Kehuripan was the predecessor of Janggala and Panjalu (Kadiri)
Kehuripan was the predecessor of Janggala and Panjalu (Kadiri)
CapitalKahuripan (estuarine of Brantas river somewhere around modern Surabaya and Pasuruan)
Common languagesOld Javanese, Sanskrit
Kejawen, Hinduism, Buddhism
• 1019–1045
• Airlangga reunite the former kingdom of Mataram after fell under King Wurawari attack from Lwaram
• Airlangga divided his kingdom into Janggala and Panjalu (Kediri)
CurrencyNative gold and silver coins
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Mataram Kingdom
Kediri (historical kingdom)

Kahuripan (also spelt Kuripan) was an 11th-century Javanese Hindu-Buddhist kingdom with its capital located around the estuarine of Brantas River valley in East Java. The kingdom was short-lived, only spanning the period between 1019 and 1045, and Airlangga was the only raja of the kingdom, which was built out of the rubble of the Kingdom of Mataram after the Srivijaya invasion. Airlangga later in 1045 abdicated in favour of his two sons and divided the kingdom into Janggala and Panjalu (Kadiri).[1]: 144–147  The kingdom's name derived from Old Javanese term hurip ("to life") with circumfix ka- -an which means "life" or "livelihood". Later in 14th to 15th century, the former kingdom was recognised as one of Majapahit's 12 provinces.

Fall of Mataram

Airlangga was the son of queen Mahendradatta (a princess of the Isyana Dynasty, Mataram, the sister of Dharmawangsa) and Udayana Warmadewa (a king of the Warmadewa Dynasty, Bali). Airlangga was born and grew up in Bali, he spend his youth in Watugaluh Palace, Mataram, under the patronage of his uncle, king Dharmawangsa. Airlangga was betrothed to his cousin, one of Dharmawangsa's daughter, thus arranged marriage was in place. At that time, Mataram had become a powerful kingdom, allied or probably subjugated Bali, and had established a colony in West Kalimantan. Dharmawangsa aspired to ascend Mataram as regional power by challenging Srivijaya Empire domination. He launched naval invasion against Srivijaya and unsuccessfully tried to capture Palembang. Srivijaya resiliently succeed on repelling Javanese Mataram invaders.

The Calcutta Stone inscription (dated from 1041), describes a terrible calamity which befell the East Javanese kingdom of Isyana dynasty in the early years of the 11th century. In 1006, a rebellion incited by a vassal king Wurawari from Lwaram resulted in the destruction of the capital of Watugaluh. The reigning king, Dharmawangsa, successor to Sri Makutawangsawardhana, was murdered along with his entire family and many of his subjects. Only the young Airlangga, who was aged about 16 at the time, managed to escape unharmed.[2] According to tradition the calamity, dubbed as Pralaya (the death) of Mataram, took place during Airlangga's wedding ceremony in Dharmawangsa palace.

Today historians strongly suggested that the invasion was actually a Srivijayan retaliation against Mataram for the attacks upon the empire. Wurawari was probably an ally of Srivijaya in Java that managed to sack and burn Watugaluh Palace. Airlangga, accompanied by his guard Narottama, escaped into the jungle and retreated as a hermit in Vanagiri (today Wonogiri, Central Java).


King Airlangga depicted as Vishnu mounting Garuda, found in Belahan temple.

In 1019, after several years in self-imposed exile in Vanagiri hermitage, Airlangga rallied supports from officials and regents that are loyal to the former Isyana dynasty and began to unite the areas that had formerly been ruled by Mataram kingdom, which had disintegrated after Dharmawangsa's death. He consolidated his authority, established a new kingdom and made peace with Srivijaya.[1]: 145–146  The new kingdom was called the Kingdom of Kahuripan, and stretched from Pasuruan in the east to Madiun in the west. In 1025, Airlangga increased the power and influence of Kahuripan as the Srivijaya Empire began to decline. Airlangga was known for his religious tolerance, and was a patron of both the Hindu and Buddhist religions.

Stone sculptures at Gaprang in Kediri

In 1035 Airlangga constructed a Buddhist monastery named Srivijayasrama dedicated for his queen consort Dharmaprasadottungadevi. The monastery bearing the name of Srivijaya suggests that his queen consort was probably a Srivijayan princess, a close relative, probably daughter, of the Srivijayan king Sangramavijayattungavarman.[1]: 146  She had taken refuge in East Java after her father was taken prisoner and her kingdom was raided through series of raids of the Indian Emperors Rajendra Chola I and Virarajendra Chola of the Chola dynasty. The decline of Srivijaya due to the Chola invasion gave Airlangga opportunity to consolidate his kingdom without foreign interference. Later, he extended his kingdom to Central Java and Bali. The north coast of Java, particularly the port of Hujung Galuh (modern Surabaya) and Kambang Putih (modern Tuban), for the first time became important centres of trade.

