The temple is located on Jalan Kertanegara, Candirenggo village, Singosari district, about 10 kilometres north from Malang city, on the valley between two mountain ranges, the Tengger-Bromo in the east and Arjuno-Welirang in the west, with elevation 512 metres above sea level. The temple orientation is facing northwest towards Mount Arjuno. It is linked to the historical Singhasari kingdom of East Java, as the site around the temple is believed to be the center of Javanese court of Singhasari.
The temple was mentioned in Javanese poem Nagarakretagama canto 37:7 and 38:3 and also in Gajah Mada inscription dated 1351 and discovered in the temple's yard. According to these sources, the temple is the funerary temple of King Kertanagara (ruled 1268 — 1292), the last king of the Singhasari dynasty, whose assassinated in 1292 by Jayakatwang of Gelang-gelang and finally led to the establishment of Majapahit rule.
The temple's unfinished state can be examined from the incomplete kala head that is seen over its lower entrance. The temple faces northwest. Its lower level is Shaiva, but the temple has a second cella on the upper level, that was a Buddhist dedication. Alternate spellings: Kertanagara for Kertanegara, and Singosari for Singhasari.
Significant features of the temple include:
- Gavin Pattison (2000). Blue Guide: Bali, Java, and Lambok. A&C Black, London, and WW Norton, NY. p. 80.
- "Candi Singosari". Retrieved 8 November 2014.
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