Raden Wijaya and the foundation of Majapahit

Wijaya then became king, the first of a new dynasty, the Majapahit dynasty. According to the Old Javanese text Harshavijaya, this occurred on the fifteenth day of the month Kartika of the Shaka year 1215 (12 November 1293). His royal title was Kertarajasa Jayawardhana. His reign (1293-1309) was characterized by rebellions, such as those led by Rangga Lawe, Lembu Sora and Nambi. Many of his former war companions were not happy with their new positions. One of the most notorious of these was Mahapati.

The image of Sumberjati

Wijaya strengthened his position by marrying four of Kertanagara’s daughters: Shri Parameshwari Dyah Dewi Tribhuwaneshwari, Shri Mahadewi Dyah Dewi Narendraduhita, Shri Jayendradewi Dyah Dewi Prajnaparamita and Shri Rajendradewi Dyah Dewi Gayatri. With the first he had a son, Jayanagara, who succeeded him as king. With Dewi Gayatri he had two daughters: Tribhuwanottungadewi Jaya Vishnuwardhani, who became the regentess of Jiwana (Bhre Kahuripan), and Rajadewi Maharajasa, who became the regentess of Daha (Bhre Daha).

In 1309 Raja Kertarajasa (Wijaya) died. In the capital a temple, Antahpura, was built to commemorate the king in the form of a Jina Buddha image; in Simping he was commemorated in the form of a Shiva image.

Because it had previously been thought that Simping was the same as present-day Sumberjati (near Blitar) and because a large statue was found in Sumberjati, it had been thought that this was the image representing Wijaya in Simping. However, the image is not a Shiva image. It was thought to be a Harihara image (half Vishnu and half Shiva) but, in fact, it is not half Vishn and half Shiva, and its iconography suggests that it is Vishnu image rather than a Shiva image, because three of his four attributes are those of Vishnu (discus, conch-shell and club), and he is accompanied by two female figures, as is more common for Vishnu. This statue is now in the National Museum of Indonesia in Jakarta (inventory number 103a).

Singhasari and the kings of Singhasari remained important to the Majapahit kings, as the kingdom was that of their ancestors. Hayam Wuruk (Rajasanagara), whose long reign (1350-1389) marked the high point of the Majapahit kingdom, seems to have regularly travelled around his kingdom, visiting the important sanctuaries connected to his ancestors.

Thus he visited Palah, where the Lord of the Mountain, said to be the divine origin of Ken Angrok, is worshipped; Kagenengan, the place connected with Ken Angrok; Kidal, which is connected with Anushapati; Jajaghu, which is linked to Vishnuvarddhana; and Jajawi, which was established by Kertanagara.

Singhasari was also among the places the king visited and it was here that the poet of the Nagarakertagama, who was accompanying the king, heard a priest tell the story of the Singhasari kings. It is here, too, that the king paid his respects to his famous ancestor, Kertanagara.