2. Loro Jonggrang Legends (Chapter 5 Appendix)



In this appendix, two versions of Loro Jonggrang Legends are quoted.

    The first one is the story in a monumental essay, Monumental Java, authored by J. F. Scheltema and published in 1912[1], which may be the original source of articles that are abundantly found nowadays in guidebooks, children’s books, Internet articles, etc. An abstract with a similar context was found in the publications of the early 20th century[2].

    The second one is the legend in Babad Prambanan originally dictated in Javanese, which is more chronological. The English text is an abridged translation (about two-thirds in terms of the number of words) by the present writer, of Chapters 1–25 (of a total 54 chapters) of Indonesian text translated from the Javanese by Messrs. Rinkasan and Aditrijono[3].

    The legend of Loro Jonggrang is also found in the famous Centhini Story[4] as a story told by Ki Harsana requested by Mas Cebolong. To the present writer's knowledge, this version which covered the names of people and places in seven chapters over 35 pages is as valuable as that in the Babad Prambanan, but not included in this article.



1. A story in “Monumental Java”

    Once upon a time Prambanan was ruled by a giant-king, Ratu Boko, possessing an only daughter, Princess Jonggrang, and an adopted son, Raden Gupolo, whose father had been killed by command of the King of Pengging. Having sworn revenge, Raden Gupolo feigned love for the beautiful daughter of that monarch[5] and asked Ratu Boko to assist him in making her his wife. Ambassadors were despatched with instructions to negotiate the marriage.

    His Majesty of Pengging received them in a friendly manner and entertained them at his Court, but, not wanting Raden Gupolo for a son-in-law, he sent secret agents in all directions to seek and bind to his service a hero with power to resist and subdue the giants, Ratu Boko’s subjects, of whom he was in mortal fear. One of those emissaries, searching the slopes of the Soombing, met with the recluse Damar Moyo, one of the children of Sumendi Petoong[6], the chief of the palm-water drawers.[7] Damar Moyo’s wife had blessed him with two sons, Bondowoso, a tall and strong fellow, and Bambang Kandilaras, less muscular but more favoured in outward appearance and of a gentler disposition. Damar Moyo recommended Bambang Kandilaras as[8] just the man needed for the rescue of the Princess of Pengging and ready for the task, provided her royal father would consent, in consideration of the defeat of the giants, to give his daughter to the young man with half his kingdom as dowry and the other half to follow after his death – which conditions prove that even in those remote days the saintly did not despise worldly advantage.

    The King of Pengging consented and Bambang Kandilaras marched against Prambanan, but no weapon could harm Ratu Boko, who roared so dreadfully that the sound and his breath combined were enough to knock any human foe down at a distance too far to distinguish a man from a woman or a giant from a warringin-tree. Bambang Kandilaras fled, reporting at Damar Moyo’s cave, and was commanded to try once more with the assistance of his brother, Bondowoso.

    They accomplished nothing. Bambang Kandilaras ran away even before the battle commenced, to hide himself in a ravine where the troops of Prambanan could not follow him, and Bondowoso, whose legs were blown off by a puff from Ratu Boko's formidable lungs, sought safety in precipitate retreat to the mountain Soombing.

    Then Damar Moyo taught him a magical word, which, pronounced twice, would make him big and as heavy as an elephant, and give him the strength of a thousand of those animals. Thus armed, Bondowoso returned to Prambanan, where he killed half of Ratu Boko’s warriors in their sleep, while the other half, waking up, retreated with the enemy in hot pursuit to tell their king what had happened. “Nobody shall stir,” said he. “I myself alone will settle this little business.” Meeting Bondowoso near the village Tangkisan, he began to roar as loud and fume as hard as he could, but, to his astonishment, his breath lacked the accustomed power and so he had to fight for his life hand to hand.

    It was a terrible fight: houses and gardens were trampled down, forests rooted up and mountains kicked over, while the perspiration dripping from the bodies of the enraged combatants formed a large pool, the Telaga Powiniyan.

    To end the struggle, Bondowoso, in a supreme effort, seized Ratu Boko round the middle and threw him into that pool, where he sank and, drowning, made the earth tremble with a last roar of anger and distress.[9]

    Raden Gupolo, hearing the noise, hastened to his assistance with a few drops of the water of life in a cup, an elixir prepared by Mboq Loro Jonggrang – only a few drops, but enough to resuscitate the dead giant-king if put to his lips. Bambang Kandilaras, however, drew his bow and, from the place where he had watched the fight, shot the cup out of the hand of Raden Gupolo, who thereupon attacked Bondowoso. Bambang Kandilaras let more arrows fly at the giant-warriors of Prambanan, who now rushed up to avenge their king’s death. In the general melee Bondowoso killed also Raden Gupolo and cut off his head, which he threw away in an easterly direction, changing it into a mountain, the Gunoong Gampeng; but his brains and heart he threw away in a southwesterly direction, changing them into another mountain, the Gunoong Woongkal.

    Thereupon he (Bondowoso) defeated the remaining half of the army of Prambanan and went to Pengging, claiming the reward for his brother. The king of that country, glad to be rid of the giants, was as good as his word, wedded his beautiful daughter to Bambang Kandilaras and appointed Bondowoso his viceroy in Prambanan, with the rank and title of bupati.

    Taking up his abode in the palace of the late Raden Gupolo, Bondowoso happened to see Mboq Loro Jonggrang, who continued living in the kraton of Ratu Boko, and fell in love with her. He asked her hand in marriage and she, abhorring the man who had killed her father, and one so unprepossessing in countenance too, but afraid to provoke his displeasure by a blank refusal, answered that she was willing to become his wife on condition of his providing a suitable sasrahan or wedding present, nothing more nor less than six deep wells in six buildings, the like of which no mortal eye had ever seen, with a thousand statues of the former kings of Prambanan and their divine ancestors, the gods in heaven, all to be dug and built and carved in one night.

