History of Indonesia

Singhasari Kingdom
Singhasari temple built as a mortuary temple to honour Kertanegara, the last king of Singhasari. ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1222 Jan 1 - 1292

Singhasari Kingdom

Malang, East Java, Indonesia

Singhasari was a Javanese Hindu kingdom located in east Java between 1222 and 1292. The kingdom succeeded the Kingdom of Kediri as the dominant kingdom in eastern Java. Singhasari was founded by Ken Arok (1182–1227/1247), whose story is a popular folktale in Central and East Java.


In the year 1275, King Kertanegara, the fifth ruler of Singhasari who had been reigning since 1254, launched a peaceful naval campaign northward towards the weak remains of the Srivijaya[17] in response to continuous Ceylon pirate raids and Chola kingdom's invasion from India which conquered Srivijaya's Kedah in 1025. The strongest of these Malaya kingdoms was Jambi, which captured the Srivijaya capital in 1088, followed by the Dharmasraya kingdom, and the Temasek kingdom of Singapore.


The Pamalayu expedition from 1275 to 1292, from the time of Singhasari to Majapahit, is chronicled in the Javanese scroll Nagarakrtagama. Singhasari's territory thus became Majapahit territory. In the year 1284, King Kertanegara led a hostile Pabali expedition to Bali, which integrated Bali into the Singhasari kingdom's territory. The king also sent troops, expeditions and envoys to other nearby kingdoms such as the Sunda-Galuh kingdom, Pahang kingdom, Balakana kingdom (Kalimantan/Borneo), and Gurun kingdom (Maluku). He also established an alliance with the king of Champa (Vietnam).


King Kertanegara totally erased any Srivijayan influence from Java and Bali in 1290. However, the expansive campaigns exhausted most of the Kingdom's military forces and in the future would stir a murderous plot against the unsuspecting King Kertanegara. As the centre of the Malayan peninsula trade winds, the rising power, influence, and wealth of the Javanese Singhasari empire came to the attention of Kublai Khan of the Mongol Yuan dynasty based in China.

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Last Updated: Sun Oct 15 2023