Category Archives: Indonesia

Ancient gold plates found in Boyolali

Lucky find: Ancient gold plates are found in a stone box in Ringinlarik village in Musuk district, Boyolali, on Sept. 7.(JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)

Lucky find: Ancient gold plates are found in a stone box in Ringinlarik village in Musuk district, Boyolali, on Sept. 7.(JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)

Ganug Nugroho Adi
The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Thu, September 8 2016 | 12:06 pm

Construction workers have found 22 small gold plates estimated to date back to the eighth century, in Ringilarik village, Musuk district, Boyolali in Central Java.

The workers were digging as part of activities of a water aquifer project when they hit a box made of stone. The stone box was found among rocks piled up after digging.

At the end of July, the structure of a candi (Buddhist or Hindu temple) was also found at the same location.

Sumardi, 42, one of the workers, said the box had a lid and looked like jewelry box.

Gutomo, an official with the Central Java Heritage Conservation Agency (BPCB) confirmed the gold found was 18 carats. Each plate has an inscription in ancient Javanese letters. The inscriptions are names of cardinal and ordinal directions of Dewa Lokapala’s wind Gods.

“We recorded eight names of wind Gods. We have also declared the location as a heritage site,” Gutomo said.

He said the BPCB would give compensation to those who found the plates, as well as the landowner.

Throughout 2016, Boyolali has seen three findings. In April, a brick maker found a Mahakala statue and a candi foundation when he was digging in Giriroto village in Ngemplak district.

The statue was estimated to be from the Shiva Hindu period in the ninth century. It was found at a depth of 30 centimeters. In March, at the same location, a Nandeswara statue was found.

At separate places in Nepen village, four stupas were found. One measured 1.5 meters in height with a diameter of 1 meter. (evi)


Borobudur: A lost culture restored and revered

A huge Buddha statue overlooking the hills

A huge Buddha statue overlooking the hills

December 05,2015, 10.41 PM IST | | THE HANS INDIA

The temple in Indonesia is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage

Standing in front of the Borobudur temple (near Yogyakarta in Indonesia), I was overwhelmed by its splendour and magnitude. I could also sense an immediate “connect” between India and Indonesia: a link that of our cultures, similarities, values and philosophies.

I was much impressed by the total resurrection of a lost legacy, today hailed as the world’s largest Buddhist temple as well as one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world.

Borobudur is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist Temple near Yogyakarta in Central Java, Indonesia. Built in the 9th century during the reign of Sailendra of Sumatra ( Sailendra Dynasty), the temple was designed in Javanese Buddhist architecture, which blends the Indonesian indigenous cult of ancestor worship and the Buddhist concept of attaining Nirvana. The temple also demonstrates the influences of Gupta art that reflects India’s influence on the region, yet there are enough indigenous scenes and elements incorporated to make Borobudur uniquely Indonesian.

The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path around the monument and ascends to the top through three levels symbolic of Buddhist cosmology that represent three layers of Buddhist theory: Kāmadhātu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness which denotes Nirvana or Soonyatha).

The monument guides pilgrims through an extensive system of stairways and corridors with narrative relief panels on the walls and the balustrades. Borobudur has the largest and most complete ensemble of Buddhist reliefs in the world. Continue reading

Beads, pottery retrace India-Bali links

ppspsJuly 31,2015, 01.33 PM IST | | IANS

Remnants of ancient Indian pottery, beads and even Indian DNA found in human bones point to thriving trade and social contacts between India and Bali dating back to more than 2,000 years.

Besides trade, Indian merchants brought with them their language – Sanskrit – and the influence of Hinduism and Buddhism, noted Indonesian archaeologist I. Wayan Ardika said.

Fresh evidence of age-old close links between India and Southeast Asia has been found in the ancient port towns of Sembiran and Pacung in northern Bali, says Ardika.

The major Indian port of connect with Bali in Indonesia and other places in Southeast Asia was Arikamedu, a thriving port located seven kilometres from Puducherry from where archaeologists have unearthed Roman artefacts too.

“Trade between India and Bali can be traced from as early as the late 2nd century BC. A lot of evidence exists in Sembiran and Pacung, and also the ancient port town of Julah,” Ardika told IANS on the sidelines of an international meet on Asean-India Cultural Links.

The influence of Sanskrit and the ideology of Hinduism and Buddhism which the Indian traders brought along “stimulated the rise of early state formation of kingdoms (in Bali) with an Indian base”, said Ardika, a professor of archaeology at Udayana University in Bali.

He said Julah, located near Sembiran and Pacung, was a thriving port from between the 2nd century BC and 12th century AD – for 14 centuries.

Archaeologists have found evidence of Sanskrit in the local script of the late 9th century AD. Continue reading

India reaches out to Indonesian Buddhist Community

Buddha statue at Buddha Carika exhibition. (Indian Embassy)

Buddha statue at Buddha Carika exhibition. (Indian Embassy)

Atara News
Senin, 25 Mei 2015 07:10 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – India reached out to the large Indonesian Buddhist Community today when the exhibition “Buddha Carika – In the footsteps of Shakyamuni Buddha” was inaugurated in the Gedung Prasadha Jinarakkhita, Sunday morning (May 24).

The famous Prasadha Jinarakkhita has been built by the efforts of Mahabhiksu Ashin Jinarakkhita Mahasthavira who was instrumental in spreading Buddhism in Indonesia and uniting all the sects of Buddhism under one organization.

