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Mendut Temple, Magnificent Buddhist Temple with Charming Buildings

mendut temple

Mendut Temple is one unit with two other Buddhist-nuanced temples, namely; Borobudur Temple and Pawon Temple. Relief and the shape of the charming Mendut temple building makes the Mendut Temple building look magnificent.

In a book entitled Borobudur and It’s Meaning written by Caesar Voute, it is mentioned that this historic site is located at the eastern end of an imaginary line that stretches from west to east along 3 kilometers. This line crosses the Elo River and Progo River and connects 3 temples, namely Borobudur Temple, Pawon Temple, and Mendut Temple.

Not only that, in this Mendut beauty complex also the atmosphere is still relatively beautiful and green with trees plus a quiet environment so that tourists can enjoy the beauty of Mendut Temple while imagining the glory of Mendut Temple in its golden age.

History of Mendut Temple

Johannes Gijsbertus de Casparis, a Dutch historian, suggested that based on the contents of the Karangtengah Inscription, Mendut Temple was built around 824 AD, during the kingdom of the Shailendra Dynasty. In the Karangtengah Inscription it is written that King Indra built a sacred building called Wenuwana.

Wenuwana comes from the word “Venu, Vana, Mandiri” which means temple in the middle of a bamboo forest. Casparis interpreted Wenuwana as Mendut Temple. Thus, the age of Mendut Temple is estimated to be older than the age of Borobudur Temple.

The Existence of the Bodhi Tree

Still in one area of mendut is also a bodhi tree that is believed by Buddhists to be the starting point of Sidharta Gautama gaining enlightenment and becoming the Buddha Mahayana Gautama who became a figure spreading Buddhism.

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Until now, the existence of this Bodhi tree is also an integral part that is not only related to the existence of Buddhist-nuanced temples but also the story of the spread of Buddhism in the era of the ancient Mataram kingdom in the past.

Beauty of Relief Mendut Temple

In this Mendut Temple, there are so many relief beauties, such as Kuwara and Hariti reliefs which are a giant man-eating couple who repented on the north wall.

Then, the relief of the eight-hand Goddess Tara holding wajra, tasbih, oysters, sticks, axes, chakras, chalets, and books, and reliefs of Sarwaniwaranawiskhambi with royal oversized clothing on the western front of the temple.

Shape and Structure of Mendut Temple

This historical site thick with Buddhist patterns has a square shape of 13.7 x 13.7 meters and a height of 26.4 meters. This temple building rests on a stone as high as 2 meters, on it there is a wide square equipped with a ledge.

The temple’s foot wall is decorated with 31 panels in the form of tendrils and flowers. There are also a number of reliefs that have a story.

On the roof there are 3 piles of cubes surrounded by 48 small cubes with tapered shapes. While in the room, there are three statues as high as 3 meters. The first statue, Buddha Sakyamuni appears in a sitting position and the attitude of the hands forms dharmackramudra.

At the front is a statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteswara (Human Helper Buddha) sitting with his left leg folded, while the right leg dangles down and rests on a small lotus pad. While the maitreya statue (bodhisattva of human liberators) sits with his hands in the position of simhakamamudra.

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Different from temple buildings in Indonesia in general that face east, this historic site actually faces the northwest. The building material also uses bricks covered with andesite stone.

Discovery and Reconstruction of Mendut Temple

This historic building was discovered in 1836 in a state of destruction and buried in shrubs. According to archaeologists, the damage is not much different from that experienced by Borobudur Temple, which was caused by the eruption of Mount Merapi in 1006 AD.

From 1897 to 1904, efforts began to rearrange the ruins of destroyed temple buildings. However, these efforts did not produce satisfactory results. Only managed to restore the body and legs of the temple. There are still many parts of the temple that have not been successfully reconstructed.

After four years, Van Erp began phase two reconstruction and assumed the role of leader. Under his leadership, the team carried out the return of the shape of the temple roof, the installation of stupas, to repairs at some of the roof of the temple.

Unfortunately, this reconstruction was hampered by funding problems so that it had stopped in the middle of the road. In 1925, reconstruction was rebuilt to perfect the temple building. This effort succeeded in restoring the condition of Mendut Temple in accordance with the original.

Amenities of Mendut Temple

As a tourist attraction that has been very famous along with two other temples, namely Borobudur Temple and Pawon Temple, the facilities in Mendut Temple are also very adequate.

Public facilities such as, musala, toilets, canteens to large parking areas located in the Mendut complex.

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In addition, there are also lodgings ranging from hotels to inns that are around the Mendut beauty complex, in addition there are also souvenir centers that offer many special crafts offered at low prices.

Entrance Rates and Visiting Hours

To be able to enjoy the beauty of Mendut Temple, visitors can simply pay an entrance ticket of (IDR) Rp. 20 thousand per person with a parking fee of (IDR) Rp. 3 thousand for motorcycles and (IDR) Rp. 5 thousand for four-wheeled vehicles.

Meanwhile, the visiting hours imposed start from 08.00 am to 18.00 pm every day.

How to Get to Mendut Temple

Mendut Temple is located on Jalan Magelang, Sumber Rejo Hamlet, Mendut Village, Mungkid Subdistrict, Magelang Regency, Central Java Province, Indonesia.


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