Artikel: Lain-lain - Makam Sunan Gunung Jati




[navigasi.net] Lain-lain - Makam Sunan Gunung Jati
The flocking pilgrims is seating and praying in front of the 5th gate of the Tomb of Sunan Gunung Jati.

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Astana;Cirebon Utara;Kot. Cirebon

GPS cordnt


S6.672200 - E108.540950



36 m






English translation by Ninuk.A






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Sunan Gunung Jati is one of the Nine Saint who successfully and peacefully Islamized people in Java known as “Wali Songo”. Not only as a spiritual leader, he also once a Sultan in Cirebon Sultanate. He’s believed as the first Sultan in Cirebon while the sultanate’s name was still known as Keraton Pakungwati.

[navigasi.net] Lain-lain - Makam Sunan Gunung Jati
Hall for the caretakers where the pilgrims ask their permission prior to enter the 5th gate.

Entering the graveyard’s complex, you will see Balemangu Majapahit in the form of Bale-bale with many levels as a present from Demak during the marriage of Sunan Gunung Djati and Nyi Mas Tepasari., the daughter of Ki Ageng Tepasan, he was one of the high rank official in Majapahit at that time.

Take another step inside you will see Balemangu Padjadjaran, another big Bale-bale as a present from Prabu Siliwangi to show his appreciation during the coronation of Syarif Hidayatullah as the Sultan from Pakungwati Sultanate (where the Kraton Cirebon comes from).

The Tomb of Sunan Gunung Djati located in the hill of Gunung Sembung (Sembung Mountain) and only those who has familial link with the Kraton family and the selected tomb’s caretaker are allowed to enter. The reason for this is because there are a lot of precious pieces inside the tomb such as Chinese porcelains, other pieces embedded into the walls and also water jar along the tomb’s path. People believes that the Chinese porcelains were originally from China and brought by Princess Ong Tien, the Chinese wife of Sunan Gunung Djati. Even up to this moment, those Chinese porcelains are still in a beautiful and good conditions. So, if too many visitor come and go inside the tomb the possibility of those pieces being stolen or damaged is most certain.

[navigasi.net] Lain-lain - Makam Sunan Gunung Jati
Pintu Mergu to separate the Chinese graveyard so the pilgrims can do their own ritual here.

There are 9 gates (pintu) standing one after another in a straight line in the Tomb of Sunan Gunung Djati to the top of the hill. The gate in order are as follows : 1) Pintu Gapura, 2)Pintu Krapyak, 3)Pintu Pasujudan, 4)Pintu Ratnakomala, 5)Pintu Jinem, 6)Pintu Rararoga, 7)Pintu Kaca, 8)Pintu Bacem, 9)Pintu Teratai. All “Pintu” or Gate are closed and visitor are only allowed to enter up to Pintu Jinem.

The gate are kept closed and only open during certain ritual such as Thursday night Kliwon during the tahlil ritual. Looking through the open gate, we can see many stairs leading to the hill top of the Tomb of Sunan Gunung Djati.

The flocking pilgrims have to enter through the Eastern Gate and it will bring them to the corridor and a hall used as the quarter for the tomb’s caretakers. Pilgrims have to ask caretaker on duty for their permissions to enter the tomb’s area. Normally they will donate some money in the box provided. After the caretaker allows them to pass then they will enter the Western gate into a hall in front of Pintu Pasujudan.

[navigasi.net] Lain-lain - Makam Sunan Gunung Jati
Chinese porcellains embedded in the wall decorating the tomb.

You might never thought that inside the Tomb of Sunan Gunung Djati there’s a graveyard for Chinese people separated by Pintu Mergu. The graveyard locations are intentionally separated from others so that those Chinese pilgrims can do their own ritual such as burning incense without being disturbed by other non-Chinese pilgrims.

Every week this tomb will be cleaned by the caretakers at least three times. Fresh flowers will be replaced every Monday, Thursday and Friday. On every Monday and Thursday the caretaker will enter from the gate called dapur Pesambangan whereas on Friday the caretaker will enter from the same gate with any other pilgrims.

The number of all caretakers operating this tomb is 108 which consist of 9 groups of 12 staffs who’s on duty for a period of 15 days at rotation and headed by a Bekel Sepuh (Senior Bekel) and Bekel Anom (Junior Bekel). The latest bekel was an additional after kraton was divided into Kraton Kasepuhan and Kraton Kanoman. Those whose on duty becomes a Bekel normally inherit this job from their father or relative who doesn’t have children, or can be because they earned the trust and formalize it with certain ceremony and rituals. All of caretakers including Bekel are headed by a Jeneng which appointed by Sultan.