    Bondowoso called in the help of his father, the recluse Damar Moyo, of the King of Pengging and of his brother Bambang Kandilaras, all three of whom responded, going to Prambanan and uniting in prayer on the day before the night agreed upon by the spirits of the lower regions, who had been commandeered for the task by the saint of the mountain Soombing. The evening fell and as soon as darkness enveloped the earth a weird sound was heard of invisible hands busy laying foundations, erecting walls and sculpturing statuary. By half past three the six wells were dug, the six buildings completed and nine hundred and ninety-nine statues were standing in their places.

    But Mboq Loro Jonggrang, roused from her slumbers by the hammering and chiselling, and suspecting what was going on, ordered her handmaidens out to stamp the padi (rice in the hull) and to strew the ground, where the noise was loudest, with flowers and to sprinkle perfume. The spirits of the lower regions cannot bear the odour of flowers and perfume, as everybody knows, so they had to desist and deserted their almost finished work in fright, to the consternation of Bondowoso, who pronounced this curse: “Since the girls of Prambanan take pleasure in fooling a faithful suitor, may the gods grant that they shall have to wait long before they become brides!”[10]

    Having said this, yet hoping against hope, he called on his lady, who asked tauntingly whether the honour of his visit meant the announcement that the task imposed upon him by way of testing his love had been completed. This filled the measure and he answered: “No, it is not and you shall complete it yourself.” The threat was immediately realised: Loro Jonggrang changed into a statue of stone, the thousandth, which terminated the labour of the spirits and is still to be seen in a niche on the north side of the principal edifice.



The Tale of Prambanan Temple
Reproduced by courtesy of the painter, Mrs Mira Tazkia, Jakarta, from: http://sorceressmyr.deviantart.com/art/The-Tale-of-Prambanan-Temple-54041366




2. A story in Babad Prambanan

Chapter I

This dictation of Prambanan Chronicle began at seven in the night, on Kamis Kliwon, the 29th Ruwah, wuku Madhangkungan, in the Wawu, the 1877th Javanese Year[11] or the 4th March 1927 AD.

    The story begins with the transfer of the capital from Daha to Pengging by a descendant of King Jayabaya.

    The lineage of King Jayabaya was passed down to Jayamijaya, Jayasusena and Kusumawicilra, and during the time of Kusumawicilra, the home of the kingdom was moved from Daha to Pengging. King Kusumawicilra had a son named Sri Citrasoma, and Citrasoma himself had a son named Pancadriya. Pancadriya had four sons, i.e. Dewamadya, Anglingdriya, Raden Dipanata, and Raden Darmanata.

    After the death of King Pancadriya, the throne of Pengging was succeeded by Anglingdriya. He married two women, Dewi Sinta and Dewi Sumemi. Tambakbaya was appointed the patih (premier). Anglingdriya’s brother, Dipanata, was made the king of Salembi. The year of Anglingdriya’s coronation was 964[12].

    The first queen gave birth to a beautiful daughter (named Dewi Larasati, as it appeared in the later part of this text). Although she had received marriage proposals from a number of princes, she liked none of them. She said that she would like to choose one who could answer her questions (mentioned below) as her future husband. Although the contest was announced all over the country, nobody who could correctly answer the questions appeared in two months. The king told the failures to get assistance from hermits in mountains.


Chapter II

Nevertheless, no successful candidate turned up in another six months. The king was afraid that his daughter would never find a husband.

    In a mountain seclusion, there was a hermit named Suwarda who had a magical power and was able to transform himself as he liked. Resi Sukantha who wished to take Suwarda in his family had successfully let her daughter, Endang Sukesti, marry the hermit. Resi Sukantha had also two sons, one of them named Sukeli.

    Suwarda and Endang Sukesthi had lived happily and they had two children. The elder one was a boy named Puthut Karung who grew up to be a strong man like a raksasa[13] who often practised ascetic fasting. The younger one was a daughter whose beauty exceeded her mother’s.

    Several years later, Karung’s grandfather and father passed away. Although he came to the village, he returned to Mount Simharan four years later, accompanying a raksasa army of 400 men. He met again with his mother and two uncles. After then, Jake Karung appointed himself the king and received support from his family. As a king, he was called Mahaprabu Karungkala. His uncles, Resi Sukeli and Resi Baeksi, became the chief ministers and four other relatives, i.e. Tumenggung Japlak Tumenggung, Tumenggung Bandawasa, Tumenggung Suliki, and Tumenggung Pengkok, became ministers. In addition, four other men, i.e. Kalababrik, Kalabenthong, Kalajamba, and Kalasidhu, were given certain positions. The title of patih was handed over to a son of Basukeli named Buhartal.

    King Karungkala ordered his army chief to build a town on a hillside and to destroy anyone who resisted it. The lives of villagers were rampaged and many residents scattered. The town was completed within a short period and it was named Prambanan. In the year of 990, Karungkala became the king of Prambanan.

    A few years later, King Karungkala wished to marry the princess of Pengging. Although he intended to ask politely, he thought to use violence if his proposal was rejected. Karungkala was pleased to hear the willingness of his uncle, Resi Basukeli, to answer the questions of the princess of Pengging and ordered his army chief to accompany the embassy with full preparation for war.

    At that time, King Anglingdriya of Pengging asked Patih Tambakbaya about the chaos and the suffering of people in a part of Pengging territory and was told that, in the south of Mount Merapi, there was a king named Karungkala, who, with armies of one thousand raksasas, had opened forests and built a kingdom called Prambanan. King Anglingdriya was also told that among those who wished to marry the princess there was nobody who could properly answer the princess’s questions.

    Prambanan was located to the south of Pengging, a five-day walk distance, and the founding of the country was a threat to Pengging. For the purpose of preemptive attack, King Anglingdriya advanced his army to Prambanan in accordance with the principle that a fire should be extinguished before it grew large.


Chapter III

The ambassador and retinues of the king of Prambanan had arrived at Pengging. Their task was dual in that they wished to politely answer the questions, but, when failed, they would use power to capture the princess.

