Trowulan also happens to be the home of Indonesia's biggest Sleeping Buddha statue. With a length of 22 m it is the third biggest in the world, behind the statue in Bangkok and one in Nepal. And perhaps it is located in the most attractive setting, within a lotus pond and reliefs of Buddha's life on the pedestal.
Whether you follow Hinayana, Mahayana, Tantrayana or just drop in for a look around like us, you are always welcome at the Maha Vihara Mojopahit. We even were offered a free lunch. And we could freely stroll the 2 ha grounds, to see the miniature Borobudur, the various altars like the one dedicated to Maha Brahma, and have a silent time in the dharma room Sasono Bhakti.
We just paid a visit as part of our Trowulan itinerary. If you should wish to stay for a retreat or study in the library, accommodation is available. In November there are festivities to celebrate the Maha Brahma / She Mien Fuk anniversary.
Like all Trowulan temples Candi Brahu was built of brick. Its height is 27.5 m, and its rectangular base 20.7 m wide. Research during reconstruction has shown that the present base encloses an older one of 17 m wide.
The temple faces west. On the roof at the back are some circular structures, thought to be stupa's. This and the general design would indicate that Candi Brahu is a buddhist temple. Close by an inscripion in stone has been found referring to a waharu of warahu, which would explain the name Brahu.
As for the time the temple was built, carbon dating of some charcoal found in the chamber gave the range from 1410 to 1646 AD. Yet it is thought that Candi Brahu is older than the other temples at Trowulan, because the inscription mentioned above bears the year 861 Saka or 939 AD. It seems logical that the year may refer to an older temple in the same spot, as there is also the older base inside the present one.
The temple has been thoroughly restored between 1990 an 1995. If you compare my picture of 1969 with the later ones, it is evident that the entrance has been made much smaller. Indeed there is nowadays no way to enter the inner chamber of four metre square. The stairs leading up the base have been added during the restauration, their original shape is unknown.
Address: Bejijong village, Trowulan district, Mojokerto regency.
Directions: From the museum cross the main road and go north. In the same direction you find the remains of Candi Gentong.
When you arrive in Trowulan on the main road from Solo to Surabaya, best start by paying a visit to the Majapahit Information Centre or Pusat Informasi Majapahit. Apart from the interesting museum collection, here you can obtain an informative booklet (in Indonesian) on the Trowulan sites complete with a map. Then you can set out to view the historic remains spread out over several square km. We did not succeed in visiting them all, the booklet discusses even more than our tips.
The Information Centre started as a private initiative in 1926 by a Dutch architect and the then Javanese regent of Mojokerto. After WW II their modest museum was taken over by the archeological authority of East-Java province (Balai Pelestarian Peninggalan Purbakala Jawa Timur, BP3). In 1999 the museum was moved from its location on the main road to its present larger grounds. The former museum on the main road still serves as the office of the BP3.
The museum collection consists mainly of all kinds of artefacts from the Mojopahit area, displayed both inside the buildings and in the yard. These can be divided in four groups:
- terracotta artefacts, both for household and for building purposes;
- ceramics, originating from China, Thailand and Vietnam, with which countries Majapahit maintained commercial and political relations;
- artefacts of metal, like coins, lamps, bells, mirrors and musical instruments;
- stone artefacts, among which statues and bas-reliefs. Among these a statue from the Menakjinggo site.
The museum also has a reconstruction of a typical dwelling of the Majapahit area, and collection of prehistoric objects and fossils.
In the museum grounds south of the building can be seen the uncovered remains of a housing complex inhabited in the Majapahit area.
Entrance fee of the museum is nominal, unfortunately taking pictures inside is not allowed.
Address: Trowulan village, Trowulan district, Mojopahit regency.
Directions: At the crossing in the centre of Trowulan village, go south for about 1 km.
This artificial lake was discovered in 1926, when it was all filled up and overgrown with grass. It is one of 32 water reservoirs of the Majapahit kingdom that have been found so far. Restauration work has intermittenty been done in 1966, 1974 and 1983/84 so that we now can see the lake as it was built in the time of the Majapahit kingdom.
