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1/16/2018 Shailendra dynasty - Wikipedia

Shailendra dynasty
The Shailendra dynasty
(IAST: Śailēndra derived from
Sanskrit combined words Śaila
and Indra, meaning "King of
the Mountain",[1] also spelled
Sailendra, Syailendra or
Selendra) was the name of a
notable Indonesian dynasty
that emerged in 8th century
Java whose reign marked a
cultural renaissance in the
region.[2] The Shailendras were
active promoters of Mahayana
Buddhism and covered the The bas relief of 8th century Borobudur depict a King sitting in Maharajalilasana
Kedu Plain of Central Java with (king's posture or royal ease) pose, with his Queen and their subjects, the scene is
based on Shailendran royal court.
Buddhist monuments, one of
which is the colossal stupa of
Borobudur, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[3][4][5]

The Shailendras are considered to be a thalassocracy and ruled maritime Southeast Asia, however they also relied on
agriculture pursuits through intensive rice cultivation on the Kedu Plain of Central Java. The dynasty appeared to be the
ruling family of both the Medang Kingdom of Central Java for some period and Srivijaya in Sumatra.

The inscriptions created by Shailendras uses three languages; Old Malay, Old Javanese and Sanskrit, written either in the
Kawi alphabet or pre-Nāgarī script. The use of Old Malay has sparked the speculation of a Sumatran origin or Srivijayan
connection of this family; on the other hand, the use of Old Javanese suggests their firm political establishment on Java.
The use of Sanskrit usually signifies the official nature and religious significance of the event written on the inscription.

Primary sources
Shailendras in Java
Shailendras in Sumatra
Shailendras in Bali
List of Shailendran rulers
See also 1/9
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External links

Primary sources
The Sojomerto inscription (c. 725) discovered in Batang Regency, Central Java, mentioned the name Dapunta Selendra
and Selendranamah. The name 'Selendra' was another spelling of Shailendra, suggested that Dapunta Selendra was the
progenitor of Shailendra family in Central Java.[6] The inscription is Shaivist in nature, which suggests that the family was
probably initially Hindu Shaivist before converting to Mahayana Buddhism.

The earliest dated inscription in Indonesia in which clearly mentioned the dynastic name of Śailēndra as
Śailēndravamśatilaka appears is the Kalasan inscription (778) of central Java, which mention its ruler Mahārāja dyāḥ
Pañcapaṇa kariyāna Paṇaṃkaraṇa and commemorates the establishment of a Buddhist shrine, Candi Kalasan, dedicated
for the goddess Tara.[2][7]

The name also appears in several other inscriptions like the Kelurak inscription (782) and the Karangtengah inscription
(824). Outside Indonesia, the name Shailendra is to be found in the Ligor inscription (775) on the Malay peninsula and
Nalanda inscription (860) in India.[7] It is possible that it was Paṇaṃkaraṇa that create the Chaiya, or Ligor inscription
(775), and took control over Srivijayan realm in the Southern Thailand Malay Peninsula.[2]

Although the rise of the Shailendras occurred in Kedu Plain in the Javanese heartland, their origin has been the subject of
discussion.[8] Apart from Java itself; an earlier homeland in Sumatra, India or Cambodia has been suggested. The latest
studies apparently favour a native origin of the dynasty. Despite their connections with Srivijaya in Sumatra and Thai-
Malay Peninsula, the Shailendras were more likely of Javanese origin.[9]

According to Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, an Indian scholar, the Shailendra dynasty that established itself in the
Indonesian archipleago originated from Kalinga in Eastern India.[10] This opinion is also shared by Nilakanta Sastri and J.
L. Moens. Moens further describes that the Shailendras originated in India and established themselves in Palembang
before the arrival of Srivijaya's Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa. In 683, the Shailendras moved to Java because of the
pressure exerted by Dapunta Hyang and his troops.[11]

In 1934, the French scholar Coedes proposed a relation with the Funan kingdom in Cambodia. Coedes believed that the
Funanese rulers used similar-sounding 'mountainlord' titles, but several Cambodia specialists have discounted this. They
hold there is no historical evidence for such titles in the Funan period.[12]

