Candi Singosari Legend and History

There are few temples in East Java, especially located in Malang that are related to history of Singasari Kingdom. Singasari dynasty is the descendant of Ken Dedes with her two husbands, Tunggul Ametung the Tumapel district leader and Ken Arok.

Singasari history has a legend about keris weapon made by Mpu Gandring who was popular among East Javanese. In legend, Ken Arok was the son from affair of women in Panawijen village, Ken Endog with Barata Brahma. Not long after Ken Arok baby was discarded in a cemetery, and found by a skillful thief. His foster father taught Ken Arok about tactics of gambling, stealing and robbery.  He grew up as a skillful robber in Tumapel. Oneday, Ken Arok met a Brahmana, Lohgawe, that advised him to leave his dirty life. With Lohgawe support, Ken Arok became knight of Tumapel.

In that period Tumapel was reigned by Tunggul Ametung, under Kediri Kingdom. Tunggul Ametung married Ken Dedes, daughter pf Mpu Purwa lived in Panawijen. They had a son, Anusapati. Oneday, Ken Dedes returned home from Panawijen seeing her father. When she disembark from carriage, wind blew and her dress was blown and showing her legs. Ken Arok the guard of Ken Dedes carriage saw that and he saw that Ken Dedes sparkling light. He could not forget her. Ken Arok then asked about this ti Mpu Purwa and Mpu Purwa explained that the light he saw was  sign that Ken Dedes was destined to be a woman that would have descendants of kings in Java Island.

Ken Arok then ordered a keris from a keris crafter, or Mpu in Tumapel, Mpu Gandring. To make a powerful keris it took time to create and followed with rituals. As keris was not finished on time as Ken Arok wanted, he became pissed and killed Mpu Gandring with the unfinished keris he ordred. Before Mpu Gandring died, he cursed that Ken Arok would die with the same keris and the keris would take 7 lives.

Keris made by Mpu Gandring then borrowed by Ken Arok friend who liked to show off, Kebo Ijo. Kebo Ije showed the keris to his fellow friends in military and said that the keris was his. After people recognized that keris was Kebo Ijo’s, Ken Arok stole it and used it to kill Tunggul Ametung. People accused Kebo Ijo as the murderer and replaced Tunggul Ametung as akuwu of Tumapel and married Ken Dedes.

After he became akuwu, Ken Arok conquered Kediri Kingdom that was reigned by King Kertajaya (1191-1222) and he established Singasari Kingdom. He crowned himself as King of Singasari I, with title Rajasa Bathara Sang Amurwabhumi. With Ken Dedes he had son, Mahisa Wongateleng, and with his other wife Ken Umang, a son names Tohjaya. Mpu Gandring cursed prevailed. Ken Arok was killed and replaced by Anusapati. Anusapati was murdered and replaced by Tohjaya. Tohjaya was murdered and replaced by Ranggawuni. Ranggawuni then crowned as king with title  Jayawisnuwardhana  and reigned Singasari from 1227 to 1268. Jayawisnuwardhana was replaced by his son Joko Dolog, or Kertanegara (1268-1292).

Kertanegara was the last king of Singasari. His regime was subverted by King of Kediri Jayakatwang. But Jayakatwang could be defeated by son in law of Kertanegara, Raden Wijaya. Raden Wijaya was the descendant of Mahisa Wongateleng and King Udayana from Bali and later built Majapahit Kingdom with capital in Tarik (now Trowulan).

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