History of the Majapahit Kingdom in Detail and Brief

History of the Majapahit Empire

The Majapahit Kingdom was a large empire that once existed in Indonesia in the 13th to 16th centuries. The Majapahit Empire was one of the largest empires in the world at that time. Majapahit was once a very important center of culture, trade and politics in Southeast Asia.

The Origin of the Name of Majapahit

Majapahit comes from the word “maja” which means deer and “bitter” which means bitter. According to legend, the name Majapahit comes from the legend of a young man named Tapa Agung. Tapa Agung has a pet deer nicknamed “Maja”. One day, Maja escaped from her cage and found Tapa Agung in a forest full of bitter fruits. Therefore, Tapa Agung named the place “Majapahit” which means the place where the deer named Maja found bitter fruits.

Founder of the Majapahit Kingdom

The Majapahit Empire was founded by Raden Wijaya in 1293 AD. Raden Wijaya is a nobleman from the Singhasari kingdom who betrayed the last king of the Singhasari kingdom, Kertanegara. Raden Wijaya then asked for help from the Mongol troops led by Kublai Khan to defeat the king of Singhasari. After the king of Singhasari died, Raden Wijaya proclaimed himself king and founded the Majapahit Kingdom.

The Peak of the Power of the Majapahit Kingdom

map of majapahit, photo source Majapahit – Indonesian Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The heyday of the Majapahit Empire occurred during the reign of Hayam Wuruk. Hayam Wuruk ascended the throne in 1350 AD and ruled for 38 years. During his reign, the Majapahit Empire reached the peak of its glory with a territory covering most of Indonesia, the Malay peninsula and the surrounding islands.The glory of the Majapahit Kingdom can be seen from the various historical remains that still exist today, such as the Borobudur Temple, Prambanan Temple, and various other magnificent buildings. In addition, the Majapahit Kingdom also has a sophisticated government system with a strict hierarchical system.

The Collapse of the Majapahit Empire

The Majapahit Empire experienced a setback during the reign of Girindrawardhana which took place in the 15th century. At that time, the Majapahit kingdom began to weaken due to the civil war that occurred in the kingdom. In addition, attacks from the Portuguese and the growing power of the Sultanate of Demak also became a factor in the decline of Majapahit’s power. In the end, Majapahit finally collapsed and ended its heyday as a major empire in the archipelago.However, even though the Majapahit rule had ended, their cultural and civilizational heritage still lives on today. Many archaeological remains from the Majapahit Kingdom can still be found in a number of areas in Indonesia, such as the Borobudur Temple, Prambanan Temple, and Penataran Temple. Apart from that, some traditions and beliefs of the Javanese people are still influenced by Majapahit culture, such as the Grebeg Maulud ceremony which was held in Yogyakarta.


Overall, the Majapahit Kingdom is a miracle in the history of the archipelago. His great and glorious power succeeded in making Indonesia a center of international trade and a center of culture which was developing rapidly at that time. Even though it has ended, the glory and cultural heritage left by the Majapahit Kingdom remains an inspiration and an important source of knowledge for Indonesian people to this day.
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