There are not so many temples found in Sumatera like those in
Java Island. Most of the temples in Sumatera are located in
the area far from the town. It is the reason that not so many
tourists visit these areas. Most of these temples, that have
been excavated, are in the North Sumatra Province,
particularly in the Mandailing Natal and South Tapanuli
districts. There is no much information available concerning
these temples. In general, their remoteness makes people are
not familiar with their existences and few people visit them.
In Simangambat near to Siabu, North Sumatera, for instance,
there is the ruin of Syiwa Temple. It is predicted that the
temple was built in the eighth century. It needs further
excavation and research in order to learn much more about it.
The other region that is known as the region that has a lot of
Temples is Padang Lawas, covering the sub districts of Sipirok,
Sibuhuan, Sosopan, Sosa, and Padang Bolak. There are tens
ruins of Hindu temples and all of them are located near by the
rivers. Most of them are in the sub district of Padang Bolak.
No much information concerning these temples. It is predicted
that these temples were built in 11th century under the
Kingdom of Panei.
The most well-known Temple of those in Padang Lawas is Candi
Bahal, situated near by the village of Bahal. This temple has
been known since the Dutch colonial era. The colonial
government, the Dutch named it as Candi Portibi (the word
portibi in Batak dialect means in this world). In the complex
of Bahal Temple, there are three temples that have been
renovated, namely Bahak I, Bahal II, and Bahal III temples.
These three temples stand on one straight line. Although they
have been renovated, many parts of these temples have been
disappeared and replaced with brick stones. Other temple in
this area renovated is Sipamutung temple. It has a quite wide
complex consisting of several sites, but unfortunately there
is no any written information about this Temple.
In the district of Muaro Jambi, the Province of Jambi, there
are also several temples, namely Astano, Tinggi and Gumpung,
Kembar Baru, Gedong, Kedaton, and Kota Mahligai temples. The
style of the temples and the remnant of the historical writing
found in Muaro Jambi indicate that those temples are of the
Hinduism background and are predicted being built at fourth to
The large and quite well-known temple in Sumatera is Muara
Takus temple, situated in the Province of Riau, precisely at
the village of Muara Takus, the sub district of Tigabelas
Koto, Kampar district. Not so far from its upper stream,
Kampar River flows into two branches, Kampar Kanan and Kampar
Kiri rivers (Right and Left Branches). By the bank of the
Sungai Kampar Kanan there is the village of Muara Takus. Most
part of Muara Takus temple is built from red bricks. This
temple is different from the other ruins discovered in the
North of Sumatera; it is a Buddhist one. The existing of this
temple is estimated having close relationship with the Kingdom
of Sriwijaya and an indication that Muara Takus once serves as
the harbour for the ships. This prediction can be reasonable
because the Sriwijaya’s men were the brilliant sailors who
were able to sail along Kampar far to the upper stream.
Learning I-Ching notes, some people come to their conclusion
that the area of Muara Takus had been the city of the Kingdom
of Sriwijaya or at least as the port town that had ever been
the Buddhist learning center, the place the pilgrimages from
China, India, and other countries learning the sciences.