Endemik Lokal di Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Pekanbaru

Tugu Ikan Selais Tiga Sepadan.

Adalah Tugu Ikan Selais Tiga Sepadan, icon pertama yang kujumpai di Jalan Jenderal Sudirman. Tak lain disebabkan karena tugu inilah spot terdekat dengan RTH Putri Kaca Mayang. Penggambaran kerukunan masyarakat yang disimbokan pada keharmonisan pahatan tiga ekor Ikan Selais yang merupakan satwa endemik di Pekanbaru.

Sebagaimana mestinya jalan protokol, maka Jalan Jenderal Sudirman memiliki pesona unggulan dengan sebaran arsitektur gedung-gedung modern. Tak begitu susah menemukan beberapa bangunan ikonik dengan arsitektur khas di sepanjangnya. Jalan protokol ini membentang sejauh 7,5 kilometer, bermula dari Jembatan Siak IV di ujung utara dan diakhiri di Pos Polisi Gurindam 3 di ujung selatan.

Pesona Jalan Jenderal Sudirman yang terlihat islami dengan papan Asmaul Husna.

Salah satu bangunan yang terlihat cukup mencolok adalah bangunan perpustakaan wilayah yang berada di bilangan 462, yang dikenal dengan nama Perpustakaan Soeman HS.

Soeman HS adalah sastrawan nasional Angkatan Pujangga Baru yang begitu fenomenal.

Sementara 700 meter ke utara perpustakaan terletaklah Titik 0 Km Pekanbaru yang ditandai dengan tugu Zapin, yaitu tugu berpola perempuan bersongket melayu dan berada tepat di tengah bundaran pertigaan. Sedangkan di sisi barat jalan terdapat gedung yang dikenal dengan nama Menara Lancang Kuning. Dimiliki oleh Pemerintah Provinsi Riau, gedung sembilan lantai ini berfungsi sebagai kantor gabungan.

Menara Lancang Kuning.

Telah berusia 12 tahun, gedung ini memiliki Sky Garden di lantai teratas. Dibuka tanpa biaya untuk masyarakat yang ingin bersantai menikmati pemandangan indah kota dari berbagai sisi.

Kunjunganku sore itu diramaikan dengan tumpahnya masa sebuah organisasi massa keagamaan yang sedang melakukan protes di depan Kantor Gubernur. Sepertinya mereka memprotes keputusan negara yang membubarkan organisasi ini.

Oleh karenanya, aku tak bisa leluasa menikmati pesona keunikan Tugu Zapin yang area sekitarnya tertutup rapat oleh keberadaan para demonstran.

Tak bisa merangsek lebih jauh.

Sementara di sisi utara Menara Lancang Kunin tampak bangunan ikonik dengan arsitekturnya khas Melayu. Itulah Kantor Gubernur Provinsi Riau, gedung beratap depan tiga lapis dengan selembayung di setiap puncaknya dan memiliki lengkung-lengkung terbalik pada jendela depan. Sementara persis di sebelah kirinya adalah Masjid Kantor Gubernur Riau dengan kubah cokelat metalik bermotif jaring.

Kantor yang cukup luas.

Kembali ke arah selatan, sebelum menutup ekslplorasi di Pekanbaru, aku menemukan Gedung Bank Indonesia. Tak seperti kebanyakan Gendung Bank Indonesia di kota-kota besar lain yang sering menggunakan bangunan bekas Belanda, Gedung BI Pekanbaru ini lebih tampak seperti bangunan modern. Mungkin ini dikarenakan Pekanbaru adalah sebuah kota yang sedang aktif berkembang, jadi setiap bangunan penting yang dimiliki kota selalu serba baru.

Gedung BI yang bersembunyi di balik rindangnya pohon.

Langkahku kali ini akan menjadi langkah terakhir dalam bertamu di Pekanbaru, karena keesokan harinya aku akan bertolak menuju Bukittinggi.

Saatnya kembali ke Hotel dan beristirahat.

Selamat tinggal Pekanbaru, Selamat datang Bukittinggi.

