National Museum is the archaeological, historical, ethnological and geographical museum located in Central Jakarta.

Intan Mardiana
Frederich Silaban

National Museum, Indonesia

The museum is regarded as one of the most complete and the best in Indonesia, as well as one of the finest museum in Southeast Asia. The museum has preserved about 141,000 objects, ranged from prehistoric artefacts, to archaeology, numismatics, ceramics, ethnography, history and geography collections. It has comprehensive collections of stone statues of classical Hindu-Buddhist period of ancient Java and Sumatra, as well as quite extensive collections of Asian ceramics. The museum has a collection of 61,600 prehistoric and anthropological artefacts, and 5,000 archaeological artefacts from all over Indonesia and Asia. The museum collections is among the richest, the most complete, and the best of its kind in Indonesia and one of the finest in Southeast Asia. The National Museum of Indonesia has the richest and the largest collection of Hindu-Buddhist art of ancient Indonesia. The Hindu-Buddhist sculptures, relics and inscriptions was collected from Java, Bali, Sumatra, and Borneo, all are in display in the lobby, the central hall and the central atrium of the museum. The Buddha statues from Borobudur in various mudras are displayed in the lobby. The centrepiece collection also the largest artefact of the museum is the statue of Adityavarman depicted as Bhairava. This statue is more than 4 meters tall and discovered from Rambahan, Padangroco, West Sumatra.


Notable collections including the well-preserved 9th-century statues of Hindu deities taken from Banon Temple, which consists of Ganesha, Vishnu, Shiva and Agastya. Several statues of Durga Mahisasuramardini discovered in Java, the Tarumanagaran Vishnu statue of Cibuaya, the Srivijayan Avalokiteshvara statue of Bingin Jungut, the Avalokiteshvara head of Aceh, the head statues from Bima temple of Dieng. The statue of Harihara, dated from Majapahit period taken from Simping temple, and the statue of Parvati taken from Rimbi temple are among important Majapahit relics. Numbers of inscriptions are also stored and displayed in this section, including Telaga Batu, Amoghapasa and Anjuk Ladang inscription. The collection of ceramics room is ranged from Majapahit terracota to the ceramics of China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar. Majapahit terracota water vessels, statues, roof tiles to piggy bank are on display. The museum houses a large and complete collection of ancient Chinese ceramics. It has one of the best and the most complete collections of Chinese ceramics discovered outside China. The ceramics dated from Han, Tang, Sung, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasty spanned for almost two millennia are displayed in the museum. Chinese sailed to India via Indonesia as early as Western Han period (205 BC to 220 AD) as part of maritime silk road and that firm trade relations were subsequently established.


Archaeological treasure room features ancient gold and precious relics acquired from archaeological findings, mostly originated from ancient Java. One of the most prized collection of the museum is the statue of Prajnaparamita. Dubbed as the most beautiful sculpture of ancient Java, the goddess of transcendental wisdom is displayed in the entrance of archaeology treasure room to shows about how gold jewelries and precious ornaments were worn on the body. Such ancient gold adornments were in display; such as crown, ear adornment, earrings, rings, bracelets, kelat bahu (arm bracelet), leg bracelet, waist band, belt, upawita or tali kasta (golden chain worn across the chest), and other precious artifacts of ancient Java, such as the famous Wonoboyo hoard. Wonoboyo hoard is the treasures originated from 9th century Hindu Mataram Kingdom discovered in Wonoboyo, Klaten, Central Java, near Prambanan. The treasures are golden bowl with scene of Ramayana, purse, water dipper, umbrella finial, and spoon or ladle, all were made of gold. Also discovered ancient Java gold coins with shape similar to a corn seed. Golden Hindu-Buddhist relics were also in display, such as the Hindu gods images made from gold leaf, bronze statue of Shiva Mahadeva with gold applied on his lips and third eye, the bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara and also the silver statue of youthful Manjusri.