Candi Plaosan, in the Prambanan Plain near Yogyakarta

high-definition creative commons photographs from Candi Plaosan, near Prambanan, Java, showing the architecture and the statues, together with further information on the Candi.

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Candi Plaosan

Candi Plaosan, also known as the Plaosan Complex, is one of the Buddhist temples located on the Prambanan plain. The complex covers an area of 2,000 square meters at an elevation 148 meters above sea level. The Dengok River is located about 200 meters away.

It is a large complex of buildings, which when I was there (2009) was still in the process of being reconstructed. It consists of 58 Perwara (Shrine) Temples and over 100 stupas, with thousands of blocks of stone still lying around the site. Many of the buildings have inscriptions. Two of these inscriptions record the donation of the temple as a gift by Rakai Pikatan. The dates of the inscriptions are between 825-850 AD.

The consists of two Buddhist temples, Plaosan Lor and Plaosan Kidul. The temples are separated by a road; Plaosan Lor is located in the North and Plaosan Kidul in the South. Plaosan Lor consists of two main temples and an open area known as a mandapa. Both temples have an entrance, a gate, and the guardian statues or Dwarapala. Plaosan Lor and Plaosan Kidul are considered to originally have been part of one complex.

The main temple is a large two-storied structure with large windows and doors. There are many fine statues of Bodhisattvas around the outside of the temple, and inside are shrines to Manjushri, Maitreya, Padmasambhava and other Bodhisattvas. It was built in the mid 9th century by Sri Kahulunnan or Pramodhawardhani, the daughter of Samaratungga, a descendent of Sailendra Dynasty, who was married to Rakai Pikatan.

Although close to the Prambanan construction date of 856 AD, the complexes are not related. A new building technique distinguishes Prambanan from the Plaosan temples. The main temples at Plaosan are made up of an upper and lower level. In the upper level were orginianlly found multiple statues.

However, as the position of the windows dictate, only one statue was rested on the bottom basal level. This statue was made out of bronze and depicted Bodhisattvas with two stone statues attached. On the outer walls of the main temples, carvings of dieties are found with the majority being male. There are also some smaller carvings by the windows which represent females dieties. One traditional example is a carved representation of a Khmer prince who is identified by his crown.

Text partly adapted from Wikipedia, (retrieved, March 9th 2012)


Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu

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