Minggu, 18 Januari 2009


Mendut temple is located some 45 minutes northeast of Yogyakarta city. It sits on a hill in the town of Muntilan in the Magelang District. Most travel agents in Yogyakarta offer the day-trip excursion to this temple as part of the tour to Borobudur temple located nearby.

Mendut Temple is located some 2 miles east of its more popular cousin, Borobudur Temple. It was built around 800 A.D by the Kings of Syailendra Dynasty, the same kingdom that built the world-famous Borobudur temple some years later.

There are three big statues inside, they are:

1. Cakyamuni sitting in cross legged pose with dharma cakra mudra (= turning the wheel of dharma hand pose)

2. Awalokiteswara, a bodhi satwa as human being helper.
Awalokiteswara is a statue with Amitabha on her crown, Vajrapani. She is holding a red lotus and put on her palm.

3. Maitreya, a savior of human beings in the future.

There are stories for children on its walls.

Mendut temple is frequently used to celebrate the Waisak day every May full moon and the pilgrims from Indonesia and all parts of the world come to this ceremony.

It is older than Borobudur Temple. Its architecture is square, and having an entrance on its steps. Its roof is also square and terraced. There are stupas (= bell-shaped structures) on it.

The three meter tall statue of the Buddha, rest in the central niche of Mendut temple, the easternmost of the two temples possibly associated with Borobudur. He sits in so-called European fashion, a pose uncommon but not unknown in the Buddhist art of the time. Mendut temple was restored early this century, but the roof line of the restored temple is speculative at best. The ethics and practices of restoration have changed since Borobudur attracted the interest of European scholars at the turn of the century.
After Borobudur, Mendut temple is the second largest Buddhist Holy place in the Kedu area. It is located at Mendut village. Mungkid District, Magelang Regency, about 38 kilometers northwest of Yogyakarta and 3 kilometers east of Borobudur. Mendut was probably erected by King Indra the first King of Syailendra dynasty. We suspect that the King attempted to build a sacred edifice in order to accumulate as many virtuous deeds as possible. Building a temple should be considered a virtuous deed. In addition to sacred duty, Mahayana Buddhism stresses the principle of Mahayana or mutual love among men, with the erection of the temple. King Indra complied with this principle by providing a place of worship for his followers so that they could also reach happiness and Nirvana.

There is a huge banyan Warigin tree at a corner of the temple compound, providing a good shade to visitors. During my visit also,the tenths used for the massive Waisak (Waicak or Wesak) celebration were still intact despite the event was completed a few days earlier.

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