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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Unravel the puzzle of magical architectural sites in Tondowongso

An ancient constructions with magical architecture found in the Tondowongso, Gayam village, Gurah subdistrict, Kediri. Now, the archaeologists of the Yogyakarta Archaeological Center (Balai Arkeologi Yogyakarta) is conducting in-depth researchs. The structure was discovered in late 2006 by the local residents when they digging the soil for land fill and making bricks.

The first phase of the research on the structure has been done in 2007 to 2014 ago. And on October 10 to 23, 2016, a team of archaeologists led by Sugeng Riyanto is conducting the second phase of research.
The Tondowongso structure. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1ezmjO)
"However, further research seeks to uncover portions of the sacred complex," Sugeng said when met on the sidelines of excavation on Wednesday, October 19, 2016. The goal is to unravel the story of the site that is now full of riddles.

The structure is expected to cover an area of ​​land covering an area of ​​120-120 meters was said to be magical because of the plan and the architecture. The barriers that exist in it form a room measuring 3 x 3 meters, so there are 9 fields. If the assumptions drawn on the second area measuring of ​​350 meters x 300 meters, then the number of field-space gained is 81.

In the context of a religious symbol, the number of plan-field is similar to the Vastu Purusha Mandala concept, a magical architectural concept in Hinduism. The Hinduism building complex built with this concept that in order to prevent the anger of Vastu Purusha, the giant created by Brahma.
A worker cleans a structural part of the Tondowongso site in Kediri, East Java. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1ezmjO)
Once upon a time, the giant is growing fast, furious, and devoured everything on Earth. Another god killed him but Brahma make him immortal. Beside, the Vastu Purusha Mandala being the answer to preventing the giant anger also consider other aspects of the cosmos, especially energy.

Part of the magnificent sites
Tondowongso structure had previously been studied by a team of Institute for Preservation of Cultural Heritage (Balai Pelestarian Cagar Budaya /BPCB) Mojokerto as well as the researchers from several universities. In a previous study came to the conclusion that the Tondowongso site has some similarities with the Temple Gurah structurally and statues.

The Temple Gurah is located 300 meters from the location of Tondowongso site and have been examined by an archaeologist in 1957 ago. The temple dating from the shift of the center of the kingdom from Central Java to East Java.

Because it has similarities with Temple Gurah, allegedly Tondowongso structure was also derived from the same period, precisely between Sindok reign (929 AD) to Kertajaya (1222 AD). Of carbon analysis revealed that the Tondowongso structure comes from 1006 AD. At that time, the king who ruled in Java is Dharmawangsa Tguh.

And the archaeologists believe that the Temple Gurah and Tondowongso structure equally the Hindu Shiva oriented not only from the same era, but are connected to one another. Both, together as one building allegedly as the gate located 300 meters from Tondowongso structure, which is a settlement complex of ancient Hindu.

Sugeng said the complex was really exotic although the conditions are no longer prime. In total, the area of ​​the complex is more than 12 hectares. Currently the Kediri district government has freed a land area of ​​1 hectare in Tondowongso so that the process of excavation can be done.

Suffered much
Not prime condition of the Tondowongso site is the result of the 'suffering' which experienced for thousands of years. The complex pass through various political dynamics, religious, to the dynamics of nature.

Approximately 1,000 years ago, Ken Arok conguered Kediri Kingdom. Because he came from a different dynasty and religious orientations. Ken Arok then moved the government from Daha to Tumapel. The king's religious conception further up to the offerings to the ancestors.

"It was an initial momentum where the complex began to suffer," said Sugeng Riyanto. Where originally the grand complex gradually but surely become less meaningful.

However, the most severe "suffering" experienced are due to natural factors. One of them is the eruption of Mount Kelud in 1334 AD as recorded in the great book of the Majapahit period titled Negarakertagama written by Mpu Prapanca. Volcanic material burying the site. Then afterward eruption that occurred in 1586 AD also adds to the problem.

Sugeng added, the Tondowongso site "suffering" also experienced when the Dutch government in the 15th century began to open up to the cane plantation to supply sugar to the country. They moved the river which was originally located in the north of the complex, which is then made to flow right into the middle of the complex to drain their cane land.

"That is why the structure that we found today, are broken or is not intact," said Sugeng who previously also reveal the existence of an ancient settlement in Liyangan, on the slopes of Mount Sindoro. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SAINS KOMPAS]
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