Muara Jambi, Sumatra

high-definition creative commons photographs from the candis at Muara Jambi, Sumatra together with further information.

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The Muara (also spelt Muaro) Jambi complex, which lies along a canal system connected to the nearby Batanghari River, is one of the largest in S E Asia, and one of the most significant also. It seems to have built up over a period from the 7th - 13th centuries, and was a part of the Srivijaya empire, though it's exact role is unknown. It covers an area of approx. 80 sq km, with almost 80 candis (historical monuments) still unexcavated, and only eight sites restored at this point.

The candis that are restored are mainly brick-built compounds, with a number of buildings inside, and are surrounded by gated walls, and have the occasional sandstone carving decorating them. Nearly all show the same ground plan: a large compound wall encloses a very green area, with one or more buildings inside, and gates (gopura) allowing ingress. Most of the candis are rebuilt at this point to only one or two levels.

They lie, for the most part, in a lush green jungle, with cultivated clearings, canals running nearby, and sometimes very old and magnificent trees. The setting these days is sometimes as impressive as the cultural remains. Many of the menapos are are on settler land, and the Government cannot develop these sites without buying out the owner first.

Besides the buildings some statues, ritual troughs and ceramics were found at the site and many of these are housed in the onsite museum. Smaller remains are also found outside the main area – even on the other side of the river, which would make the site much bigger – but we didn’t visit these.

Candi Tinggi 2

Candi Tinggi (sometimes denominated as number 2) stands at the centre of the main collection of sites, and around 500 metres north of the village. The enclosing wall and ditch must be around 90m x 70m. The main building stands at around 9m square, at present is 1.65m high, and it possibly had a stūpa on top, which is missing now. The main staircase to this candi is to the south, but the gates to the compound are on the east and west sides. In front of it is a small platform and around the grounds there is a small stūpa, and some small perwaras (ancillary buildings), not completely restored.

01 From Distance, Candi Tinggi 2

01 From Distance,
Candi Tinggi 2

02 From Side, Candi Tinggi 2

02 From Side,
Candi Tinggi 2

03 Main Structure, Candi Tinggi 2

03 Main Structure,
Candi Tinggi 2

04 Main Building, Side View, Candi Tinggi 2

04 Main Building,
Side View, Candi Tinggi 2

05 Main Building, Front View, Candi Tinggi 2

05 Main Building,
Front View, Candi Tinggi 2

06 Wall and Small Perwara, Candi Tinggi 2

06 Wall and Small Perwara,
Candi Tinggi 2

07 Perwara and Stupa, Candi Tinggi 2

07 Perwara and Stupa,
Candi Tinggi 2

08 Perwara, Candi Tinggi 2

08 Perwara,
Candi Tinggi 2

09 Stupa and Platform, Candi Tinggi 2

09 Stupa and Platform,
Candi Tinggi 2

010 Old Tree, Candi Tinggi 2

10 Old Tree,
Candi Tinggi 2

 

Panoramas

you can control the movement through the panorama with your mouse

 

Candi Tinggi 1

The enclosure of the much smaller Candi Tinggi 1 is around 40x30m, it has a wall, gates and a number of partly restored candis inside. The buildings are only restored to the first level.

011 Main Buildings, Candi Tinggi 1

11 Main Buildings,
Candi Tinggi 1

012 Angled View, Candi Tinggi 1

12 Angled View,
Candi Tinggi 1

013 Main Building, Candi Tinggi 1

13 Main Building,
Candi Tinggi 1

014 Main Building, Front View, Candi Tinggi 1

14 Main Building,
Front View, Candi Tinggi 1

Candi Gumpung

This candi lies to the west of Candi Tinggi, and is a large exclosure, 150+ metres square, but with fewer remains inside the grounds at present. The main building faces the east, and the main gateway is also to the east. The main building is large and square in shape, with an entrance way which leads nowhere in the way it is restored. The staircase has some carved sandstone makara figures guarding it. Relics were found embedded inside the temple, including gold plates with the names of Vajrayāna deities inscribed on them. A very fine, but headless, Prajñāpāramitā statue was also found at this site. Between this building and the gate there is a platform again, but it is unclear what sort of building this was meant to be.

