Monday, May 18, 2015

Candi Brahu in Trowulan, Mojokerto (Indonesia)

Trowulan, a subdistrict of the Mojokerto Regency in East Java, boasts of almost a dozen temple-relics of the vast Majapahit empire (the last Indianized kingdom in Indonesia), many of them in disparaging states of disrepair. Candi Brahu (Brahu Temple) was among the more special. It sits on a majestic garden lined by flowering plants. Two kilometers from the Mojokerto-Jombang Highway, my motorbike dropped me in a gorgeous clearing with a brick temple rising like a reddish phallic symbol. A cryptic window peeks from the top.

Founded sometime in the 15th century A.D., Brahu Temple was believed to have been a crematorium of kings. Their dead bodies were allegedly incinerated here. Subsequently, statues, royal jewelries made of gold, and ceremonial tools were dug and found in the vicinity. Now here's the mystery: ashes of the dead were never found during its pre-restoration studies. So what was its reason for being? No one really knows for sure. Part of its beauty is in its mystery.

Like a window with no portal of entry. I was thinking of Rapunzel, only with Majapahit head garments and nose rings. "Let down your hair, my damsel in distress," I was imagining of course.

This is the Eye in the Sky.

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