Sewu Temple, Yogyakarta

by - June 23, 2019

Not only can you visit Borobudur Temple and Prambanan Temple when you are on vacation in Yogyakarta. Many temples are located around Yogyakarta that not many people know. One of them is Sewu Temple. Which is located not far from Prambanan Temple. This temple is as beautiful as the existing temple but not many tourists visit here. Check out the explanation !!


Meanings of Ancestral Tolerance Heritage of Sewu Temple


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Located 800 meters north of the Prambanan Temple Tourism Park, the presence of Buddhist-patterned Sewu Temple alongside the Hindu-style Prambanan Temple shows high religious tolerance at that time. Sewu Temple is also a masterpiece of the civilization of the ancient Mataram Kingdom recognized by UNESCO.

Sewu Temple is the second largest Buddhist temple after Borobudur Temple which was built in the 8th century AD during the reign of Rakai Panangkaran (746-784), the famous king of the Ancient Mataram Kingdom. Based on the Kelurak Inscription of 782 and the Manjusrugrha Inscription of 792 discovered in 1960, the original name of Sewu Temple is "Prasada Vajrasana Manjusrigrha". The term Prasada means temple, Vajrasana means diamond enthroned, while Manjusri-grha means Manjusri house.

The Sewu Temple complex consists of 1 main temple, 8 apit temples, and 240 perwara temples (companion temples). The main temple building has a diameter of 28 meters with a height of 30 meters, a large Garbhagriha space on the central axis of the temple, surrounded by four small rooms jutting out. Each has a ladder and is crowned with the arrangement of stupas. At each doorway in the direction of the wind, 8 statues of Drawapala are guarded.

The existence of Sewu Temple which was built not far from Prambanan Temple shows that since ancient times Hindus and Buddhists in Java have lived side by side and harmoniously. Rakai Pikatan, a prince from the Sanjaya dynasty marries Pramodhawardhani from the Sailendra dynasty. After the Sanjaya dynasty the power of his people continued to adhere to the previous religion.

The scenery in the Sewu temple complex is very charming, you can enjoy the splendor of the temple building under a shady tree. A breeze that blows makes you reluctant to leave. Sit on the park bench, while occasionally taking pictures with the background of the temple.

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You can also enjoy the Sewu Temple in the afternoon. Towards dusk, the sunshine breaking through the temple building creates a magical atmosphere. If visiting at dusk, you will get a beautiful view of the sunset with the temple building as the foreground.

Sewu Temple Building

The name Sewu, which in Javanese means a thousand, shows that the temple incorporated in the Sewu Temple cluster is quite large in number, even though it does not actually reach 1000 pieces. Precisely, the Sewu Temple group consists of 249 temples, consisting of 1 main temple, 8 pengapit temples or intermediate temples, and 240 ancillary temples. The main temple is located in the middle, on the four sides surrounded by clinging temples and ancillary temples in a symmetrical arrangement.

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Sewu Temple has 4 gates to the outer courtyard, namely on the east, north, west and south sides, each of which is guarded by a pair of Dwarapala statues facing each other. From the outer court to the inner court there are also 4 entrances guarded by a pair of Dwarapala statues, similar to those at the outer gate.

The Dwarapala statue made of intact stone is placed on a square mat about 1.2 m high in the position of one kneeling leg, the other leg bent, and one hand holding the mace. The height of this Dwarapala statue reaches around 2.3 m.

The main temple or main temple is located in a square area of ​​40 m2, surrounded by a fence of stone structures as high as 0.85 m. Temple buildings in the form of 20 angled polygons with a diameter of 29 m. The height of the building reaches 30 m with 9 roofs, each of which has a stupa at its peak.

Above the doorway there is no Kalamakara, but the walls on the left and right of the doorway are decorated with carved dragon heads with their mouths open. It is different from what is found in the base of the cheek of the stairs, not the Buddha in the mouth of the dragon, but a lion.

The main temple built from andesite has a main door to the east, so it can be said that this main temple faces east. In addition to the main door, there are 3 other doors, namely facing north, west and south. All entrances are equipped with a viewer booth. The space in the temple's body is cube-shaped with walls made of red bricks. In this room there is an 'asana'. On the outer wall of the body and the foot of the roof of the temple there are niches containing Buddha statues in various positions.

Activities that can be done at Sewu Temple

Cycling
Enjoy the Prambanan Temple Tourism Park, not only by walking along it. For those of you who like cycling, you can take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy the freshness of the eyes and the atmosphere of the Park in Sewu Temple in the morning or evening. You can cycle around the park or surround the area around Sewu Temple which is included in the Prambanan Temple Tourism Complex and then proceed to surround the nearby temples such as Bubrah Temple and Lumbung Temple.

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Photo Session
The trees around this large and beautiful temple are a favorite place for photo hunting. For those of you who are photography lovers, the trees that line up neatly on the lines will attract your attention to make it a photo background. You who like social media can directly upload your selfies. The blue sky at morning will look beautiful combined with the contrasting temple buildings, as well as the sky orange at dusk. You can choose both to take the best picture.

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Learning History and Culture
Sewu Temple is one of the world sites that is used as a reference to study the history of the Buddhist kingdom in Indonesia after the Borobudur Temple. These various reliefs which are religious symbols provide important historical lessons about life in the Sailendra Dynasty. The existence of Sewu Temple not far from Prambanan Temple also shows religious tolerance at that time.

Visit the Sewu Temple Museum
If you visit Sewu Temple it's incomplete if you don't visit the Museum. The Sewu Temple Museum tells the story of the process of restoring a temple, until now the restoration efforts have succeeded in restoring one main temple, Apit Temple and several ancillary temples. The temple that has not been repaired is still around 200 temples.

The location of the Museum located north of the Sewu Temple Complex is equipped with an audio visual room. You can explore the knowledge of temples located in the slopes of Prambanan through a film that is played.

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I hope you can add to the list of tours when visiting Yogyakarta. Thanks for reading. Follow our Instagram too !!

Ticket: 200,000 IDR / person
How to get there: From the direction of the city of Jogja you can take the Transjogja bus line 1A and 2A then get off at the Prambanan bus stop and continue on foot or by rickshaw. Whereas if you come from the east (Solo or Klaten) you can take a bus in the direction of Yogyakarta and get off at Prambanan Terminal. The entrance to Sewu Temple is integrated with the entrance ticket to the Prambanan Temple Tourism Park area.
Operational: 06.00am - 05.00pm

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