Majapahit Kingdom can be considered as the Golden Age of Indonesian ancient history. This Hindu-Buddhist kingdom was the largest in Indonesia, spread from Western to Eastern Indonesia, and it even had sent its marine troops to Thailand, Kampuchea, and China. The kingdom is not only famous, but also becomes an epitome of political and cultural grandeur. Such huge kingdom of course left many historical sites that now become tourist attractions in Java.
If you are interested in ancient history and Indonesia, you can visit various historical sites related to the golden age of Majapahit era, mostly located in Trowulan Site. Trowulan is one of the capitals of Majapahit in the past, and now, it becomes the most important Majapahit site in Java. It is also listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage, and keeps amazing relics such as temples, tombs, bathhouse, and proofs of activity and trade center such as clean water distributor system, marketplace and housing complex.
Historical Majapahit Sites in Trowulan
Here are several historical sites and buildings you can see at Trowulan Site:
- Candi Tikus
Although being called ‘candi’ (temple), this is actually more like a bathhouse. This beautiful bath pond was built in rectangle shape, made of red bricks and surrounded with terraces. It has a main structure that was inspired by Mount Mahameru. It is called Candi Tikus (Rat Temple) because the pond was inhabited by rats when discovered in 1914.
- Gapura Bajang Ratu
Gapura (gate) Bajang Ratu is one of numerous gates that have beautiful and sophisticated shapes and intricate details, which are the main characteristics of Majapahit relics. This gate was built following the death of Jayanegara, the second king of Majapahit.
- Candi Brahu
Candi Brahu is one of the most prominent Buddhist style temples at Trowulan Site. The temple was built from red bricks and is thought to be a special place to cremate the bodies of kings. The temple is twenty meters high and facing the west.
- Makam Putri Campa (Campa Princess Tomb)
Makam Putri Champa is a tomb of a Muslim princess from Campa Kingdom in Vietnam who became the wife of the last Majapahit king. The tomb dates back from year 1448.
- Candi Minak Jinggo
Minak Jinggo Temple is unique because it shows strong connection between Majapahit culture and Chinese culture, particularly in Ming Dynasty era. While the temple is still undergoing restoration, it already shows many interesting elements. For example, the exterior was made of andhesit stone, while the interior was red bricks. On the top of the temple, there is a Qilin, a Chinese mythological creature shaped like a lion-headed horse with deer’s antlers.
- Troloyo Cemetery Complex
Troloyo Cemetery is an ancient cemetery complex dates back to 14th century, with really prominent Islamic influence. This proves that some Majapahit people already knew and embraced Islam as their beliefs, and also shows the trace of Islam history in Java Island.
All of these different sites show variety of differences in design elements, from Hindu to Buddha and Islam, as well as Java and China. This proves that Majapahit era was a diverse era, when various cultures and beliefs were accommodated.
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