Tracing Indonesia’s Legacy – Muarajambi Region

The 20.62 square kilometres (2,062 hectares) region of Muarajambi spreads across 7.5 kilometres along the Batanghari riverside.

A few temples buildings have been identified and a handful have been restored, including Candi Gedong I (65 m x 85 m), Candi Gedong II (76 m x 67.5 m), Candi Kembarbatu, Candi Kotamahligai (estimated 113.60 m x 95.60 m), Candi Gumpung (150 m x 155 m), Candi Kedaton (215 m x 250 m), Candi Tinggi, Candi Tinggi I, Candi Astano, Candi Sialang, Candi Teluk I , Candi Teluk II and Bukit Perak.

An estimated 80 ‘menapo’ (mounds of ruins) are still left unrestored. In addition, there are also several ponds, with Telagorajo pond being one of the biggest.

Muarajambi Region – Indonesia’s Oldest and Longest Centre of Education

While there are numerous literatures on explorations of Srivijaya, most of them refer to Srivijaya as a kingdom, as a centre of trade, and are more focused on its social-political life. However, archelogical indications, epigraphical evidences and various notes from travellers indicate that Srivijaya was also a main centre of education. In that case, where is the said education centre? What can we bring to light from the greatness of this legacy?

The Significance of Muarajambi Region

With as fast as 2,602 hectares area, Muarajambi is a very important region for Indonesia and the world.  According to McKinnon, “Muarajambi is the most extensive and probably the most important archaeological site in Sumatra. It covers an area of some 1,000 hectares, transected by a system of both natural and artificial waterways … it’s the first identifiable late first/early second millennium urban complex to be discovered in Sumatra”.  (E. Edwards McKinnon: Early Politics in Southern Sumatra: Some Preliminary Observations Based on Archaeological Evidence).

As a comparison, the Muarajambi complex is 100 times more enormous than Nalanda’s archaeological site, one of the world’s oldest education centres at the time of Muarajambi.

Nalanda’s archaeological site area, one of the ancient universities in the world

Muarajambi region

The Muarajambi complex is estimated to be 100 times bigger than Nalanda

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