Manual Excursion: Pura Aditya Jaya

by Erdira Wirengjurit
7th March 2019
A genuine taste of Bali, unglamourised by coffee shops and beaches, is found in Pura Aditya Jaya in Rawamangun, the oldest Hindu temple in Jakarta that houses the unfeigned spirit-lifting atmosphere from the Island of the Gods.

The compound is seated a turn away from one of the busiest streets in Rawamangun. Yet, upon that very turn, the clunking and braking of cars and city clatters grow more and more distant to eventually nothing. Shaded among lush tall trees, the Aditya Jaya Temple transports you back to Bali where a mystic composedness draws you in.

“Om swastiastu” you’d hear worshippers greet each other, gently press their palms together upon entering the grounds of the temple. As you make your way, the atmosphere doesn’t read hushed and quiet, it’s in fact lively with kids from the nearby school, residents and the temple community chit-chattering at the bale (gazebo). But amidst all that, it’s nonetheless composed: each noise belongs and undisturbed from the city’s hustle bustle.

Erected in 1972, Pura Aditya Jaya stands as one of Jakarta’s oldest and largest Hindu temple, built in different phases until its completion in 1997. Like the many temples found on the Island of the Gods, this Pura is open-air and adopts the aesthetics and architecture of Balinese temples. Stone towers and statues of Hindu deities adorn the place with plumeria flower trees aplenty, which is one among the many types of flower Hindus use in their prayers and offerings.

Whereby rain or sun, worshippers, kids and adults alike, still come for prayer. A set of rituals precedes our entrance to the holy grounds. A quick ablution, or cleansing of our face, hands, and feet is required. Then, worshippers make their way to the court with few sticks of incenses in hand and wearing the iconic Balinese belt cloth.

Even though a simple gate separates the worshipping court from the rest of the grounds, here, one is yet again transported into a different atmosphere: mystic and spiritual. Seated on the stone pavement, each person worships in a calming silence: eyes closed, lips hushing the prayers, and with the lit up incenses overwhelming the airs around. To non-adherents of Hinduism, this scene might be in the likes of a meditation ritual, which isn’t entirely wrong: for Hindus, prayer is meditation.

One person, the temple elder, walks by every worshipper to end their rituals with splashes of holy water onto their heads, a few pours to drink from your hands and ended with small spoonful of rice to be placed on their forehead. Pak Wayan, as he’s called, has been the temple elder who guards the grounds since 1982.

Hard to believe that this sanctuary exists in a city that’s known to be mercilessly congested. Yet, here at Aditya Jaya temple, one gets to taste the full experience of being in the Island of the Gods, and not the one where coffee shops and beaches glamourise the landscape.


Pura Aditya Jaya

Jl. Daksinapati Raya No.10, Rawamangun