Candi Singasari


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Candi Singasari is located 8 kms North of Malang city proper. [map reference: 1608-112 Malang 40:00 53:15]

When coming from Surabaya, turn right (West) off the main road just after passing the turning to Abdulrahmansaleh airport. When I visited in Mar-08, the store marking the turning was Foto Pantai in ubiquitous Fuji Film green/white. This turning lead to Jalan Tumapel. Follow this until you hit a sign marking Klampok at another 3kms. There, turn right (North) into Jalan Rangga Wuni and from there take the first turning left (East) into Jl. Kertanegara. Candi Singasari is on your left hand side. A 180 degree turn back takes you into Jl. Ken Dedes where the dwarapala statues are located. 


Candi Singasari refers to a complex that contained a number of sites, of which four are distinctly named: Candi Singasari, Candi Papak, Candi Putri and Candi Wayang. Little remains of the latter three candi. 

Candi Singasari was Siwaite, as is clearly shown by the lay-out and statues of the temple, but around the same complex remains of Buddhist and tantric statuary [such as a Bhairawa image] were also found. Dating the site is not easy, because classical and modern construction continued along side during the reign of the Singasari kings, and even after the shift of the capital to Majapahit, Singasari remained an important centre. Brandes [1909] dated the temple to 1278, and identified it with Purwapatapan of the Pararaton. Krom [1923] believed a later date could be likely.

If Singasari is indeed Purwapatapan, then it is the funerary temple of King Krtanegara, however, Candi Jago is more commonly identified as his Siwaite funerary temple. Nor was Purwapatapan the only important site at Singasari, others are Siwabuddhalaya, where King Krtanegara died in tantric rites, and the memorial temple [1351] for all those who died with the king in 1292.

Candi Putri held the image of Prajnaparamita, that was also kept at Leiden, and returned to Indonesia in 1977. This is an extremely fine example of East Javanese art, and can now be viewed at the National Museum.  

Description of architecture

Singasari is a tower temple, with the distinguishing feature of having a large base. As a result the principal cella is found in this base, rather than in the temple body itself. The entrance faces West, and is flanked with two niches. Each of the outer walls similarly have niches that contained statues, only one of which is now in place. 

Description of reliefs and statues

Candi Singasari does not have any reliefs, and its ornament is only partly finished. This shows that the ornamentation was added from top to bottom, after completion of construction. Significant are the Kala heads that are embellished with stylised floral elements. 

The statuary of Candi Singasari was Sivaite. The central chamber likely contained a Lingga, although this has not been found. The outer niches contained Durga [North] Agastya [South] and Ganesha [East]. Agastya is still on site, but the other statues, as well as the doorguards Nandicvara and Mahakala are now at the Ethnological Museum at Leiden. See pictures.

Rediscovery and restoration

First proposed reconstruction drawings by Leydie Melville in 1905. Scaffolded. Taken apart and rebuilt from the ground up in 1935. 

Mounted: 26 Jul 2006กก

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