Astronomical Aspects of Sukuh Temple, a Fifteenth Century Hindu Temple in Indonesia

  • A. K. Rodhiyah
  • T. Hidayat
Conference paper
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings book series (ASSSP, volume 54)


Sukuh Temple is a Hindu temple located at Karanganyar, Central Java, Indonesia, and was built in the fifteenth century CE during the Majapahit Kingdom, but after the fall of Majapahit when the influence of Hinduism had started to weaken and the Islamic Kingdom of Demak had begun to rise.

This west-facing temple has three gates. In the first gate, there is a relief of a lingga and yoni (phallus and vagina), as a symbol of fertility. There is also a relief that refers to the year 1359 in the Saka calendar, which corresponds to CE 1437. The second gate has a relief that refers to the year of 1378 Saka/1456 CE. Beyond the third gate was the main building which was shaped like a truncated pyramid.

It is possible that the buildings at Sukuh Temple were aligned with the Sun, as declination measurements of celestial objects above the temple indicate this.



AKR wishes to gratefully acknowledge the Department of Astronomy and Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the Institut Teknologi Bandung for a grant to pursue research at Sukuh Temple. AKR also wishes to thank Dr. Lutfi Balar, Ulul Rachmawati and Sitti Attari Khairunnisa for useful discussions, and Mohammad Hafieduddin, Lilis Mubasaroh, Yasmin Haidar Basalamah and Saffanah Zahirah for their assistance. Finally, we both wish to thank Professor Wayne Orchiston for helping with the revision of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Hindustan Book Agency 2018 and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. K. Rodhiyah
    • 1
  • T. Hidayat
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Astronomy, FMIPAInstitut Teknologi BandungBandungIndonesia

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