Borobudur Temple: the Third

<—-Previous Story

Big party last night was over. Successfully delivered the party as the MC role with my two work-colleagues. After midnight, I felt asleep in Sahid Jaya Hotel & Convention room. In the morning, I just realized that since last night I embraced two awards as a result of my work in the company for a previous year. Even though, I didn’t really win it, I became one of five Best Leader nominees in my company. The award was closely hugged by me along with a symbolically of five gram gold as a door prize which I got last night.

This morning, committee allowed Year End Party participants to enjoy hotel facilities until noon. Because of that, I took time to go to swimming pool, relax my muscles along with several other participants who had been descending into water since morning.

I also enjoyed my breakfast at hotel restaurant for a long time, the most comfortable moment after yesterday’s rushed breakfast. Even more relaxed, I still had time to enjoy my hot coffee on the porch of room with the best view.

—- **** —-

After closing and praying together session in ballroom, all participants flocked to leave the hotel, boarding their respective buses according to the manifest. I sat on my seat. Still on Kanaya Bus number 2 as before since leaving Jakarta. Buses pushed north, the harmonious acceleration of throttle, brakes and clutch shown by the driver made almost all passengers fall asleep. Accelerated by the impact of post-lunch drowsiness before event closing session.

Meanwhile, I prefer to be busy surfing using the world’s leading search engines. Looking for all literatures which can explain a little about the masterpiece of Samaratungga. A masterpiece which was composed by a series of stories starting from Karmawibhangga as a consequences explanation of good and bad deeds, then Lalitawistara which tells the story of the Buddha’s birth, continues to Jataka/Awadana which explains the story of the Buddha before becoming the consecrated as Prince Siddharta and closes with Gandawyuha which explains Mahayana Buddha.

I continued to trace the stories behind the splendor of this ninth century architecture. The Buddhist version of a classic cosmology depiction which involving three realms, namely Kamadhatu (world realm), Rupadhatu (transitional realm) and Arupadhatu (the highest realm of Buddhists).

One o’clock in the afternoon, my bus entered parking area, I immediately jumped, rushed to ticket booth, spent group’s ration money to enter this historic building.

Quite a long queue because of so many visitors, I got a ticket ten minutes after entering the queue. Now I step towards the gate and enjoy the beauty of this historical building from a distance.

Not the first, this was already the third….I have always admired Borobudur….The pride of my country.
The largest Buddhist temple in the world.
Founded by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles.
With 2.672 reliefs.
Beautiful view.
72 stupas.
Abhaya mudra stupa.

That afternoon visitation was like a bonus, I was met by a tour guide who was explaining each side of Borobudur to ten foreign tourists. Like reading a novel, I followed the storyline about this temple starting from base level to the top of temple….

Because of my own busyness, for three hours I separated from the group. Like that myself, always troublesome the group by traveling at will….Bad habbit on me.

At exactly four in the afternoon, my smart phone rang, announcing that visiting time was over. It was time to gather back at parking lot because tour group would leave Borobudur soon….

Two Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace’s Plataran

<—-Previous Story

Who doesn’t know about the greatness of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace. This two and a half century old palace was still the largest kingdom in Java until today. Founded by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I as the embodiment of Giyanti Agreement on 1755.

Simultaneously with the stepping down of the sun from the highest peak, I began to leave Pasar Ngasem (Ngasem Market), together with my group along Taman Street to east. Apparently the tour guide intended to entering my group to Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace from south side.

Dokar/Andong right at the junction of Polowijan Street, Taman Street and Magangan Kulon Street.

Changing steps on Jalan Magangan Kulon, I finally entered the palace through Plataran Kemagangan (Kemagangan Courtyard). In this Plataran, there was only a Bangsal which looked clean and well-maintained, namely:

Bangsal Magangan

Bangsal Magangan in south of palace complex.
Bale Raos is a palace restaurant. Near of Bangsal Magangan.

I noticed a uniqueness around this Bangsal where people who passing through this area had to get off their motorcycle and pushed it. The absence of vehicle engine noise made the situation around Bangsal was quiet, cool and serene.

