Kalasan temple is located in Kalibening village, Tirtamani,
Sleman Regency, Yogyakarta Special Province, around 16 km to
the east of Yogyakarta city. Kalasan inscription mentions
that this temple is also known as Kalibening temple,
referring to the place where the temple is situated. Another
temple called Sari temple is situated not far from Kalasan
temple. Both of the temples have similarities in
magnificence of the building and the smooth carvings. Other
unique characteristics found only in the two temples are the
presence of vajralepa (bajralepa) to coat the sculptures and
reliefs on the outer side of the wall.
A temple was typically built by a king or person who has
authority over a specific area with various purposes such as
a worshipping place, a religious teaching center, monastery,
and administration center. The description of Kalasan temple
is stated in the Kalasan inscription, written in the
Javanese year of 700 (778 AD). The Kalasan inscription is
written in Sanskrit language and pranagari letter. The
inscription describes that spiritual counselors of the
Syailendra dynasty had advised King Tejapurnapana
Panangkarana to build a scared building to the worship of
Dewi Tara and a monastery for Buddhist monks. According to
Raja Balitung inscription (907 AD), Tejapurna Panangkarana
refers to Rakai Panangkaran, the son of Sanjaya King from
Hindu Mataram kingdom.
Rakai Panangkaran was the second king of Hindu Mataram
kingdom. The kings from Sanjaya dynasty, a follower of
Hinduism and worship Shiva, was ruled the northern region of
Central Java in year between 750 and 850 AD. It is proofed
by the characteristics of the temple around the district.
The Syailendra dynasty, a follower of Buddhism’s sect,
Mahayana and Tantryan was ruled southern district. The
separation of the kingdom was influenced to the
characteristics of the temple which built in each district.
Both of dynasties finally were unified by the marriage of
Rakai Pikatan Pikatan (838 - 851 AD) to Pramodawardhani, son
of King Samarattungga from Syailendra dynasty.