An Age of Empires – The Sailendras and the Sanjaya’s

From the beginning, a tension developed in central Java between competing Buddhist and Hindu ruling families.

The first central-Javanese temples and inscriptions, dating from 732 A.D., were the work of a Hindu ruler by the name of Sanjaya.Very soon thereafter, however, a Budhist line of kings known as the Sailendras (Lords of the Mountain) seem to have comefrom the north coast of Java to impose their rule over Sanjaya and his descendants.

The Sailendras maintained close relations with Sriwijaya (both rulers were Buddhist) and ruled Java for about 100 years. During this relatively short period they constructed the magnificent Buddhist monuments of Borobudur, Mendut, Kalasan, Sewu and many others in the shadow of majestic Mt. Merapi. Still now this area is blessed with unusually fertile soils, and already in ancient times it must have supported a vast population, who all participated in the erection of these state monuments.

The decline of the Sailendras begand around 830 A.D. culminating with their ouster, in 856 A.D., by a descendant of Sanjaya. Apparently the Sanjayan line of kings ruled continuously over outlying areas of the realm as vassals of the Sailendras, and during this time they built many Hindus temples in remote areas of Java such as the Dieng Plateau and Mt. Ungaran (south of Semarang). Around 850 A.D., a prince of Sanjaya dynasty, Rakai Pikatan, married a Sailendran princess and seized control of central Java. The Sailendras fled to Sriwijaya, where they prospered and successfully blocked all Javanese shipping in the South China Sea for more than a century.

–> Read Also : An Age of Empires – The Mysterious Move to East Java

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