In the past, Bangsal Magangan functioned as a training ground for abdi dalem (courtiers). But now, this place was used for wayang kulit performances and several other activities. Including functioning as a kitchen to carry out a big celebration, for example Ngapem. Ngapem itself was a procession of making apem cakes which was carried out at the moment of the coronation or anniversary of king ascension at Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace.

Its existence was also very strategic to make this area accessible for tourists from south side of palace complex because it was quite close to Taman Sari and Pasar Ngasem.

After enjoying the silence of Bangsal Magangan, I continued to north and started to entering Plataran Kedhaton (Kedhaton Courtyard). Kedhaton is the main platform which has the highest hierarchical level because it is the center of palace complex. Some of the parts which I got on this plataran were:

Bangsal Manis

This building was used as an official royal banquet venue. European-style formal banquets were also commonly performed by the Sultan in this place. Now this place was used to clean the royal heirlooms during Suro month.

Bangsal Manis

In some parts of Bangsal, there was an interior decoration in the form of a dragon snake. “Dragon snakes are a typical animal from China, this shows that at that time Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace had cultural influences from China“, said a female tour guide who accompanied my group.

Bangsal Kencana

Bangsal Kencana.

Right next to Bangsal Manis is the embodiment of Bangsal Kencana. Raised on three floor steps, this Bangsal was a building used to hold important palace ceremonies. If Bangsal Manis relied on a combination of green and cream in its interior carvings, then Bangsal Kencana exhibited a combination of green and pink color.

Gedhong Patehan (Patehan Building)

Gedhong Patehan.

Gedhong Patehan was located adjacent to Gedhong Danartapura. This building was used by abdi dalem in making tea for the king. Non-alcoholic drinks for the king were also prepared in this building. If the king was entertaining guests from Europe who drank alcohol, another room called Gedhong Sarangbaya would be used.

Gedhong Danartapura which was used as the palace treasurer office.

If the Sultan wasn’t present or was on duty outside the city, the serving of tea was still done every day, i.e on six in the morning and eleven in the afternoon“, a tour guide said.

Gedhong Patehan wasn’t open to public, therefore I couldn’t visit this building inside. Five female courtiers would serve the tea. Gedhong Patehan was led by KRT Danukusumo, grandson of Hamengkubuwono VIII.

Unfortunately, this building wasn’t open to the public. Visitors could only catch a glimpse of activities in this building through an open door at the back of the building.

Gedhong Kaca

Gedhong Kaca.

The last part which I visited was a building with glass walls. This building was called Gedhong Kaca and was designated as Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX Museum.

Gedhong Kaca was the longest part which I visited. In the main hall, there was President Soekarno’s statement when he handed over the safety of Yogyakarta to Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX as the King of Yogyakarta and Yogyakarta was part of the Republic of Indonesia.

And in the mandate of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX coronation the sentence was also spoken:

Although I have received a true western education, but first I am and remain Javanese“.

I didn’t have enough time to visit the palace in its entirety. Hopefully one day I could come back to this place to do a deeper exploration.

Next Story—->

Pasar Ngasem: Agrotechnologist from Switzerland

<—-Previous Story

My imagination of past stretch around Pulo Kenanga has ended. My thinking wass wild enough to imagine the beauty of lake stretch which juts out to the north. The lake in the past looked deep when you look at its bottom which had become a stretch of residential architecture down there. I didn’t know why the lake dried up during its time, so that the bottom stretch of lake was used by people of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate as a new economic center, namely Pasar Ngasem (Ngasem Market).

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s go down to Pasar Ngasem. The market is more than two centuries old. We will learn the economic history of Sultanate there! ”, our tour guide started to lead the group down Pulo Kenanga. I immediately finished my last glance on each side of Pulo Kenanga. I moved down at the tail of tour group.

My steps headed north, not far, only around two hundred meters and in five minutes I arrived at Pasar Ngasem. Inside the market, the committee had provided a lunch menu in the form of boxed rice which were neatly arranged on a clean and roofed market hallway so as to reduce heat of the sun which was already at its peak.

