According to the Karangtengah inscription, the temple estimated to be built by the first King Syailendra dynasty in AD 824. Karangtengah inscription states that king Indra has made a sacred building in Venuvana (bamboo forest).
The Mendut temple was first discovered in 1836 by the Dutch East Indies government. In 1897-1904 the Dutch East Indies government made a restoration effort.
At the foot of the temple there are 31 panels that can contain various reliefs of Jataka story, sculpture flowers and tendrils.
In Mendut temple, found 3 pieces of Buddha statue. Sakyamuni Buddha, right in the entrance. Shakyamuni Budha is a Buddha who is preaching, in a sitting position with Dharmacakramudra hand attitude. On the right, facing to the south, there is the Avalokiteswara Bodhisattva Statue, the Buddha as the human helper. While on the left chamber facing to the north, there is Maitreya Bodhisatwa statue, the human liberator who was sitting with the attitude Simhakarnamudra hand.
Inside the Mendut temple on the north side, there is Kuwera or Avataka reliefs and on the south side, there is Hariti Relief. Kuwera and Hariti are married couples. In the beginning, Kuwera and Hariti were human eaters giant, then converted after meeting the Buddha. Kuwera transforms into a god of wealth while Hariti turns into a child protector deity.
On the walls of the temple Mendut, there are reliefs that tell about the life of the Buddha. On the south side wall there is Bodhisattwa Avalokiteswara relief. The Buddha sits on a Padmasana (the throne of the Padma flower) under the shade of the Kalpataru tree.
On the east side wall carved a Bodhisattva’s relief, the Four-armed Buddha is standing wearing royalty greatness on a shape similar to a phallus. Left rear hand holding the book, right rear hand holding tasbih, varamudra’s position two front hands, the Buddha is cross-legged with the attitude of the hand giving grace. To his left is a lotus flower coming from inside a vessel.
On some sides, sculptured reliefs similar to goddess Tara sitting on Padmasana, flanked by two men. In this relief, Tara is depicted as an eighth-handed goddess. The four left hands of each are holding oyster, wajra, chakra, and tasbih, while the right hands of each are holding a cup, ax, stick, and book.