Indonesia, particularly Central and East Java, is known as an archaeological tourism hub with its many ancient sites and temples. Borobudur, Prambanan, Dieng, Penataran, Sewu, and a host of other world-renowned stone temples are located there. Each of them offers exoticism that has fascinated travelers.
But there are a myriad of lesser-known temples that offer visitors an alternative to the tourist-packed landmarks. Selogriyo is one.
The small Hindu structure located on a hill is not rich with epic stories like Borobudur and Prambanan, but nestled in a graceful natural environment it stimulates the feeling of peace for anyone visiting.
Looking to the west, you can see the majestic Mount Sumbing shrouded in fine mist. In the opposite direction, green fields spread out below while the Merapi, Merbabu, Telomoyo, and Andong mountains tower in the background. Indeed, Selogriyo is located in a remote place difficult to access. We had to travel the 28 kilometers between Borobudur and Kembang Kuning village by motorcycle to get to the first checkpoint.
From Selogriyo, one can see Mt Sumbing standing strong on the west, and sometimes the summit is covered by white bloud. While on the east, there is a green terrace of rice paddy field with Gunung Merapi, Gunung Merbabu, Gunung Telomoyo and Gunung Andong as the background. As roading on mountain slope, it is winding.
Candi Selogriyo is located on a remote place, and tough track to get through. There are two options to reach there; on foot or get motorbike for 2 km trail through tobacco village, where bamboo planks are placed outside to dry tobacco. Arriving there, the trek to this place is paid. Hills scenery, mist, farms creat a majestic landscape. There are 3 hills, Condong, Giyanti, and Malang hill. Often, old men or kids pass carrying grass, they smile and say hello.
Candi Selogriyo is a Hindu temple and faces east, built approximately 9th century. This temple has no perwara. In 1998, erosion hit this temple, that later the position was moved to new place that is not vulnerable. The reconstruction finished in 2000. This temple is standing on Giyanti Hill, on the height of 740 m. Garbagraha or a chamber was constructed here, and it is assumed that lingga and yoni were located here. But other version says that this chamber was use for meditation.
On each side of the temple wall, there are 5 niches where statuary is placed. But the statuary left are headless that suppose to be Durga Mahesasura, Ganesha, Agastya, Nandiswara and Mahakala. The roof is in shape of Amalaka, only unfortunately, all the statuary is damaged. And vandalism has destroyed few parts of temple. As the history is not discovered yet, local people call this temple as Selogriyo. Selo mean stone or rock and griyo mean house, so Selogriyo means house of rock. Local people said that this temple was used as meditation and worship activity.
This temple is not only visited by locals but also foreign travelers, tough the access is not sufficient yet. For easy access from Magelang-Bandongan and Windusari, there is a sign to this temple.
Photo courtesy: here
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