This temple is located on the foot of Welirang Hill, Candi
Wates village, Prigen Subdistrict, Pasuruan Regency, around
31 km from the city of Pasuruan. The temple is relatively
still intact after frequent restorations. The second
restoration of Jawi Temple was performed between 1938 and
1941 out of its ruined condition. The work, however, was
discontinued because there are many missing stones, and was
completed further between 1975 and 1980.
Verse 56 of Negarakertagama mentions that Jawi Temple was
built by the last king of Singasari Kingdom, Kertanegara, as
a worship shrine for Shiva-Buddhist followers. King
Kartanegara was a Shiva-Buddhist follower. While being a
worship shrine, Jawi Temple is also a place where
Kertanegara ashes are kept. This is rather strange because
Jawi Temple is located quite distant away from the center of
Singasari Kingdom. It is probably because of the fact that
the people in the area were so loyal to their king and many
of them were Shiva-Buddhist followers. The assumption is
founded on a reality that as Raden Wijaya, Kertanegara’s
son-in-law, fled after Kertanegara was dethroned by King
Jayakatwang from Gelang-gelang (Kediri); he had once hidden
in this area before taking refuge to Madura.
Jawi Temple occupies a large area of approximately 40 x
60 m2. The temple is encircled by a ditch, which today has
lotus flowers. The temple stands around 24.5 meters high,
14.2 m long and 9.5 m wide. The temple is slim and high like
Prambanan Temple in Central Java, while the pointed,
pyramidal roof is a combination between stupa and cube.
Facing the East, Jawi Temple has Pananggungan Mountain on
its background, reinforcing the assumption of some experts
that this temple is not a shrine or pradaksina, because
worship temple usually heads towards mountains where the
gods dwell. Some other experts retain their beliefs that
Jawi Temple is a place of worship. Entrance position that
does not face the mountain is considered to be resulting
from Buddhist influence.
One of this temple’s unique characteristics is the use of
two types of stone as its construction materials. From the
base to veranda, the temple uses stones of dark colors; the
body uses white stones, while the roof combines dark and
white stones. This temple was probably built in two period
of construction. Negarakertagama mentions that in the
Javanese year of 1253 (chronogram: Fire Shooting Day) Jawi
Temple was struck by lighting. In the incident, the statue
of Maha Aksobaya disappeared. The disappearance of the
statue had made King Hayam Wuruk sad when the king visited
the temple. A year after the incident, Jawi Temple was
rebuilt. It is in this period that the white stones were
presumably applied. The use of white stones also stimulates
questions, because there are only dark-colored stones in
Welirang Mountain. The stones were probably taken from the
north coasts of Java or Madura.
The temple base sits on a shelf 2 m high engraved in
relives that depict a story of a meditating woman. The
relatively narrow stairs are positioned right in front of
the entrance to graba grha (room in temple body). Detailed
engravings decorate the left and right handrails of the
stairs into veranda, while the handrails of the stairs from
the veranda into temple floor are decorated with a couple of
long-eared animal figures.
The temple body is encircled by wide enough verandas. It
appears that there used to be a statue inside the temple.
The door frame is plain without engravings, but reliefs of
kalamakara with a pair of fangs, lower jaw and decoration on
its hair are engraved above the door to fill the space
between door top and roof base. There is a niche on each of
the left and right hand sides of the door to place a statue.
Sills above each of the niche are decorated with engravings
of fanged and horned creature heads.
The inner room of temple body is currently in empty.
Negarakertagama mentions that inside the temple’s niche
there was a statue of Shiva with Aksobaya on his crown. The
book also mentions that there are a number of god statues in
the Shiva system of belief, such as Nandiswara, Durga,
Ganesha, Nandi, and Brahma statues. None of the statues
remain in their place. Reportedly the Durga statue is now
kept in Empu Tantular Museum, Surabaya.
The outer walls of the temple body are decorated in
reliefs, which to this day none can interpret. It is
probably due to the excessively thin engravings, or because
there is a lacking in supporting information such as
sculptured stone or scripts. Even Negarakertagama, which
tells this temple in detail, does not mention anything about
the reliefs. According to gatekeeper of the temple, the
reliefs must be read using prasawiya technique
(counter-clockwise reading), similar to that used in reading
Kidal Temple reliefs. Still according to the gatekeeper,
reliefs engraved on the west side of the north wall describe
the map of temple compound and its neighboring areas.
A narrow stream separates the temple’s backyard, which is
wide and orderly arranged, from settlement area. On the
south corner of the yard, there is a ruined construction of
red bricks, which probably was a gateway or gapura. However,
there is not record available concerning its original shape