Mahasthavira Nyanamaitri who represents all the three sects of Buddhism in Indonesia – Mahayana, Theravada and Budayan; H.E. Mr Gurjit Singh, Ambassador of India to Indonesian and Timor Leste; Mr. Piandi, Chairman, Indonesia Buddhist Council; Mr. Bhante Kheminda, Chairman Panditikan Jinarakkhita Buddhist Institute; Dr. Ravindra Panth, Director, Nav Nalanda Mahavihara; and Mr. Simon, who represented Directorate General of Buddhist Affairs were among those present at the inaugural of the exhibtion.

The exhibition, which is based on the teachings and life of Lord Buddha, was blessed by holy monks by the chanting of religious hymns. Continue reading

Book: Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia, 5th to 8th Century


From Yale Press website:

Lost Kingdoms
Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia

John Guy

Numerous Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished in Southeast Asia from the 5th to the 9th century, yet until recently few concrete details were known about them. Lost Kingdoms reveals newly discovered architectural and sculptural relics from this region, which provide key insights into the formerly mysterious kingdoms. The first publication to use sculpture as a lens to explore this period of Southeast Asian history, Lost Kingdoms offers a significant contribution and a fresh approach to the study of cultures in Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, and other countries.

Comprehensive texts written by prominent scholars introduce more than 160 objects, many of which have never before traveled outside their home countries. Gorgeous photography shot on location highlights each artwork, and maps and a glossary of place names elucidate their geographical context. A watershed study of Southeast Asia’s artistic and cultural legacy, Lost Kingdoms is an essential resource on a fascinating and enduring subject.

John Guy is Florence and Herbert Irving Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, Department of Asian Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

With contributions by Hiram Woodward, Robert Brown, Pattaratorn Chirapravati, Peter Skilling, Geoff Wade, Arlo Griffith, Pierre-Yves Manguin, Le Lien Thi, Pierre Baptiste, Berenice Bellini, Thierry Zephir, Stephen Murphy, Federico Caro, Donna Strahan, and John Guy

336 pages, 360 illustrations (304 in full color). 8 3/4” x 12 1/4”. Hardcover, clothbound.

Exhibition Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia, 5th to 8th Century, April 14–July 27, 2014


Yale University Press


Borobudur: Pathway to Enlightenment

1999 PBS Documentary Series, Treasures of the World.  The segment on Borobudur begins 30:25.

Tourists, local people join hands in Borobudur temple cleanup

Antara News
February 23 2014

When Mount Kelud erupted on February 13, it spewed millions of cubic meters of volcanic materials mainly gravels and ash later blown by the wind up to Borobudur temple, the worlds largest Buddhist temple located in Central Java, which is around 280 km from the volcano.

The ancient temple was fully covered by the volcanic ash, forcing the local authorities to close the temple from the public to enable the preservation measures and cleanup to be carried out, a day after the explosive eruption of Mount Kelud located in Kediri-Blitar districts, East Java province.

“I was on my way to Borobudur, the ash was quite thick, visibility range dips around seven meters,” the President of PT Borobudur, Prambanan, and Ratu Boko temple tourism park, Laily Prihatiningtyas, said on Feb. 14 when announcing the temporary closure. Continue reading

Borobudur as a high-resolution simulacra

The Jakarta Post
Jocelyn Wright
February 15 2014

Gargantuan: The final project is immense, including 65 Gigabytes of data. It includes 400 interactive files that offer viewers 360-degree panoramic views of aspects of the temple. (Courtesy Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur)

Gargantuan: The final project is immense, including 65 Gigabytes of data. It includes 400 interactive files that offer viewers 360-degree panoramic views of aspects of the temple. (Courtesy Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur)

“Borobudur is a place where man meets the divine within himself,” says Titus Leber of the Buddhist temple that sits 40 kilometers from Yogyakarta in Magelang, Central Java.

For most tourists, a visit to the temple, which first came to European attention in 1814, takes less than a day. However, for Leber, an Austrian-born writer, director and multimedia creator, it took significantly longer.

He spent four years developing Borobudur: Paths to Enlightenment, a virtual encyclopedia cataloging all of the stories depicted on every one of the temple’s panels.

“In every sense of the word, Borobudur is a gold mine,” he said. Continue reading

LACMA releases new online catalogue of Southeast Asian art
24 Nov 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art announced the publication of Southeast Asian Art (, a new website featuring in-depth scholarship authored by professor and curator Dr. Robert Brown.

The online publication focuses on 34 highlights from the museum’s extraordinary collection of Southeast Asian art (complemented by numerous comparative images) and includes extended essays on topics such as light symbolism, female deities, and the impact of Buddhism on Sri Lankan and Southeast Asian art.

Southeast Asian Art is the first in a series of online scholarly catalogues designed to provide an in-depth, web-based reading experience previously available only in print publications, enhanced with unique rich media features such as videos, 360-degree image rotation for select objects, and an easy online citation tool. The project is intended to share museum-generated scholarship with the broadest possible audience and enable both students and advanced researchers of Southeast Asian art to use newly developed online research tools. Continue reading

A centuries-long task to save PLAOSAN TEMPLE [Indonesia]

The Jakarta Post
Kusumasari Ayuningtyas
November 19 2013

Unspoiled: The Plaosan Temple complex in olden times.

Unspoiled: The Plaosan Temple complex in olden times.

At Plaosan Temple, four dwarapala statues can be seen standing, like guards on sentry duty.

According to the teachings of Shiva and the Buddha, a dwarapala is a temple gate protector or guardian. They can take the shape of a human — or a monster.

Five meters behind the statues, 326 ancillary temples called perwara surround two magnificent main temples to form the Plaosan Temple complex in Klaten, Yogyakarta.

Plaosan lies only 1,500 meters northwest of the world-renowned Prambanan Temple. Proximity, however, is no guarantee of fame.

While Prambanan’s cultural significance has been recognized by UNESCO, Plaosan Temple is a forgotten testament to the glory of the Matraman kingdom. Continue reading