[navigasi.net] Lain-lain - Makam Sunan Gunung Jati
Handwritten Quran aged hundred years old.

The story behind the number of 108 for the caretakers started during the reign of Sunan Gunung Djati in Kraton Pakungwati. One day a wrecked ship and 108 passengers and ship crew were captured. All passengers came from Keling (Kalingga) under the reign of Adipati Keling. These Keling people then surrender and committed to devote their life to Sunan Gunung Djati. Later, they choose to stay in the area around the tomb until the present descendants. Most of the people lives in the Tomb of Sunan Gunung Djati are the Keling’s descendants. The 12 people who’s on duty was taken from the job of a ship crew/sailor.

Other than the caretakers and those who has familial link with Sultan’s family, no one are allowed to enter the Tomb of Sunan Gunung Djati. People says inside the tomb there’s something called Malela sand brought by Pangeran Cakrabuana from Mecca. The caretakers are instructed to clean their feet before stepping out from the tomb so the sand it will not be carried out of the tomb by their feet. This instructions believes came from Pangeran Cakrabuana himself since at that time bringing the sand into this area took a lot of efforts.

Not far from the graveyard’s complex, there is a mosque called Masjid Sang Saka Ratu or Dok Jumeneng which believes was used by Keling people whose once was rebellious to Sunan Gunung Djati. Inside this mosque we can see a hundred years old handwritten Qur’an still in a good condition.

[navigasi.net] Lain-lain - Makam Sunan Gunung Jati
Kamulyaan well around the mosque area. If you need to use the water then prior permission from caretaker needed.

There are some Sumur (wells) inside the mosque called Kemulyaan well and Djati well, Kanoman well and Kasepuhan well. This mosque has 12 caretakers called Kaum which selected through the official procedure from Sultanate along with all the rituals and traditions. The 12 Kaums consist of 5 staffs as technical assistance, 4 staffs as Muadzin, 3 staffs as Khotib and headed by a Penghulu or Imam. Except for Penghulu or Imam, all of them has to work in rotation on a weekly basis with formation of 1 technical assistance, 1 Muadzin and 1 Khotib.

There’s a legend in relations to Jalatunda well. It believes the water coming from the net (jala) left by Sunan Kalijaga when he was ordered to find water for all saints to for wudhu. Now, the water from this Jalatunda well known as the Zam-zam water of Cirebon.

Visiting this tomb actually is not hard at all. The location is not so far from the town of Cirebon and the direction sign is easy to find and take you to the entrance and a huge parking area is also provided.

Unfortunately, a lot of local people asking for unofficial donations to visitors. They have various ways of asking for the ‘donations’, from those whose asking/begging nicely, follow you all the way until they get tired and realized you will not give them any money, until those people who slams the table where donation box was placed to scare visitors if they refuse to pay. People who asks for ‘donations’ not only the young but also elderly and toddlers. Some keep follow you and even pull your shirt to get attentions. They will come up with million reasons for getting this ‘donations’ such as for tomb’s maintenance or as a fee for ‘opening gate’. If you come to this place with group of people then be prepared to face many ‘donation’ seeker who will line-up waiting for you starting from the parking area to the tomb’s gate.

[navigasi.net] Lain-lain - Makam Sunan Gunung Jati
Sang Saka Ratu or Dok Jumeneng mosque which believed used by the Keling people.

This action will only make visitor upset and very annoying at certain levels. Our guide told us not to start giving them some money as ‘donation’ whatsoever since it will trigger others to follow us asking for the same thing. Though we have already carefully spend the money for the donations by keep saying “no” to those who asked, still, we have to give away many times. It is very difficult to avoid this situations.

According to our guide, many complain has been addressed and there is an effort to stop this ‘donation’ things. Once, Sultan had ordered the people here to stop asking for so called donations but the instruction did not last long. One or two weeks later people start their collecting activity again. It is understandable since asking for ‘donations’ has become their daily job.

It would be better for Kraton or the local authority to start thinking a way for stopping this donation collections since it will mark the image of this sacred place and not to mention, the Moslem people. This activity also not a good example for children and the next generations who lives in the neighborhood. It won’t be surprise if later on they also become one of them who forces people for getting a so-called donation. Though Sunan Gunung Djati once said “Ingsun titip tajug lan fakir miskin” which means “I left you this mosque and the less fortunate” but I’m sure this is not the way it should be.

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