The lake is 375 m long and 125 m wide. The brick walls are 3.16 m high and 1.6 m thick. One can walk all around the lake on the walls. Water entered the lake at its south side from a pool called Baling Bunder (round pool) and left at its northern side into a pool called Balong Dowo (long pool). However, both these pools are now filled with earth.
Popular belief wants that the purpose of the lake was to entertain guests. After feasting the golden plates and bowls would be thrown into it to show the wealth of the Majapahit kingdom. However, none of these golden artefacts have been found and it is more likely that the lake, like many others, was built as a much-needed water reservoir. It may also have served to make the climate in its surroundings somewhat cooler.
The word segara is Javanese for sea. So kolam segaran should be read as "a pool like a sea".
Address: Trowulan village, Trowulan district, Mojokerto regency.
Directions: Kolam segaran lies just across the road from the Museum or Information Centre.
Majapahit architects developed two types of gates, the split gate or candi bentar and the roofed gate, called paduraksa. Gapura Wringin Lawang is a gate of the first type. The two types probably served different functions. Wringin Lawang gate is thought to have been the entrance gate to a housing complex. This conjecture is based upon the discovery of 14 ancient wells north-west of the gate. Until this day many houses in East-Java have a well in their front yard.
Like Bajangratu gate Wringin Lawang gate was built of brick, except for a few blocks of andesit in the base, which may well constitute repairs. Its height is 15.5 m, the gateway 3.5 m wide.
As can be seen from my picture of 1969, the top of the gate had disappeared. It has been reconstructed during the restauration which took place from 1991 to 1995.
Address: Jatipasar village, Trowulan district, Mojokerto regency.
Directions: From the museum go back to the main road, Gapura Wringin Lawang lies on your right hand some distance to the north.
Candi Tikus (Tikus temple) is not really a temple but a bathing place. Well, in its centre there is a small temple-like structure representing Mahameru mountain, the abode of the gods and the source of all life. This source of life was the water flowing from the fountain heads at the foot of the Mahameru effigy.
Nowadays water is less abundant. Neither in 1969 nor in 2009 we saw water flowing from the spouts, and at the end of the dry season the basins were devoid of rain water too. We could walk down the stairs and on the bottom.
The name Candi Tikus (Rat Temple) has a curious origin. In 1914 the local population experienced a rat plague, the rats having their nests in a hillock. When the hillock was dug out the temple was discovered. It was restored to its present condition from 1984 to 1989.
Address: Temon village, Trowulan district, Mojokerto regency.
Directions: From the museum go south and then east, past Bajangratu gate.
Majapahit architects developed two types of gates, the split gate or candi bentar and the roofed gate, called paduraksa. Gapura Bajangratu is a gate of the latter type. The two types probably served different functions. Gapura Bajangratu is thought to have been the entrance gate to a holy shrine in honour of Kinga Jayanegara, who died in he year 1328 Saka. This conjecture is based upon chronicles of the time, the pararaton and the negarakertagama. So the gate must have been built after the demise of mentioned king, in the late 13th of the 14th century AD.
Like the other structures at Trowulan Gapura Bajangratu was built of brick, except for the stairs and the lintel, which are of andesit. The height of the gate is 16.5 m, the doorway 1.40 m wide. At its sides there are some remains indicating that there was a wall encircling the shrine, but the bricks of this wall would long since have been used by people of the neighbourhood.
Over the gateway and on the wings are the usual reliefs of kala heads, and on the roof also lions, dragons, cyclops and garuda heads. All these would keep bad influences away.
In 1915 the Dutch colonial government did some consolidation work on the gate, part of which are the iron supports. A thorough restauration took place from 1989 to 1992, compare my picture of 1969 with the newer ones.
Address: Temon village, Trowulan district, Mojokerto regency.
Directions: From the museum go south and then east. In the same direction lies Candi Tikus.
