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Kalasan Temple, Visiting One of Historical Site in Yogyakarta

Kalasan Temple, which is also known as Kalibening Temple, is located 2 kilometres away from Prambanan Temple. The exact location is in Kalibening Village, Tirtamani, Sleman, The Special Region of Yogyakarta. It is in the sideway of Yogyakarta-Solo road. The distinctive feature of this temple is that the surface is covered with vajralepa, some kind of ceiling-plaster carved on soft stone or batu halus. This kind of thing also exists on a temple nearby called Sari Temple. Both of the temples are Buddhist and according to a Kalasan Epigraphy (778 AD) founded not far from there, the construction is to honor a goddess by the name of Tara.
The temple itself was built by Maharaja Tejapurnama Panangkarana, the ruling king at that time, with the advice from Syailendra monks. Panangkarana then become the second king of Hindu Mataram Kingdom. The temple itself is the tangible proof that there used to be Wangsa Syailendra, the ruler of Sriwijaya, in Central Java. The characteristics of the temple are in accordance with the division of authority between Wangsa Syailendra (Buddhist) and Wangsa Sanjaya (Hindu).
Because it is very near Prambanan Temple, it can be the alternative if you want to explore the temples around this famous temple. The admission price is only IDR2000,- (about 25cents) and you can take as many autographs there. As to the way to reach it, you can go there by renting a car or by bus if you are in a group. Because of its antiquity, you can perform a historical tour there.
          The temple is squared-shape and the roof is octagonal and is topped with a stupa (dome enclosing an image of Buddha). Too bad, the condition of the temple now is not really good; in fact, only the southern part of the temple that is still in a fine figure. However, it has been restored two times up until now (in 1927 & 1929). The temple itself is ornamented with beautiful carvings and consists of Buddha’s statues or arca. In addition, there is also an image of Gana or a distended-stomach midget whose task was to carry goods on his shoulder. It is said that the carvings on the temple are very neat and enchanting that it must be constructed by highly competent people at that time. 
In the lower part of the temple, you can see or curvilinear motif like the tail of a shrimp commonly found on old temples like this. Around it, there are ornate called jambangan which add the beauty of Kalasan Temple. There is also a hollow decorated with an image of god holding a lotus. On every portal of the temple, you will see a head of Kala (some kind of fowl) with a flower bud on its comb. As said before, the best spot for this temple is in the south. There, the condition of the building is still well-preserved. There is a big Banaspati, a perpendicular row adorned with spiral plants and makara. If you want to see the glimpse of Kalasan Temple’s beauty, it is the right area for you.
          Despite the fact that the temple is not really well-preserved, it’s not a reason to miss out this place. Even, you can witness the greatness of Wangsa Syailendra in Central Java through this Buddhist temple and it certainly is a priceless historical site.
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