Muaro Jambi Temples are not only about the ancient relic, which is aesthetically attractive. According to some geologists, beneath the temple complex has been also stored treasures from Buddha-era. Abdul Haviz, a tour guide and the chairman of Youth Creative Center of Muarojambi Temple revealed the discovery of gold paper and gold soil in Gumpang Temple is evidence of the treasure.
I’m going move back a while to inform that, the temple complex is located in Muaro Jambi Village, Muaro Sebo District, two miles northeast of the city of Jambi. In this area we will also see Astano Temple, Tinggi Temple, Gumpung Temple, Kembar Batu Temple, Gedong Temple, Kedato Temple, and Koto Mahligai Temple.
The Muaro Jambi Temples were anciently a place of education adherents of Buddhism. Interestingly, during the age of 7th-14th, the Indian travelers named the area “Swarnadwipa”, which means “gold island”.
The naming becomes suspicious since the beginning. Thus, “I am sure when the temple was named the gold Island, that’s the way it is,” said Abdul.
Speculation on the treasure has been reinforced by the Committee of Jambi Archaeological Heritage Preservation. When they dig Kedaton Temple on August 10, 2011, they found a pair of dragon-shaped makara. “We also found ancient building under Gumpung Temple, Kedaton and Telago Rajo,” said their spokesman, Agus Widiatmoko.
The temple, according to him, could be the oldest and largest university in Southeast Asia. Built in the 7th century and became a center of education that had its golden age for nearly seven centuries. Hundreds, maybe even thousands of temples found there. So, there are always a possibility of buried treasure, regarding the findings of gold soil and paper inside Gumpang Temple, not to mention the epithet “swarnadwipa” before.
You know, the temples are interconnected. In 12 square kilometers of Muaro Jambi Temple complex, there are linked canals and ditches. They culminate in Batang Hari River. The canals and temples are only 200-300 meters far. The 2-3 meters wide trenches in front of the temple is also believed to be one of the entrance into the temple. People in the period might come to these temples by boat.
Currently, the geologists are examining every possibility of the treasure lies beneath. Although, keep in mind that the treasure doesn’t always mean gold, diamond or money. It can be “just” knowledge, for instance.
The Department of Tourism has registered Muaro Jambi Temples as a world heritage monument by UNESCO. However, if you pay a visit, you’ll see that the temples are surrounded by crude palm oil industries, coal terminals, gold and coral mining. Of course, it’s not conducive for the research and reservation efforts. What a sad. [photo from sambelpedas.wordpress.com]