    They were ushered to the palace. After King Anglingdriya received the ambassador of Prambanan, the princess was called to present her questions. They were three. (1) How can one tell which end of a stick made of the core of tamarind wood is the root side and which end is the top side? (2) How can one judge which are the male and female of a pair of Javanese Manikin, which are very similar to each other? (3) What are the meanings of a stone balance of a well and a golden pail with a rope of “wind”?

    A wise man, Basukeli, replied not immediately, but paused to think for a while. For the first question, he answered that the end of the stick that was sensed heavier should be the root side and the side that was sensed lighter should be the top side of the original tree. The princess said the answer was right. For the second question, Basukeli answered that the one with wide and deep nose holes must be the male bird and the one with shallow nose holes must be the female bird. This answer was also correct.

    For the third question, he thought that the pail meant a place to exit and enter, gold meant glory, and the rope meant the breath of kissing people. The answer to the third question was only partially correct. According to the princess, the balancer of a well meant a stone, the pail meant a dipper, gold meant a girl who lost her hair and the wind meant the breath of kissing man and woman. Thus the ambassador of Prambanan had failed to fulfil the demand of the princess.


Chapter IV

King Anglingdriya said that the king of Prambanan should abandon his wish and got rid of the ambassador. After that King Anglingdriya ordered Patih Tambakbaya to prepare for the possible attack of Prambanan.

    Outside of the palace, the ambassador and escorts had rested in the guest house. Basukeli wrote a letter to report the result and to be delivered to King Karungkala and despatched a messenger to Prambanan. At the same time he gave orders to Baeksi, Kalababrik, Kalajarnba and other army members, who all had accompanied him, to immediately attack villages around the guest house. The inhabitants surrendered and were forced to give tributes. Having heard of this event from Patih Tambakbaya, King Anglingdriya angrily ordered his army to attack Prambanan.

    In Prambanan, King Karungkala who received the letter became raged and ordered Tumenggung Japluk and Tumenggung Bandawasa to go to support Basukeli.

    The armies of Prambanan and Pengging confronted and took up their positions.


Chapter V

Pengging soldiers led by Tumenggung Samboja, Kawelasa, Tumenggung Panggiling and Tumenggung Pengkok were assisted by Tumenggung Jagaraga who came to the battlefield on horseback. There, he faced Baeksi who was also on horseback. In a fierce battle, Baeksi was eventually speared and fell down from his horse. Resi Sukeli immediately ordered other Prambanan soldiers to rush to Tumenggung Jagaraga and Pengging soldiers. The fighting with spears and bows and arrows intensified. At the climax, Tumenggung Japlak and Tumenggung Bandawasa arrived. The Pengging side had suffered a tremendous blow and the remaining soldiers ran away from the battlefield.

    King Anglingdriya said he himself would go off to war, but was restrained by Patih Tambakbaya. The king remembered Ki Ajar Rencasa and invited him, who was good at magic, and told him about the situation.


Chapter VI

Ki Ajar Rencasa agreed with the advice of Patih Tambakbaya and proposed an idea that a hero who could beat the Prambanan army and King Karungkala would be awarded the princess of Pengging. Patih Tambakbaya who had received an order to look for a candidate told the people of Pengging to resist behind the barrier, if the Prambanan soldiers had come to attack, and departed in the night without being noticed by the enemy.

    The story switches to Salembi. King Dipanata (brother of King Anglingdriya) had a beautiful daughter named Dewi Nataswati. Although she received marriage proposals from many young men, the king rejected them, because he hid a wicked desire to marry his own daughter who resembled his deceased wife. One day, he actually raped her. Although it was an abnormal relationship, the daughter took it as granted for a will of god. Then, the king instructed the patih to announce his marriage over the entire country. Not long after their marriage, Dewi Nastawati became pregnant and gave birth to a son. The family of the king loved the son, named Raden Baka, and hoped that he would be a great king who exceeded his father.


Chapter VII

Darmanata, the younger brother of Anglingdriya, who became the king of Sudimara had a son named Raden Darmamaya. When grown up, Darmamaya heard that his uncle in Pengging had a beautiful daughter named Dewi Rarasati. He bid farewell to his father and left Sudimara in the hope of trying to answer the princess’s questions.

    Raden Darmamaya did not go straight to Pengging but stopped at Mount Merbabu to visit Ki Ajar Rencasa to ask for his help solving the princess’s questions. On his way to Pengging, Raden Darmamaya was met by Patih Tambakbaya and, having been told of the search for a hero, decided to go to fight against the raksasa army of Prambanan.

    On their way to Prambanan, Patih Tambakbaya and Raden Darmamaya encountered the soldiers of Prambanan and destroyed many of them with Darmamaya’s magical power. Although Basukeli and Baeksi of Prambanan responded, together with Kalajamba and Kalababrik, and advanced to counterattack Darmamaya and his soldiers, Darmamaya was unbeatable and killed many Prambanan soldiers. In this battle, both Kalababrik and Kalajamba lost their lives.


Chapter VIII

Pressured by Pengging, Risi Basukeli of Prambanan ordered his soldiers to retreat once. The pursuit of the Pengging army lasted until midnight.

    Patih Tambakbaya returned to Pengging with Raden Darmamaya and brought the latter to King Anglingdriya. King Anglingdriya was delighted to hear the victory and instructed Tambakbaya to prepare the wedding of Raden Darmamaya and Princess Dewi Rarasati. When King Anglingdriya summoned his daughter and told her about the achievement of Darmamaya in the battle, she was not quite content because Darmamaya had not answered her questions.


Chapter IX

King Anglingdriya was surprised to hear Dewi Rarasati’s ill feeling. Anyhow, Darmamaya was able to correctly answer the princess’s questions, due probably to the will of god. Thus, Raden Darmamaya and Dewi Larasati were happily married.

    The story now switches to Prambanan. King Karungkala was very angry to hear the defeat of his men, especially the two commanders, Kalababrik and Kalajamba, and decided to send support to Basukeli and Baeksi. The task was entrusted to Kalacinthung and Kalabenthong. Fierce fighting was resumed between the soldiers of Pengging and Prambanan. Because the powers of the two armies were balanced, the war situation was deadlocked and battles continued every day until night came.

