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Kalasan Temple, The Oldest Buddhist Temple that Predating The Great Borobudur

 

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.

Each of the four main cardinal points has stairs and gates adorned with Kala-Makara and also rooms measuring 3.5 square meters. No statue is found in the smaller room facing north, west, and south; but the lotus pedestals suggest that the rooms once must have contained statues of bodhisattvas. The temple is richly decorated with Buddhist figures such as the Bodhisattva and Gana.

The Kalasan inscription found near the temple indicates that it was completed in the Saka year 700 Saka or 778 AD. Written in Sanskrit using Pranagari script. One notable feature of the temple is its octagon-shaped roof, which features carved images of the Tathagatas/Buddha facing the four cardinal points, each of which is flanked by a pair of bodhisattvas in bas-relief.

Kalasan temple is located in the archaeologically rich Prambanan valley. Just a few hundred meters north east of Kalasan one will find the Sari Temple (or Candi Sari) which was most probably the monastery mentioned in the Kalasan inscription.

 

Get There

Kalasan temple is located roughly about 13 Km east from Yogyakarta, about 100 meters south off the main road of Yogyakarta-Solo in direction to Prambanan Temple Complex. From Yogyakarta the trip will take approximately 25-35 minutes. If you want to take public transportation, you can catch the TransJogja Buses in many shelters in Yogyakarta with the direction to Prambanan for an Rp 3,000.

 

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