Situs Candi Solok Sipin

(Archaeological Temple at Lake Sipin)

Stupa in the Museum Negeri Jambi. The stupa is said to have been from Situs Candi Solok Sipin. It’s about 4′ tall.

At the eastern edge of Lake Sipin there are remnants of an ancient Buddhist shrine / temple.  Two of the objects found there have been moved to the Museum Negeri Jambi. The two objects are a lapik (base or foundation) and a small stupa (stone structure in the shape of a bell). The location of Situs Candi Solok Sipin can be found by clicking this link.

Lapis (base), which was said to have been brought to the Museum Negeri Jambi from Situs Candi Solok Sipin. This is evidence that there must have been a statue situated on top of this base.

Documentation indicates that there was a statue that was found there, which was moved to the National Museum in Jakarta. When we asked the Museum Negeri Jambi officials for photos of the statue, workers at the museum weren’t able to produce them. There was uncertainty if there really was any additional artifacts found there, besides the lapik and stupa.

Tragically, in the 1970’s a bulldozer was allowed to enter this archaeological site and level the area in preparation for home construction. This resulted in an inability to reconstruct the site’s history, since many homes are sitting on plots that could have been excavated. Bricks from the ancient ruins can be seen piled in heaps all over the area.

Our below video shows what the only preserved site looks like at this time.

The ruler of Jambi at the time worship was taking place at this site was known as “Dewa Sekerabah” (the god Sekerabah).   Today the name “Sekerabah” is used to refer to the community of people living in the area (kelurahan) of Solok Sipin, or, “Candi Situs Solok Sipin.” The Jambi historian and cultural expert, H. Junaidi T. Noor, wrote in his book Mencari Jejak Sangkala, that “Dewa Sekerabah” was the same person as “Si Pahit Lidah.”  Noor derived that information from the book Undang-undang Piagam Negeri Jambi (1937).  In his book, Noor goes on to explain that after “Si Pahit Lidah” died, a Hindu king from the Mataram kingdom came to Jambi and became the king over Jambi. He built statues of worship in the eastern portion of the Jambi Province (Tanjung Jabung) and named the location Pulau Berhala (Statue Island). None of the statues are still in existence. An Arabic Islamic missionary, who carries the title of Datuk Paduka Berhala, is accredited with having had the statues all destroyed.