Candi (Temple) Sari, Central Java, Indonesia

Candi Sari is situated 10 km from the heart of Jogja, and 3 km from Kalasan Temple, notably in Bendan Hamlet, Tirtamartani Village, Kalasan District, Sleman, Jogja. This temple is also known as Candi Bendan.

This temple is estimated built in the 8th century, in Rakai Panangkaran period, same as when Candi Kalasan built. Kalasan and Sari Temple have similarities, regarding the architecture or relief. The correlation of these temples mentioned in Kalasan Inscription (700 Saka 0r 778 ), that the advisers of of Syailendra Dynasty had suggested Maharaja Tejapurnama Panangkarana, estimated as Rakai Panangkaran, to establish a holy building to worship Dewi Tara and monastery for monks. For Dewi Tara, the King built  Candi Kalasan, while for the monks Candi Sari was erected. So Candi Sari was utilized as residential or dorm. And this temple is classified as Buddha building for stupa on the top of the building.

The temple was discovered in the early 20th century in a badly damaged condition. The restoration was held in 1929 to 1930. As there were many missing blocks, damaged parts and non-stone material, made the restoration result was not satisfying. In the 19th century, 130 meters from Kalasan Temple, discovered temple remnants, deemed to be monks dorm. The present Candi Sari is only part of missing temple cluster. It is considered that there was stone fence surrounding the temple. The entrance was guarded by pair of Dwarapala statuary holding club and snake as seen in front of Candi Plaosan.

Candi Sari is rectangle , 17.30m times 10 m.It said that the original platform was longer and wider as the feet protrudes 1.60 m. The height of the temple from the easth surface to the stupa top is 17 to 18 meters. The width of temple gate is just one forth of the the front wall and the height is half of the temple’s wall height, but this gate is already gone.

Kempers cited that Candi Sari was two or even three floors building. The upper floor was used to keep the ceremonial equipment while the lower floor for religious activities, teachings, discussion and the like. The temple’s wall was  layered by bajralepa, as Candi Kalasan.

There are niches along the temple’s wall, but those nieces are already empty. Those niches were assumed to be placed Buddha statuary.

Temple’s wall is ornamented with carving of statuary and other pretty decoration. The entrance is decorated with man and woman holding lotus on right and left side.Total statuary is 36, 8 on the east, 8 on north, 8 on south and 12 on the west. Each statue is as big as human size.

Wall is decorated with many decoration, such as kinara kinari or human bird, creeping plants, kumuda or flowers and leaves on vase. Niches are decorated with kalamakara with lower jaw, in decorative carving and definitely not scary. The stairways is broken already.

Inside the temple, there are 3 rooms with size of 3.48 meters X 5.80 meters. The middle chamber and 2 other chamber are connected with a door and window. These chambers were built as storeyed-building. The height is separated with wooden floor right in the middle of it, so actually the temple had 6 rooms. The lower wall has no decoration but there is a rack used for ritual and to place statue. There are few statue pedestals, but none of the statues left. On the north wall, there is niche for lighting.

Floor and other parts made of wood are all gone, only the marks can still be seen. The roof is square decorated with 3 niches. Each niche is framed with creeping plants and kalamakara. The top is stupa consist of a stupa on every angle and between the angle.