Sukuh located on the western slopes G. Lawu, Sukuh precisely in Hamlet, Village Berjo, District Ngargoyoso, Karanganyar, Central Java Province. Location Sukuh located at an altitude of + 910 merer above sea level. Sukuh rediscovered in a state of collapse in 1815 by Johnson, resident of Surakarta in the reign of Raffles. Furthermore Sukuh studied by Van der Vlis in 1842. The results are reported in the book titled Van der Vlis Prove Eener Beschrijten Soekoeh op en Tjeto. Research on the temple was followed by Hoepermans in 1864-1867 and reported in his book Hindoe Oudheiden van Java. In 1889, Verbeek held inventory of Sukuh, followed by a study by Knebel and WF. Stutterheim in 1910.
Sukuh background of Hinduism and is expected to be built was founded in the late 15th century AD In contrast to the generally Hindu temple in Central Java, architecture Sukuh rated deviate from the provisions of the sacred book of guidelines for the manufacture of building a Hindu, Wastu Widya. According to regulations, a temple must berdenah square base with the most sacred place in the middle. The irregularities allegedly because Sukuh built during the waning influence of Hinduism in Java. The waning influence of Hinduism in Java seems to revive elements of the local culture of the Megalithic era. Effect of prehistoric times seen from the shape of the building which is Sukuh terraces. Such a shape similar to a building punden that are characteristic of sacred buildings in pre-Hindu. Another characteristic sacred buildings from pre-Hindu is the most sacred place is located in the highest part and the rear.
According to experts suspected, Sukuh pengruwatan built for the purpose, namely to ward off or disconnect the bad power that affects a person’s life due to certain characteristics they have. The assumption is based on the reliefs which contains stories pengruwatan, such Sudamala and Garudheya, and the statue of the tortoise and the eagle contained in Sukuh.
Sukuh complex occupies an area of + 5,500 m2, consists of consists of three terraces. At first glance it looks like the building of the temple worship of the Maya in Mexico. The main gate, another gate leading to each terrace and overlooks the main building to the west, in contrast to the temples in Central Java which generally facing east. The third terrace was split in two right in the middle by a rock which arranged to form the road leading to the gates of the next terrace.
Gate towards the gate paduraksa first terrace, which is equipped with a roof arch. Decorated archway carved doorway when the long beard. On the wall of the north wing of the gate there is a relief depicting a man running, biting snakes that are coiled. According K.C. Cruq, the sculpture is a sengkalan (password-year figures) were read blind anahut tail gate (gate giant snakes bite). Sengkalan is interpreted as a Saka year 1359 or the year 1437 AD, which is believed to be the completion of construction of this temple. On top of these figures are carved depicting human-like creatures that are being floated as well as a reptile.
In the south wing of the gate there is a relief of a character who swallowed a giant. The sculpture is also the gate that reads sengkalan blind manganese wong, which means the giant gate feed on humans. Sengkalan is interpreted as numeric in 1359 Saka or 1437 AD, the same as on the walls of the north wing sengkalan gate. On the outside wall of the gate there are also sculptures that depict a pair of birds are perched in the tree, while underneath there is a dog, and the eagle with stretched wings were clutching a snake. On the front page, outside the gate, there is a set of stones in various forms. Among them there are holes in it, like a phallus, and there is nothing like a crock.
The space inside the gate, lay on the floor, there is a sculpture depicting the phallus and vagina in a tangible form that is almost touching each other. The sculpture is a depiction of the union of the phallus (female) and yoni (male) which is a symbol of fertility. Currently around the sculpture was given a fence, so that the gate is hard to pass. For up to the first terrace, visitors generally ladder on the side of the gate receipts. There is a belief that the sculpture serves as a ‘suwuk’ (spells or drugs) for ‘ngruwat’ (cure or eliminate) all the dirt in the liver. That is why the reliefs carved on the floor of the entrance, so that people who enter the holy place of this will be stepped over. Thus all the garbage that is attached to the body will disappear.
At the threshold of the gate, facing the courtyard of the first terrace, there Kalamakara decoration, which has been severely damaged. On the north and south wing walls are carved man in a crouched position while holding a weapon.
The first terrace courtyard that is not too broad split stones arranged to form an archway leading the way to a second terrace. On the north side of the court of the first terrace, there are three stone panels were placed in a row. The first panel includes a picture of a man was riding accompanied by troops armed with spears. In addition to the horse a man walking while overriding. The second panel memuatan drawing a pair of oxen and a third panel contains the image of a man riding an elephant. On the south side there is a collection of stones of various shapes and some fruit phallus.
