Candi (Temple) Gunungpasir, Pasuruan, East Java, Indonesia

Candi Gunungpasir is located in Gunungpasir village, Beji, 18 km from Pasuruan. This temple original name is Candi Keboncandi, but as it is located in Gunungpasir village, local people call it Candi Gunungpasir. There are not much information about the temple that was built in Airlangga period, around 11th century. The temple was estimated constructed earlier time in SIngasari period, The temple is made of red brick, not andesit blocks.

This temple has many ornaments/ reliefs, but most of the relief has been damaged. Local people said that the lost ornaments were taken by Japanese soldiers. The reliefs that can still be seen are vase motive with tendrils. There is a woman figure headless decorate the north wall of the temple. Other ornament on the temple body shows that this temple was very interesting in its era. The temple is square with smaller size on the upper part like pagoda.

The temple area covers 62 x 24 meters, and the tempe is 20 meters x 17 meters. There is a small entrance that is barely hard to enter by visitors. The stairs has been damaged, though we can still see the stairs design. The temple was used as memorial monument for the success of food crops in the period. It said that the temple was built when the people had not knowledge of cultivation. Before the cultivation culture, people lived nomad and ate herbaceous.

There is a legend fron local people that there was a woman, Nyi Sri gati, that asked nomad people to get vision from god to accomplish the lack of food. Oneday there was a wren bird brought seeds and seed-skin. The bird dropped the seed and then Nyi Sri Gati planted on the north of the temple. The seed grew into paddy and the seed-skin into jewel. This made Nyi Sri Gati rich, and she was popular as Mbok Rondo Dermo, The Generous Widow. Her wealth drew attention of traders and wanderers who wanted to sell jewels to other regions. On the way, the traders defraud the jewels to boats, but by the supernatural power, the boat was drawn and became Gunung Prau located on the slope of Gunung Penanggungan. Bad people also interested to Nyi Sri Gati wealth, they tried to rob her, but all can be defeated by her. The names of bed mean were taken as names of villages around the temple; Keboireng, Wonokoyo, Pucang, Sobo, Kesemi, Kedatan and many more.

The temple remains sacred for local people until today.