    The story turns to Salembi. Raden Baka, son of King Dipanata, was already in his adulthood, but did not want to marry any princess, because in his heart had blossomed a love for his own mother, Dewi Nataswati. He became sick and did not eat. Without knowing the reason, King Dipanata was saddened by his son’s illness and told his wife to go to see their son who stayed in Kaputran with a witch doctor. When his mother came, Baka openly confessed his love and in the evening he raped his mother.

    King Dipanata, who heard of this incident, became furious and intended to kill Baka, but just before then Baka ran away from Kaputran and went into a forest. Reproved by her husband, Dewi Nataswati hanged herself and died. King Dipanata felt sorry for it, fell into illness and died. People of Salembi were grief-stricken at these tragedies.

    The tragic incident in Salembi was heard in Sudimara and the royal family members were saddened by it as relatives. In Sudimara, this was overlapped with a bad report[14] that Raden Darmamaya was killed by Pengging in the battlefield.


Chapter X

King Darmanata committed suicide without being able to withstand the sorrow for the reported death of his beloved son and the queen followed her husband. This was an incident in the year 994 in the Dupara Era.

    The death of King Darmanata was reported to Pengging. King Anglingdriya was saddened by the death of his brothers in Salembi and Sudimara, which occurred one after another. The retainers of Sudimara were called and told to serve Raden Darmamaya, the heir of Sudimara.

    Raden Darmamaya was enjoying a happy life with Dewi Rarasati, and the wife gave birth to a son, named Raden Bandung, who was as strong and handsome as Raden Gathutkaca of Pringgadani. Ajar Rencasa was in charge of taking care of the child so that he would grow up in good health. This was an event in the year 995 in the Dwapra Era.

    Thirty-five days after his son’s birth, Raden Darmamaya asked King Pengging permission to go fight against Prambanan and was given four commanders. When ready, he departed on horseback following the line of Pengging soldiers. They stopped at the base in Pokak to work out an operation plan.

    Prambanan soldiers based in Malinjon were shaken by the arrival of Pengging armies reinforced by Raden Darmamaya. King Karungkala of Prambanan was angry too and ordered his soldiers to fight back, while Tumenggung Suliki was told to remain in Prambanan to keep Dewi Rara Jonggrang[15]  King Karungkala himself went to the battlefield to face Pengging.

    A fierce battle began again between Pengging, led by Darmamaya and Tambakbaya, and Prambanan, led by Sukeli and Tumenggung Pamengkok. They exchanged gunfire with each other. The magical powers of Pamengkok and Tambakyuda were comparable. When Pamengkok was about to lose, Tambaklampir came to support. Pamengkok was almost invincible, but suddenly Tumenggung Japlak came to help. When Tambakbaya was in danger, Pamengkok and Japlakwho just came in to save him. Japlak was speared and fell from horseback. Basukeli was upset watching his soldiers being struck by the Penggings under the command of Tumenggung, Bandawasa, Tumenggung Kalacinthung and Tumenggung Kalabenthong. The battle between the Pengging–Sudimara ally and the Prambanan army was confused. Soldiers cried and gongs echoed. All weapons were blood-stained.


Chapter XI

The battle between soldiers of Prambanan and Pengging became increasingly intense. Despite the growing number of victims, the morale of soldiers was not shaken.

    Only the arrival of night could stop the battle. When the Prambanan side eventually became inferior with more casualties, Karungkala himself had decided to participate in the battle. Encouraged by the king’s action, Prambanan soldiers advanced again. In the single combat between Karungkala and Darmamaya, Karungkala tried to hit the opponent with his club, but was finally pierced from the chest to the back by the spear of Darmamaya and died.

    Daunted by the death of their king, Basukeli, Baeksi and the soldiers of Prambanan retreated to seek the safety of their lives. The chase of Pengging soldiers continued, but ceased once at night. The inhabitants of Prambanan closed their doors in fear.

    The news of the death of King Karungkala was received by Rara Jonggrang. Shocked by the loss of her brother, she demanded one hundred soldiers to destroy the surrounding enemy, but her confused mind was restrained by Resi Basukeli.

    Basukeli proposed an idea to look for a hero who, if he successfully beat Pengging, would be allowed to take Jonggrang to be his wife. Before leaving to seek such a hero, Resi Basukeli ordered Baeksi, Suligi, Pamengkok, Japlak and Bandawasa to defend Prambanan from the attack of Pengging. In the dawn, when Basukeli departed, Pengging soldiers moved again and arrived at the edge of Prambanan town. Soldiers on both sides fought bravely, resulting in a number of losses. Although the Pengging army tried to seize Prambanan, the trench that encircled the town was strong enough to defend the town. In the evening, Pengging soldiers retreated to their base but did not lift the blockade.


Chapter XII

People of Salembi had been searching for Raden Baka who had disappeared for six months. When they finally discovered him in a hermitage in Mount Kelir, where he had been staying for three months, they told him that both the king and queen of Salembi had passed away and that the people of Salembi were wishing him to be crowned. Although Raden Baka was shocked to hear of the death of his parents, he said he would not return home until he obtained a beautiful wife.

    At that moment, Resi Basukeli came to the hermitage of Raden Baka and, after exchanging greetings, explained that he had been looking for a hero who could confront Pengging and that, once succeeded in beating the enemy, the hero would become the king of Prambanan by marrying Princess Rara Jonggrang. To attract Raden Baka, Resi Basukeli talked about the unrivalled elegance and beauty of Rara Jonggrang. Raden Baka accepted that offer and simultaneously sent a messenger to Salembi to detail troops to Prambanan.


Chapter XIII

Raden Baka mounted a brown horse named Singan, while Resi Basukeli rode on a rose‑coloured horse named Layar, and they both went to Prambanan, accompanied by Salembi soldiers.

