Majapahit was an archipelagic empire based on the island of Java from 1293 to around 1500. Majapahit reached its peak of glory during the era of Hayam Wuruk, whose reign from 1350 to 1389 marked by the conquest of kingdoms in Maritime Southeast Asia (including present day Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, East Timor, and the Philippines).
Trowulan is a village in Mojokerto, in the Indonesian province of East Java. It is surrounded by an archaeological site covering approximately 100 square kilometers. It has been suggested it was the site of the eponymous capital city of the Majapahit Empire, which is described by Mpu Prapanca in the 14th-century poem Nagarakretagama and in a 15th-century Chinese source.
The Nagarakretagama contains poetic descriptions of the palace of Majapahit and its surroundings, but is limited to the royal and religious sectors. Some of the details are vague, and scholars who have tried to compile a plan of the capital have come to different conclusions.
Older research at Trowulan has concentrated on monumental remains: temples, tombs, and a bathing place. Archaeological surveys and excavations have recently found the remains of industrial, commercial and religious activity, habitation areas and water supply systems, all of which are evidence of dense population during the 14th to 15th centuries.
The ancient city ruins at Trowulan had been discovered by the 19th century. Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, governor of Java from 1811 until 1816 and an indefatigable enthusiast for the island's history, reported the existence of ' ruins of temples.... scattered about the country for many miles '. Much of the region was blanketed with dense teak forest at that time, making detailed survey impossible. Nonetheless, Raffles was so impressed by what he saw that he was later to refer to Trowulan as 'this pride of Java'.