Pasar Ngasem inside.

When the participants were busy picking up their boxed rice, I was still engrossed in walking around Pasar Ngasem Plaza which functions as a performance area. In the form of a semicircular concrete platform with a short podium surrounding it.

I watched a foreigner sitting on the podium and enjoying the situation. I purposely approached him to talking:

Me: “Hi, sir. Where are you come from?

He: “Hi… Hello. Switzerland

Me: “I’m Donny from Jakarta. How about Taman Sari. Is that good?

He: “Hi. I’m Armend. Yeaaa..It’s great. It just need a little touch more to make it more classic. Tapi disini panas juga (but it’s hot in here too)“.

Me: “Hahahah…. You can speak Bahasa Indonesia. This is a surprise

He: “Yes, Donny. Surely. I had worked in Cianjur for a year. I little learns

Me: “Yeaa, it’s certainly cooler there. Dibidang apa Anda bekerja? (What field do you work in?)

He: “Agrotechnology“.

Me: “Wow… Cool. Sendirian ke Jogja? (are you going alone to Jogja?

He: “I have a family… .That”, he pointed to his father, mother and younger sister on a side of market who were busy walking around.

The two of us ended up having a conversation that was so exciting until a voice from the end of plaza called me “Donny, let’s have lunch soon, we will leave the market“, shouted a group member reminding me. Finally I said goodbye to Armend and immediately joined the group to enjoy lunch.

Pasar Ngasem gate.

That afternoon there was very little selling activity in the market. Most of the items sold were daily necessities. Even though I know that this was the biggest bird market in Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate. But now the bird trader have been relocated to Pasar Satwa dan Tanaman Hias Yogyakarta (PASTY).

Now this market had played a key role in assisting the existence of Taman Sari cultural heritage. Half of Pasar Ngasem area had been transformed into an area of ​​arts and cultural performances and part of it was still used for traditional trade.

Next Story—->

Kisah Heroik dibalik RTH Putri Kaca Mayang

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Tugu Bambu Runcing.

Bundaran di tenggara Masjid Agung An-Nur itu berhiaskan tugu bambu runcing berwarna kuning berlatar Universitas Riau tepat sejejar dibelakangnya. Aku terus mengarahkan Canon EOS M10 ku ke arah tugu hingga pengemudi ojek online datang memanggilku.

Sepertinya aku akan menghabiskan sore itu bersama warga lokal untuk menimati suasana kota di sebuah Ruang Terbuka Hijau (RTH) di tepian jalan protokol. Dari Masjid Agung An-Nur aku menuju selatan sejauh 4 kilometer dengan waktu tempuh 15 menit berkendara.

Jam empat kurang sepuluh menit aku tiba. Puluhan orang telah hanyut dalam suasana taman yang tenang walaupun raungan knalpot kendaraan menghiasi warna suara di sekelilingnya.

Taman dengan background The Premiere Hotel.

Unik, taman ini di belah oleh sebuah jalan pintas yang menghubungkan Jalan Jenderal Sudirman di timur taman dan Jalan Sumatera baratnya. Disematkan nama Jalan RTH Kaca Mayang, jalan ini membelah pendek sepanjang seratus meter saja.

Tempat duduk beton berkaki tiga, tempat sampah modern tiga kategori, Kanopi beton berbentuk jamur dengan atap hijau, sepasang area bermain pasir berwahana up-down stairs yang mengapit sebidang area peruntukan teater, pohon-pohon berdiameter kecil sebagai pertanda belum lama tertanam, jogging track dengan pola bersambung dari dua belahan taman serta dua jembatan kecil diatas aliran air yang cukup bersih adalah jenis fasilitas yang didudukkan pada taman seluas kurang lebih satu hektar ini. Itulah gambaran singkat RTH Putri Kaca Mayang yang bisa kutangkap.

Putri Kacang Mayang adalah satu dari delapan Ruang Terbuka Hijau di Pekanbaru yang dikenal sebagai taman paling ramah anak. Pemerintah daerah harus menggelontorkan dana sebesar enam milyar rupiah untuk membangun taman ini.