Sumatra 2/9
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Other scholars hold that the expansion of Buddhist kingdom of Srivijaya was involved in the rise of the dynasty in Java.[13]
Supporters of this connection emphasize the shared Mahayana patronage; the intermarriages and the Ligor inscription.
Also the fact that some of Shailendra's inscriptions were written in old Malay, which suggested Srivijaya or Sumatran
connections. The name 'Selendra' was first mentioned in Sojomerto inscription (725) as "Dapunta Selendra". Dapunta
Selendra is suggested as the ancestor of Shailendras. The title Dapunta is similar to those of Srivijayan King Dapunta
Hyang Sri Jayanasa, and the inscription — although discovered in Central Java north coast — was written in old Malay,
which suggested the Sumatran origin or Srivijayan connection to this family.

Another theory suggests that Shailendra was a native Javanese dynasty and the Sanjaya dynasty was actually a branch of
the Shailendras since Sri Sanjaya and his offspring belong to the Shailendra family that were initially the Shaivist rulers of
the Medang Kingdom.[14] The association of Shailendra with Mahayana Buddhism began after the conversion of
Panaraban or Panangkaran to Buddhism. This theory is based on the Carita Parahyangan, which tells of the ailing King
Sanjaya ordering his son, Rakai Panaraban or Panangkaran, to convert to Buddhism because their faith in Shiva was
feared by the people in favor of the pacifist Buddhist faith. The conversion of Panangkaran to Buddhism also corresponds
to the Raja Sankhara inscription, which tells of a king named Sankhara (identified as Panangkaran) converting to
Buddhism because his Shaiva faith was feared by the people. Unfortunately, the Raja Sankhara inscription is now missing.

Shailendras in Java
The Shailendra rulers maintained cordial relations, including marriage
alliances with Srivijaya in Sumatra. For instance, Samaragrawira married
Dewi Tara, a daughter of Srivijayan Maharaja Dharmasetu. The mutual
alliance between the two kingdoms ensured that Srivijaya had no need to
fear the emergence of a Javanese rival and that the Shailendra had access
to the international market.
Borobudur, the largest Buddhist structure
in the world.
Karangtengah inscription dated 824 mentioned about king
Samaratungga. His daughter named Pramodhawardhani has inaugurated
a Jinalaya, a sacred buddhist sanctuary. The inscription also mentioned a sacred Buddhist building called Venuvana to
place the cremated ashes of King Indra. The Tri Tepusan inscription dated 842 mentioned about the sima (tax free) lands
awarded by Śrī Kahulunan (Pramodhawardhani, daughter of Samaratungga) to ensure the funding and maintenance of a
Kamūlān called Bhūmisambhāra.[15] Kamūlān itself from the word mula which means 'the place of origin', a sacred
building to honor the ancestors. These findings suggested that either the ancestors of the Shailendras were originated
from Central Java, or as the sign that Shailendra have established their holds on Java. Casparis suggested that Bhūmi
Sambhāra Bhudhāra which in Sanskrit means "The mountain of combined virtues of the ten stages of Boddhisattvahood",
was the original name of Borobudur.[16]

The received older version holds that the Shailendra dynasty existed next to the Sanjaya dynasty in Java. Much of the
period was characterized by peaceful co-existence and cooperation but towards the middle of the 9th century relations had
deteriorated. Around 852 the Sanjaya ruler Pikatan had defeated Balaputra, the offspring of the Shailendra monarch
Samaratunga and princess Tara. This ended the Shailendra presence in Java and Balaputra retreated to the Srivijaya
kingdom in Sumatra, where he became the paramount ruler.[17][18]:108

Earlier historians, such as N.J. Krom and Coedes, tend to equate Samaragrawira and Samaratungga as the same
person.[18]:108 However, later historians such as Slamet Muljana equate Samaratungga with Rakai Garung, mentioned in
Mantyasih inscription as fifth monarch of Mataram Kingdom. Which means Samaratungga was the successor of 3/9
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Samaragrawira, and Balaputradewa that is also Samaragrawira's son, is Samaratungga's younger brother and ruled in
Suvarnadvipa (Sumatra), and he is not Samaratungga's son. This version holds Balaputra that reign in Sumatra challenged
the Pikatan-Pramodhawardhani legitimation in Java, arguing that his niece and her husband has less rights to rule Java
compared to his.

