Arjuna Temple Group

Dieng Plateau, Central Java

These attractive small temples are the earliest known in central Java. They date to at least the early 8th century AD, if not older; not all were built at the same time. Stylistically, they resemble some early Pallava temples in Mamallapuram (Shore Temple and Pancha Rathas) and Kanchipuram (Kailasanatha Temple), India, near present-day Madras. From over two dozen original temples, only a handful remain today. They are mostly Shaiva, in keeping with the religious orientation of their Sanjaya builders. As usual, the temples' modern names have no archaeological significance.

The Arjuna group is arranged in a north-south line, with their entrances facing west. C. Arjuna (photo left) is the north temple and has given its name to the whole group. It is faced on the west by its Nandi shrine, C. Semar (photo right). The other temples in order are C. Srikandi, C. Puntadewa, and C. Sembadra (later pages).