    Pengging soldiers who had tried to attack Prambanan again were prevented by the trench. Both armies gathered as many stones as possible as weapons until no stone piece was left in the dry riverbed of Opak River. Finally, the Pengging troops surrounded the town of Prambanan in an attempt to cut off the supply of food.

    The party of Raden Baka and Resi Basukeli and their retinues who arrived in the territory of Prambanan broke the encircling line and entered the town. Rara Jonggrang was very pleased to hear the report of Basukeli and promised to marry the hero, once he had beaten Pengging.


Chapter XIV

Rara Jonggrang was, in fact, fascinated by the looks of Raden Baka. Raden Baka became the ruler of Prambanan on the premise that he would marry Rara Jonggrang after beating Pengging.

    Shortly after then, King Baka had a full meeting, asked about the war situation and heard from Patih Bubarham that the Pengging army was led by Raden Darmamaya, assisted by Surasamboja, Surakatawang, Paligi, Tambaklampir and Tambakbaya, and that, although they had encircled Prambanan, they were prevented by trenches equipped with barriers. King Baka revealed with a smile that Raden Darmamaya was, in fact, his cousin, as he was the son of his uncle, King Darmanata of Sudimara, so that a peaceful settlement could be possible. He considered at the same time that further fighting would be inevitable if a peace proposal was rejected.

    The soldiers from Salembi were ordered to defend the trench and to tell Pengging soldiers, if they came, that Prambanan was now under the rule of Raden Baka and that Raden Darmamaya should come to meet him.

    The story turns to Pengging. Raden Darmamaya was very surprised to hear the news that Raden Baka had married Rara Jonggrang and become the king of Prambanan. Raden Darmamaya gave orders to Pengging soldiers to stop the attack and just maintain the encircling of Prambanan. He hoped that Baka would remember the fact that the late King Pancadriya was their common grandfather. King Anglingdriya who received the same news considered in the same way as Raden Darmamaya to preferentially seek the possibility of peace, while the blockade of Prambanan was not lifted.


Chapter XV

Although Raden Darmamaya had ordered his soldiers to give an opportunity for Prambanan to seek a peaceful solution, he thought that he should not hesitate to attack Prambanan, if Raden Baka had forgotten their blood relations by the honeyed words of Rara Jonggrang.

    The story of Raden Baka after the start of his life in Prambanan is interesting. While he felt he could not resist the beauty of Rara Jonggrang, she insisted that they should not have sexual contact before Baka defeated Pengging. With a feeling of shame and ardour, he ordered soldiers to prepare for war and he himself had decided to act as commander-in-chief.

    The battle began to grow exciting again. Both Raden Darmamaya and Raden Baka displayed their power with each other to their opponent. Cries of soldiers and the sounds of cymbals and gongs echoed, and blood spilled over the battlefield.


Chapter XVI

By the intensified attack of King Baka, a lot of Pengging soldiers were killed. Raden Darmamaya had decided to retreat from Prambanan to their base of Malinjon.

    Prambanan soldiers who chased their enemy to Malinjon were repelled and the defence of Pengging was strengthened. Baka halted the attack and wished that Darmamaya would remember their cousin relationship. Prambanan soldiers returned to their base at Gondang River and Baka himself went back to Prambanan with some retainers.

    As soon as he arrived at the palace, King Baka met Rara Jonggrang. Although he certainly wished to have physical contact, the princess did not open her heart and kept herself in her room as Baka had not fulfilled the condition to defeat Pengging. Baka picked up flowers in the garden to approach her, but only in vain. He could not eat or sleep.

    Having been reported that the war situation was deadlocked, Baka told the soldiers to halt the battle as long as the enemy did not challenge. The soldiers had time to play cockfight for a while. This was in the year 997.

    While the troops of Prambanan and Pengging confronted each other at Godhang River, the soldiers of Prambanan in the back line were killing their time by playing cockfight. Rara Jonggrang was also relaxed and was playing with her favourite crickets. This was the situation in the year 998.

    Mlandhangjapalak suffered from a misfortune. When he was looking for cicadas he was captured by Raden Darmamaya and was killed. It was the consequence of his own fault to have violated the message of King Baka. This happened in the year 999[16] .


Chapter XVII

King Baka’s desire for Rara Jonggrang grew more, but, whenever he showed it, Jonggrang threatened him by saying that she would commit suicide. His heart was shaken and her image occupied his mind day and night. He had presented quails and crickets to attract her, but they were not received. Sukeli who was asked to talk to Jonggrang to accept the wish of Baka could not persuade her. In excitement, Baka often walked around the garden and talked to himself as if Jonggrang was there.

    Raden Bandung, grandson of King Anglingdriya, grew up under the care of Ajar Rencasa. He was handsome and sturdy, having trained himself in the mountains. At the age of fifteen, he asked permission of his grandfather to join the Pengging army to fight against Prambanan and it was reluctantly agreed also by Ajar Rencasa. Raden Bandung was given a military uniform. When preparation was finished, he asked King Anglingdriya to pray for the fortune of gods and set out, followed by twelve bodyguards. The party ran day and night and made a base at Klepu for attacking Prambanan.

    Meanwhile, the lust of King Baka for Rara Jonggrang became uncontrollable. One night he broke into her room and, while she was upset, did not miss the chance to push her down. She tried to resist in vain and allowed him to accomplish his desire to have physical contact with the lady.


Chapter XVIII

At dawn, Raden Bandung arrived at the battlefield and confronted the Prambanan soldiers who thought that the enemy had come from Malinjon. When battle started, his magical power took effect. Although his body was speared, he was unhurt and maintained his power to continue fighting. A number of Prambanan soldiers were killed in this battle. Tumenggung Batang who was following after Raden Bandung noticed that Raden Bandung preceded the troops of Raden Darmamaya. Raden Darmamaya sent reinforcements for his son.

    Raden Bandung was overwhelmed by Tumenggung Bandawasa, Tumenggung Pamengkok and Tumenggung Suliki. Although he was attacked from right- and left-handed sides, he was not hurt. At one moment, the weapon of Raden Bandawasa was pulled by Raden Bandung and Bandawasa fell on the ground. His head was kicked and destroyed. After the death of Bandawasa, Raden Bandung named himself Raden Bandung Bandawasa. Crying loud, he continued battle against the Prambanan army.

