Central Java

Temples in Dieng Plateu

Love Engine | Sunday, 18 January 2015 - 14:23:51 WIB | be read: 3479 reader

The five main temples that form the Arjuna Complex are clustered together on the central plain. They are Shiva temples, but like the other Dieng temples they have been named after the heroes of the wayang stories of the Mahabharata epic: Arjuna, Puntadewa, Srikandi, Sembadra and Semar. All have mouth-shaped doorways and strange bell-shaped windows and some locals leave offerings, burn incense and meditate here. Raised walkways link the temples (as most of this land is waterlogged), but you can see the remains of ancient underground tunnels, which once drained the marshy flatlands.
Just southwest of the Arjuna Complex are Candi Gatutkaca, two small museums (admission incl in Arjuna ticket price; h8am-3pm) and a modest cafe. The site museum contains statues and sculptures from the temples, including Shiva’s carrier, Nandi the bull – with the body of a man and the head of a bull, it is a unique representation in Hindu iconography. There’s also a headless image of Shiva himself, depicted in the lotus position, while a gargoyle sporting an erection is distinctly animist. The second museum, a new building directly behind the site museum, has lots of information about the geology of Dieng, the folklore associated with the plateau and more carved statues. All the display information here is in Bahasa Indonesia only.
Further south, Candi Bima is unique in Java, its kudu (sculpted heads) looking like spectators peering out of windows. The restored Candi Dwarawati is on the northern outskirts of the village. Near the entrance to Dieng at the river, Tuk Bima Lukar is an ancient bathing spring. It was once a holy place and is said to be a fountain of youth.

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