One of the records of the most powerful and phenomenal eruption of Mount Merap was in 1006 AD which supposedly changed the history of ancient Javanese civilization.

Mount Merapi is the most active and dangerous mountain in the world. Routinely every 2-5 years, this volcano will certainly experience an eruption. The record of the eruption of Mount Merapi has been known since 3,000 years ago. One of the greatest and most phenomenal occurred in 1006 AD which supposedly changed the history of Javanese civilization.

Notes from the Pucangan Inscription written during the time of King Airlangga of the Kahuripan Kingdom reveal a major disaster in Ancient Mataram in 928 Saka or 1006 AD. Ancient Mataram Kingdom or also known as Hindu Mataram refers to the Medang Kingdom which was around the Yogyakarta area then in Kedu , near Temanggung.

D.H Labberton in his book entitled Oud Javaanesche Gegevens Omtrent de Vulkanologie van Java (1992) explained that the big disaster in question was the volcanic event of Mount Merapi. This was supported by R.W. van Bemmelen via The Geology of Indonesia (1949). According to Bemmelen, the eruption of Mount Merapi in 1006 forced Ancient Mataram to move its center of government to the East Java region.

Sri Maharaja Rakai Hino Sri Isana Wikramadharmotunggadewa or Mpu Sindok is the ruler of the Ancient Mataram Kingdom who decided on the move. Suddenly, Hindu civilization in Yogyakarta and Central Java slowly disappeared and was forgotten. The magnificent Prambanan and Borobudur temples collapsed before being rediscovered by the Dutch East Indies.

The condition of Prambanan Temple and Borobudur Temple when they were first discovered (hipwee.com).

Mount Merapi Eruption in 1006 AD

Not without reason, the eruption of Merapi in 1006 AD disturbed the government. Cold lava after the eruption of Mount Merapi caused the Progo River to be blocked and formed the Gendol Hills on the west side of Mount Merapi. The volcanic earthquake and the massive eruption of Mount Merapi have also severely damaged the Mendut and Borobudur temples.

Sambisari Temple, located in Kalasan, Sleman Regency, was also affected by this eruption. Sambisari temple is buried in cold lava as high as 6.5 meters underground. Allegedly, cold lava from the eruption of Mount Merapi in 1006 AD in the form of rocks, sand, and soil has buried the Hindu temples which are not far from the Prambanan and Kalasan temples.

Due to this unstable natural condition, Mpu Sindok decided to move the center of government of the Ancient Mataram Kingdom from Yogyakarta and Central Java to East Java, to be precise around the present Jombang area. Even so, there are still many debates and pros and cons related to the validity of the historical facts of the eruption of Mount Merapi.

Sambisari temple which was buried 6.5 meters by cold lava of Merapi (yukepo.com)

Merapi Eruption Controversy in 1006 AD

The opinion of Labberton and Bemmelen is controversial. Boechari through his research Some Consideration of the Problem of the Shift of Mataram's Center of Government from Central to East Jawa in The 10th Century A.D in 1976 denied that the eruption of Mount Merapi occurred in 1006 AD. According to Boechari, there was a misinterpretation in reading Prasarti Pucangan.

The big disaster in question only occurred in 1016 AD when King Dharmawangsa was in power (991-1016 AD). It was also not caused by volcanic activity, but was attacked by other kingdoms which at the same time ended the era of the Ancient Mataram Kingdom. Based on the Anjukladang inscription and the Lor Temple, Mpu Sindok is known to have reigned in 929-947 AD This means that in 1006 AD when the eruption of Mount Merapi, Ancient Mataram had indeed moved.

Not sure which version is correct. However, the fact that the eruption of Mount Merapi in 1006 AD did have a major impact and influenced the lives of the people of Ancient Mataram. There are three reasons that may have caused the transfer of the center of the ancient Mataram government, namely the high intensity of Mount Merapi, avoiding attacks from Sriwijaya, or finding a strategic location for the center of government.



Source – 2020-11-26 06:30:00

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