Panataran Hindu Temples

East Java

The Hindu temples at Panataran (locally called 'Penataran') are the largest intact Majapahit temples, and the finest examples of ancient East Javanese architecture and sculpture. Construction began in 1197, during the Singosari dynasty, with building work continuing for another 250 years. Most of the important surviving structures date from the great years of the Majapahit kingdom during the 14th century.

Around the base of the first-level platform, the comic-strip carvings tell the story of a test between the fat, meat-eating Bubukshah and the thin, vegetarian Gagang Aking.

Further on is the small Dated Temple, so called because of the date ‘1291’ (AD 1369) carved over the entrance. On the next level are colossal serpents snaking endlessly around the Naga Temple, which once housed valuable sacred objects.

At the rear stands the triple-tiered Mother Temple, its lowest panels depicting stories from the Ramayana. Behind is a small royal mandi with a frieze depicting lizards, bulls and dragons around its walls.

Entry is by donation; 10,000Rp should be suitable. There's a 3000Rp parking fee if coming by car.