The grave of a princess from Champa
Who was Putri Campa, when did she live and who did she marry? Having consulted several sources after visiting her supposed grave we remain confused.
She was a princess from the kingdom Champa in present-day southern Vietnam, so much seems certain. The booklet of the East Java Historical Authority (BP3) states that she married the last king of Majapahit, Bra Wijaya V, based on the Javanese chronicles 'Babad Tanah Jawi'. But at the same time it is admitted that the year on the headstone, Saka 1230 = AD 1308 does not fit in, because that year falls in the reign of the first king, Raden Wijaya Kertajaya Jayawardhana.
The contradiction seems to be resolved in the Balinese history site http://sejarah-puri-pemecutan.blogspot.com/ where the year on the headstone is given as Saka 1370 = AD 1448. But do the old characters really allow two interpretations?
On the other hand, Bernard Vlekke writes is his authoritative history of Indonesia 'Nusantara': “We also know that Kertanagara had married a princess of Champa (southern Vietnam) ....”. Kertanagara was the last king of Singhasari, the kingdom preceding Majapahit, which fits better with the year Saka 1230.
Again, the cemetery with Putri Campa's grave is essentially a muslim cemetery. According to the site http://www.eastjava.com are buried here 'the royal Mahapahit family members who had converted to Islam'. Which seems odd because Bra Wajaya V remained a Hindu to the end of his life after having been ousted by his son Raden Patah who had converted to Islam.
We tend to believe Bernard Vlekke and to disregard the account in Babad Tanah Jawi, the purpose of which latter seems to have been to write the religious war out of history. Or could it be that twice in history a Javanese king married a princess from Champa?
Directions: It's near the north-eastern corner of Segaran Pool. Therefore not far from the Majapahit Information Centre.
- Historical Travel
Siti Hinggil royal cemetery
Siti Hinggil meaning 'High Ground' was and is a sacred place where it is said that the first king of Majapahit used to rest and meditate. As both in life and in death Javanese kings were elevated above mere mortals, it stands to reason that you find a tomb here dedicated to the king, whose name was Raden Wijaya (or by his full title: Raden Wijaya Kertajaya Jayawardhana). He reigned from A.D. 1293 to 1309.
But do not worry that you have to climb endless stairs to reach the cemetery, as is the case at Imogiri where the sultans of Yogyakarta are buried. On the level plains of Trowulan a mole-hill qualifies as high ground.
Together with king Wijaya his two wives are supposed to be buried here. And there are also tombs of the legendary Eyang Sapu Jagad and Kyai Sapu Angin. The spirits of the latter two are revered as wardens of Merapi volcano who decide whether and when an eruption will take place. Especially on the day Jumat Legi of the Javanese calendar people come here to pray and be saved from harm.
Address: Kedungwulan hamlet, Bejijong village, Trowulan district.
Directions: At the office of the East Java Archeological Service (BP3) cross the main road and follow the turnoff west. Look out for a small sign pointing to your left.
- Historical Travel
Minak Jinggo temple
Minak Jinggo (or Menakjinggo) temple was the only one in the Trowulan area built of andesit, not brick like the others. But only the foundations and loose stones are to be seen here. The most important finds in terms of reliefs and statues are on display in the Information Centre. Among them two big reliefs, one of a mermaid and one of a giant with wings locally known as Menakjinggo. Archaeologists think it is a representation of Garuda.
Excavations on the site in 1977 have uncovered several layers of brick foundations in different orientations. That would indicate the place was inhabited at different times, but research is still ongoing.
Address: Trowulan village, Trowulan district, Mojokerto regency.
Directions: East of the Segaran pool.
- Historical Travel
The Kedaton site
In Kedaton village several brick structures have been uncovered, thought to have been a temple and a dwelling compound. During the excavation many pieces of statues and of Chines ceramics have been found, as well as the skeletons of five individuals.
The first structure one meets when entering the site is the restored base of the temple. In front of it is a 5.7 m deep well still functional and being used by the local population.
The other structures may have been a dwelling compound, the remains are now being protected by corrugated iron roofing. Here is a dry well, Sumur Upas, considered holy by the villagers. The well would have been an escape route for the king in case of an enemy assault.
Address: Kedaton hamlet, Sentonorejo village, Trowulan district, Mojokerto regency
Directions: From the museum go 1.5 km south, then follow a village road west for 150 m.
At the Makam Panjang (long grave) site we found a cemetery which has nothing to do with the Majapahit kingdom. In particular the long grave is of more recent construction.
According to the museum booklet the only authentic Majapahit object here is a stone with inscription. However, we did not find it among the grave stones, and the few people praying at the long grave could not help. The inscription in old Javanese tells that "a banyan tree was planted here in the year 1203". The year 1203 Saka coincides with 1281 AD, which proves that the place was inhabited twelve years before the first Majapahit king ascended the throne (King Wijaya in 1293 AD).
Address: Trowulan village, Trowulan district, Mojopahit regency.
Directions: North of Kolam Segaran artificial lake go 300 m east.
- Historical Travel
Candi Gentong or Gentong temple is thought to have been a Buddhist temple complex consisting of one central building surrounded by a number of smaller ones. It would have been one of a row of three temples: Candi Gedong, Candi Tengah and Candi Gentong.
However, at the beginning of the 20th century of Candi Gentong only a number of earthen mounds remained, and the other two had disappeared altogether. Since 1995 efforts have been made to uncover what was left of Gentong temple, resulting in the discovery of the remains of five structures.
It is interesting to note that three of the structures use the seamless batu gosok technique of the restored temples, but two of them used seams of clay between the bricks. That would indicate that those buildings had roofs protecting the walls from rain.
Address: Jambumente village, Trowulan district, Mojokerto regency
Directions: From the museum go north, crossing the main road. The site lies 350 east of Brahu temple.
- Historical Travel
Mbah Kasan's Cemetery
miraculously to meet up with mr kasan ulama or addressed politely with mbah kasan. i met him twice, when i was 9 year old [with my 'strange' bahasa indonesia since my dad was a navy and we move from one to another cities, both local and abroad] and then when i was 15 [hmm, already used my excellent 'bahasa jawi' towards him, no need indonesian lingo :)].
said that mbah kasan was the one among the last geniality of majapahit's guardians and troopers, he's the "kuncen" [juru kunci, guardian of the tombs] of the cemetery of majapahit kings. i love his way to explain about the history, with a very friendly way and his smile ... seems he's not very old. just 50 something. and the way he says "mantra" in front of his keris [kris or dagger] also inspiring me to learn more about my own history.
and amazing whenever i am back to trowulan and never find him anymore but his tomb. he just passed away in the age of ... 230 years old!
- Road Trip
- Arts and Culture