Eastern Javanese inscriptions throw little light on happenings before the 10th century, but the evidence from south-central Java, and especially from the Kedu Plain in the 8th and 9th centuries, is more abundant. This period in central Java is associated with the Shailendra princes and their rivals. An Old Malay inscription from north-central Java, attributed to the 7th century, establishes that the Shailendras were of Indonesian origin and not, as was once suspected, from mainland Southeast Asia. In the middle of the 9th century the ruler of Shrivijaya-Palembang was a Shailendra who boasted of his Javanese ancestors; the name Shailendra also appears on the undated face of an inscription on the isthmus of the Malay Peninsula; the other face of the inscription--dated 775--is in honour of the ruler of Shrivijaya.
In spite of ambiguous references to Shailendra connections overseas, there is no solid evidence that the territories of the central Javanese rulers at this time extended far beyond central Java, including its north coast. Yet the agricultural wealth of this small kingdom sustained vast religious undertakings; the monuments of the Kedu Plain are the most famous in Indonesia. The Borobudur temple complex, in honour of Mahayana Buddhism, contains 2,000,000 cubic feet (57,000 cubic metres) of stone and includes 27,000 square feet (2,600 square metres) of stone bas-relief. Its construction extended from the late 8th century to the fourth or fifth decade of the 9th. Shiva's great temple at Prambanan, though not associated with the Shailendra family, is less than 50 miles (80 kilometres) away, and an inscription dating to 856 marks what may be its foundation stone. The two monuments, which have much in common, help to explain the religious impulses in earlier Javanese history