Dieng Plateau

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Dieng temple complex.

Dieng Plateau is a marshy plateau that forms the floor of a caldera complex on the Dieng Volcanic Complex near Wonosobo, Central Java, Indonesia.[1] Referred to as "Dieng" by Indonesians, it sits at 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) above sea level, far from major population centres. The name "Dieng" comes from Di Hyang which means "Abode of the Gods".[2]

Part of General Sudirman's guerrilla campaign during the Indonesian War of Independence took place in the area.


Main article: Dieng temples

The Plateau is the location eight small Hindu temples. It is unclear when they were built, estimated to range from mid 7th century to end of 8th century AD; they are the oldest known standing stone structures in Java.[3][4] They are originally thought to have numbered 400 but only eight remain. The temples are now believed to have been named after the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.[5]

Michell claims Dieng's misty location almost 2,093 m above sea level, its poisonous effusions and sulphur-coloured lakes make it a particularly auspicious place for religious tribute. The temples are small shrines built as monuments to the god-ancestors and dedicated to Shiva.[6] The Hindu shrines are miniature cosmic mountains based on plans in Indian religious texts, although Schoppert suggest the design motifs have little connection to India.[7] In 2011, in a review published by Romain,[3] the temple is now believed to be related to Dravida and Pallava style temples of South India. The theory that poisonous effusions make it auspicious is now disputed as volcanic activity in this area from 7th to 9th century is yet to established, and records suggest the temple was abandoned after volcanic eruptions became common in central Java.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Suherdjoko (28 April 2006). "Dieng tidies itself up to regain past glory". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b Romain, J. (2011). Indian Architecture in the ‘Sanskrit Cosmopolis’: The Temples of the Dieng Plateau. Early Interactions Between South and Southeast Asia: Reflections on Cross-cultural Exchange, 2, pages 299-305
  4. ^ Jordaan, R. E. (1999). The Śailendras, the Status of the Kṣatriya Theory, and the Development of Hindu-Javanese Temple Architecture. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land-en Volkenkunde, 155(2), pages 210-243
  5. ^ Wright, A., & Smith, C. (2013). Volcanoes of Indonesia: Creators and Destroyers. Editions Didier Millet.
  6. ^ Michell, George, (1977) The Hindu Temple: An Introduction to its Meaning and Forms". pp. 160-161. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-53230-1 /
  7. ^ Schoppert (1997), p. 32


  • Backshall, Stephan et al. (1999) Indonesia The Rough Guide London Penguin ISBN 1-85828-429-5 pp. 190–195
  • Dalton, Bill Indonesia Handbook fourth edition pp. 280–283
  • Dumarcay, J and Miksic J. Temples of the Dieng Plateau in Miksic, John 1996 (editor) 1996 Ancient History Volume 1 of Indonesian Heritage Series Archipleago Press, Singapore. ISBN 981-3018-26-7
  • Mertadiwangsa, S. Adisarwono, (1999) Dataran tinggi Dieng : objek wisata alam dan objek wisata budayanya = Dieng Plateau Yogyakarta: Kaliwangi Offset Yogyakarta, (In Indonesian)
  • Witton, Patrick (2003). Indonesia (7th edition). Melbourne: Lonely Planet. pp. 209–211. ISBN 1-74059-154-2. 

Coordinates: 7°12′S 109°54′E / 7.2°S 109.9°E / -7.2; 109.9