Batujaya Candi Sites, Karawong, West Java

high-definition creative commons photographs from several Candi sites in the Batujaya are, near Karawong in West Java, together with some further information.

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In the Batujaya area, near Karawong in West Java, stand several Candi sites that are amongst the only Candis yet found in West Java. Not all the sites have been excavated yet, and only two are really being worked upon at present, they are Candi Jiwa and Candi Blandongan, which are only around 100 metres apart from each other.

 

Arial Video of the Sites

 

Candi Jiwa (more properly the Segaran I site)

Height: 4.70 m; area: 500 square metres; excavated in 1984, 1985-1986 (2 times); restored: 1996-2001; dimensions: 18 m x 18 m x 4.7 m (no stairs or entrances).

Upon excavation the foot of the Candi was already ruined. The hyphotesis is that this candi was shaped like a stupa. The upper part of the candi is thought to have been shaped like fully-opened lotus, if observed from above. There was once a pradaksina path made of bricks around the Candi which had a width of 2.65 metres.

 

Candi Blandongan (Segaran V site)

Height: 4.70 m; area: 110 x 38 square metre; excavated in 1984, 1999-200 (2 times); restored: 1996-2001; dimensions: 25 x 25 (first level), 10 x 10 (second level).

Upon excavation, the Candi no longer had roofs and the roof’s shape was unknown. They knew the Candi once had fences surrounding it. The hyphotesis is that the top of this candi was shaped like a stupa, from the remnants of the stupa bell.

Votive tablets were found with a Buddha image on it at the Candi’s feet; and they also found fragments of inscription of Buddhist mantras and even gold plate, which was in Sanskrit written in the Pallawa alphabet. They found also statues made from gold, copper, stone, and stuco.

Buried inside the candi was another layer of building from an older era, maybe 5-7th Century. They also found surrounding slabs of stones of which have been identified variously as whetting stones, meditation cushions, or stands for statues.

Site Museum

 

The Batujaya Candi Sites

The Batujaya Candi Sites are spread in out in the vicinity of two villages (Segaran and Telaga Jaya) and 2 districts (Batu Jaya and Pakis Jaya) near Karawong in West Java, with a total area of five square kilometres. The sites were found on mounds or small hills which the local people called unur or lemah duhur, which means: mounds with artifacts.

The site began to attract the attention of archaeologists at the Hindu Cibuaya site in 1984, when they were informed of many mounds in the midst of the local paddy fields. Up and till now aound 57 spots in Segaran and Telaga Jaya villages have been found.

But only four sites had been properly looked at, Serut 1 and Telagajaya, and only two of them had been renovated, which the locals named as Candi Jiwa and Candi Blandongan. The rest of the sites are still unexcavated.

The two Candis are interesting because they are made of bricks mixed with husks, and they were built more than 200 years before Borobudur, which was built of volcanic rock which is not available in West Java. The bricks used for the Candi originated from two eras: 5-7th Century during the Tarumanegara Kingdom and 7-10th century from Srivijaya Kingdom. Carbon dating test ruled that the oldest layer of bricks were from 2nd Century and the youngest stone from 12th Century.

According to Fa Hsien, a traveller from China, who resided in Java for around six months, there was a Kingdom named To-Lo-Mo which ruled an area around North Jakarta, West Java, and Banten. The Tarumanegara Kingdom was a Hindu-Buddhist Kingdom, but the religions existed alongside the indigenous folk religion.

At the site archeologists have also found remnants from the end of preshistoric era, including a human skeleton.

information gathered from a guide at the site (translated by Tasfan Santacitta), and from the Wikipedia article about the sites

 

Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu

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