Although there are few surviving archaeological remains dating from his time, Airlangga is known to have been a keen patron of the arts, notably literature. In 1035, the court poet Mpu Kanwa composed the Arjuna Wiwaha text, which was adapted from the Mahabharata epic. This text told the story of Arjuna, an incarnation of Indra, 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, where he was portrayed in stone as Vishnu on Garuda.[2]

In 1037 the capital was moved from Watan Mas to Kahuripan,[1]: 145  the king also reported to bestows titles for his loyal followers, such as Narottama promoted as Rakryan Kanuruhan (prime minister) and Niti as Rakryan Kuningan.[3] According to Kelagen inscription (dated 1037) Airlangga also took a keen interest on agriculture development. He embarked on grand irrigation project by constructing the Wringin Sapta dam (located in today Jombang regency). By built a dam on Brantas river, he provides irrigation to surrounding paddy fields and maintaining hydraulic system in the area.[3]


Nganjuk bronze figures depicting Boddhisattvas, late 10th to mid 11th century originated from the Kahuripan kingdom period in East Java.

Towards the end of his life, Airlangga was faced with the problem of succession. His heiress, the crown princess Sanggramawijaya, chose to become a Bhikkuni Buddhist hermit rather than succeed Airlangga. Sangramawijaya is the daughter of the queen consort. The story of a crown princess whom renounce the throne to become a hermit is linked with the popular legend of Dewi Kilisuci that resides in the Selomangleng Cave beneath Mount Klothok, 5 kilometres 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 Kediri. Airlangga himself abdicated the throne in 1045, returned to the hermit life by assuming a new name as Resi Gentayu, bestowed by Mpu Bharada, a famous hermit. A local legend, mixed with fantastic fiction, mentioned about the partition of the kingdom. It was said that Mpu Bharada was the one that conduct the partition; with his extraordinary skill he flew and pouring water from a jar that the water traces magically transformed into a river marking the boundary of the two new kingdoms. Accidentally he stuck on a kamal (tamarind) tree, feeling upset he cursed the kamal tree to be forever short, thus become the name of the village where this event took place; kamal pandak ("the short tamarind tree").

Statue of Lakshmi, Belahan temple, Mount Penanggungan.

Airlanga died in 1049, and his ashes were buried in Belahan tirtha (sacred bathing pool), on eastern slopes of Mount Penanggungan, where in one of waterspout statues he was portrayed as Vishnu riding Garuda,[1]: 146  flanked by statues of two goddesses; Shri and Lakshmi portrayed the two queen consorts of Airlangga.

After the death of Airlangga, a civil war broke out between Janggala and Panjalu that continued until 1052. In that year, King Mapanji Alanjung Ahyes of Panjalu succeeded in conquering Janggala. However, in 1059, another king named Samarotsaha ascended the throne of Janggala; he was the son-in-law of Airlangga.

Kahuripan during Majapahit period

Gunung Gangsir temple, possibly built during Kahuripan kingdom and renovated in later Majapahit period.

The name of Kahuripan kingdom reappears during Majapahit period c. 14th to 15th century. It was held as one of Majapahit 12 provinces and recognised as one of the most important Majapahit territories together with Daha (Kadiri). Both areas flanking Trowulan, the Majapahit capital; Daha in the west and Kahuripan in the east. Kahuripan region was especially important for Majapahit because this area around estuarine of Brantas river is the coastal region where Hujung Galuh town, one of the main Majapahit's port, was located.

Pararaton recorded several Majapahit state officials as the regent of Kahuripan, titled Bhatara i Kahuripan or Bhre Kahuripan. The first is Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi the daughter of Raden Wijaya. After 1319, she was assisted by Gajah Mada promoted as patih (prime minister) of Kahuripan, as the reward of his service cracking down Ra Kuti rebellion.

Hayam Wuruk, during his early youthful years as yuvaraja (crown prince), also held the title as the king of Kahuripan titled Jiwanarajyapratistha. After he ascends to the Majapahit throne, the title of Bhre Kahuripan was returned to his mother Tribhuwana Tunggadewi.

After the death of Tribhuwana Tunggadewi, the title as Kahuripan regent was held by her grand daughter Surawardhani, later inherited by her son Ratnapangkaja. After Ratnapangkaja the title was held by Queen Suhita's nephew, Rajasawardhana. When Rajasawardhana ascend the throne of Majapahit, the title of Bhre Kahuripan was inherited to his son Samarawijaya.


  1. ^ a b c d e Cœdès, George (1968). The Indianized states of Southeast Asia. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 9780824803681.
  2. ^ a b East Java.com
  3. ^ a b M. Habib Mustopo (2007). Sejarah: Untuk kelas 2 SMA (in Indonesian). Yudhistira. p. 22. ISBN 9789796767076. Retrieved 25 March 2013.