The temple is located in Hamlet Cetha Cetha, Gumeng Village, District Jenawi, Karanganyar, Central Java Province.
Cetha temple is one of the temples were built in the days of the Majapahit Empire, during the reign of King Brawijaya V. It is said that the name Cetha, which in Javanese means obvious, is used as the name of the village where the temple is located because of Hamlet Cetha people can clearly into various direction. To the north is a scene Karanganyar and Solo with background Merbabu and Merapi and, furthermore, the peak of Mount Cleft. To the west and east look green hills stretches, while to the south look back and children Lawu.
Cetha temple complex was first discovered by Van der Vlis in 1842. Furthermore, the historic building is much got the attention of archaeologists like WF Sutterheim, K.C. Crucq, N.j. Krom, A.J. Bernet Kempers, and Riboet Darmosoetopo. In 1928 the Department of Antiquities conducted research through excavation to search for materials complete reconstruction. Existing buildings, including buildings pendapa of wood, is the result of restoration done in the late 1970s. It is unfortunate that the restoration or rather the so-called rebuilding is done without regard to the archaeological aspect, so that the authenticity of the form can not be justified scientifically.
From the writings found at the site of the temple, it is known that the temple was built around the year 1451-1470, ie at the end of the Majapahit Kingdom government. Cetha temple is a Hindu temple built for purpose ‘ruwatan’, ie ruwatan or rescue of doom and various forms of pressure due to the ongoing turmoil at the time. The fact that the temple is a Hindu temple is very interesting, because the Majapahit kings embraced Buddhism. ‘Deviation’ is alleged to have close links with their development objectives. At that time the kingdom of Majapahit was undergoing a process of collapse with mounting social disorder, political, cultural and even religious system before eventually suffered a complete collapse in the year 1478 AD
Cetha temple is a group of buildings consisting of 11 terraces that extends east-west direction. The first terrace is located on the east side, the west higher. Each terrace connected by a door and a walkway that seems to divide the page into two-sided terrace. On the eastern side of the terrace at the bottom there is a gate that is the gate of the temple complex Cetha. In front of the gate there is a stone statue called the statue Nyai Gemang Arum.
On the south side of the first terrace of the building there is no wall that stands on the foundation as high as approximately 2 m. Inside the building there is a stone structure which seems to be often used to put offerings. On the western end of the trail that crosses the first page there is an archway stone terrace with stone steps. The stairs leading to the next terrace is flanked by a pair of statues Nyai Agni. Only one of the two statues are still somewhat intact, which still has a head.
On the second page there is a stone structure terrace that lay in the yard, forming a picture of an eagle flying with wings stretched. The eagle’s back there stone structure depicting a turtle. Right above the eagle’s head are shaped stone structure sun shines, isosceles triangles and Kalachakra (male). At the end of each wing of the eagle there are two other forms of sun.
Garuda is the vehicle of Vishnu bird that symbolizes the world over, while the tortoise is an incarnation of Vishnu is a symbol of the underworld. Turtles are considered sacred animals were able to dive into the ocean to get the water of life (tirta Amrita). The existence of Kalachakra on this page is causing Cetha temple called the temple ‘lanang’ (man).
The sun shines 7 (seven) symbolizes the Sun is believed to be the source of life force. Isosceles triangle symbolizes the guidelines for the world that is sinking into the ocean of darkness. In the midst of an isosceles triangle there is a circle that contains three frogs, each facing a different angle.
In each triangle are painting a lizard. In the heavy line that divides the east side there is a form of eel crowned with crab image on the south side and mimi (a type of marine animal) on the north side. The overall shape is a picture of hope for fertility, better soil fertility and human. Triangle with male form at the top symbolizes the unity of women and men, the two opposing creatures in nature but can not be separated from one another as a symbol of a small universe (microcosm) in humans. On the west side of the terrace second, respectively in the left and right of the stairs to the next terrace, seen two rooms were only a foundation course. The stairs leading to the next terrace is andesite composition are not neat arrangement. On the left and right of the stairs there is a stone ruins that are not clear original form.
