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Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi

Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi

Javanese third monarch of Majapahit empire
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Javanese third monarch of Majapahit empire
Occupations Politician
Gender female
Mother: Gayatri Rajapatni
Father: Raden Wijaya
The details

Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi or known in her regnal name Tribhuwannottunggadewi Jayawishnuwardhani, or also known as Dyah Gitarja, was a Javanese queen regent and the third Majapahit monarch, reigning from 1328 to 1350. She also bears the title Bhre Kahuripan (Duchess of Kahuripan). With the help of her prime minister Gajah Mada, she pursued a massive expansion of the empire.

Early life

She was the daughter of Raden Wijaya, the first king of Majapahit, and his consort Dyah Gayatri Rajapatni. Tribhuwana was a member of the Rajasa dynasty, rulers of Majapahit and its predecessor Singhasari Kingdom. From her mother's side, she was also granddaughter of Kertanegara of Singhasari. Upon the death of her father in 1309, her half brother Jayanegara succeeded to the throne.


According to Nagarakretagama, Tribhuawana came to the throne by the order of her mother Gayatri in 1329, replacing Jayanegara, who was killed in 1328. A theory suspected that Gajah Mada was the mastermind behind the assassination, as Gajah Mada was the loyal and trusted advisor for Princess Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi. Rajapatni Gayatri was supposed to secure the throne since Jayanegara had no sons, but she entered a convent, and had her daughter placed upon the throne.

Tribhuwana governed with the help of her spouse, Kritavardhana.:234 She became the mother and predecessor to Hayam Wuruk, the fourth monarch of the Majapahit empire. She appointed Gajah Mada as prime minister and pursued a massive expansion of the empire.

In 1331, she led the army herself to the battle field with the help of her cousin, Adityawarman, to crush rebellion in the areas of Sadeng and Keta. The decision partly to resolve the competition between Gajah Mada and Ra Kembar for the army general position to crush Sadeng.

Tribhuwana's reign is famous for the expansion of Majapahit. In 1343 Majapahit conquered the Kingdom of Pejeng, Dalem Bedahulu and the entire island of Bali. Adityawarman was sent to conquer the rest of the Kingdom of Srivijaya and the Melayu Kingdom in 1347. He was then promoted as uparaja (lower king) of Sumatra. Majapahit expansion continued under the reign of Hayam Wuruk, reaching Lamuri (present-day Aceh) in the West and Wanin (Onin Peninsula, Papua) in the East.

Tribhuwana's reign ended as her mother Gayatri Rajapatni died in her retirement at a Buddhist monastery. Because she ruled Majapahit under Rajapatni's auspices, Queen Tribhuwana had to abdicate, and was obliged to relinquish her throne to her son.

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