CANDI TIKUS, Candi means temple and Tikus means a Rat, is a temple which was built by a red bricks construction, a lower land site where one could see a pool just surrounding the temple. The environment surrounding the temple is gorgeous, one could see mount Arjuno in a faraway an a wide open field of rice/paddy plantation
Trowulan is well known as a former Majapahit Kingdom site, here one could see an ancient temple which was built by Majapahit Kingdom, the temples wrer built by a bricks construction. Trowulan located at Mojokerto District
Petilasan Panggung is a sacred place where Raden Wijaya, the first king of Majapahit had contemplated and meditation before build the greatest empire Majapahit. The first thing he did after leaving Petilasan Panggung is open Tarik forest nearby the estuary of Kali Brantas (Brantas River) altogether with Mahapatih Gajah Mada. At Petilasan Panggung we can also find a big stone made from andesit which used for Gajah Mada’s horse and elephant.
Meanwhile, Pendopo Agung Trowulan is the center of its kingdom. Designated as a reception place for guests (the ambassadors, princes and other kings) also meeting rooms among Majapahit government body to take decisions. Here also, the representative of Kubilai Khan from Mongols met King Brawijaya
What do you think about 'final destination', about our last home, the symbolizing of peaceful place according an endless journey to Nirvana? A cemetery must be nice and tranquil and cozy ... etc. And we can find it around the royal cemetery of Puteri Champa and King Brawijaya V. Surrounded by padi field and beautiful greenery views. And don't forget about the breeze that make us so peaceful.
This is the tomb of Putri Champa [Cambodian Princess] which became a wife of Prabu [King] Brawijaya V. The story begins when Putri Champa and her brother, the Prince of Chenla visit Java island as the ambassadors. King Brawijaya V asked her to marry him meanwhile the prince became a prisoner. Then the Cambodian Prince back to Champa and becomes a king in Cambodia [King Jayavarman II]. Prabu Brawijaya and Putri Champa [read as 'cem - pho'] had a son called Sultan Agung Demak.
Unfortunately, Candi Gentong (means “jar” or big bowl made from terracota) still ruins and in excavation process right moment.
Meanwhile, the name Candi Brahu, taken from the Sanskrit word ‘Warahu’ or ‘Wanaru’. Based on Prasasti Alasantan (Alasantan Manuscript) written by Mpu (Master) Sendok at 861 Saka or 9 September 939, this temple is designated as a holy building, a crematory temple for the kings of Brawijaya. Dimension: 22,5 x 18 metres square, 20 metres height
It’s about a “petirtaan” (drainage system for paddy fields) of Majapahit which situated lower underground. Dimension: 29,5 x 28,25 metres square, height 5,2 metres and 3,5 metres below ground level.
How the locals found the petirtaan of Candi Tikus begins when the farmers have to keep their rice terraces from the rats. A charmed ones got the message to put the water from Candi Tikus’ pool and put them at four directions of the paddy field. But another version says; literaly Candi Tikus begins when Mojokerto’s Major Mr. RAA Kromojoyo Adinegoro (1914) mobilized his people to kill the rats because this creature is the main enemy of their paddy fields. Wherever the rats run, he keep them anywhere too. Finally, he got this candi below the ground level.
“Bajangratu” states from “bajang” (small, kid or dwarf) and “ratu” (king or queen). Means; a king who is crowned when he was a kid. This candi (temple) is dedicated to Prabu Jayanegara of Majapahit in his election day at 1250 Saka or 1328 (13th century)
Dimension: 11,5 x 10,5 metres square, height 16,5 metres, width from the entrance 1,4 metres. Divided by 3 themes; under, body and upper layers. At under body or foot of the candi, we can enjoy the reliefs of Sri Tanjung story. At the body, we can see patterns of Kala (bad giant) and Sulur (rattans and many kinds of leaves) then at the upper we can find the head of Buta (Kala), solar symbol, dragon, head of eagle and monocle cyclops (creature with one eye). Then at the south wing we can find the story of Ramayana.