Visit Candi Kalasan- the oldest Buddhist temple in Central Java and Yogyakarta

Kalasan Temple (Indonesian: Candi Kalasan), also known as Candi Kalibening, is an 8th-century Buddhist temple in Java, Indonesia. It is located 13 km east of Yogyakarta on the way to Prambanan temple, on the south side of the main road 'Jalan Solo' between Yogyakarta and Surakarta. Administratively, it is located in the Kalasan District of Sleman Regency.

Kalasan Temple is believed as the oldest Buddhist temple in Central Java and Yogyakarta, even predating the colossal Borobudur Temple. It is located on the southern main road between the cities of Yogyakarta and Solo, approximately 2 Km from the Prambanan Temple compound. The temple stands on a 45x45 meters rectangular base.

The temple stands on square 14.20 meters sub-basement. The temple plan is cross-shaped, and designed as a twelve-cornered polygon. Each of four cardinal points has stairs and gates adorned with Kala-Makara and rooms measuring 3,5 square meters. No statue is to be found in the smaller rooms facing north, west, and south; but the lotus pedestals suggest that the rooms once contains statues of Bodhisattvas. The temple is richly decorated with buddhist figures such as the Bodhisattva and gana. The Kala Face above the southern door has been photographed and used by a number of foreign academics in their books to give an idea of the artistry in stone by Central Javanese artists of a millennia ago. Niches where the statues would have been placed are found inside and outside the temple. The niches adorned an outer wall intricately carved with Kala, gods and divinities in scenes depicting the svargaloka, celestial palace of the gods, apsaras, and gandharvas.

The roof of the temple is designed in three sections. The lower one are still according to the polygonal shape of the body and contains small niches with statues of boddhisatvas seated on lotus. Each of this niches is crowned with stupas. The middle part of the roof is in octagonal (eight sided) shape. Each of this eight sides adorned with niches contains statue of a Dhyani Buddha flanked by two standing boddhisatvas.[3] The top part of the roof is almost circular and also have 8 niches crowned with single large dagoba. The octagonal aspect of the structure has led to speculation of non-buddhist elements in the temple, similar to some interpretations of the early Borobudur structure.

The main chamber is a square and has an entrance door on the east side. The interior contains a layered-stone structure on which Dewi Tara statue used to be placed. It is estimated that the statue was made of bronze and about six meter high. An altar is attached to the west-side wall behind the stone structure.

Location of Candi Kalasan and How to Get there
  • Kalasan Temple is built in Kalasan village about 2 km west of Prambanan, 15 km from Yogyakarta.
  • You can reach the Kalasan temple by using taxi, ojek,or TransJogja bus.
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