On the northeastern side or the back of the court of the second terrace there is a gate in the form of gate briefly flanking the stairs leading to the second courtyard terrace. There is no sculpture or ornament on the wall of this gate. The court of second terrace that is not too broad nor is there a statue or relief.
On the north side of the east or the back of the court of the second terrace there is a gate in the form of gate briefly flanking the stairs leading to the third courtyard terrace. This gate in disrepair. In front of the gate there is a pair Arca Dwarapala currently in a state worn out. The second sculpture statues guard the door coarse and stiff and his face was not at all creepy, impressed even funny.
The third terrace is located at the height is the most sacred place. The third terrace courtyard is divided into two sides, north and south, by a stone path leading to the sacred building in the rear. In the courts of the third page, there are a lot of statues and stone panel display. In the front courtyard of the north side there are three statues of winged human-headed eagle in a standing position with stretched wings. Only one of the three statues are intact. Two other statues are no longer headed. At one eagle statue there is an inscription to the year 1363 Saka or 1441 M and 1364 Saka or 1442 AD On the north side there are panels placed stone lined, each decorated with sculptured images of elephants and cows.
In front of the main building a little to the south, there is a carved stone pillars that contain story excerpts Garudheya. In the upper left corner there parsasti in letters and Kawi language reads “Padamel rikang tirta book sunya” or equal to 1361 Saka. Garudheya is the name of a Garuda, adoptive son Dewi Winata. The goddess has a brother who is also the honey, which is named Dewi Kadru. Dewi Kadru foster child who has some form of a snake. In a betting defeated by Dewi Dewi Winata Kadru, so he had to go through life as a slave Kadru Goddess and her children. Garudheya get Tirta Amrita is a requirement the purification or liberation from bondage goddess Kadru mother and her children. Relief Garudheya story is also available in Kidal temple in East Java, which was built on the orders Anusapati to meruwat mother, Ken Dedes.
In the southern part of the courtyard patio there are three stone panels are laid out in a row. Panels stone reliefs with the theme contains stories taken from the Song Sudamala.
Sudamala story tells about Sadhewa, one of the twin knights of the five noble Pandavas, who managed meruwat (eliminating curse) inside Uma, wife of Guru Bathara. Uma was cursed by her husband because they could not restrain his anger against her husband asked to be served at the time he thought less worthy. Because showed overwhelming anger, the goddess cursed and transformed into a giant named Bathari Durga. Bathari posing as Goddess Durga Kunthi, mother of the Pandavas, came Sadewa and ask it to meruwat knight himself. The story poured in five relief panels.
The first relief depicts false Kunti is Durga who came to disguise Bathari Sadewa and ask the knight ‘meruwat’ (remove the curse) himself. The second relief depicts when Bima, sister Sadewa, fighting with a giant. Milky left hand lifting a giant body, while his right hand stick nails Pancanaka (Milky heirloom weapon) to his stomach.
The third relief depicts Sadewa, who refused to ‘meruwat’ Bathari Durga, is tied to a tree. Before him stood Bathari Durga who threatened to use a sword. The fourth reliefs depict marriage with Goddess Pradhapa Sadewa awarded to him for successfully ‘meruwat’ Bathari Durga. The fifth reliefs depict Sadewa overlooking Uma and their escorts who have successfully purified.
In the courtyard of a stone street south there are small temples, and in it there is a statue with a size too small. According to local mythology, the small temple that was the residence of the ruler Kyai Sukuh Sukuh complex.
In front of the main building there are three statues fleeced large turtles. Turtle symbolizing the underworld, the base of the mountain Mahameru, also found in the temple Cetha.
The main building berdenah trapezoidal base 15 m2 and a height up to 6 m. In the middle of the west side of the building there is a narrow and steep stairs leading to the roof. Allegedly the buildings that exist today are shelf or foot of the temple, while the temple building itself is probably made of wood. The assumption is based on the existence of several pedestals (foot pole building) stone in the courtyard of the roof. In the middle of the roof of the courtyard there is a phallus. It is said that a couple yoni phallus is currently stored at the National Museum in Jakarta.
Sukuh conservation efforts have been made since the Dutch era. The first restoration was done by the Department of Antiquities in 1917. In the late 1970s Sukuh was restored again by the Ministry of Education and Culture
source : perpusnas.go.id & wikipedia.org