Hayam Wuruk

gigatos | May 31, 2022


Khayyam Wuruk was the king of Majapahit from 1350-1389 under the throne name of Rajasanagra. With the help of his first minister, Gadjah Mady was able to transform a small island kingdom into one of the mighty empires spread over the islands of the Indonesian archipelago.

Khayyam Wuruk was born in 1334 into the family of the third Majpahit king Tribhuvan and the queen Kertavarkhana. At the age of 16 he inherited the throne of Majpahit.

As in his father”s reign, Majapahit”s first minister, Gaja Mada, played a major role in the reign and pursued a policy of rebuilding the Indonesian empire. In 1357 the Majapahit forces under the command of generals Mpu Nala and Pitaloka conquered the kingdom of Dompo on Sumbawa. The conquest of Sumbawa is confirmed by a 14th century Javanese inscription found on this island. Perhaps the only misfire in the unification policy of the Majapahit occurred in 1357, when he attempted to subjugate the Western Javanese kingdom of Sunda to the Majapahit. The Majapahit government approached the king of Sunda, whom the annals call simply Maharaja, with a proposal to marry his daughter to King Khayyam Vuruk. When Maharaja, accompanied by a large retinue (actually a small army), arrived in East Java and stopped close to the capital, in Bubat, to negotiate a marriage, the Majapahits suddenly demanded that the bride be given to the groom in accordance with the customary procedure for when a vassal presents tribute to his suzerain. According to the concepts of knightly feudal honor that were prevalent in Indonesia at the time, accepting such an offer was unthinkable. Yet Sunda”s resistance was crushed, and the Maharaja fell on the battlefield.

This was Indonesia”s golden age, and Javanese literature mixes legend with reality, describing a time when a distinctive culture spread throughout the archipelago. Nevertheless, the belief that the rajasangra possessed kensaktyan, a divine power attributed to Indonesian rulers, was an integral part of the story of Hayam Wuruk”s reign. Gadjah Mada. travelling in a red palanquin, was allowed to use a yellow sun umbrella, normally reserved for a king. However, the pusaka, or symbols of supreme power, kept in the inner sanctum of the kraton, confirmed the king”s unique authority as the guardian of hierarchical order and the guarantor of peace.

The Great Majapahit was the last kingdom in this Southeast Asian archipelago before European traders and colonizers arrived there in the 16th century and changed its appearance forever.

This island nation was for centuries strongly influenced by the cultures of India and China. By the seventh century, the greatest influence in the archipelago was acquired by the kingdom of Srivijaya in the southeast of Sumatra, which included rival independent cities and states over the centuries.

The duties of royalty in the islands of Southeast Asia were determined by the geography and climate of the region. King Srivijaya was both “Lord of the Mountains” and “Lord of the Islands,” and to propitiate the “spirit of the waters of the sea,” he threw gold ingots into the river delta near Palembang, the capital of the state, daily.

In 1377, during the storming of Palembang by Majapahit”s troops, the Chinese ambassadors who had brought the Maharaja of Srivijaya a letter from the emperor recognizing him as an independent ruler died. In 1397 Majapahit finally ended the independence of the remnants of Srivijaya. The central regions of the empire of Palembang and Jami became what they were before Srivijaya – pirate nests.

Political power was concentrated in the kraton of the city of Majapahit, a palace and at the same time a sacred center, surrounded by a high broad wall of red brick with watchtowers and a huge iron gate decorated with ornaments. A poem by the court poet Prapanchi, “Land of Welfare” (“Nagarakertagama”, 1365), describes a ruler who is carried into the city in a palanquin with peacock feathers, which protects him from the sun”s rays, studded with precious stones. The sound of drums, trumpets, and shells fills the air and heralds the imminent arrival of the rajasanagra, whose robes glitter with gold. The poem also describes how the king rides in an open carriage decorated with gold and precious stones; his motorcade consists of elephants, horses, and 400 carts. A cloud of incense surrounds the king, and Hindu Brahmin priests stand respectfully before him. During his nearly half-century of rule, Majapahit was at the height of her glory. Her vassal domains stretched from the Malacca Peninsula to West Irian. Order throughout this vast territory was maintained with the help of the numerous Majapahit navy, whose power is praised by Prapancha in his poem . Internal wars within the archipelago practically ceased, and this greatly contributed to the economic rise of the whole of Indonesia.


  1. Хаям Вурук
  2. Hayam Wuruk
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