Gedongsongo, Mixed Temple of Two Cultures, For the Veneration of Gods

Gedongsono Temple

Location of The Gedongsono Temple Complex

The Gedongsongo Temple Complex is located on the slopes of Mount Ungaran at coordinates 110º20 ’27 ‘BT and 07º14 ‘3’ ‘LS precisely in Darum Village, Candi Village, Bandungan District, Semarang Regency, Central Java Province.


Brief History of Gedongsono Temple

Gedongsongo Temple is a Hindu temple that was built around VIII century. Gedongsongo is the name given by residents to the complex. The name Gedongsongo comes from Javanese, Gedong means house or building, Songo means nine. The meaning of the word Gedongsongo is nine (groups) of buildings.

What this means is that in the Gedongsongo Temple complex from the beginning it consisted of nine groups or had other meanings that could not be answered. But at the moment there are only five building complexes.


A combination of two local and global religions.

Gedongsongo temple complex was built in a row from the bottom to the top of the hills on the slopes of Mount Ungaran. This shows the very specific character of the Gedongsongo Temple, a combination of two local and global religions.

Mountains are a place of offering to ancestral spirits. This belief is a tradition of pre-Hindu local communities. Whereas the mountain is also the abode of the gods according to Hindu tradition which at that time was developing globally affecting almost half the world. Local traditions, which are usually undermined by global traditions, are both able to stand on equal footing in Gedongsongo.

The equality is shown by giving a new meaning to the Temple Encryption site in the Gedongsongo Complex also shows its specificity as a mixed culture as mentioned above namely the tendency towards Parswadewata.

In India, Hindu traditions are prioritized for the Tri Murti which consists of the gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. But in Gedongsongo there is a belief in Parswa Dewata (in India there is also this belief although it is not popular). Parswadewata in Java can be interpreted as offering to the spirits of the ancestors who have united with Shiva and in the temple symbolized by Lingga-Yoni who is escorted by the accompanying deities, namely: Durga (Shiva’s wife), Ganesha (Shiva’s son), and Agastya (a receipt who has a Lingga-Yoni guarded by escort gods, namely: Durga (Shiva’s wife), Ganesha (Shiva’s son), and Agastya (a sage who has a sage who has a Lingga-Yoni spiritual ability is equivalent to god).

Its Javanese character which is indicated by the Agastya statue shows the role of humans. This can be interpreted by the role of ancestors as mentioned above. While Parswadewata in India Agastya’s position was occupied by Kartikeya, Shiva’s son who played the role of the god of war.

Meanwhile, as the guardian of Lord Shiva, known Nandiswara and Mahakala who served as guardians of Hindu temples. Nandiswara is sometimes considered to be the embodiment of Shiva itself or the embodiment of Shiva vehicles (nandi) in human form. Mahakala as a god of time is also an aspect of Shiva in the form of krodha (terrible).


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JC. Princen

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