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Jabung Temple

By Devik Balami at
Jabung Temple

Jabung is a Buddhist temple which was built during the Majapahit era in the 14th century. This Buddhist temple is located in the Jabung Sisir village, Paiton area, Probolinggo district, East Java, Indonesia. The temple is made of red bricks which measure 16.20 meters. The architectural style of this temple is similar to the Bahal temple in Padang Lawas, North Sumatra.

The architecture of Jabung Temple.

The temple complex has an overall area which measures 35*40 meters. During the restoration from 1983 to 1987, the temple complex has expanded 20.042 square meters and increased its altitude of 8 meters from the sea level. The temple complex consists of two structures- one main temple and a smaller temple called Candi Sudut which is located in the southwest corner of the main structure.

The main temple, Jabung temple, measures 13.13 meters long, 9.60 meters wide and 16.20 meters tall. The Jabung temple is constructed facing west along with projected structures to create the flight of stairs at the western part. These stairs help to reach the main chamber on an elevated upper platform. In the main chamber or garbagriha, there is an empty pedestal. Therefore we can assume that there was once a Buddha statue. But this Buddha image's whereabouts are unknown. On the upper part of the entrance arch, there is an inscription which is inscribed with 1276 saka. This inscription corresponds to the mid 14th century CE during the reign of King Hayam Wuruk.

The Candi Sudut, on the southwest corner of the temple which measures 2.55 meters wide and 6 meters tall. Even though Candi Sudut is regarded as the temple, actually, it is not a temple. But only the surviving corner tower as part of red brick walls once surrounding the inner compound of the temple.

The main temple's architecture can be divided into four parts: Batur or base platform, foot, body, and roof.

Batur:

The Batur or base platform measures 13.11 meters long and 9.58 meters wide. This platform consists of the narrow path which surrounds the temple and has several panels of bas-relief that describes everyday life. Some of these depictions are as follows:

  • A hermit wearing a turban with his disciple.

  • Two men near a well, one man holding the bucket's rope.

  • Two lions facing each other.

Between these panels, there are several projected rounded panels shaped like a medallion, however, the reliefs are already broken.

Foot:

The foot is the rectangular structure with the west part projected as the flight of the stairs. The foot part of the temple consists of two stepped rectangular platforms- lower foot and upper foot. The lower foot is 0.6 meters tall which is decorated with medallion-shaped panels of bas-reliefs. These reliefs depict human, animals, and plants. The upper foot is just above the lower foot which is decorated with lotus motifs, Kala's head, and leaf ornaments.

Body:

The temple's body is carved with the images of humans, houses, and plants. There is an image of a woman riding a giant fish. The body of the temple has an octagonal cylindrical shape which is decorated with band-like carvings. There is one door which leads to the main chamber and three niches located on cardinal points. The upper parts of the door and niches are also decorated with Kala's heads while the lower part is carved with Naga heads. The main chamber located in this part measures 2.60 * 2.58 meters and this chamber is 5.52 meters tall.

Roof:

The temple's roof upper parts are missing but the experts suggest that the roof was once crowned with the stupa decorated with floral patterns.