Penamaan taman sendiri diambil dari sebuah dongeng lokal yang dipercaya sebagai asal muasal Kota Pekanbaru. Putri Kaca Mayang konon digambarkan sebagai seorang putri nan cantik jelita yang dikemudian hari diculik oleh seorang raja Atjeh yang sakit hati karena pinangannya tertolak.

Panglima Gimpam yang merupakan tokoh terkuat di Kerajaan Gisab merasa harga dirinya diinjak-injak dengan peristiwa penculikan itu, karena Raja Atjeh dengan bantuan seorang penghianat berhasil mengelabuhi Sang Panglima yang telah bersiap menunggu pertempuran di batas kota, sedangkan musuh berhasil memasuki kerajaan melalui jalan lain yang sangat rahasia.

Tanpa pikir panjang, dikejarlah Raja Atjeh ini sendirian. Dengan kesaktiannya, Panglima Gimpam memporak porandakan seisi kerajaan musuh sendirian dan akhirnya dikembalikanlah Sang Putri kepadanya. Namun sayang, Sang Putri tak selamat pulang ke Kerajaan Gisab karena jatuh sakit di tengah perjalanan.

Itulah sepenggal kisah dari penamaan RTH Putri Kaca Mayang. Ternyata ada cerita klasik dibalik keindahan taman kota ini.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Boating in Pulo Kenanga

<—-Previous Story

A secret architectural show at Sumur Gumuling was over….

Come on, ladies and gentlemen, we are leaving for the island!“, our tour guide clearly uttered nonsense words. Where was there island on dry land like this? “Where is the sea?“, I still denied full of wonder.

Walking out through stairs at the end of Sumur Gumuling tunnels, I positioned myself at the back end of group, also pushed my self to surface. Arriving at ground level, the guide casually walked to east while focusing on answering several questions from group members who were very enthusiastic about learning the history of Yogyakarta Sultanate. While I myself was plagued by a busy, it wasn’t important to catch some iconic corners with my mirrorless camera lens.

In the past, the land where we were standing on was the bottom of a lake, ladies and gentlemen“, the guide started throwing a clue which made me play with my imagination. “If I’m currently at the bottom of lake, it means that the island is the higher part of where I stand, and the high part must be very easy to see from here“, it turned out I was still as smart as ever …

I rotate my view on 360 degrees, made a quick looking. “That’s it!”, my observation was fixed on a tall building with thick walls in the style of colonial architecture. And the building was right in the direction which I walked.

In the past, kings and their families often boating above us while enjoying beautiful colors of fishes which swim in a clear lake“, the guide explained again. For me, it was common for kings to have worldly pleasures like that, I didn’t really respond to it. I just thought, how could this place combine to special architecture spots at that time, starting from a bath of royal family, a underground mosque and now an artificial island on the highest part of Taman Sari contour.

There it is!“, the guide pointed his finger at a building which I had guessed through imagination. “Pulo Cemeti“, he smiled to all members of group which he was carrying. “Let’s go up!“, He led the group up stair to entering that sturdy old building. When most of  group members were running happily upstairs, I was still in the lower courtyard and looking at Pulo Cemeti, imagining its original form and royal family activities in it in ancient times.

I arrived right at its building door when the entire group was still busy with selfies. Now I look down, imagining the height of water surface and the activity of boating in the middle of lake and followed by colorful fishes along paddling of boat.

Because many Kenanga flowers were planted around this building, public also often refers to this site as Pulo Kenanga. Oh yes, this building is more than a quarter century old, you know ”, the guide enriched information for tour group.

For then, I sat in a giant wind window and still admired the splendor of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I’s work. These thick walls were of course the influence of great architectural culture of Dutch colonial era, which made this site able to survive today.

Also known as Gedhong Kenanga. Because this building area appears to be floating on water during its heyday, it’s often referred to as the water castle”, the guide explained for the last time. The Yogyakarta Sultanate indeed left monumental works like this one. If its site management were made exclusive, surely all parts of Taman Sari would be a matter of pride for Yogyakarta Sultanate.