015 View of Entrance, with Wall and Candi, Candi Gumpung

15 View of Entrance,
with Wall and Candi, Candi Gumpung

016 Wall surrounding Candi, Candi Gumpung

16 Wall surrounding Candi,
Candi Gumpung

017 Previous Gopura with Bridge, Candi Gumpung

17 Previous Gopura with Bridge,
Candi Gumpung

018 Distance View, Candi Gumpung

18 Distance View,
Candi Gumpung

019 Candi Gumpung from Front, Candi Gumpung

19 Candi Gumpung from Front,
Candi Gumpung

020 Candi Gumpung and Platform, Candi Gumpung

20 Candi Gumpung and Platform,
Candi Gumpung

021 Platform, Candi Gumpung

21 Platform,
Candi Gumpung

022 Makara, Candi Gumpung

22 Makara,
Candi Gumpung

023 Makara from Side, Candi Gumpung

23 Makara from Side,
Candi Gumpung

024 Platform, Candi Gumpung

24 Platform,
Candi Gumpung

025 Side View, Candi Gumpung

25 Side View,
Candi Gumpung

026 From Behind, Candi Gumpung

26 From Behind,
Candi Gumpung

027 Grounds, Candi Gumpung

27 Grounds,
Candi Gumpung

Kolam Telagorajo

To the south of Candi Tinggi 1 lies a picturesque man-made tank or reservoir, around 30x70m square. The surroundings are now used as a picnic spot. The tank has lotuses growing in it, and to the east of the site is a forest with tree huts, for resting in the heat of the day.

028 North-West View, Kolam Telagorajo

28 North-West View,
Kolam Telagorajo

029 North-East View, Kolam Telagorajo

29 North-East View,
Kolam Telagorajo

030 South View, Kolam Telagorajo

30 South View,
Kolam Telagorajo

031 Single Lotus, Kolam Telagorajo

31 Single Lotus,
Kolam Telagorajo

032 Waterside Tree, Kolam Telagorajo

32 Waterside Tree,
Kolam Telagorajo

033 Treehut, Kolam Telagorajo

33 Treehut,
Kolam Telagorajo

Candi Kembar Batu

This complex lies to the south-east of Candi Tinggi 2, and is approached along a path running around 300 metres from that site's north east corner. Many people take a motorbike in order to reach the site then go on to Candi Astano. Candi Kembar Batu is a farily well-restored site, with seven buildings partially reconstructed and is in a lovely setting. The enclosure is around 50x65 m square, and the gateway is again on the east. There are two buildings facing each other, which are both around 12m sq. Another of the buildings is a stūpa, and there are a number of perwaras, which are little more than foundations now.

034 View of Main Buildings and Gopura, Candi Kembar Batu

34 View of Main Buildings and Gopura,
Candi Kembar Batu

035 Gopura, Candi Kembar Batu

35 Gopura,
Candi Kembar Batu

036 View from Gopura, Candi Kembar Batu

36 View from Gopura,
Candi Kembar Batu

037 View of largest Buildings, Candi Kembar Batu

37 View of largest Buildings,
Candi Kembar Batu

038 Brickwork, Candi Kembar Batu

38 Brickwork,
Candi Kembar Batu

039 Foundation, Candi Kembar Batu

39 Foundation,
Candi Kembar Batu

040 Two Candis and Stairs, Candi Kembar Batu

40 Two Candis and Stairs,
Candi Kembar Batu

041 Stupa and Foundation, Candi Kembar Batu

41 Stupa and Foundation,
Candi Kembar Batu

042 Stupa, Candi Kembar Batu

42 Stupa,
Candi Kembar Batu

043 Tree with small Candi, Candi Kembar Batu

43 Tree with small Candi,
Candi Kembar Batu

Candi Astano

Candi Astano lies over a kilometre east of Candi Tinggi, on the way you pass a number of menapo lying in the semi-jungle. Candi Astano itself is just one building, in nice grounds, around 50m sq. The building itself seems to have been constructed in three phases. Other artefacts were also found at this site, including ceramics and a couple of padmāsanas, now in the Museum.

044 Astano Grounds, Candi Astano

44 Astano Grounds,
Candi Astano

045 Path to Candi, Candi Astano

45 Path to Candi,
Candi Astano

046 Main Candi, Candi Astano

46 Main Candi,
Candi Astano

047 Side View, Candi Astano

47 Side View,
Candi Astano

048 Brickwork, Candi Astano

48 Brickwork,
Candi Astano

049 Platform, Candi Astano

49 Platform,
Candi Astano

050 Swamped Forest, Candi Astano

50 Swamped Forest,
Candi Astano

051 Protected Tree, Candi Astano

51 Protected Tree,
Candi Astano

 

Panoramas

you can control the movement through the panorama with your mouse

 

Candi Gedong 1

West of the main site, by around a kilometre, lie two compounds, Candi Gedong 1 &#amp; 2. They are north around 80m square, and are separated from each other by another area also around the same size. The compounds have outer and inner walls, and gopuras to gain access. The main candi at Gedong 1 is fairly large (approx. 15x12m), now on two levels, though it must have been much higher originally. Gedong 2 has a large gopura, one of the tallest buildings that has been restored. Inside the compound is aplatform, around 10m square, and west of it is the remains of a dilapadated stūpa. In both compounds there are smaller buildings dotted around, and outside the compound are a number of menapo.

