Since Trowulan is a short distance away from Surabaya, there are many hotels available in Surabaya. But if you wish to stay near Trowulan, here are a number of hotels in Mojokerto:
It will take more than a day to fully experience all that this historical city has to offer, so do not visit it in a hurry. Numerous ancient temples and tombs dot the city, each lending an idea towards what life may have been like in the Majapahit Era. The tomb of Sheikh Jumadil Troloyo Quobra, grandfather of Wali Songo is one of these sites, which shows the existence of the Muslim community at that time. Other tombs can also be found, which date back to before the Majapahit Empire.
Candi Brahu, or Brahu Temple is located in the Bejijong Village in Trowulan, and is said to have been used as a spot for cremations.
Candi Tikus, or Rat Temple, got its name from a nest of rats that was found in its grounds upon its discovery. The temple is constructed of red bricks, and oddly, is built several meters below ground level. A series of steps and corridors lead downwards, towards the center, where a small pool lies. Within the pool is a tower, roughly 2 meters tall, surrounded by 8 other smaller towers. Candi Tikus is said to resemble a similar temple built on Mount Mahameru in India.
Not far from Candi Tikus is yet another temple, Candi Bajang Ratu, or The Temple of Queen Bajang. This temple is bordered by an enormous garden, spanning 11,500 square meters, and filled with colorful flowers. A wide driveway leads towards a high, roofed gate, which opens towards the temple. Like many of the temples in the area, the temple is built of red brick, and elaborately decorated with reliefs of the classic Ramayana Legend. This temple is said to be the place of coronation of Queen Bajang.
The Rat temple, Trowulan (Source : wikimedia.org)
The Majapahit Segaran Pool is the largest of 32 ancient ponds in Trowulan. It measures 375 meters in length and 125 meters in width. This pool was built slightly above ground level, and was used as a reservoir. Uncovered channels and connecting drainage systems show that it was to irrigate nearby plantations as well. According to folklore, this pool also functioned as a recreational area for royalty to entertain foreign guests. To show his wealth, the King would throw his golden cutlery into the pool when the meal was finished. Unbeknownst to his guests, however, the cutlery was not lost, but was caught in a net, hidden beneath the surface– ready to be used again. The pool was first discovered in 1926, by Maclain Pont. Today, it has been fully restored, and is once again functional.
The Wringin Lawang, or Banyan Tree Gate, is a “split gateway structure,” dating back to the 14th century. It consists of two symmetrical buildings constructed of red brick. They stand over 15 meters tall, with a width of 11 meters, making it a very grand entrance indeed. Most historians agree that this gate must have led to a compound of great importance, though exactly what is still uncertain. An ancient well found within the compound strongly suggests that the region may have been a residential area. The popular theory is that it may have been the entrance to the palace of Gajah Mada, one of the great kings of the Majapahit Empire.
The Kedaton Temple, situated in Sentonorejo Village in Trowulan, is a site that remains a mystery. The site encompasses an extensive area of red brick foundations, suggesting that the building may have been a palace. Legend tells of Brawijaya V, last king of the Majapahit Empire, and how he vanished beside Sumur Upas, or the poison well, so as not to face defeat. This poison well has been found within the Kedaton compounds. Excavation to a depth of 80 centimeters below the surface has uncovered what is thought to be a secret tunnel. Archaeologists believe that the tunnels may have connected to other kingdoms of the Majapahit Empire. Till now, the site has not been restored, as it is still under study.
To finally make sense of all the remains scattered throughout the city, one must visit the Trowulan Museum. One of Trowulan’s central attractions, the museum is located on the west end of Segaran Pool. Here, you can more systematically understand the full glory of what was once the Majapahit Empire. A vast collection of ancient relics can be found here, ranging from tools, to weapons, to household appliances and various forms of architecture. Each item comes with a brief description in both English and Bahasa Indonesia.
The museum is divided into two general areas. The first is the showroom, displaying relatively small artifacts, such as currency, weapons, musical instruments & household appliances. This diverse collection of rare and beautiful relics only confirms the advanced civilization of the Majapahit Era. Objects of ceramic and stone can be found, as well as intricately formed relics of gold, silver, brass, bronze, copper and iron – confirming the high level of skill of the metal artisans of that time.
The second is the pavilion, which is dedicated to much larger and heavier items. Ancient statues and reliefs can be found in this area.
The Trowulan Archaeological Museum was founded by Kanjeng Adipati Ario Kromojoyo Adinegoro together with Ir. Henry Maclaine Pont to house all the archaeological artifacts, and prevent looting from the site. A cafeteria and gift shop can also be found in the Museum grounds.
Trowulan lies just 60 km southwest from Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city. Surabaya has available international flights from Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Singapore. Domestic flights are available from most cities around Indonesia.
From Surabaya, simply hire a car direct to Trowulan, or take a bus to Mojokerto and continue by rickshaw or ojek, (motorcycle taxi.)
Use a motorcycle taxi or rent a car to get around, as there is no nearby public transportation.
Bring cool clothes and enough drinking water, as the weather can be quite hot.
Purchase a book about the Majapahit history to fully understand what you are seeing.
A professional guide can be provided by the museum upon request.
Archaeological Museum Mojokerto
Jl. Jend. A. Yani No. 14, Mojokerto
Archaeological Museum Trowulan
Jl. Raya Trowulan 13, Mojokerto