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“Ancient tales told in stone”
Review of Candi Jago

Candi Jago
Gladesville, Australia
Level Contributor
465 reviews
261 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,789 helpful votes
“Ancient tales told in stone”
Reviewed June 16, 2013

The ruins of Jago temple offer an interesting look into ancient culture especially for those who are a little more patient with their time. Hidden in the images of these inscriptions & bas reliefs are famous stories from ancient times which were as common to people then as Snow White is to people today. These carefully selected stories tell tales of morality & ethics, ironic for a kingdom with a liking for so much misbehaviour.

Built by Wishnuwardhana, the fourth king of the Singosari empire & grandson of Queen Ken Dedes, a woman whose beauty was so great, it was the reason for all the bloody murders that plagued most of the Singosari dynasty. Her face is believed to have been used to create the precious Prajnaparamita statue, the most famous statue in the National Museum in Jakarta found in almost perfect condition near Singosari. Wishnuwardhana became king after murdering the third king, Tohjaya who had in turn murdered Wishnuwardhana’s father the second king, Anusapati. A murderer who murdered a murderer built this temple to himself to remind other people of the correct way to live life, if only today’s modern jails here had such fine philosophical minds too.

Some of these famous tales that are inscribed onto the walls of Jago temple are Arjuna Wiwaha - a tale of good vs evil & ultimately the reward for our hero Arjuna is 7 beautiful wives, not ugly jungle wives but angels. Appearing on the 3rd tier of Jago temple, ultimately our hero Arjuna convinced one of these lovely angel-women to use her body to flirt with an evil king to gain his trust. We learn that men of ancient times also liked sexy women, this king ultimately reveals his weakness to her after falling for this angel’s charms. As women do, she passed on this info onto our hero who shoots this evil king in the mouth with an arrow killing him, the moral of the story…never trust a ho.

Another story taken from the Hindu Mahabharata epic starting on the 2nd & continuing on the 3rd tier is about a dude named Kunjarakarna who was walking around one day & takes a wrong turn & ends up in of all places, Hell. Here he is told that his best friend Purnawijaya is destined to spend a couple thousand years here in Hell enjoying the local hospitality. Like any good mate he escapes to tell his friend & to avoid thousands of years of torture he must study Buddhism. After Purnawijaya takes this advice he only ends up spending 10 days there, the moral here? Ask for directions next time & avoid accidently going to Hell in the first place.

There are also 14 stories from the Tantri Kamandaka, these are Java animal fables used to represent characters that teach life lessons in wisdom & statecraft, the art of running a kingdom. The Tantri Kamandaka is interesting as it is very similar to the Arabian ‘A Thousand & One Nights’ story. It starts off with a king who orders his minister to find him a bride each night so his subjects can get drunk & have a wedding feast every day. On the last day the kingdom runs out of girls & so the minister’s own daughter, a girl named Tantri gives herself up. On their wedding night in order to avoid drunken horizontal-mumble, she tries to distract the king with these tales which later has a profound effect on the king who vows to change his ways, the moral here… if you have sex with a different woman every night you will probably get AIDS & die.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank The_Pale_Ridah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Indonesian first
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  • Portuguese first
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English first
Leander, Texas
Level Contributor
106 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Another Lovely Temple”
Reviewed May 13, 2013

I may rate some of these temples overly high but I really like them. I also like that the parts that are falling apart are being preserved for future repairs and possible restoration.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank RobertWorldWanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lombok, Indonesia
Level Contributor
176 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“very green”
Reviewed February 3, 2013

we have to fill our name in on the registration book with no charge being asked. however it was acceptable to give money to the guy who look after the place. it's only one big temple with 2 smaller one near to it but the area is very clean and green. trimmed grass and beautiful flower are nicely arranged around the small complex. just sitting nearby can give you a calming feeling. it's located around a housing complex but surprisingly enough it can still give you a quiet and relaxing feeling.

Visited January 2013
Thank rk-art
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chengdu, China
Level Contributor
1,279 reviews
765 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,207 helpful votes
“Shadow Puppetry in Stone”
Reviewed October 8, 2011

Most of the artistic heritage of the tropics was rendered in perishable materials: wood, rattan, woven pandan, or even thatch or leaves. Therefore, most of it has been lost, and its accomplishments have largely been wiped from view.

The ruins of Candi Jago offer some hint of what once was. The stone base survives and along its sides is carved a kind of puppert show in stone, with figures rendered in the 'flat' style of the 'wayang kulit' pupper show. Yet the base is all the remains of this 13th century temple. It is believed that most of the superstructrue was made of rattan and wood and has long since vanished from view. Yet even in its diminished state, it is an interesting reminder of the vanished kingdom of Singosari, which lasted barely longer than a wooden carving.

Visited February 2011
2 Thank Raymond W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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