DIENG plateau of Indonesia
temples of Java lies at 2093 m altitude, 26 km north west of Wonosobo near
Gunung Nagasari. The oldest inscription goes back to 809. There, in this
imposing place, in the medium of nowhere between lakes with coloured water and
extents of suffers bubbling spouting out from depths of the Earth, emerge 8
small temples lost in this unsoundable landscape. Dieng come from "Di Hyang",
the residence of the gods, and we can understand why. It is a forging mill in
the clouds. As early as the prehistoric times, this place was sacred and among
the objects revealed by the excavations, there is a bronze drum. It was a center
of very known pilgrimage where people came even from abroad, and it should be
imagined to the 9th C. when there was a hundred temples, with the monasteries,
the monks, the servants, etc.
These temples are all places of religious worship, no king is glorified
there. They very strongly resemble the temples of Mahaballipuram, the port of
the Pallava dynasty, in the south of Madras in India. They are built out of
stone on the model of older wooden temples (it is thought that the first temples
of Java dates from the 5th C.) which disappeared, but which one can see
illustrations on certain panels of Borobudur. Although small, these temples are
already built with a technique very elaborate.
construction of the temples started before 750 with a first series of temples
including Candi Arjuna, Semar, Puntadeva and Gatotkaca. A score of years
after, one built Candi Srikandi and Sembrodo, and remakes Candi
Puntadeva. In 850, Candi Gatotkaca was taken again as well as Candi
Bima. The niches external of these temples, separately Candi Srikandi and
Bima, were to contain the images of Durga, Ganesha and Agastya. These temples do
not have reliefs apart from the heads of Kala and Makara. The
names of the temples of Java are not origin, they were given to last century.
The site of
Dieng was occupied up to 13th C., time or one more temple, in any point
identical to those, contemporary, of east Java, was still built here.
Candi Semar :
Candi Sembrodo, Puntadeva, Srikandi, and Arjuna are aligned, this one Is
alone in front of Candi Arjuna. It contained certainly the statue of
Nandi, the mounting of Shiva. It is connected to Candi Arjuna, the temple
of Shiva to which it faces.
Candi Arjuna :
the beginning of 8th C. The oldest temple of the group with Candi Semar
to which it faces. It is largest of the group of the five; it is almost whole;
it misses just the top of its pyramidal roof. Candi Arjuna has been
built on the model of the Mahaballipuram temples in South India.
All the statues
misses, but we can see nice Kala heads.
Candi Srikandi :
dates from the beginning of the 8th C.. Its external decoration is very original
since it is not devoted to the "family" of Shiva, but present the reliefs of the
three large gods of India: Shiva on the east panel , Vishnu on the northern
face, and Brahma of the south side.
structure comprises a second originality, with Candi Dworovati, because
they have octagonal pillars almost released, which will not be found nowhere
elsewhere in Java.
Candi Puntadeva :
750. Identical to Candi Arjuna, but it misses part of the
Candi Sembrodo :
in 750. This temple was the last of the group of the Pandava to being
built. It is build according to a model of cruciform plan, original at that
time, but which will be in favour later, for example with Candi Sewu and
the other temples at its proximity, when the worship of the five Jina
develops. The superstructure disappeared.
Candi Gatotkaca :
construction dates from the beginning of the 8th C. Hundred years afterwards, a
new base included the first. It supported a second temple, now destroyed.
Candi Bima :
goes back to 750, but it was altered at the beginning of the 9th C., certainly
by Sailendra which made a monument of the bouddhistic type of it, builds on the
model of the temples of Orissa in India.
Candi Droworati :
monument is on the side opposite one with the others compared to the principal
road, in the north of the site. It is a temple identical to Candi
Gatotkaca. With a few tens of meters is a stone heap called: