Along the Penataran Temple, Hindu Heritage Trail and the Kingdom of Kediri

Penataran Temple Located in Desa Penataran, Kecamatan Nglegok, Kabupaten Blitar, Provinsi Jawa Timur or in english Penataran Village, Nglegok District, Blitar Regency, East Java Province, Besides being famous for its religious tourism, it turns out that one of the regencies in East Java has a religious tourism destination namely Penataran Temple. Penataran Temple is a heritage temple of the Kingdom of Kediri with Hindu background (Siwaitis), which was originally given the name Palah Temple. Based on its history in English, recorded in 1815, the Penataran Temple was discovered first by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. This Governor-General wrote it in his book, History of Java.

In fact, in the process actually the temple which is a silent witness of the downfall of the kingdoms of Kediri and Majapahit was established around the 1200s, during the reign of King Srengga which was later refined in 1454 by the Majapahit Kingdom. The visitors can find various interesting places to watch and study as part of the past, or evidence of the existence and spread of Hinduism in the land of Java. When down the Penataran Temple, a legacy of the Kediri Kingdom which is the widest and grandest temple complex in East Java.

Traveling and Learning to Penataran Temple

Penataran Temple is a legacy of Kediri Kingdom which is thick with Hindu culture. This temple is also famous for the most magnificent in East Java, because there are three large-sized court in the temple complex. When visitors enter and walk through the Penataran Temple of the legacy of Kediri Kingdom, they will see the walls which are decorated with various relief pictures. Relief in Penataran Temple contains a story based on the romantic story of a character who was harmed at that time. There are Ramayana reliefs which tell about Rama and Sinta, also Krisyana Relief that tells Krisna and Rukmini. The Penataran Temple Complex with an area of 180m x 130m is divided into three pages.

1. Penataran Temple Front Page

On the front page of Penataran Temple, there are three buildings. The first is Bale Agung. Bale Agung is a pavilion measuring 37 m x 18.84 m with a height of 1.44 m. Formerly, this building is often used as a place of discussion for the elders. Second is the Porch Hall. The pavilion, located next to Bale Agung, measures 25.05 m x 9.22 m with a height of 1.5 m. The building which was erected in 1375 is estimated to be a place to put various offerings. Finally, Brawijaya Temple. This small temple, which was founded in 1369, has a Ganesha Statue inside it.

2. Penataran Temple Central Yard

In the middle yard, there are two temples. The first is Naga Temple. This temple measures 4.83 m x 6.57 m with a height reaching 4.70 m. The outside is wrapped around by serpents and the sides are supported by nine people dressed as kings. Then to the east of the temple, lies a foundation made of bricks.

3. Backyard of Penataran Temple

The backyard is the most sacred part of the complex. There are two temples here. First is the Main Temple. The temple which was built in 1347 is about 7.19 m high and consists of three terraces. In this temple, there is relief of the Ramayana story. On the west side there is also a small Bathara which was then built alongside the Palah Inscription building, then a pond built in 1415. In this section there is a Palah Inscription. The inscription made by Mpu Amogeswara tells the story of making the Penataran Temple a legacy from the Kediri Kingdom. This tower was also built as a sign of gratitude because there was no Mount Kelud disaster as intended above.

Functions and Facilities Available at Penataran Temple

Penataran Temple was first built during the Kingdom of Kediri. At that time, this temple was deliberately built to be a place of worship in order to ward off or avoid the residents of the danger of Mount Kelud. In addition, based on the records of Bujangga Manik in the 15th century, the Penataran Temple, a historical heritage from the Kediri Kingdom, was also used as a religious tool and studied. Not only about temples and courtyards, this historic temple also has various supporting facilities, such as waiting rooms around the temple area, toilets, prayer rooms, and parking lots. Here also there are several facilities intended to drive social and economic interaction of the local community, including shop facilities, local arts and cultural performances, and souvenir sellers.

The Myth of Penataran Temple

Many versions mention about the myths that exist in this temple. However, one place that was very phenomenal is the ancient pool as mentioned in the previous section, a pool located in the west adjacent to the small Bathara. According to the story, in a pond of medium size, there lived several white catfish. This white catfish is considered sacred because of its unusual appearance like catfish in general, which is grayish black. Whoever throws a coin into the pool and hits the catfish, then because of the catfish, our request will be quickly granted.

However, right now, the catfish are no longer available. Most likely because the sacred fish are already quite old. What can be found when visiting this pond are ordinary small fish that are allowed to live in the pond. However, there are still many people who still throw coins into the pool. They reasoned that the safety not only lies in the fish, but also the fish pond. Because the pond was once inhabited by white catfish.

Another myth that still remains a mystery is the form of relief found on the walls of the Penataran Temple. In accordance with research conducted by several groups, there are similarities in the story and form of sculptures and reliefs with events other than what happened to the kingdoms in Indonesia at the time. Like, there are reliefs in the form of cactus trees, where cactus trees usually thrive in arid regions, and are commonly found on the American continent. This is related to the wars that have occurred between Indonesia and America.

There are also reliefs in the form of figures resembling traditional Maya clothing forms. There is also a similarity between the shape of the Penataran Temple guard statue which is located at the temple gate and the statue at the Maya temple gate. What are the links, and whether these things really happened or not, no one knows for sure.