052 General View, Candi Gedong 1

52 General View,
Candi Gedong 1

053 Gopura, Candi Gedong 1

53 Gopura,
Candi Gedong 1

054 Gopura and Candi, Candi Gedong 1

54 Gopura and Candi,
Candi Gedong 1

055 Inner Wall, Candi Gedong 1

55 Inner Wall,
Candi Gedong 1

056 Main Candi, Candi Gedong 1

56 Main Candi,
Candi Gedong 1

057 Side View, Candi Gedong 1

57 Side View,
Candi Gedong 1

058 View from Back, Candi Gedong 1

58 View from Back,
Candi Gedong 1

059 View from Back, Candi Gedong 1

59 View from Back,
Candi Gedong 1

060 Side View, Candi Gedong 1

60 Side View,
Candi Gedong 1

061 Candi showing Staircase, Candi Gedong 1

61 Candi showing Staircase,
Candi Gedong 1

062 Foundation, Candi Gedong 1

62 Foundation,
Candi Gedong 1

063 Outer Wall, Candi Gedong 1

63 Outer Wall,
Candi Gedong 1

064 Walls, Candi Gedong 1

64 Walls,
Candi Gedong 1

Candi Gedong 2

065 General View, Candi Gedong 2

65 General View,
Candi Gedong 2

066 Walls and Candi, Candi Gedong 2

66 Walls and Candi,
Candi Gedong 2

067 Gopura, Candi Gedong 2

67 Gopura,
Candi Gedong 2

068 Central Candi, Candi Gedong 2

68 Central Candi,
Candi Gedong 2

069 Candi and Trees, Candi Gedong 2

69 Candi and Trees,
Candi Gedong 2

070 Foundation, Candi Gedong 2

70 Foundation,
Candi Gedong 2

071 Stupa, Candi Gedong 2

71 Stupa,
Candi Gedong 2

072 Side Candi, Candi Gedong 2

72 Side Candi,
Candi Gedong 2

073 Candi Base, Candi Gedong 2

73 Candi Base,
Candi Gedong 2

074 Old Tree, Candi Gedong 2

74 Old Tree,
Candi Gedong 2

Candi Kedaton

Candi Kedaton lies around one and a half kilometres west of the Gedong complex, or around 3km from the main site. This is the largest candi uncovered so far, the enclosure being around 200m square, and many smaller enclosures inside. The two largest buildings lie to the south of the compound and face each other. The way one of them has been rebuilt is also has an entrance which leads nowhere. The main entrance to the site appears to have been from the north, which is also where the canal is. There is a large gopura, partially rebuilt, which has some fine makara statue at the gate. There are many brick-piles around the site, and more restoration would be desirable.

