Muara Takus, Riau, Sumatra
high-definition creative commons photographs from Muara Takus, in Riau, Sumatra, an medieval Melayu kingdom site, together with further information.
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Muara Takus is one of the few surviving candis from the long-lasting Melayu kingdom (7th-13th centuries) and is therefore especially valuable, although many of the artefacts found here were subsequently taken to Museums in the west, or sold on the art market in the Netherlands. The site was rediscovered only in 1860 by Cornets de Groot, and his report attracted some attention, while research and excavations continued on and off over the coming century. Only in the 1970s was the site restored to its present condition. It appears to have been built over a long period of time, and the materials vary from sandstone to brick.
The site lies around 125km west of Pekanbaru, in the Riau Province of Sumatra, and near the bank of the Kampar Kanan river. The main area consists of a number of fine candis, mainly platform shape, with a stūpa on top, including the large Candi Tua; Candi Bungsu, similar is shape, but smaller; Candi Mahligai, an elongated stūpa, and a number of smaller structures around the site. The main candi site is enclosed with an earth wall running for around 74 metres square, and the whole seems to have lain within a much large enclosure, running for around 4km. There are some smaller remains outside the main site.
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Candi Tua is the largest structure in the grounds, and like the other main buildings, is a stūpa set on a platform. It has a staircase on the east and west sides, and the platform measures around 27 x 17 metres. It is made of brick, but may have been decorated with sandstone statues, now removed.
This is a 14 metre high brick-built building, with a platform, around 4 metres square, and an elongated Stūpa towering above it. It seems to have still been standing when it was rediscovered. There were originally four standstone lion statues at its base, but these are not seen now.
This candi has two sections, the original, a stepped terrace, in sandstone, measures around 7 metres square, and on the south-east side an extension in brick has been built. It seems there was originally a stūpa on the platform, and it was here that a small gold leaf inscription was found bearing nāgari characters.
Drone Footage of Muara Takus
Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu
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