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Native name
Javanese: ꦩꦼꦤ꧀ꦢꦸꦠ꧀
Mendut Temple Afternoon.jpg
LocationMagelang, Central Java
Coordinates7°36′20″S 110°13′44″E / 7.6055°S 110.229°E / -7.6055; 110.229
BuiltOriginally built in the 9th century during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty
Restored byTheodoor van Erp
Criteriai, ii, vi
Designated1991 (15th session)
Part ofBorobudur Temple Compounds
Reference no.592
State Party Indonesia
RegionSoutheast Asia
Mendut is located in Java
Location within Java
Mendut is located in Indonesia
Mendut (Indonesia)

Mendut is a ninth-century Buddhist temple, located in Mendut village, Mungkid sub-district, Magelang Regency, Central Java, Indonesia. The temple is located about three kilometres east from Borobudur. Mendut, Borobudur and Pawon, all of which are Buddhist temples, are located in one straight line. There is a mutual religious relationship between the three temples, although the exact ritual process is unknown.[1]


The ruins of Mendut temple before restoration, 1880.

Built around early ninth century AD, Mendut is the oldest of the three temples including Pawon and Borobudur. The Karangtengah inscription, the temple was built and finished during the reign of King Indra of Sailendra dynasty. The inscription dated 824 AD mentioned that King Indra of Sailendra has built a sacred building named Venuvana which means "bamboo forest". Dutch archaeologist JG de Casparis has connected the temple mentioned in Karangtengah inscription with Mendut temple.[2]

In 1836 it was discovered as a ruins covered with bushes. The restoration of this temple was started in 1897 and was finished in 1925. Some archaeologists who had conducted research on this temple were JG de Casparis, Theodoor van Erp, and Arisatya Yogaswara.


The statue of Dhyani Buddha Vairocana, Avalokitesvara, and Vajrapani inside the Mendut temple

The plan of temple's base is square, and measures 13.7 metre on each side, with the base level 3.7 metre above the ground .[3] The 26.4 metre tall temple is facing northwest. The stairs projecting from the northwest side square elevated base is adorned with Makara statue on each sides, the side of the stairwall carved with bas-relief of Jataka fable narrating the animal story of Buddhist teaching. The square terrace surrounding the body of the temple was meant for pradakshina or circumambulating ritual, walking clockwise around the temple. The outer walls is adorned with bas-reliefs of Boddhisattvas (Buddhist divinities), such as Avalokitesvara, Maitreya, Cunda, Ksitigarbha, Samantabhadra, Mahakarunika Avalokitesvara, Vajrapani, Manjusri, Akasagarbha, and Boddhisattvadevi Prajnaparamita among other buddhist figures. Originally the temple had two chambers, a small chamber in the front, and the large main chamber in the center. The roof and some parts of the front chamber walls are missing. The uppermost part of the roof is missing, it supposed to have a stupa pinnacle with size and style probably just like the one in Sojiwan temple. The inner wall of front chamber is adorned with bas-relief of Hariti surrounds by children, Atavaka on the other side, Kalpataru, also groups of devatas divinities flying in heaven.

Location three Buddhist temples, Borobudur-Pawon-Mendut, in one straight line across Progo River.

The main room has three carved large stone statues. The 3 metres tall statue of Dhyani Buddha Vairocana was meant to liberate the devotees from the bodily karma, at the left is statue of Boddhisatva Avalokitesvara to liberate from the karma of speech, at the right is Boddhisatva Vajrapani to liberate from karma of thought.[4]


The bas-relief of Hariti on inner northern wall of Mendut

During full moon in May or June, Buddhists in Indonesia observe the annual Vesak ritual by walking from Mendut through Pawon to Borobudur.[5] The ritual takes the form of a mass Buddhist prayer and pradakshina (circumambulation) around the temple.

To followers of traditional Kejawen (Javanese mysticism) or Buddhism, praying in the Mendut temple is believed to fulfill wishes, such as deliverance from sickness.[3] Childless couples, for example, pray at the bas-relief of Hariti for a child, since in traditional Javanese beliefs, Hariti is a symbol of fertility, patroness of motherhood and protector of children.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ J. L. Moens (1951). "Barabudur, Mendut en Pawon en hun onderlinge samenhang (Barabudur, Mendut and Pawon and their mutual relationship)" (PDF). Tijdschrift voor de Indische Taai-, Land- en Volkenkunde. Het Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen: 326–386. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-08-10. trans. by Mark Long
  2. ^ Daigorō Chihara (1996). Hindu-Buddhist architecture in Southeast Asia. p. 125. Retrieved 2011-12-04.
  3. ^ a b "Candi Mendut". (in Indonesian). Magelang Regency Government. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  4. ^ The information board at the Mendut Temple vicinity
  5. ^ "The Meaning of Procession". Waisak. Walubi (Buddhist Council of Indonesia). Archived from the original on 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2006-12-13.
  6. ^ "Candi Mendut : Sulit Punya Anak Memohon ke Dewi Kesuburan" (in Indonesian). Pos Metro Balikpapan. Retrieved December 5, 2013.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]