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Gedong Sanga or Gedong Songo is
located in Desa Candi, Bandungan
Subdistrict, Semarang Regency or
exactly at the slope of Mount
Ungaran, at about 1.200 m above
sea level. The closest route to the
temple is Semarang - Bandungan.
After Bandungan Traditional
Market at the centre of
Bandungan, take the left side of
the street, about 350 m, and find
a junction. Turn right, until end
of the street. At the end of the
street, we find Gedong Songo
Afterwards, we continue the
journey by walking along
the path to Gedong I,
Gedong II, until Gedong VII.
Sometimes the area of
Mount Ungaran covered by
At the north, we could see
panorama of Ungaran and
at the south-west, we find
the magnificent Mount
Telomoyo, with so many
hills and rice fields. Gedong
Songo Complex has a
beautiful natural panorama
at every side of it.
Gedong Songo was first found by Loten in 1740. Then
in 1804 Sir Thomas Stanford Raffles, the governor of
British Government in Java recorded data of the
temple and named it "Gedong Pitoe" or Seven Temples
because there were seven remain temples there. The
research on Gedong Pitoe was continued by Friederich
van Hoopermans in 1865 and then Van Stein
Callenfels, a Dutch archeologist in 1908 - 1911. He
conducting research on Gedong Pitoe and he found the
other two temples in ruins. He combined Gedong Pitoe
and the two temples and named them "Gedong Sanga"
(Gedong Songo). So why the temple complex is still
called "Gedong Sanga or Gedong Songo" in the present
In 1928 the Dutch Government began to reconstruct
Gedong I and Gedong II and continued by the
Indonesian Government in 1982, for all temples. The
first official publication on Gedong Songo was carried
out by van Braam in 1925 and the name "Gedong
Songo" became so well-known around the world.
Although there is not any inscription about the temple, people and archeologists note that Gedong
Sangat Complex was built in the reign of Queen Shima of Kalinggajati Kingdom, an ancient famous
Hindu Kingdom before Medang, that was located at the north area of Central Java. It stretched from
the eastern part of Central Java to the south part of Central Java. Kalinggajati was very close to
Galuh Kingdom in West Java.
Before territorial division of Kalinggajati into
Medang i Bhumi Mataram and Medang i Bhumi Sambhara,
Kalinggajati was very superior to other kingdoms in Java Island.
Through the power of Kalinggajati Queen, Shima, the kingdom
could maintain a superior defense against Sriwijaya Kingdom and
also could build any religious temples and monuments within its
Following the guidance of Sang ADI BRAHMAN, GOD The Almighty, the queen
began to arrange a journey to Bukit Ngungrungan (present day: Mount Ungaran),
to build a temple complex there. She ordered Ki Ajar Salokantara,
a handsome and gallant spiritual teacher, to lead the team to depart to Bukit
Ngungrungan (Bukit Suralaya), to find the exact location for the temples. Ki Ajar
Salokantara began to start the journey. Unpredictabled by him, Queen Shima,
followed the team secretly. After 4 days, Ki Ajar and his team arrived at a place,
but he prohibited the team to stop to get a rest there, so the place was named
"Larangan". Afterwards, he continued the journey by walking along mountain
slopes of Bukit Ngungrungan.
A TALE OF GEDONG SONGO
There, an aromatic perfume was smelt by
the team, so the place was named
"Darum", from the word "Arum". After
departed from Darum, the team got
entered to the exact location for the
temples. Before he and his team prepared
the contruction of nine temples, they
meditated by closing Babahan Hawa
Sanga (9 holes at human body)) or in
Javanese Language named "Nggedhong
Babahan Hawa Sanga". So, they named
the place "Gedong Sanga".
Day after day, the team built the first
temple until the eight temple.
After finishing the eight temple, a young
lady named Rara Ari Wulan as chef head
of the team was called to meet Ki Ajar. Ki
Ajar forbade her and her chef members,
not to put knives they used at their thighs
while sitting down. This prohibition must
be overcome by Rara Ari Wulan and all
But, unfortunately, Rara Ari Wulan
forgot the prohibiton and she put her
own knive at her thighs. The knive was
disappeard suddenly and got into her
womb. She was very shocked and she
ran away to visit Ki Ajar. Ki Ajar told
her, he could not help her, because he
could not eliminate the prohibition.
After 4 months, Rara Ari Wulan got
pregnant. She was very ashame and
she left the team and went to forest
near Gedong Sanga. Ki Ajar followed
her secretly, he left all his team
members, those were constructing the
final temple in Bukit Ngungrungan.
He walked through mountain slopes
and after 3 days he arrived at location
and made the place as a hermitage. He
named the place "Telomoyo".
When she was giving birth in the forest, she was shocked because the
baby was a snake. The baby was not a human-being. She took care the
baby until he became a teenage giant snake. She named the baby
"Bhra Klinting" or in Javanese Language : "Naga Bandung".
One day, Bhra Klinting asked his mother about his father. He wondered
to visit his father. Rara Ari Wulan told him that his father was Ki Ajar
Salokantoro. So, the giant snake "Bhra Klinting" said good bye to his
mother dan began journey to find his father.