Next Story—->

Bertolak ke Masjid Agung An-Nur dari Pecinan

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Kusempatkan memejamkan mata sejenak begitu menyelesaikan proses check-in di Hotel Sri Indrayani. Semalam yang tak nyenyak di bangku tengah Bus INTRA, bersambung dengan empat jam berjalan kaki demi mengeksplorasi daerah Senapelan telah membuat otot betisku kelelahan dan mataku terasa berat.

Smartphone yang masih mengisi ulang daya itu pun berteriak membangunkanku, tepat satu jam sebelum Shalat Ashar. Waktu shalat memang menjadi pilihan sebagai penanda mula untuk kelanjutan petualanganku di Pekanbaru. Itu karena aku memilih untuk mengunjungi sebuah masjid termegah di seantero Provinsi Riau atau boleh dikatakan sebagai salah satu yang termegah di tanah air.

Tak mengulur lagi keterlambatan bersantap siang, aku menyusuri daerah Pecinan di sepanjang Jalan Dr. Leimena yang tak jauh dari gerbang hotel, hingga menemukan sebuah kedai yang memaparkan harum rempah dan terlihat sangat ramai pengunjung. Seluruh bangku di lantai bawah ruko itu hampir penuh dan tanpa pikir panjang aku segera menduduki satu bangku diantaranya.

Mie dengan tauge bercampur potongan lontong, udang, telur dan diwangikan dengan taburan bawang goreng…beuhhh, nikmat

Menenggak pelan asam manis es jeruk dingin menjadikan tubuh mendingin sejenak di panasnya kota. Dan tepat di tegukan terakhir, ojek online itu datang menjemputku.

Menuju ke tenggara sejauh tiga kilometer dan tiba di gerbangnya tepat dua puluh menit sebelum waktu Ashar tiba. Begitu banyak polisi di halaman masjid yang tampak tengah mengamankan sebuah agenda penting siang itu. Setiap kendaraan yang masuk area masjid tak luput dari pemeriksaan ketat.

Mau kemana, Bang”, tegur polisi muda bersenjata laras panjang di gerbang masuk. “Shalat Ashar, pak”, password yang begitu ampuh untuk melewati pemeriksaan itu.

Mirip Taj Mahal, bukan?
Kubah bak gasing terbalik dan pohon-pohon kurma itu….Hmmmhh.

Aku belum juga memasuki ruangan masjid. Sibuk di pelataran menikmati keindahan arsitektur yang tersaji di depan mata. Masjid dominan hijau berusia setengah abad dengan luas area yang kuperkirakan lebih dari sepuluh hektar…..Sungguh, luas sekali.

Lihat saja bagaimana lapangnya salah satu sisi parking lot.

Mughal masih saja menjadi corak arsitektur yang mendominasi, lengkungan-lengkungan khasnya mirip lengkungan pada persemayaman terakhir Mumtaz Mahal di Agra. Sedangkan nuansa sekeliling masjid sedikit mengadopsi atmosfer Masjidil Haram di Mekkah dan Masjid Nabawi di Madinah.

Corak Melayu disematkan oleh warna hijau pada bangunan utama, warna merah pada ornamen di menara dan kuning emas pada ormanen interior beserta seni kaligrafinya. Lalu adat Melayu digambarkan pada lantai dua tingkat dengan beranda dibawah. Mengadopsi konsep rumah panggung Melayu.

Rukun Islam dilambangkan pada lima kubah dan kepemimpian Khilafah sahabat Nabi direpresentasikan pada empat menara.

Kini aku bersiap untuk beribadah Ashar, menyucikan diri di lantai bawah dan menaiki tangga demi tangga menuju ruang peribadatan utama di lantai kedua. Atmosfer di dalam yang begitu khusyu’, membuatku merasa bersyukur karena masih diberikan kesempatan untuk mengunjungi rumah Tuhan yang megah ini.

Enam pilar raksasa berdasar hijau dan berlapis putih di bagian atas.