    When Prambanan soldiers surrounded Raden Bandung Bandawasa, Raden Darmamaya arrived to free his son and destroyed the Prambanan army.

    Urged by the report on the death of Tumenggung Bandawasa and the loss of his soldiers, King Baka himself went to the battlefield followed by some soldiers.

    After fierce fighting, King Baka fell down from horseback, his club having been grasped by Raden Bandung Bandawasa, and he died, being kicked in his head. By the death of King Baka, the soldiers of Prambanan lost their fighting spirit. Those who survived fled to Prambanan town and closed their doors for fear of Pengging’s chase.

    Raden Darmamaya ordered Raden Bandung Bandawasa to halt the attack in the hope of Prambanan’s surrender.

    The death of King Baka raised the fear of the Prambanan people. A son of Baeksi named Jake Burdan who had long yearned for Rara Jonggrang offered himself to be a guide to escape from Prambanan, but Rara Jonggrang insisted that she would stay there, and die, to defend Prambanan.

    In the morning, the remaining soldiers of Prambanan thought maintaining Prambanan was no longer possible and ran away, leaving their weapons. Raden Bandung Bandawasa ordered his soldiers to enter the town. All properties of Prambanan were seized and collected in one place. On entering the palace of Prambanan, the blood of Raden Bandung Bandawasa tingled with excitement as he saw the beauty of Rara Jonggrang. He fell in love at once because the features of Rara Jonggrang looked like that which he had long envisaged.


Chapter XIX

When asked who she was, Rara Jonggrang said she was the younger sister of King Karungkala who was killed in the battlefield. Against the proposal of Raden Bandung Bandawasa, she said she was not in the mood to accept it. The fall of Prambanan was an event in the year 1009.

    Throughout the day Raden Bandung Bandawasa steeped himself in thought to take Rara Jonggrang as his wife.

    In the dusk, without being able to resist his love for Rara Jonggrang, Raden Bandung Bandawasa decided to compel his will.

    To confirm whether Raden Bandung Bandawasa’s love was a genuine one, Rara Jonggrang said that she wanted no gold or diamonds but something suitable to remember her deceased father, Resi Suwarda. If he could build one thousand candi (temples) in one night, by tomorrow morning, she might become his wife, but she would kill herself otherwise.

    Raden Bandung Bandawasa hesitated. If he raped Rara Jonggrang, she would no doubt commit suicide, while finding an alternative woman as beautiful as her was impossible. Although her request was an extremely hard one, he eventually determined his mind to try to respond to her demand. Raden Bandung Bandawasa immediately ordered his soldiers to guard the palace of Rara Jonggrang. He went outside and prayed for god’s help.

    Late at night Raden Bandung Bandawasa began to pile up stones to make one thousand candi and, thanks to divine help, he had almost completed the construction of one thousand candi at the first grey of dawn, save one piece of statue. Although the reason why he left one statue undone was that he had intended to make the last piece in front of Rara Jonggrang, the lack of one piece was unsatisfactory for Rara Jonggrang. Rara Jonggrang who pretended to be counting the number of candi left the venue and, when the guards averted their eyes, she went into the forest.

    Raden Bandung Bandawasa was saddened by Rara Jonggrang’s disappearance. He chased after her in villages and forests. Tumenggung Batang sent a messenger to Raden Darmamaya to give him notice about the departure of Raden Bandung Bandawasa. Raden Darmamaya ordered his retainers to follow after his son. They searched all around villages and forests for half a month, but could not find any trace of Raden Bandung Bandawasa or Rara Jonggrang.


Chapter XX

Raden Bandung Bandawasa himself was continuing the search for Rara Jonggrang. Because of the disappearance of his beloved son, Raden Darmamaya fainted and made his wife sorrowful when her husband was carried to her in unconscious condition. Tumenggung Batang and ministers of Sudimara were assigned to searching for Raden Bandung Bandawasa.

    The story returns to Prambanan. Jake Burdan missed Rara Jonggrang whom he had longed for and went to search for her in villages and forests. He vowed that he must find her in the belief that she would finally be his wife.

    Tumenggung Batang and the ministers of Sudimara continued their search and reached the southern coast. They merged with another search party and returned to Pengging to report to Raden Darmamaya that they had failed to find Raden Bandung Bandawasa, even though they went up to Mentaram and Pagelan.

    King Anglingdriya also felt sad to hear of the disappearance of Raden Bandung Bandawasa (and the death of Ajar Rencasa).

    On Monday, King Anglingdriya of Pengging had a meeting and announced that he would abdicate the throne and appoint his son-in-law, Raden Darmamaya, to be his successor to rule Java. Then, he sat in the line of senior retainers. Two other sons, Suwelacala and Pandayanata, were given positions. The ministers of Sudimara and Salembi were ordered to reside at Pengging and some retainers of Prambanan were allowed to go home to attend Raden Bandung. These were the events in the year 1010 in the Teteka Era.

    Raden Bandung Bandawasa’s search for Rara Jonggrang did not come to fruition and neither did the efforts of Prambanan and Pengging soldiers. Raden Bandung Bandawasa had determined in his mind to return to Prambanan and in the venue of candi made a stone statue depicting Rara Jonggrang, which had four arms and stood on Andini (divine ox, also called Nandi). He faced the statue and prayed to god that a well (sumur gumuling, a well which lies at the back) would appear. Seven days and nights, Raden Bandung Bandawasa kissed the statue of Rara Jonggrang as if he were together with the real Rara Jonggrang. Having been content with it, he went southwestward to a forest without being noticed by anyone else. On his way he lamented the disappearance of Rara Jonggrang. When he arrived at Mount Ijo, a beautiful scenery appeared in front of him. He renounced himself from the world and changed his name to Resi Subrata.

