Photo: Truly ancient.

Candi Badut

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Candi Badut is the oldest known temple in East Java that according to the Sanskrit inscription on the temple dates from 760 AD (Saka 682).

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Tucked away smack in the middle of a residential area on the western outskirts of Malang around five kilometres from the city centre, Candi Badut is not part of the later Singosari group dotted around the north and east of Malang, but is from a much earlier period.

Excuse me while I carve “I’m a moron” on the yoni-linggga. Photo taken in or around Candi Badut, Malang, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Excuse me while I carve “I’m a moron” on the yoni-linggga. Photo: Sally Arnold

The temple was reportedly little more than a pile of rubble when it was rediscovered by Dutch archaeologists in the early 1920’s afterwhich it underwent its first reconstruction. Although it has been the subject of much speculation, it is believed to have been built by rulers of the Kanjuruhan Kingdom who possibly had links to the Sanjaya dynasty of Central Java.

“Badut” means clown in Indonesian, but the name has nothing to do with the circus, but likely has Sanskrit origins. Built of grey andesite volcanic stone, this squat square Shivite temple resembles the smaller and slightly more ancient temples of Central Java’s Dieng and Gedong Songo groups. Typical of Java’s temples of this period, the structure has three parts, a wide almost square plinth with a smaller square chamber above, leaving a path for devotees to circumnavigate the temple along the ledge. Unfortunately the roof is incomplete, but judging from the piles of rocks waiting for reconstruction in the temple grounds, it was probably topped by a collection of small stupas.

Filling in the missing pieces. Photo taken in or around Candi Badut, Malang, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Filling in the missing pieces. Photo: Sally Arnold

A single central staircase allows you to enter the chamber via a doorway overlooked by a grinning Kala head where you’ll see a yoni-linggga which we were shocked and disappointed to discover has been badly vandalised with letters carved deep into the stone. The inner walls of the chamber have also been vandalised—we suggest the culprits (who are the true “badut”) should have their ... Travelfish members only (Around 300 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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How to get there
Candi Badut is not obvious from the road, tucked down an alley behind some buildings off Jalan Candi 5D—you may need to ask around. Angkots marked “AT” that run between Arjosari Terminal and the small angkot subterminal Tidar pass nearby (5,000 rupiah). If coming directly from the city, a Go-Jek ride from the city centre will set you back around 10,000 rupiah, alternately visit as part of a temple day tour. We hired an ojek with an English speaking guide for 250,000 rupiah for the full day from Bromo Holiday in Malang: T: (0818) 386 300, (0812) 3306 6434; bromoholiday@yahoo.com;

Candi Badut
Western Malang, around 5km from the centre of town.
Mo–Su: 08:00–16:00
Admission: Free

Location map for Candi Badut

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