Kulamakan waktu dudukku di bagian belakang untuk menikmati ikon wisata religi Provinsi Riau yang konon bisa menampung hampir lima ribu jama’ah.

Lengkung kubah dari dalam.

Karya arsitektur kenamaan di Pekanbaru ini tak lepas dari tangan dingin Kaharuddin Nasution, Gubernur kedua Provinsi Riau yang memindahkan Ibukota Provinsi dari Tanjung Pinang di Pulau Bintan ke Pekanbaru pada tahun 1960-an. Perpindahan itu tentu membawa konsekuensi baginya untuk memfasilitasi kegiatan keagamaan mayoritas masyarakat yang notabene memeluk agama Islam. Oleh karena itulah Sang Gubernur merasa penting untuk menghadirkan Masjid Agung An-Nur ini.

Keren ya…… 

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Sumur Gumuling, Secret Mosque of Yogyakarta Sultanate

<—-Previous Story

Our tour guide waited for a moment for Year End Party participants to enjoy king’s bathing pool, empress and their sons and daughters in the past. For a few minutes I imagined some possibilities of what the story would look like in this place on more than two centuries ago, definitely classics looked like colossal cinemas from old kingdoms. For a moment I thoughtfully enjoyed that imagination.

My focus was destroyed by tour guide’s call to continue journey into another part of Taman Sari. “We will see mosque, ladies and gentlemen!“, He said. I just followed with an ordinary feeling. I could only imagine an appearance of Great Mosque of Surakarta Palace, which I visited three months ago. “Oh, this mosque appearance will like that“, I closed my own guess.

For a moment I was in a large and neatly arranged courtyard with a visitor circular path which follow area shape. A magnificent ornate gate proudly stood at one side of this area, large and old trees covered participants from hot weather of Yogyakarta.

Gedhong Gapura Hageng (Gapura Agung), Taman Sari’s main gate.
A small gate to the mosque.

Meanwhile, on opposite side of it, there was a small gate with a door which leading visitors to underground. Ten minutes later, tour guide called group and they began to follow him into gate.

I was at back of them and began to descend stairs to follow the underground tunnel. “What kind of mosque is in underground?“, I kept curiously wondering.

This mosque isn’t what you imagine, it is just a tunnel for worship. Because this mosque was hidden from Dutch colonialm. In ancient times, Dutch colonialism prohibited kingdom members from performing worship“, tour guide explained, which made me directly understood.

To tunnels.
To tunnels.

It was only camouflage of a function as mosque. A brilliant idea from Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I, the first Sultan of Yogyakarta”, I started to admire this architecture in my mind. The tunnel could be passed without having to walk down your head, designed in such a way which it was sufficient for adults to pass through. During regular intervals, lamps were installed which would certainly helpful when the day turns dark. Tunnel walls were also shown original stone texture without paint, adding to its classic atmosphere.

I continued to explore along tunnel to find the end of this unique architectural masterpiece. I was even more amazed, the tunnel led to an arrangement of four staircases which were additional part of tunnels and also fifth staircase which was protruded from second floor tunnel to form a stage. “This stage was a pulpit for khateeb (Islam preacher) to give sermon, and palace’s family members would pray and sit listening to the sermon from the tunnel“, tour guide stood on pulpit while pointing his finger in several tunnels.

Tunnel as a mosque.
Other side of tunnel.
A pulpit.

Sermon sound would be heard until the end of tunnels because it used tunnel walls to echo the voice of khateeb” he continued.

Wow, I really praised the smart strategy of Sultan to be able to worship in the midst of colonial government’s prohibition. If Dutch colonial had inspected this place, of course, they would never have known if these tunnels actually functioned as a mosque of Yogyakarta Sultanate which was very secretive. They must have only suspected that this tunnels only served as an access between sides in Taman Sari area.

This mosque was nicknamed as SUMUR GUMULING.

Next Story—->

Throwing a flower in Taman Sari

<—-Previous Story

My eyes were widened when a noise of people group could be heard when they crossed a corridor in front of my room …. Ah, I felt asleep again after Subh prayer a few hours ago. With quick reflexes I jumped into bathroom and washed myself as fast as lightning. After getting dressed, I grabbed my camera and put it in a folding bag. I jogged out of the room to Sahid Jaya Hotel & Convention restaurant.

