Airlangga


Airlangga

Airlangga (also spelt Erlangga) (991 in Bali, Indonesia – 1049Fact|date=February 2007 in Java) was the first and only raja of the Kingdom of Kahuripan, which was built out of the rubble of the Kingdom of Medang after the Sriwijaya invasion.

Origins

Airlangga was the son of Mahendradatta (a princess of the Isyana Dynasty, Medang) and Udayana (a raja of the Warmadewa Dynasty, Bali). He grew up in the Watugaluh Palace in Medang, under the government of Dharmawangsa. At that time, Medang had become a reasonably powerful kingdom, although subject to Bali, and had established a colony in West Kalimantan, as well as attacking the Sriwijaya Empire.

riwijaya Invasion

In 1006, when Airlangga was sixteen, Sriwijaya retaliated against Medang for the attacks upon the Empire. Wurawari (an ally of Sriwijaya) burned Watugaluh Palace, and Dharmawangsa was killed in the battle, along with many of his subjects. Airlangga escaped into the jungle and became a hermit, accompanied by his guard, Narotama.

Establishment of the Kahuripan Kingdom

In 1019, after several years in the jungle, Airlangga began to unite the areas that had formerly been ruled by the Kingdom of Medan, which had disintegrated after Dharmawangsa's death. He established a new kingdom and made peace with Sriwijaya. The new kingdom was called the Kingdom of Kahuripan, and stretched from Pasuran in the east to Madiun in the west. Airlangga was known for his religious tolerance, and was a patron of both the Hindu and Buddhist religions. Later, he extended his kingdom to Central Java and Bali. In 1025, Airlangga increased the power and influence of Kahuripan as the Sriwijaya Empire began to decline. The north coast of Java, particularly Surabaya and Tuban, for the first time became important centres of trade.

The arts and literature also flowered under Airlangga. In 1035, Mpu Kanwa composed the Arjuna Wiwaha text, which was adapted from the Mahabharata epic. This text told the story of Arjuna, an incarnation of Vishnu, but was also an allegory for Airlangga's own life. The tale of Airlangga's life was illustrated in the Belahan Temple on the flanks of Mount Penanggungan.

Disintegration of Kahuripan

Towards the end of his life, Airlangga was faced with the problem of succession. His heir, Sanggramawijaya, chose to become a hermit rather than succeed Airlangga, seduced by the legend of Dewi Kilisuci and the Selomangleng Cave beneath Mount Klothok, 5 km to the west of the city of Kediri. In 1045, Airlangga divided Kahuripan into two kingdoms which were inherited by his two sons Janggala and Kadiri. Airlangga himself returned to the hermit life and died in 1049.


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