    The story returns to Rara Jonggrang. When she walked along the mountainside and arrived at the forest of Sokan in North Imagiri, the time to deliver a baby conceived by King Baka came. On the edge of Opak River, she gave birth to a female baby and died. Although her body was drawn in the current, the cry of the baby was heard from the surface of the river.

    Randha Ruwek who was picking up vegetables at a riverside heard a baby cry and rushed there. He found a baby on a rock, took her up in his arm and returned home. He was delighted as he had no child and named her Rara Temon. It was in the year 1010 in Tekeka Era.

    King Sindhulacala of Gilingwesi, son of King Watugunung, had a son named Raden Sindhula who had mastered supernatural power and looked always young. He married Dewi Nagawati, daughter of his uncle, Sang Hyang Nagatatmala, and had four children, viz. Dewi Tembini, Raden Dewatacengkar, Raden Dewatapamunah, and Raden Dewaparunggu. At the age of 563[17], he returned to Java and became a recluse in Mount Sigaluh.


Chapter XXI

After winning the trust of god by meditation, Raden Dewatacengkar became the king after his father. He also possessed magical power.

    Resi Pancadriya, a hermit in Mount Ulaulu, had three children, Puthut Pradangga, Puthut Guntur and Endhang Jaeni. The last child, a beautiful girl, married Raden Dewatacengkar. She was faithful to both her husband and father-in-law. The husband was a handsome man with blue blood of ancestry. One day, Dewi Jaeni cut her hand when she was slicing an eggplant and a little blood spilt on the vegetable. At lunchtime, Raden Dewatacengkar said that the day’s dish was very delicious and interrogated his wife if there was anything special in the cooking. Hesitatingly, Jaeni said that a little blood was mistakenly mixed in the dish.

    Raden Dewatacengkar told his wife to cook human flesh once a month and ordered rural inhabitants to submit a captured thief. A part of the flesh of the thief was mixed into dishes and another part was processed into dry meat especially for Raden Dewatacengkar. Resi Pancadriya, the father‑in‑law of Dewatacengkar, was shocked to hear it and told his son-in-law to stop cannibalism, but Dewatacengkar did not abandon it and continued the habit in secret.


Chapter XXII

Both Sindhula and Pancadriya, the grandfather-in-law and father-in-law of Dewatacengkar, could no longer bear Dewatacengkar’s habit, and committed suicide. The family fell into sorrow, but took it for granted as god’s will. After their deaths, Raden Dewatacengkar enthroned himself as the king of Sigaluh and his relatives became his assistants. He conquered near-by villages and subdued the inhabitants. Dewi Jaeni gave birth to a handsome son, named Raden Daniswara, who resembled his father. The coronation of Dewatacengkar and the son’s birth were the events in the year 1017 in the Teteka Era.

    The story moved to Jake Burdan, son of Risi Baeksi, who was looking for Rara Jonggrang. His went to Sokan and saw a girl who was fetching water by the side of the Opak River. She was as elegant as Rara Jonggrang. When he was about to talk to her, the girl, Rara Temon, was so surprised that she ran away abandoning her pail. Jake Burdan who tried to follow her was drawn into the current, but managed to reach the opposite side of the river.

    Half a month later, Jake Burdan began to walk again, but everyone he encountered was unknown to him. Then, he arrived at Mount Ijo. There, he met Resi Subrata, but the hermit who was practising asceticism was silent, whatever he was asked. Even so, Jake Burdan asked in insistence about the female whom he had met at Opak River, but no response came. Being furious, he stabbed the hermit (with his kris), but the hermit was not hurt. When Jake Burdan hit the head of the hermit with a stone, the hermit died by bumping his head on a rock in the riverbed. The body of the hermit disappeared by uttering a groan of censure against Jake Burdan. The voice was an oath to Jake Burdan that he who had committed a crime like a dog would one day die as a dog. The hermit himself was actually Raden Bandung Bandawasa, mentioned above.

    As cursed by Raden Bandung Bandawasa, Jake Burdan was turned into a red dog. He regretted his sin and prayed to god that he could recover the human figure and meet the girl whom he had seen at Opak River. He walked southward along the river to search for the girl who had shaken his heart.

    Rara Temon was weaving in a house in Pasokan village. The house was a raised-floor type and the ladder was removed when she was up on the floor. It was when Randha Ruwek went to Opak River to have a mandi (bath) and fetch water, and left the house for a longer time than usual, that Rara Temon fell to the ground where tigers often haunted. She asked herself whether someone would not come to put the ladder, whether someone would not come to take her as a family member and whether in future someone would not take her as a wife.

    Jake Burdan who was convinced that the girl must be the one whom he saw at Opak River put the ladder to the house by holding it in his mouth. In their conversation, he told her that he was Jake Burdan and that he must be in the dog form for eight years, and asked Rara Temon not to tell those facts to anybody else. He also said he might be able to regain the human form if he wished to have physical contact with someone. Jake Burdan was embraced by Rara Temon and the two had a temporal contact. Soon, Randha Ruwek came back. When he called Rara Temon to have a meal together, she came down the ladder followed by a dog. Randha Ruwek beat the dog and continued to do so, despite Rara Temon’s plea to stop it. The dog was excited and bit Randha Ruwek to death.

    The corpse of Randha Ruwek flamed and combusted with an indescribable voice that signified an oath that one day Jake Burdan in the form of the dog would miserably die and be eaten by some other dog. The voice was not heard by Jake Burdan whose body was entirely entwined with Rara Temon. In due time, Rara Temon gave birth to a male boy who was named Jake Anakan. This was an event in 1078.

    (Note: The names of Rara Temon, Jake Burdan and Jake Anakan do not appear in the following part of the text.)


Chapter XXIII

The story goes back to Dewatacengkar. His power as the king of Sigaluh grew and, when his territory expanded close to the kingdom of Pengging, he issued an order to attack the kingdom.

