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Sukuh Temple Java


Sukuh Temple Java


  • Sukuh temple is a 15th-century Hindu temple located at 910 metres high on the slope of Mount Lawu on the boundary between East and Central Java.
  • Sukuh temple consists of unique thematic reliefs. Main monument of Sukuh temple is a pyramid construction having statues and reliefs in front of it, which include 3 tortoises with shells as well as a male stature holding his penis. A huge 1.82 metre high phallus with 4 balls was among the statues that have been transferred to the National Museum of Indonesia.

Background

  • Sukuh is among many temples constructed in the 15th century on the slopes of Mount Lawu. By this time, Javanese art and religion had deviated from Indian precepts which had great impact on temple styles throughout the 8th–10th centuries. In Java, this was the last important area of temple construction before the conversion of island's courts to Islam in the 16th century. For historians, it’s difficult to understand the importance of these relics because of the temple's uniqueness and the lack of records of Javanese beliefs and ceremonies of the era.
  • The creator of Sukuh believed that the Mount Lawu’s slope was a holy site to worship the nature spirits and ancestors and for adherence to the fertility trends. As written on the western gate, the temple was constructed around 1437, which means that the area was ruled by the Majapahit Kingdom.
  • The ruler of Java, Sir Thomas Raffles, visited the temple in 1815 and found it in appalling condition. According to him, a lot of sculptures had been thrown on the ground and majority of the figures had been beheaded. He also found the huge lingga sculpture broken into 2 pieces, which were then joined together. This destruction of traditional culture is likely to be a result of the Islamic offensive of Java in the 16th century.



Sukuh Temple Java