The Historical Pagoda From Ming Dynasty ( Sam Poo Kong )

Sam Poo Kon
General Information - The Pagoda Gedung Batu Sam Poo Kong  actually is a petilasan (Javanese word). It is a place where the admiral from China named Zheng He or Cheng Ho stopped his voyage for a while. He was a moslem. He stopped at Simongan, the south west of Semarang City.  There is a incription said “ let’s moment of silence whle hearing the Holy Qur’an”

It called as Gedung Batu because of its shape that like a big stone cave that located on the stone hill. The the Indonesian Chinese descent think that this building is a pagoda because of the shape of the building has the chinese architecture so it is like a pagoda. Now, this place is used a place to celebrate and a worship place or to pray and pilgrimage.

For all this activities, in the stone cave there is an altar put in. Beside altar there is also put the Sam Poo  Tay Dhien statue. As stated above that Cheng Ho is a moslem, but they think that he is a God. Goa Batu is the main building of this pagoda. This place is believed as a place where Cheng Ho shored and the first quarters for him and his soldiers when visited Java on 1400.


Parts of The Sam Poo Kong 
In the cave, there is a Cheng Ho statue which covers by the gold and the chinese used this room to pray to get salvation, sanity, and winfall. On the wall of there are some reliefs talking about the Cheng Ho’s journey from China to Java. At this area, there is one big pagoda and two smaller places to pray.

The places that used to pray have a name suitable with allotment, for example Thao Tee Kong pagoda is a worship place to God of Earth. It is to pray to get blessing and salvation in their life. A worship of Kyai Juru Mudi is a tomb of Cheng Ho Admiral ‘s helmsman.

The other worship named Kyai Jangkar. It is called Kyai Jangkar  because in this pagoda there is an anchor of Cheng Ho’s Ship. The anchor is decorated with the red clothes. The Kyai Jangkar pagoda used to pray the spirit of their family that haven’t got the place in heaven yet.

Kyai Cundrik Bumi worship. It was a place to save the weapons of Cheng Ho’s ship cews. Kyai and Nyai Tumpeng who guarded the place which save the food on Cheng Ho era.

Location 
The location of Sam Poo Kong Pagoda is on Jl. Simongan 129 Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia.


The Attractiveness of Sam Poo Kong Pagoda
The first attractiveness of Sam Poo Kong that will attract the tourists to come Sam Poo Kong Pagoda is the statue of Cheng Ho admiral. The height of this statue is 10 meters and on the south of the pagoda.

As stated above that all the ornaments at each pagodas are dominant with chinesse characteristics. Red and yellow to be the dominant colour of the building. The sculpture  of dragon, god statue, religious leaders, shio animals etc.

The first pagoda - Tho Tee Kong, the tourist can do the divination fate ritual. It will be done by the guard of the pagoda or Juru kunci  (Javanese)

The second pagoda - Kyai Juru Mudi,is a place where the helmsman of Cheng Ho buried. He was known with Dampo Awang (Wang Jing Hong),  he was ill when crosses at Java sea. It also happened to the crews until Cheng Ho decided to berth at north  sea of Semarang. Dampo Awang  is a person who stayed at semarang. Dampo Awang and his crew are who build the first time Sam poo Kong Pagoda.

Sam Poo Kong is the third pagoda. It is known as Gedung Batu. This name based on the history that stated that at the first time Sam Poo Kong was a cave that used by the admiral Cheng Ho to take a rest and prayed with his crews.

There was an uniqueness at the pagoda. At Gedung Batu there is a Bedug like at mosque. It shows that there is a combination between Islam on the pagoda. The other uniqueness is the incription said “ let’s moment of silence whle hearing the Holy Qur’an”.

The guard said that Admiral  Cheng Ho is a Chinesse descent of Arab Persian. His father is a person who tought the islam.

The forth Pagoda – Kyai Jangkar. At this pagoda there is a huge anchor that used by Admiral Cheng Ho. The length is 3 meters. The tourists who will not pray at this place cannot take a picture of the anchor. In the front of the pagoda, there is a replica of Cheng Ho’s ship which overgrown with banyan tree. The roots of the banyan at this tree are like ship chain. It makes more uniqueness of the pagoda.

The uniqueness will be continued at the last pagoda – Kyai Cundrik Bumi. At this pagoda there are some weapons that used by Admiral Cheng Ho and his crew. Also at this place, there is a sanctuary named Nyai Tumpeng. From the story of the guard, Nyai Tumpeng is a chef on Admiral Cheng Ho. The interesting thing of Nyai Tumpeng is the term of Nasi Tumpeng created. Nasi Tumpeng  often makes in some celebration. The term reputedly appears from the characteristic of the Nyai Tumpeng’s  cuisine that liked a mountain.


The Facilities
This pagoda has some fasilities to pray and also as tourist destination. Wide parking area, the food seller and toilet. For the tourists who wants to stay, there are some hotels around the Sam Poo Kong.

The History of Cheng Ho
Based on the story, in the beginning of 15th century, Admiral Zheng He did the  voyage along the Java sea and he was on the peninsula. Because of his crew was ill, he ordered to stop the voyage and move along the river. The river is known as Kaligarang now. At the village name Simongan, he found a stone cave. He used the cave to pry. Zheng He decided to stay at this place. The crew that was ill treated using the leaves around this place.

Actually, Zheng He or Cheng Ho is the right hand man of the Emperor Yogle from China (The third emperor of Ming Dynasty. His real name was Ma He. He was also known as Ma Sanbao. He was born on Yunnan mainland. He was descendants of Persia.

His career up fast and the Emperor entrust Cheng Ho as International envoy. He did some expeditions and Indonesia was his next destination.

Tickets
To enter the Sam Poo Kong Pagoda, the tourist just paid IDR 3.000 for local tourists and IDR 10.000 for foreign tourists.

The tickets entrance of five pagodas, if the tourists will not pray in, for local tourists must pay IDR 20.000 and for foreign tickets IDR 30.000