    Until then, Pengging Kingdom was safe and prosperous under the rule of Darmamaya. Patih Tambakbaya became a priest and the position of patih was succeeded by Jake Gendang, being called Patih Kekeran. When Darmamaya heard from Jake Kendang that Sela was attacked by King Dewatacengkar of Sigaluh and that the inhabitants were not only forced to supply foods but also robbed of their properties and livestock, he ordered in a fury to go to war and said that he himself would participate. The soldiers of the Pengging armed and, mounted on horseback, looked as if they were scattered “bunga setaman” (flowers floated on water).

    When the troops of Pengging and Sigaluh confronted, King Darmamaya who descended from horseback went on the rampage followed by his soldiers. As the battle became violent, arrows flew about and a number of corpses scattered on the ground. Battle cries and the sounds of cymbals, gongs and drums echoed to enhance the atmosphere of the battlefield. Temporarily, the situation became in favour of Pengging. Dewatacengkar who saw this was enraged.


Chapter XXIV

King Dewatacengkar rushed to the battlefield and fought against the enemy as if he was a wounded bull. Patih Gentang of Prambanan tried to hit Dewatacengkar, but he himself fell from horseback and was killed. The death of Patih Gentang urged King Darmamaya to go down to face King Dewatacengkar. Although the single fight was even, Darmamaya was eventually speared and killed. The soldiers of Pengging who saw the death of their king fled back to town. The retired king of Pengging, Anglingdriya was daunted by the death of his son‑in‑law and died. When the soldiers of Sigaluh encircled the town of Pengging, two sons of the deceased King Darmamaya, Dyan Pandayanata and Suwelacala, fled from the palace to the forests accompanied by court ladies.

    In the morning, soldiers of Pengging under the leadership of Jake Tengger surrendered to King Dewatacengkar. The king entered the palace and declared that he was now the ruler of Pengging in place of the deceased Darmamaya, and it was accepted by the Pengging people. He appointed Jake Tengger as the governor of Pengging and ordered him to construct a new town at Kuwu.


Chapter XXV

The defeat of Pengging and the coronation of Dewatacengkar as the new king were the events in the year 1099. The construction of the new town was completed in the year 1020 and the town was named Mendhangkamulyan.

    (Hereinafter, no descriptions on Prambanan and Pengging appear.)




[1]  J. F. Scheltema, Monumental Java, Macmillan, London 1915 (pp.70-75).

[2]  PL Narasimham, "Ancient Hindu Shrines of Java", in The theosophist 36, Theosophical Soc., Madras, India, 1915; Imperial Japanese Government Railways, An official guide to Eastern Asia: Vol. 5 East Indies. including Philippine Islands, Frenchi Indo China, Siam, Malay Peninsula and Dutch East Indies, Tokyo, 1917;

[3]  Srima Sugiarti and Aditrijono (translation and summary), Babad Prambanan, Dept. of Education and Culture, Jakarta 1981. "Babad" means "chronicle" in English.

[4]  Ranggasutrasna (Ki Ngabei), Ranggasutrasna (Raden Ngabei), Paku Buwana IV (Sunan of Surakarta), Darusuprapta, Tim Penyadur, Centhini, Tambangraras  Amongraga Jilid 3, Balai Pustaka,(1999). In this version, the reason how the statue of Loro Jonggrang was formed was different from that in the first and the second stories in the present article. It was as follows. "Raden Bandung had built nine hundred and ninety-nine candi. When he asked Loro Jonggrang to marry him, as promised, and caught her who was petrified, after a tranquil moment she turned into the stone statue with four arms."

[5]  It is more or less confusing, but “that monarch” denotes “the King of Pengging”.

[6]  In the original text: “…Damar Moyo of the children of Sumendi Petoong”. Probably, it was misprinted.

[7]  In the original text, legen. Sap drawn from the cut of stalk of a kind of palm is fermented to produce palm-wine or served as it is as a drink.

[8]  In the original text: “…a gentler disposition, whom he recommended as…”

[9]  A note in the original text of J. F. Scheltema : “Not the last, as this legend has it, for Ratu Boko’s roaring can yet be heard on still nights, if we may believe the people who dwell on the banks of Telaga Powiniyan.”

[10]  A note in the original text of J. F. Scheltema: “Bondowoso’s curse took dire effect and the Javanese lassies of the neighbourhood who enter the bonds of matrimony about their fourteenth year comment with sarcastic pity on the fact that their sisters of Prambanan have, as a rule, to wait some ten rainy seasons longer – not without seeking compensation, it is alleged, after the example set by their patron saint Loro Jonggrang, whose maidenly life, according to the Babad Candi Sewu, of which more later on, was not altogether blameless.”

[11]  The Javanese Calendar, enacted by Sultan Agung in 1633, is a calendar in which the traditional Pawkon calendar (210 days/year) and the solar Islamic calendar (364 days/year) are combined. The Pawkon consists of Wuku (7-day week) and Pasaran (5-day week), and 30 Wuku corresponds to one year (210 days). The lunar eight years form one cycle (Windu). (Cf. Eric Oey (Ed.), Java (Periplus Adventure Guide), Periplus, Singapore 1997) The terms in the text denote: Wawu=the 7th year of Windu, Madhangan=the 20th Wuku week, Ruwah=the lunar 8th month, Kliwon=the 5th day of Parasan, Kamis=the 5th day of Wuku.

[12]  764 in the original text. The year was corrected with reference to Serat Poncadriya dumugi Raja Erayana: Wlnastan Kintaka Maharana = Pustaka Raja Madya in Nancy K. Florida, Javanese Literature in Surakarta Manuscripts, Vol. 2: Manuscripts of the Mangkunagaran Palace, Cornell University Southeast Asia Program Publications, 2000.

[13]  In this story, “raksasa” may be interpreted just as “giant” with no bearing to the raksasa (a divine guardian) in Buddhism.

[14]  Judging from the context, it must be a “false report”.

[15]  In this text, the honoric female title, “Loro” was spelled as “Rara”. The vowel, ‘a’ was often replaced by ‘o’ or vice versa in old Javanese documents.

[16]  This description in this paragraph is hardly understandable.

[17]  Probably a misprint.