The Mendut is one of three exactly aligned Buddhist Temples, located in Central Java, and each a mile apart. The exact religious relationship between the three is known to exist, but is a long-forgotten mystery.
Mendut is a ninth century Buddhist temple, located in Mendut village. It is located about two miles northeast from Borobudur. Mendut, Borobudur and Pawon, all of which are Buddhist temples, are located in one straight line. Mendut is the oldest of the three temples.
According to the Karang Tengah inscription, the temple was built and finished during the reign of King Indra of the Sailendra dynasty. It may have originally be called “Venuvana” (bamboo forest).
It was rediscovered in 1836 as ruins covered with bushes. Restoration commenced in 1897, and was completed in 1925. The roof part is still unfinished, as can be compared with the roof of the Pawon. This is because some of the original stones are missing.
The temple is 26.4 metres tall and faces west.The stairs also emerge to the west, and are have Makara statues on each side.
There were originally two chambers inside the temple. The roof and some parts of the smaller front chamber walls are missing, but the large central main chamber is complete. This large main chamber contains exquisitely carved statues, which are the main Buddhist divinities in Mendut, and explain the spiritual purpose of the temple.
The 3 metre tall statue of Dhyani Buddha Vairocana was meant to liberate the devotees from the bodily karma. To the left is a statue of Boddhisatva Avalokitesvara to liberate from the karma of speech. To the right is Boddhisatva Vajrapani to liberate from karma of thought.
The Vesak annual ritual is observed by Indonesian Buddhists during the full moon in May or June, by walking from Mendut, passing through Pawon, and ending at Borobudur.
I visited the Pawon, the Borobudur and the Mendut on my first trip ouside Australia in 1977, flying Garuda Airlines. The mystery of these three temples has always amazed me, just as the mysteries surrounding many ancient monuments continues to astound people throughout the world.
http://www.worldtravelx.com/java-indonesia-mendut-temple/ October 23rd 2008 12:21