Thursday, January 27, 2011


TO THE PRAMBANAN TEMPLE IN JAKARTA - Powerful flows of volcanic mud carried by rivers from Mount Merapi that have destroyed bridges, houses, farmlands and other structures along river banks also pose a threat to the Prambanan Temple. The famous Hindu temple complex, located in Prambanan on the border of Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces, sits 100 meters from the banks of the Opak River, a confluence of the Petit Opak and Gendol Rivers that flow from Mt. Merapi. Prambanan, a ninth-century Hindu temple compound - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia and one of the largest Hindu temples in Southeast Asia. An official from the Volcanic Technology Development and Research Center in Yogyakarta, Dewi S. Sayudi, said the threat to Prambanan was immense because the upper streams of both the Opak and Gendol Rivers carried large amounts of volcanic debris from the 2010 Mt. Merapi eruptions.

The eruptions in October and November, which were Merapi’s most powerful in a century, have been estimated to have spewed more than 150 million cubic meters of volcanic debris consisting of large rocks, stones, sand and ash. Experts predict that the threat of the destructive mud flow from the eruptions could remain for the next three years due to the massive volume of the volcanic debris. Despite the threat, no preparations have been made so far by Prambanan Temple officials, who continue to monitor the flow of the Opak River as rainfall increases as Indonesia heads into the peak of the wet season.

In 1006, large eruptions on Mt. Merapi covered the Buddist temple of Borobudur in Magelang, Central Java, in ash, where it lay hidden for centuries under ash and jungle growth. Hours of heavy rain over the peak of the world’s most active volcano turns the thick layers of heated volcanic debris into powerful mudflows that speed their way down the slope, sweeping away all in their path. At Prambanan, the narrative reliefs portray episodes from two of the Lord’s incarnations: The bas-reliefs of Sri Krishna appears on the interior-facing walls of the balustrade that surrounds the Vishnu shrine, and those of Sri Rama are on the walls which encircle the main shrines that are dedicated to Shiva and Brahma.

The Hindu temple complex at Prambanan is based on a square plan that contains a total of three yards, each of which is surrounded by four walls pierced by four large gates. The outermost walled perimeter, which originally measured about 390 meters per side, was oriented in the northeast, southwest direction. However, except for its southern gate, not much else of this enclosure has survived down to the present. ... The central yard’s three largest temples, which face the cardinal direction east, feature large stone statues of the Hindu deities Vishnu (north), Shiva (center) and Brahma (south). ... The inside facing walls of the balustrades, that surround the central structures of these three shrines, are covered with bas-reliefs that present episodes from Vishnu’s human incarnations as Krishna (the Vishnu temple) and Rama (the Shiva and Brahma temples). web site :
“The Temples of Central Java”
“The Hindu Temple Complex at Prambanan”

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