Candi Ngawen: Forgotten Buddhist Temple, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia

For Buddhist and Hindus, candi is a sacred place. Candi is maintained well as Buddhit and Hindus believe that gods live there. Nonetheless, now numerous temples are not intact anymore, for disaster, or human acts or they were unfinished work.

Candi Ngawen is situated at Gunungpring village, Muntilan, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia and one of Buddhist Temples located in Magelang. This temple is not known by people, even for people living in Magelang. This temple is located not far from Muntilan market, at Jalan Pemuda Muntilan, this temple has an ease access.

Initially, Candi Ngawen was discovered by Dutch and then restored in 1911. According to records, Candi Ngawen was constructed in 8th century, notably in Syailendra dynasty (Buddha) period and Rakai Pikatan (Hindu) Period. This temple is classified as Buddhist temple though it was built during two different dynasties. As it was built in transition period of 2 dynasties, it is called as candi peralihan (transition temple).

At a glance, Candi Ngawen similar to Hindu temple as it is slim and pointed. But if we look very closely, this temple has stupa and terraces, the typical of Buddhist temple. Candi Ngawean also similar to Candi Mendut, one of Buddhist temple series located 5 km from this site.

Candi Ngawen compound constitutes of 5 temples located in line. There are 2 main temples and 3 flank temples or Candi Apit. Candi Apit is the companion of main temple, so main temples are located on the second and forth location. The first main temple is the only intact building among others. Though it was the most complete, the stupa of this temple is broken to few pieces since it was discovered, that the stupa is not attached to the temple but stored. As the most intact temple, this temple has most amount stone blocks at most. When restored, cement was used to attached the stone blocks. The original stone blocks were already broken and substitute with new plain stone, without relief as the original stones.

Different than the first main temple, the second one is in worse condition as the blocks are broken and missing and the stupa is even gone. Maybe only 50 percent of the blocks which are in good condition. So this temple is standing but not perfectly performed. Only floors left, no wall, no roof.

The stone blocks on the temple yards are not only parts of main temple and flanked temples but also other building parts that are not known the function yet.

This temple is used by few Buddhas for Vesak ritual.