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Mendut Temple

Mendut temple


Mendut is located in Mendut village of Mungkid subdistrict in Magelang, Central Java, approximately 42 kilometers to the northwest from Yogyakarta. It is only 3 kilometers from Borobudur Temple, which is believed to be closely related to Pawon and Mendut temples. The three temples are on a straight line from north to south.

There is no certainty as to the year the temple was erected, but J.G. de Casparis argues that Mendut was built by the first king of Syailendra dynasty in 824 AD. The assumption is founded on the content of Karangtengah inscription (824 AD), which mentions King Indra had built a shrine called Wenuwana. Casparis interprets Wenuwana (bamboo forest) as Mendut temple. This temple is also assumed to be older than Borobudur. 

Mendut temple was discovered in 1836. The entire structure was found, except the roof that had already crumbled. Between 1897 and 1904, the Dutch government initiated restoration works that yielded satisfactory result, although the temple was still far from perfection. This work had managed to restore the temple’s base and body were reconstructed. In 1908, Van Erp led reconstruction and restoration works on the temple that aimed to restore the roof, place stupas, and repair parts of the roof top. The works had once halted due to financial constraints, but were continued on in 1925.

Mendut is laid out on a rectangular plan, standing 26.4 meters high. The body of this Buddhist temple is laid on a 2 meter high platform, which also serves as a walkway. The wall that encircles the platform is adorned with 31 panels of story-telling relief, and sculptures of beautiful flowers and climbing plants.