PETALING JAYA: A chandi (temple) is believed to be located in the lost city, according to an illustration on rare orang asli manuscripts.
The manuscripts together with a pictorial book have been kept by orang asli families who lived near the area until the 1950s, when they were relocated by the British Army following a communist insurgency.
Independent researcher Raimy Che-Ross believes that the manuscripts depict a naive but highly-accurate front elevation and ground-plan representation of the Chandi Kota Gelanggi and its ancillary temple-complex when the orang asli visited the site in 1920-30s.
He cautiously assumes the basic chandi was slightly smaller than Borobudur and could be the same age or slightly older.
“The most important and significant historical and archaeological structure that lies in the ruins of this lost city is the Chandi Kota Gelanggi. It is a large multi-terraced chandi crowned by a triple-layered stupa. There is no other structure comparable to it in the Malay peninsula.
“One of the manuscripts drawing show the double-walls of the temple enclosure, with crenulations (regular gaps along the top of a castle for firing arrows) along its upper walls. There is also a detailed drawing of the main temple-gateway and the terraces leading up to the triple-stupa,” he said when contacted.
Raimy also said another manuscript showed a small pavilion-like structure framed by thin granite pillars, inside of which were granite walls with two round windows on either side of its main doorway, similar to that found at the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple in Malacca.
“The squiggles drawn all around the temple are referred to by the orang asli as their 'prayers'. It is possible that they represent epigraphic inscriptions, which may be found carved and inscribed onto the temple walls,” he said.
He added that the squiggles could resemble an attempt to replicate examples of Kawi or Sanskrit similar to those found on existing Srivijayan Prasasti (inscribed prayers and historical statements on stone).
“If this is true, and we do indeed find epigraphic inscriptions on the chandi, then the immense value of the discovery for Malay history is beyond imagination,” he added.
The manuscripts are being kept by 41-year-old Edin Lekok, who received it from his father, Lekok Jenta, last year.
They were passed down by his great-great grandmother Nenek Tunggal.
The orang asli from this area who practice a kind of worship called Alam Mulia, however, do not know what the manuscripts mean but consider them holy items.
The colour of the ink has not faded through the years and Edin has laminated the manuscripts to keep it from falling apart.
Edin also said that although he had known of the manuscripts' existence, his father did not show them to him until the day they were handed over to him.