points have stairs and gates adorned with Kala-
Makara and also have rooms measured 3,5 square meters. No statue is found in the
smaller room facing north, west, and south; but the lotus pedestals suggested that the
rooms once contains statues of bodhisattvas. The temple is richly decorated with buddhist
figures such as bodhisattva and gana. The Kala Face above the southern door has been
photographed and used by a number of foreign academics in their books to give an idea
of the artistry in stone by Central Javanese artists of a millennia ago. Niches where the
statues would have been placed are found inside and outside the temple. The niches
adorned outer wall intricately carved with Kala, gods and divinities in scene of
svargaloka, celestial palace abode of gods, apsaras, and gandharvas.

The roof of the temple is designed in three sections. The lower one are still according to
the polygonal shape of the body and contains small niches with statues of boddhisatvas
seated on lotus. Each of this niches is crowned with stupas. The middle part of the roof is
in octagonal (eight sided) shape. Each of this eight sides adorned with niches contains
statue of a Dhyani Buddha flanked by two standing boddhisatvas.[2] The top part of the
roof is almost circular and also have 8 niches crowned with single large dagoba. The
octagonal aspect of the structure has led to speculation of non-buddhist elements in the
temple, similar to some interpretations of the early Borobudur structure.

The temple is facing east, with eastern room also served as access to main central room.
In the larger main room there is lotus pedestal and throne carved with makara, lion, and
elephant figure, similar to the Budha Vairocana throne founds in Mendut temple.
According to the Kalasan inscription, the temple once houses the large (probably
reaching 4 meters tall) statue of the Boddhisattvadevi Tara. By the design of the throne,
most probably the statue of the goddess was in seated position and made from bronze.
Now the statue is missing, probably the same fate as bronze Buddha statue in Sewu
temple, being looted for scrap metal over centuries.

On the outer wall of the temple found the traces of plaster called vajralepa (lit: diamond
plaster). The same substance also founds in nearby Sari temple. The white-yellowish
plaster was applied to protect the temple wall, but now the plaster has worn off.

The temple is located on archaeologically rich Prambanan valley. Just a few hundred
meters north east from Kalasan temple is located Sari temple. Candi Sari most probably
was the monastery mentioned in Kalasan inscription. Further east lies the Prambanan
complex, Sewu temple, and Plaosan temple.

[edit] See also

• Candi of Indonesia