History of Kediri Regency


Kediri was a Hindu kingdom based in East Java from 1045 to 1221. In 1045 Airlangga divided Kahuripan into two kingdoms, Janggala (based on contemporary Malang) and Kediri, abdicates in favor of his sons to live the life of an ascetic. He died four years later. In 1068, Virarajendra, the Chola king of Coromandel, conquered Kedah from Srivijaya. The Cholas continued a series of raids and conquests throughout what is now Indonesia and Malaysia for the next 20 years. Although the Chola invasion was ultimately unsuccessful, it gravely weakened the Srivijayan hegemony and enabled the formation of regional kingdoms based, like Kediri, on agriculture rather than trade.

Kediri collected spices from tributaries in southern Kalimantan and the Maluku Islands, known to the West as the Spice Islands or Moluccas. Indian and Southeast Asian merchants among others then transported the spices to Mediterranean and Chinese markets by way of the Spice Route that linked a chain of ports from the Indian Ocean to southern China. In 1117 Kamesvara became king of Kediri and ruled until 1130. He married a princess of Janggala and reunited the two kingdoms founded by Airlangga.

In 1135 Joyoboyo acceded to the throne of Kediri and ruled until 1157. Joyoboyo's reign was a golden age of Old Javanese literature. The 'Prelambang Joyoboyo', a prophetic book ascribed to Joyoboyo, predicted that Indonesia would be ruled by a white race for a long time, then a yellow face for a short time, and then get independent. The Joyoboyo prophecies also mention Ratu Adil, the Just Prince, a recurring figure in Javanese folklore. Many other literary works were produced, including Bharatajuddha Kakawin, a Javanese version of the Mahabarata by Mpu Sedah and his brother Mpu Panuluh. This work was published in 1157. During the reign, Ternate was a vassal state of Kediri.

Kediri fell in 1221 when Ken Arok, the lord of Tumapel, defeated the forces of Kediri at the Battle of Genter and founded the new kingdom of Singhasari.

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