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PLAOSAN TEMPLE

Candi Plaosan is a temple to be constructed during Java’s “Classic Age” that has survived into modern times.  This amazing site is located just over a kilometer to the Northeast of Prambanan Temple. Plaosan temple consists of three-construction group; Central, Northern, and Southern group.  Each group consists of main building, while numerous smaller buildings are surrounding.

Southern Group, known locally as Candi Plaosan Kidul (Javanese for “South Plaosan Temple”), separated from the Central and Northern Groups known as Candi Plaosan Lor by an open space.  Similar to Candi Plaosan Kidul, The Northern Group contains a quadrangular terrace that is surrounded by its own ring wall.
The Central Group is the largest and most complete of Candi Plaosan.  The main building in this group consists of two viharas.  A wall that measures approximately 102.5 m from North to South and 41.8 m from East to West featuring two gateways that serve as a courtyard in the west side.  Between these two viharas, there is a wall featuring a third gateway that allows visitors freely to move between them.
Attached on 23 m x 22 m basement, the two Viharas on Central group consist of three levels construction full of ornaments, carving and statues.  Eight steps stairways in the west side lead up to entranceway of the Vihara.  The entranceway, which is 1.26 m wide and 1.52 m in depth, decorated with a makara heads resting on the backs of decumbent elephants.  Each vihara’s singular stairway features wings to either side that are decorated with creeper-style ornaments.
 
The first level measures 18.85 m from North to South and 11.17 m from East to West. This former ancient viharas show the richness of ornaments both on the outside and the inside of the building.  At the outside walls on the first level, there are 18 panels (6 on the East side, and 4 each on the other 3 sides).  On the second level, 20 more panels on the walls and 2 more that flank the entranceway on the building.  Each of these 40 panels contains a beautiful rendition of a standing male figure. Continuing to the next level, both viharas possess a false third level that includes 16 niches: five each in the East and West as well as three more in the North and South. The roofs of each Vihara collectively support 41 stupas.  The main stupa at the center of the roof is closely surrounded by two descending stage of 8 stupas each.  3 each at the North and South ends of the roof and 2 more within the space between the North and South end of the roof and the roof center.  A total of 5 smaller stupas have been placed in a line on both the West and the East sides of the roof.
 
 
Entering the vihara, one encounters an entrance with two niches in the left and right. Stepping to the 2.18 m x 2.34 m central room of the vihara, In the middle of each side wall is a niche decorated with the kala-makara art motif. There are a two Access-ways leading off to two additional chambers located to the right and left. The three chambers inside the Vihara are similar in design and measurement.  There are Bodhisattva-images with the left leg folded back towards the groin, with the right leg fully extended, and with the right foot resting on a lotus cushion and an altar between them. On the right and left side of each chamber wall there are niches in each side. The structural design here is precisely identical between the South and the North Vihara at the central group of Candi Plaosan.
 

Eastern prasada

Out side the twin Viharas courtyard, originally there are 174 subsidiary structures surrounding outside the wall.  These subsidiary structures organized into three ranks.  First rank contains 50 structures, second rank 58, while the third rank contains 66 structures.
The first rank contains of 50 structures in shape of 3.4 m x 3.4 m small chambers on the 4.9 m x 4.9 m square basement with a staircase which project 75 cm outward. 19 prasadas in the East side facing to the East.  17 in the West side facing to the West, 7 in the North facing to north and the 7 in the South facing to the South.  These small chambers called prasada. These particular buildings had originally contained images of Amitabha (W), Aksobhya (E), Ratnasambhava (S) and Amoghasiddhi (N).

The second rank is comprised of 58 subsidiary buildings. 54 of them are in the shape of stupas while the 4 of them are in shape of prasada located in the four corners. The third rank consists of 66 structures, out of which 62 are of the previously described stupa-type; the remaining 4 structures in the four corners are once again of the prasada-type.

South and North Group
The Northern construction-group at Plaosan temple consists of central courtyard that is surrounded by a wall and with its entranceway in the West. In the center of the courtyard, there is a raised platform (pendopo).  The platform measures 21.62 m from North to South and 19.0 m from East to West with a staircase in west side.  Along the four-side edges of the platform, 24 quadrangular stone rise up from the floor.  They appear originally served as the support for four-sided wooden columns.  Inside the quadrangular stone circle, there are 16-octagon stone projections following the outer perimeter.  Perhaps they had served as the supports for wooden columns featuring eight sides. 
In the east side of the platform, 11 sacred images facing to the west situated on the 1.5 m x 17.5 m x 78 cm altar. On the left and right side of the east altar, there is 1.28 m x 7.0 m x 78 cm altar with five sacred figures on each of them.
At Plaosan Kidul Temple, one also finds a square terrace platform in the middle of the yard.  It was surrounded on the West side by two ranks of eight small temples with four in each range on either side of the passage that ran from the terrace to the entrance in the surrounding  ring wall; the larger and more beautiful ones were reportedly placed in the second file beside the passage.  All of these faced to the West.  On the three other sides of the centrally placed terrace, 45 stupas were organized in three ranks.

North Pendopo Platform

South Prasada

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