Candi Badut

Candi Badut

East Java’s oldest temple

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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).

Travelfish says:
Excuse me while I carve “I’m a moron” on the yoni-linggga. Photo 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 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 (Full text is around 300 words.)

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Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.

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