Shailendras in Sumatra
After 824, there are no more references to the Shailendra house in the Javanese ephigraphic record. Around 860 the name
re-appears in the Nalanda inscription in India. According to the text, the king Devapaladeva of Bengala (Pala Empire) had
granted 'Balaputra, the king of Suvarna-dvipa' (Sumatra) the revenues of 5 villages to a Buddhist monastery near Bodh
Gaya. Balaputra was styled a descendant from the Shailendra dynasty and grandson of the king of Java.[18]:108–109[19]

From Sumatra, the Shailendras also maintained overseas relations with the Chola kingdom in Southern India, as shown by
several south Indian inscriptions. An 11th-century inscription mentioned the grant of revenues to a local Buddhist
sanctuary, built in 1005 by the king of the Srivijaya. In spite the relations were initially fairly cordial, hostilities had broken
out in 1025.[20] Rajendra Chola I the Emperor of the Chola dynasty conquered some territories of the Shailendra Dynasty
in the 11th century.[21] The devastation caused by Chola invasion of Srivijaya in 1025, marked the end of Shailendra family
as the ruling dynasty in Sumatra. The last king of Shailendra dynasty — the Maharaja Sangrama Vijayatunggavarman —
was imprisoned and taken as hostage. Nevertheless, amity was re-established between the two states, before the end of the
11th century. In 1090 a new charter was granted to the old Buddhist sanctuary, it is the last known inscription with a
reference to the Shailendras. With the absence of legitimate successor, Shailendra dynasty seems ceased to rule. Other
family within Srivijaya mandala took over the throne, a new Maharaja named Sri Deva according to Chinese source
establishing new dynasty to rule Srivijaya. He sent an embassy to the court of China in 1028 CE.

Shailendras in Bali
Sri Kesari Warmadewa was said to be a Buddhist king of the Shailendra Dynasty, leading a military expedition,[22] to
establishing a Mahayana Buddhist government in Bali.[23] In 914, he left a record of his endeavour in the Belanjong pillar
in Sanur in Bali. According to this inscription Warmadewa dynasty was probably the branch of Shailendras that rule Bali.

List of Shailendran rulers

Traditionally, the Shailendra period was viewed to span from the 8th to the 9th century, confined only in Central Java,
from the era of Panangkaran to Samaratungga. However the recent interpretation suggests the longer period of Shailendra
family might existed, from mid 7th century (edict of Sojomerto inscription) to early 11th century (the fall of Shailendran
dynasty of Srivijaya under Chola invasion). For certain period, Shailendras ruled both Central Java and Sumatra. Their
alliance and intermarriage with Srivijayan ruling family resulted with the merging of two royal houses, with Shailendran
finally emerge as the ruling family of both Srivijaya and Medang Mataram (Central Java).

