Raises in Magelang, at the Central Java. Mendut temple holds a rooted prestige as a Buddhist holistic place. Not merely becoming a place for religious practices. The temple also becomes a gem where Buddhist philosophies planted into stunning carvings. Laid out on enormous, magnificent 26.4 meters tall building.
At a glance, Mendut temple might look similar to other Buddhist temples. But once people step in, Mendut temple’s own characteristics will expose shortly. Three big sculptures of Buddha and fable reliefs make the temple looks different from others. Besides, as it becomes a site for Buddhist priests to worship. The temple becomes a must-visit religious heritage.
Mendut Temple Giant Sculptures
The giant sculpture of Vairocana Buddha is the most outstanding attribute of the Mendut temple. In Buddhism, Vairocana represents emptiness. Which also means, no one lives eternally. The sculpture is laying in the main temple. When people come in, it appears eminently. Giving a pictorial of Buddhist holistic belief.
Aside from Vairocana, there are sculptures of Avalokitesvara and Vajrapani. This figure is two of three Buddha’s protective goddess which own different philosophy. While Avalokitesvara represents the compassion of all Buddha. Vajrapani represents a pictorial of Buddha’s guardian.
Here, Avalokitesvara visualized with a lotus in her palm and her irresistible soothing face. A representation of a person living in harmony. While Vajrapani has a reversed figure. As a protector of Buddha, Vajrapani owns a scary face. It has big eyes and two jaws in the mouth. Showing his big energy to protect the Buddha. Such deep mythology carved in arts.
Reliefs and Carvings
The interior and exterior walls of the temple are things eyes can’t escape. Each relief and carvings has its own story. In one corner, several carvings of heavenly creatures are drawn beautifully. Showing figures serving the Gods. The two carvings of monkey and eagle didn’t miss the spot. Carve and telling their story in the temple wall.
Moving to the other side, a relief of Panchatantra carved. It is the same motif as found in Indian literary products. The relief tells the story of an Indian scholar who teaches five wisdom of life. In the story, Visnusarma, the scholar, was the one who taught three boys with five books. Each of the books tells the rules of good livelihood drawn as fables.
The oldest version of Panchatantra is written as text. Then, Buddhists tried to tell the stories in a unique way by carving in the temples. Every different story is frame together with another. In Buddhism, such a story is called Kathamuka, the frame story.
The Buddhist monastery is located right beside the complex of Mendut temple. It’ a place for Buddhist tourists to pray and worship after touring around the temple. Inside, people are free to glimpse the dorm and meditation halls. A spacious green garden also lays in between. With stunning sculptures in every corner of the area.
The most outstanding sculpture in the monastery is the reclining Buddha. A giant sculpture that portrays Buddha in his sleeping position. It looks much alike Wat Pho, a legendary statue in Thailand. In Buddhism, reclining Buddha speaks for a story of Buddha’s last illness before going to Parinirvana.
In addition to the sculptures, the monastery owns two meditation halls. Green trees and small lotus pound surround the hall, making a view that eyes can’t escape. Also, for tourists coming for a longer visit, a room is available for rent. It has a small river nearby. Offering a calm, harmonious reverie of nature.
The tranquility ambiance of Mendut temple its monastery does not merely come from their magnificent building and garden. But also religious tones that seeded every time Buddhists come. Every year, Buddhist priests come to celebrate the Vesak or Buddha day. A day to commemorate the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha.
One sacred ritual done in the Buddha day is firing fire. This ritual is set using fire brought from afar. Afterward, the fire is brought in the yard. Then, the sound of the holy parittas read will be filling up the noise. Fast forward, the priests round over the temple, making the temple packed in orange. Finally, the fire torch is set inside the temple.
This ritual is done for nothing but to gain a blessing from the goddess. The holy parittas read by the Buddhists speaks for freedom from harm. Not only for Buddhists themselves, but also for the Buddha, country, and everyone.
Mendut Temple Opening Hours
Mendut temple and monastery open from 07.00 a.m. to 07.00 p.m. To join Buddhist events, come around 11.00 a.m. However, the locals-only do events on particular days. Hence, make sure to mark the date before coming.
|Mendut Temple Opening Hours|
|Every day||07:00 – 19:00|
Mendut Temple Entrance Fee
Meanwhile, the entrance fee is Rp. 3.500 to enter the temple, while there is no additional charge to enter the monastery.
|Mendut Temple Entrance Fee|
|Children & Adult||Rp3.500|
Like other temples, Mendut temple has basic facilities like toilets and parking areas. The parking area is wide with a Banyan Tree in a corner. In this area, little shops are available, selling souvenirs for around Rp. 20.000. Also, several other shops sell foods, snacks, and fresh coconut drinks.
How To Get To Mendut Temple
There are several options to reach the temple. Since Mendut temple is located 3 kilometers away from Borobudur temple. Following the route to Borobudur is the most convenient way. To get there with direct public transportation, take the DAMRI bus in Tugu Train Station or Adisucipto International Airport.
The ride will take 1.5 hours and it costs Rp. 75.000 per person. When the bus rides, stop in Kleben street, right in t-junction before Mayor Kusen street. Turn right and walk straight for around 3 minutes. The temple area is on the left side of the road.