075 Main Candi, Candi Kedaton

75 Main Candi,
Candi Kedaton

076 Side View, Candi Kedaton

76 Side View,
Candi Kedaton

077 Entrance, Candi Kedaton

77 Entrance,
Candi Kedaton

078 Platform, Candi Kedaton

78 Platform,
Candi Kedaton

079 Inspecting the Site, Candi Kedaton

79 Inspecting the Site,
Candi Kedaton

080 Side Entrance, Candi Kedaton

80 Side Entrance,
Candi Kedaton

081 Main Entrance, Candi Kedaton

81 Main Entrance,
Candi Kedaton

082 Approach Road, Candi Kedaton

82 Approach Road,
Candi Kedaton

083 Main Gopura, Candi Kedaton

83 Main Gopura,
Candi Kedaton

084 Canal Side, Candi Kedaton

84 Canal Side,
Candi Kedaton

085 Gateway and Makara, Candi Kedaton

85 Gateway and Makara,
Candi Kedaton

086 Makara, Candi Kedaton

86 Makara,
Candi Kedaton

087 Grounds, Candi Kedaton

87 Grounds,
Candi Kedaton

088 Walls and Gate, Candi Kedaton

88 Walls and Gate,
Candi Kedaton

089 Side Entrance, Candi Kedaton

89 Side Entrance,
Candi Kedaton

090 Compound, Candi Kedaton

90 Compound,
Candi Kedaton

091 Wall, Candi Kedaton

91 Wall,
Candi Kedaton

092 Perwaras, Candi Kedaton

92 Perwaras,
Candi Kedaton

093 Wall and Trees, Candi Kedaton

93 Wall and Trees,
Candi Kedaton

094 Ruined Perwaras, Candi Kedaton

94 Ruined Perwaras,
Candi Kedaton

095 Inner Wall, Candi Kedaton

95 Inner Wall,
Candi Kedaton

096 Ruins, Candi Kedaton

96 Ruins,
Candi Kedaton

097 Old Tree, Candi Kedaton

97 Old Tree,
Candi Kedaton

098 Canal, near Candi Kedaton

98 Canal,
near Candi Kedaton

099 Fishing Net, near Candi Kedaton

99 Fishing Net,
near Candi Kedaton

10 Fishing Nets, near Candi Kedaton

100 Fishing Nets,
near Candi Kedaton

101 Canal, near Candi Kedaton

101 Canal,
near Candi Kedaton

102 Batanghari River

102 Batanghari River

Candi Koto Mahligai

This is the most westerly of the sites uncovered so far, lying around 800 metres north-west of Candi Kedaton, but not accessible in a direct line, so that the route to get there from Kedaton is around 4km. The site is more or less unexcavated, and is interesting in that regard as we can see what the other sites must have looked like before restoration. The site must be around 800x600m and features some massive old trees, even out sizing the trees at the other sites. On the grounds are numerous menapo, probably more than a dozen, which are just heaps of bricks at present. It makes for a very secluded spot at present, suitable also for meditation, especially on the truth of impermanence.

103 General View, Candi Koto Mahligai

103 General View,
Candi Koto Mahligai

104 Tree growing through Ruins, Candi Koto Mahligai

104 Tree growing through Ruins,
Candi Koto Mahligai

105 Ancient Tree, Candi Koto Mahligai

105 Ancient Tree,
Candi Koto Mahligai

106 Roots over Ruins, Candi Koto Mahligai

106 Roots over Ruins,
Candi Koto Mahligai

107 Trees and Ruins, Candi Koto Mahligai

107 Trees and Ruins,
Candi Koto Mahligai

108 Trees and Roots, Candi Koto Mahligai

108 Trees and Roots,
Candi Koto Mahligai

110 Tree amid Ruins, Candi Koto Mahligai

110 Tree amid Ruins,
Candi Koto Mahligai

111 Old Trees, Candi Koto Mahligai

111 Old Trees,
Candi Koto Mahligai

112 Bricks, Candi Koto Mahligai

112 Bricks,
Candi Koto Mahligai

113 Old Tree, Candi Koto Mahligai

113 Old Tree,
Candi Koto Mahligai

114 Big Tree, Candi Koto Mahligai

114 Big Tree,
Candi Koto Mahligai

115 Old Tree, Candi Koto Mahligai

115 Old Tree,
Candi Koto Mahligai

116 Old Tree, Candi Koto Mahligai

116 Old Tree,
Candi Koto Mahligai

Museum

The small onsite Museum contains a number of material remains found at the Muara Jambi complex, including animal sculptures, ritual troughs, support stone, ceramics and inscribed brick work.

117 Crowned Elephants

117 Crowned Elephants

118 Wooden Pillar Supports

118 Wooden Pillar Supports

119 Trough from Candi Gedong 1

119 Trough from Candi Gedong 1

120 Ritual Trough

120 Ritual Trough

121 Lotus Stone from Candi Astano

121 Lotus Stone from Candi Astano

122 Lotus Stone

122 Lotus Stone

123 Dwarapala

123 Dwarapala

124 Lotus Inscribed Brick

124 Lotus Inscribed Brick

125 Brick Inscribed  with Sun Symbol

125 Brick Inscribed with Sun Symbol

126 Lotus Inscribed Brick

126 Lotus Inscribed Brick

127 Sword Inscribed Brick

127 Sword Inscribed Brick

128 Houses drawn on Brick

128 Houses drawn on Brick

129  House drawn on Brick

129 House drawn on Brick

130 Ceramics

130 Ceramics

131 Golden Vase

131 Golden Vase

The song below talks about the importance of the historical site of Muara Jambi, and how people should come and visit: even the Javanese do not know about this place, please tell everyone to come and visit, etc.

 

Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu

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