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"The Stupa at Sumberawan" Top 5 Page for this destination Malang Off The Beaten Path Tip by theo1006

Malang Off The Beaten Path: 16 reviews and 33 photos

  The Stupa at Sumberawan village
by theo1006
  • The Stupa at Sumberawan village - Malang
      The Stupa at Sumberawan village
    by theo1006
  • In the foreground: unfinished top of the stupa - Malang
      In the foreground: unfinished top of the stupa
    by theo1006
  • Municipal water inlet among foliage - Malang
      Municipal water inlet among foliage
    by theo1006
  • Water pipes along rice fields - Malang
      Water pipes along rice fields
    by theo1006
  • Water pipes along the little river - Malang
      Water pipes along the little river
    by theo1006

The short walk along a rivulet among lush foliage and fertile rice fileds is perhaps the most attractive part of the stupa at Sumberawan village. The monument is located at 650 above sea level in the foothills of Arjuna volcano, near a water source serving both these sawahs and the municipal water supply of Malang town. The following is a summary of a poorly printed booklet in Indonesian that we obtained at the site, compiled by a mr. Suwardono.

The first reports by the Dutch colonial government about ruins at Stupa Sumberawan site date back to 1904. Subsequently restoration work was finalized in 1937. However, of the top of the stupa insufficient remains were found to determine its shape, and this part was therefore left unfinished. Scholars believe that the stupa was built in the fourteenth century AD, based on a reference in the Negarakertagama chronicles to a visit that king Hayam Wuruk of Majapahit would have paid to the site.

Stupa Sumberawan is a typical Buddhist monument, with the same symbolized world view as Burubudur. The square base named Kamadathu represents the world of mankind with all its cravings. The next eight-sided level, Rupadhatu, represents the world of holy men who have freed themselves of all passions but are still bound to the material world. And at the third, round, level or Arupadhatu nirwana has been reached.

It is not difficult to imagine why the stupa should have been erected here. The abundant water source made the place sacred, and the stupa being a miniature of Mandara or Meru mountain, the abode of the gods, served to transform the water into Amerta, the nectar giving the gods eternal life. That these gods are essentially Hindu gods does not contradict the Buddhist nature of the stupa, because both religions were throughly compounded at that time in Java.

Address: Sumberawan village, Singosari district, Malang regency.

Directions: From the crossroads at Singosari temple go north for 6 km. At the minibus and ojek station of Sumberawan village turn left (south) for about 500 m. Here the road crosses a small river. Park your vehicle and walk upstream along the rivulet for another 500 m.

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  • Written Nov 8, 2011
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