Some historians tried to reconstruct the order and list of Shailendra rulers, although there is some disagreement on the
list. Boechari tried to reconstruct the early stage of Shailendra based on Sojomerto inscription, while other historians such
as Slamet Muljana and Poerbatjaraka tried to reconstruct the list of Shailendran king in middle and later period with their
connections to Sanjaya and Srivijaya, based on inscriptions and Carita Parahyangan manuscript. However, there is some
confusion occurred, because the Shailendra seems to rule many kingdoms; Kalingga, Medang and later Srivijaya. As the
result name of the same kings often overlapped and seens to rule these kingdoms simultaneously. The questionmark (?)
signify doubt or speculation because of the scarcity of available valid sources. 4/9
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King's or ruler's and
Date Capital Event
name source of
The Shaivist old
family began to
settle in coastal
Sojomerto Central Java,
c. 650 Santanu ? inscription (c. suggested of
670—700) Sumatran origin (?)
or native Javanese
family under
influences (vassal)
Establishing ruling
Sojomerto family, the first time
c. 674 Dapunta Selendra inscription (c. the name 'Selendra'
Java north
670—700) (Shailendra) was
Kalingga, account on
somewhere Hwi-ning
674— Ruling the kingdom
Shima (?) between visits to Ho-
703 of Kalingga
Pekalongan ling kingdom
and Jepara (664) and the
reign of
queen Hsi-mo
703— Carita
Mandimiñak (?) ?
710 Parahyangan
Sanna ruled Java,
Canggal but after his death
710— inscription the kingdom fell to
Sanna ?
717 (732), Carita chaotic disunity by
Parahyangan usurper or foreign
Sanjaya, the
nephew of Sanna
restore the order
and ascend to
throne, some early
Mataram, historian took this
717— inscription
Sanjaya Central event as the
760 (732), Carita
Java establishment of
new Sanjaya
Dynasty, while other
hold that this only
the continuation of
Shailendras 5/9
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King's or ruler's and
Date Capital Event
name source of
Rakai Panangkaran
converted from
Shaivism to
Mataram, inscription,
760— Mahayana
Rakai Panangkaran Central Kalasan
775 Buddhism,
Java inscription
construction of
(778), Carita
Also ruled Srivijaya
in Sumatra,
Kelurak construction of
inscription Manjusrigrha
Mataram, (782), Ligor temple, started the
Dharanindra Central inscription (c. construction of
Java 782 or Borobudur (c. 770),
Java ruled Ligor
and Southern
Cambodia (Chenla)
(c. 790)
Mataram, Ligor Also ruled Srivijaya,
812 Samaragrawira[18]:92–93 Central inscription (c. lost Cambodia
Java 787) (802)

Mataram, Karangtengah Also ruled Srivijaya,

Samaratungga Central inscription completion of
Java (824)[18]:92 Borobudur (825)

Defeated and
expelled Balaputra
to Srivijaya
Construction of
Prambanan and
Plaosan temple.
The successors of
Pikatan, the series
of Medang kings
from Lokapala (850
Pramodhawardhani co- —890) to Wawa
Mamrati, Shivagrha
833— reign with her husband (924—929) could
Central inscription
856 be considered as
Rakai Pikatan[18]:108 Java (856)
the continuation of
Shailendra lineage,
although King
Balitung (898—910)
in Mantyasih
inscription (907)
sought ancestor
only as far as
Sanjaya, thus
enforced the
Sanjaya dynasty
theory. 6/9
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King's or ruler's and
Date Capital Event
name source of
Defeated by
Shivagrha expelled from
inscription Central Java, took
833— (856), refuge in Sumatra
Balaputradewa South
850 Nalanda and rule Srivijaya,
inscription claim as the
(860) legitimate
successor of
Shailendra dynasty
from Java[18]:108
Srivijaya, Embassies to
embassies, tribute
c. 960 Śri Udayadityavarman South China (960
and trade mission
Sumatra and 962)
to China
Srivijaya, Embassies to
embassies, tribute
c. 980 Haji (Hia-Tche) South China (980–
and trade mission
Sumatra 983)
to China
embassies, tribute
Embassies to and trade mission
China (988- to China, Javanese
992-1003), King
Sri Cudamani Tanjore Dharmawangsa
c. 988 South
Warmadewa Inscription or invasion on
Leiden Srivijaya, building of
Inscription temple for Chinese
(1044) Emperor, gift of
village by Raja-raja
c. Embassies to embassies, tribute
Sri Maravijayottungga South
1008 China (1008) and trade mission
to China (1008)
c. Embassies to embassies, tribute
Sumatrabhumi South
1017 China (1017) and trade mission
to China (1017)
Chola raid on
Srivijaya, Inscription on
c. Sangrama Srivijaya, the capital
South the temple of
1025 Vijayatunggavarman captured by
Sumatra Rajaraja,
Rajendra Chola

