View Full Version : The Tranquility Around Sawentar Temple, Blitar

05-04-2016, 12:22
Sawentar Temple is located in Kanigoro village, Garum Subdistrict, to the east of Blitar. The temple lies several meters below the ground level. For years the temple was buried under the ground before it was excavated in 1915 to 1920. This rectangular temple, 9.53 X 6.86 meter in dimension, is very similar to Kidal Temple. The body of the temple stands on a shelf in 7 x 7 meter dimension, and 1.5 m high. The temple stands 10.65 meters high. The body of the temple is smaller than its base, creating a narrow veranda around it. The entrance to the temple is at the west side, and there are niches on both sides of the entrance. There are no Kala head engravings on either the entrance frame or the niches. Both niches are empty without any statues. Outside the walls of the temple, at the north and south sides, there are also empty niches. Unlike the entrance to the temple, there are relief sculptures depicting Kala heads above these niches.

There is a staircase –about 0.5 m wide, to climb to the batur stone or cella. An ornament of dragon head is at the lower part of the stair, while the left and right sides of the stairs are plain stones without any relief on the inner sides. A relief shows a wing of bird in geometric pattern is found on the outer side of the stair. The position of the floor of the cella and the niches on the three sides of the wall are higher above the veranda. Both in front of the gate and each niche lies a small stair complete with its ornament.

Inside the garba grha (a room inside temple) is a yoni on a pedestal engraved in Garuda figure, suggesting that Sawentar Temple is build to worship the god Wishnu, because garuda is Wishnu’s vehicle. The wall has a Portuguese cross pattern engravings.

The temple’s roof is an arrangement of three square boxes increasingly smaller to the top. The edge of each square box has engravings that look like an inscription. The center and corner of each box are decorated with smooth engravings. The roof top is in ruined condition, probably because of its near to surface position when it was buried. The different complexity of engravings on temple’s roof and upper part of temple body and those of the base and lower part of temple body indicates that the construction of Sawentar temple had not been completed.

It remains uncertain as to when the temple, considered to be a transitional style of old to new East Java temple, was built. It is estimated that the temple was built between early and mid 13th century.

05-04-2016, 12:25
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