The third terrace is a page that is not too broad. As found on the terrace before, on the west side of the terrace is also a pair of rooms that flanked the path to the stairs to the upper terrace. In the room there is a stone structure form a rectangle stretching from north to south. On the walls of the stone structure looks moldings people and animals. It is said that such relief is an excerpt of the Song Sudamala. Relief that the theme of the Song Sudamala also contained in Sukuh. This relief which reinforces the notion that the temple was built for the purpose Cetha ‘ruwatan’. The stairs leading to the next terrace made of andesite very neat arrangement, graded by a pause (landing) is quite wide at every level. The cliffs at about the right ladder and propped up by tiered stone plaster. Not obtained information on whether the ladder is the result of restoration has ever done before or is the original staircase.
On the inner side (west) terrace there is a statue of Bima fourth guarding a stone staircase to the terrace fifth. The fifth is a courtyard terrace with a roofed building, which is called the gazebo outside. The walls of the building without flanking the road leading to the porch stairs to six. According to information obtained from the caretaker, outside gazebo is a waiting room for guests who will be facing the King UB.
On the west side of the terrace to six, at the feet of the ladder, there is a statue of Kalachakra and a pair of statues of Ganesha. The stairs leading to the seventh terrace is also very neat arrangement and graded 3. The cliffs on either side of the stairs is reinforced with plaster stone. At the top there is a gate which is the entrance to the seventh terrace, which is a courtyard surrounded by a stone wall. Similar to the gazebo outside, on the patio there are also a pair of thatched gazebo without walls. This terrace is called pendapa in. On the west side of the gazebo in the terrace there are stairs leading to the next.
Eighth terrace is a room used for worship. The front door of the room there are two statues of stone with writing Java that shows the construction of the temple Cetha. On the west side, at the back of the room, there are stairs leading to the terrace ninth.
The left and right side of the room there is a ninth terrace west facing east. Both the room serves as a repository of ancient objects. On the east side, opposite each of the storage space there are two buildings. Building on the north side of a statue of Sabdapalon and that on the south side contains a statue Nayagenggong. Both are figures punakawan (caregiver and advisor royal) at that time.
Ninth terrace west side bounded by a stone wall that serves as the entrance gate to a corridor of stone steps leading to a terrace room on the tenth.
On each side of this room there are three wooden buildings that face each other. In each building there is a statue. One of the row of statues located in the northern row is a statue of King UB. The southern row, again, there is a statue of Kalachakra. South west end of the row is a place where Professor Supa heritage. Supa is a master craftsman masters (maker of heirloom weapons) are well known and respected in his lifetime. The west side of the terrace tenth bounded by a stone wall that serves as the entrance gate into a hall of stone steps leading to the porch eleventh.
At the peak of the hallway there is a stone wall about 1.60 meters tall ladder which insulate the main room, a building without a roof, surrounded by high stone walls nearly 2 m, with an area of about 5 m2. The main room is pesanggrahan King UB is located higher than all other room, so from this point can be seen clearly the spaces below.
The main building Cetha temple is located in the rear yard and at the highest terrace and overlooks the mountain top. It reflects the belief that the sanctity of the temple is part of the surrounding nature. Cetha temple architecture is based on the concept that the gods not dwell in heaven, but on top of the mountain. Mountains are the source of energy that appear or not appear. That the main building of this temple lies precisely in the top of the page and the most rear, in contrast with the concept of the temple in general were put forward as a central part of space from all activities, similar to that found in the temple Panataran, Blitar. Far to the west of this temple complex, on a plateau which is rather high, there is a ‘spring’ or concubines bathing pools where the king along with her ladies. Too bad that this spring is not maintained, in contrast to the temple is always cleaned at least once a year.
Until now Cetha temple is still used as a place of worship and a visit Hindus, especially on Tuesdays and Fridays seitap 1st Sura (Javanese calendar). Every 6 months at this temple held Medangsia wuku warning. Besides Hindus, many tourists who visit this temple, both men and women. There is a taboo for the female visitors, is wearing a skirt. Recommended for women who visit in order to wear long pants. The possible restrictions related to the belief that the temple is a temple Cetha lanang (temples men), the temple which many describe sensitive body parts.
Cetha temple has close links with Sukuh are located relatively close together. Sukuh which was established in the year 1440 AD is located in the lower plains when compared with Cetha temple.
source : perpusnas.go.id & wikipedia.org