Pendopo Agung: Unveiling the Origins of Majapahit Kingdom in Trowulan

pendopo agung mojokerto
When entering the courtyard of Pendopo Agung, we are welcomed by the statue of Raden Wijaya adorned in his majestic attire. - Trowulan is one of the sub-districts located within the region of Mojokerto City. However, who would have thought that in this area, there once existed a vast kingdom that ruled over the archipelago, extending its influence even to parts of Southeast Asia and the Philippines.

Majapahit was a kingdom founded by Raden Wijaya, reaching its zenith during the reign of Hayam Wuruk and his prime minister Gajah Mada, renowned for his oath known as Amukti Palapa.

Through the investigation conducted by in Trowulan, it is worthwhile to first understand the origins of the establishment of this great kingdom that would later dominate the archipelago, reaching as far as Asia and the Philippines.

In Trowulan, there is a cool and lush location where the gentle breeze carries the essence of the grandeur of the Majapahit Kingdom. It is called Pendopo Agung. We begin the narrative with Pendopo Agung because it is here that Raden Wijaya received divine inspiration to build the Majapahit Kingdom.

Pendopo Agung is a Javanese-style joglo building; it is said that this is where Mahapatih Gajah Mada uttered the Palapa Oath. In 1258 Saka (1336 AD), during his appointment as the patih Amangkubhumi, Gajah Mada made the Palapa Oath, pledging that he would not savor the taste of palapa or spices (interpreted as worldly pleasures) until the entire kingdom mentioned in his oath was unified within the archipelago.
The Statue of Gajah Mada Pendopo Agung
The Statue of Gajah Mada in the Courtyard of Pendopo Agung

Even now, we can observe many mahogany trees scattered around Pendopo Agung. Legend has it that the name "Majapahit" was derived from the name of this fruit chosen by Raden Wijaya.

As you approach Pendopo Agung, don't forget to take a moment to look behind. There stands a small building named "patilasan panggung," where Raden Wijaya meditated to Hyang Widhi and ultimately gained enlightenment to establish a kingdom in that area, known to us now as the Majapahit Kingdom.

Though the place may seem somewhat eerie, it's worth knowing how we can imagine a future great king surrendering his soul to gain insight into the fate of his people in a small elevated stage beneath the shade of trees.

Once a year, during the ritual celebration of Javanese New Year (1 Suro), the place becomes the center of the festivities known as Grebeg Suro Majapahit. This event showcases various traditional art performances, traditional weapon-cleaning rituals, and an all-night Wayang Kulit (shadow puppetry) performance.(*)