Bumiayu Bathing Area, Sriwijaya Heritage in PALI


INDEPHEDIA.com - The Bumiayu Baths area or known as Bumiayu Temple, located in Penukal Abab Lematang Ilir (PALI) Regency, South Sumatra Province, Indonesia, is a relic of the Sriwijaya Kingdom.

Previously, the site which was in Bumiayu Village, Tanah Abang District, PALI Regency, was only referred to as a temple.

However, after excavations were carried out in stages towards the discovery of this site, gradually the function of the area began to be revealed, although more in-depth research still needs to be done.

Located by the River

Based on archaeological studies, the Bumiayu Baths Area has an area of 210 hectares. The astronomical location of the enshrinement area is at 3*19'5.59″ South Latitude and 104*5'5.4 East Longitude.

This enshrinement area is on the meander of the Lematang River with boundaries, to the east by the Lematang River and to the south by the Lubuk Panjang River.

Then, to the west of the area it is bordered by the Tebat Siku River and to the north by the Tebat Jambu River.

Found E.P. Tombrink

The Bumiayu Baths were first discovered and reported by E.P. Tombrink in 1864 in Hindoe Monumenten in de Bovenlanden van Palembang.

During his visit to the Lematang Ulu area, it was reported that there were Hindu antiquities, in the form of 26 statues from the tract. One of them is the Arca Nandi.

Meanwhile, in the Lematang Ilir area, still in the vicinity of the enshrinement area, ruins of a temple near Tanah Abang Hamlet and a relief of a parrot were found.

Since that discovery, a few years later a Dutch controller named AJ. Knaap reported that in the Lematang area a 1.75 meter high brick building was found.

Gedebong Shrimp Palace

Based on the information obtained at the time, the ruins were the former Gedebong Udang (Gedebong Shrimp) Palace. In the same year, the initial research on the Bumiayu Bathing Area was carried out.

Furthermore, research was carried out continuously by foreign researchers, including JLA Brandes in 1904 and Westenenk in 1923.

The results of a more specific study of the Bumiayu Baths Area were carried out in 1930 by Van Den Bosch.

In the Oudheidkundig Verslag magazine, it was stated that in Tanah Abang a corner of a building with terracotta ornaments from Ghana was found.

Apart from that, in this area a phallus-shaped top of the building was also found, an antherfix and a headless statue.

Schnitger in 1936 conducted research in the area and in his research he managed to find 3 ruins of brick buildings.

The research also found other historical objects, such as a fragment of a Shiva statue, 2 heads of Kala, a fragment of a lion statue and a number of bricks decorated with birds.

Intensive Research

After independence, research was conducted by the National Research Center in collaboration with Pennsylvania University, which began in 1973. This study found 3 ruins of brick buildings.

Research by the Puslitarkenas was continued again in 1976, which managed to find 3 more ruins of buildings.

Intensive research was carried out again by the National Research Center in collaboration with Ecole Francaise Orient (EFEO) in 1992, covering geological and biological research.

The result of this study is that the site is surrounded by a moat connected to the Lematang River.

In 1992, conservation efforts were initiated by the Directorate of Protection and Development of Historical and Archeological Heritage.

By conducting a feasibility study, the results recommended that eight (8) pieces of ruins of temple buildings in this area be worthy of restoration.

At that time, to identify the findings, the agency also numbered the ruins of the buildings found.

Since 1993 the Jambi Cultural Heritage Preservation Center has continuously made efforts to preserve the Bumiayu Baths Area.

The preservation includes area zoning, inventory, conservation studies, restoration, construction of supporting facilities and the placement of site caretakers and site security personnel.

Temple and Statue Brick Structure

To date, 11 brick structures have been found in the Bumiayu Baths Area. However, as many as 5 restorations have been carried out.

The five brick structures are temple 1 (1992), temple 2 (2009), temple 3 (1997), temple 7 (2009) and temple 8 (2000).

The statues found at Bumiayu Temple include the Shiva statue, Dewa 1 statue, Dewa 2 statue, Agastya statue, Lion statue, Camundi statue and Nandi statue which is the vehicle of Lord Shiva.

Then, in this area there were also reliefs of Old Cockatoo, Head of Kala Temple 8, Peripih Nawasanga Temple 1, Makara Temple 8, Jaladwara Temple 8, Inscription, Linga, Yoni and Stambha. (*)

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