ICTS – Innovation Center for Tropical Science

Innovation Centre for

Tropical Sciences

Exploring the Beauty of Koto Mahligai Temple: Where History Meets Nature

Imagine a place where nature’s diversity and ancient stories come together in a fascinating blend – that’s Jambi Province. This region is blessed with lush forests and a unique peatland habitat that houses a variety of plant and animal species. In the heart of this natural wonder lies Koto Mahligai Temple, a site that carries the essence of history and nature in its very fabric.

Located in Muaro Jambi Regency, Koto Mahligai Temple holds a special spot in history as a relic of the Sriwijaya Kingdom. It’s a place of great cultural significance, recognized as a National Cultural Heritage Area. Covering about 2 hectares, the temple is a tribute to Buddhist culture and attracts tourists and scholars alike.

As plans unfold to restore and uncover the temple’s hidden stories, a delicate balance between preserving its history and protecting its natural surroundings emerges. The temple’s lush greenery is essential for its restoration, symbolizing both its ancient past and its potential as a modern tourist attraction. Among the trees, a remarkable Tetrameles nudiflora tree, known as kundur, stands tall, adding to the temple’s charm and historical connection.

Inside this temple sanctuary, a diverse community of trees thrives, including species like Peronema canescens, Dimocarpus longan, Lansium domesticum, and Tetrameles nudiflora. Each tree plays a role in the vibrant ecosystem, adding to the magic of the place. The kundur tree, in particular, holds a special place due to its historical significance and the atmosphere it creates during the temple’s restoration.

In the midst of this intriguing blend of history and nature, there’s a mission to safeguard the life within the temple’s walls. A comprehensive study is underway to understand the diversity and health of the plants in the Koto Mahligai area. With 248 individuals representing 27 species, this natural haven is a living example of the province’s ecological richness.

The study’s findings will help enhance the conservation efforts for Koto Mahligai Temple’s plant life. This valuable data will guide future conservation work and provide visitors with a richer experience. In a world where urban spaces are expanding, these pockets of greenery are not just beautiful, but crucial for ecological balance and cultural preservation.

Among the captivating plant species in Koto Mahligai Temple, the kundur tree stands out. This Tetrameles nudiflora tree, with its ties to history, is a symbol of the temple’s identity. Its survival depends on temperature and rainfall patterns, making its well-being important for preserving both history and safety for visitors.

Then there’s the sungkai tree, a local gem that’s hardy and useful. From making furniture to building materials, it’s a versatile resource. Similarly, aro and klebuk, both fig trees, showcase their resilience and importance in the ecosystem. Rengas manuk, a rare species, needs special attention due to the sap it produces.

Belanti, a towering tree, beautifully illustrates the harmony between cultural heritage and ecological significance. Together, these trees tell a story of the past while enriching the present.

As we navigate the delicate path of restoration and conservation, Koto Mahligai Temple reminds us of our deep connection to both history and nature. It urges us to treasure not only the echoes of the past but also the vibrant life that thrives around us. By caring for this sanctuary, we ensure that the legacy of history and nature lives on, creating a timeless haven for generations to cherish – where the beauty of nature and the tales of history intertwine in perfect harmony.

Zulkarnaen, R. N., Hariri, M. R., Rahmaningtyas, L., & Nugroho, W. A. (2023). Revealing the Tree Species Diversity within Koto Mahligai Temple Ruin, Muaro Jambi. Jurnal Sylva Lestari11(3), 396–407. https://doi.org/10.23960/jsl.v11i3.724

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