Dharanindra: King of Medang and Srivijaya

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Chapter 1, Part 7

Panangkaran’s reign in the kingdom of Medang ended in the year 775, leaving a legacy of a new Buddhist kingdom as well as starting the era of Hindu-Buddhist temple construction within his realm. His successor, Dharanindra, emerged as an even more powerful ruler than Panangkaran. Thanks to Sailendra’s turn to Buddhism and intermarriages with the ruling family of the Sumatra-based Buddhist kingdom of Srivijaya, the Medang-Srivijayan union became a major power in Maritime Southeast Asia.

During his reign Dharanindra, also called King Indra, commissioned the construction of Manjusrigrha, ‘House of Manjusri’ after the most important bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhist tradition. The design of the temple, however, is believed to have been made during Panangkaran’s rule. Taking the layout of a mandala – a symmetrical shape symbolizing the universe in Buddhism cosmology – the main temple at the…

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