See also
List of monarchs of Java
Candi of Indonesia 7/9
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1. Cœdes, G (1983). The making of South East Asia ( translated
by H.M. Wright. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 96. ISBN 9780520050617. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
2. Zakharov, Anton O. (August 2012). "The Sailendras Reconsidered" (
er_series_12.pdf) (PDF). Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Singapore.
3. "Borobudur Temple Compounds" ( UNESCO World Heritage Centre. UNESCO.
Retrieved 2006-12-05.
4. "Patrons of Buddhism, the Śailēndras during the height of their power in central Java constructed impressive
monuments and temple complexes, the best known of which is the Borobudur on the Kedu Plain" (quoted from Hall
5. "Shailendra dynasty" ( Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved
11 September 2015.
6. Boechari (1966). "Preliminary report on the discovery of an Old Malay inscription at Sojomerto". MISI. III: 241–251.
7. Hall(1985:110)
8. Roy E. Jordaan (2006). "Why the Shailendras were not a Javanese dynasty". Indonesia and the Malay World. 34
(98): 3–22. doi:10.1080/13639810600650711 (
9. Zakharov, Anton A (August 2012). "The Śailendras Reconsidered" (
p:// (PDF). Singapore: The Nalanda-
Srivijaya Centre Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. p. 27. Archived from the original (
f/nscwps12.pdf) (PDF) on November 1, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
10. Majumdar, 1933: 121-141
11. Moens, 1937: 317-487
12. (Jacques 1979; Vickery 2003-2004)
13. e.g. Munoz (2006:139)
14. (Poerbatjaraka, 1958: 254-264)
15. Drs. R. Soekmono, (1973, 5th reprint edition in 1988). Pengantar Sejarah Kebudayaan Indonesia 2, 2nd ed.
Yogyakarta: Penerbit Kanisius. p. 46. Check date values in: |date= (help)
16. Walubi. "Borobudur : Candi Berbukit Kebajikan" (
17. " De Casparis proposed that in 856 Balaputra was defeated by Pikatan, whereupon Balaputra retreated to Srivijaya,
the country of his mother, to become the first Shailendra ruler of Srivijaya. Thus in the late 9th century Srivijaya was
ruled by a Buddhist Shailendra ruler, while Java was ruled by Pikatan and his successors who patronized Siva" (cf.
De Casparis, 1956; Hall, 1985:111).
18. Coedès, George (1968). Walter F. Vella, ed. The Indianized States of Southeast Asia. trans.Susan Brown Cowing.
University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-0368-1.
19. Hall (1985:109)
20. Hall (1985:200)
21. Indian Civilization and Culture by Suhas Chatterjee p.499
22. Bali handbook with Lombok and the Eastern Isles by Liz Capaldi, Joshua Eliot p.98 [1] (
23. Bali & Lombok Lesley Reader, Lucy Ridout p.156 (

De Casparis, J.G. de (1956). Prasasti Indonesia II : Selected inscriptions from the 7th to the 9th centuries AD.
Bandung: Masu Baru, 1956 8/9
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Kenneth Perry Landon (1969). Southeast Asia. Crossroad of Religions. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-
Briggs, Lawrence Palmer (1951). "[Review of] South East Asia. Crossroad of Religions by K.P. Landon". The Far
Eastern Quarterly. 9 (3): 271–277.
G. Coedes (1934). "On the origins of the Sailendras of Indonesia". Journal of the Greater India society. I: 61–70.
K.R. Hall (1985). Maritime Trade and State Development in Early South East Asia. Honolulu: University of Hawaii
Press. ISBN 0-8248-0959-9.
Claude Jacques (1979). " 'Funan', 'Zhenla '. The Reality Concealed by These Chinese Views of IndoChina". In R.B.
Smith and W. Watson. Early South East Asia. Essays in Archaeology, History and Historical Geography. New
York/Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press. pp. 371–389.
M. Vickery (2003–2004). "Funan reviewed: Deconstructing the Ancients". Bulletin de l' Ecole Francaise d' Extreme
Orient: 101–143.
Paul Michel Munoz (2006). Early Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malay Peninsula. Editions Didier
Millet. ISBN 981-4155-67-5.

External links
Borobudur website (

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