Arriving at the restaurant, some of event’s participants had cleared their tables and carried their bags to go to bus.

“Hi, Donny. You seem too late to be joining breakfast. You must have slept too well last night, ”Todd greeted me who was in a hurry to put rice and several other side dishes onto plate. Todd was an expats from Australia in my company. He was one of my best friend.

“Oh, yes Todd. Not as bad as I think. I still have 15 minutes to eat my breakfast, ”I replied without seeing Todd’s face at all.

I joined with some friends who were still halfway through their breakfast. Without more talking, I immediately cleared a breakfast menu whicht I took. Just drinking a glass of mineral water, I rushed to a chartered bus no.2 which was ready to leave.

Sahid Jaya Hotel & Convention restaurant.

In the morning, second day in Yogyakarta, Year End Party participants would visit Taman Sari in several small groups, each consisting of approximately fifteen participants and one tour guide will be prepared at tourist destination later.

A few minutes later, bus was moving slowly leaving that four-star hotel. Situation in bus was very lively, but I just silently sat while watching Yogyakarta’ streets which started to get busy. Bus slowly crept along Majapahit Street, heading to Patehan area, which was about ten kilometers away.

Not long after, twenty-five minutes later, bus slowly entered a multi-storey parking lot. After getting off the bus, I realized that bus hadn’t actually arrived at its destination. Bus turned out to have to stop at Ngabean Tourism Parking in Notoprajan area, because roads were narrow and bus couldn’t enter to Taman Sari tourist spot.

Ngabean Tourism Parking.
In Notoprajan area.

Committee directed participants per group to ride a small tourist vehicle, i.e Daihatsu Luxio, to Taman Sari. I entered one of them and began to crossing narrow road. Seven minutes later, I arrived at Taman Sari parking lot after rode the car for about two kilometers.

A male guide approached us and introduced himself. After getting to know each other witth all members of group,he started slowly walking while giving an explanation about Taman Sari history. Situation was so crowded, so I couldn’t concentrate on listening to guide’s explanation.

Taman Sari’s gate.
Old building in Taman Sari.
Pasiraman Umbul Binangun, the empress’ bathing pool

Taman Sari also was known as Water Palace, because it was often used for bathing the empress and king’s daughter, let me show you the bathing pool“, I heard bits his explanation because I preferred to take some photos of several unique building and must get out from group.

Now I arrived at bathing pool. From many stories which told by a guide, I only heard a important point, of course it was my own version. “Previously the king would stand on top of that multi-storey building while watching concubines who bathing. When the time came, the king would throw a flower at a concubine who attracts his heart, then in the evening the king would get love from the concubine who he has chosen ”. Damn, I only remembered this thing.

Oh No….

Next Story—->

Para Panglima Perang di Masjid Raya Nur Alam

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Satu perandaian yang tak pernah terwujud adalah memasuki Rumah Singgah Tuan Kadi. Ingin rasanya duduk menghampar di dalamnya dan menikmati untaian sejarah dalam bilik-bilik mungilnya. Secara bersamaan, keringat yang terus meleleh di pelipis mata, pelan tapi pasti meluruhkan setiap perandaian di kepalaku. Pintu-pintu rumah itu tertutup rapat seakan berkata kepadaku “Sudahlah pergi saja, cukup bagimu melihat keindahan kulit ariku saja”.

Aku pergi…..

Langkah kaki yang tak kusadari mulai sedikit terseret mengindikasikan bahwa aku perlu banyak beristirahat setelah empat hari sebelumnya menyisir Medan, Pulau Samosir dan Pematang Siantar. Tapi apa daya, keinginanku mengenal Pekanbaru mengalahkan keletihan kaki yang sesungguhnya sudah berteriak minta berhenti.

Aku mulai memasuki Jalan Kota Baru. Baut-baut raksasa, gulungan kabel-kabel tebal, selongsong pipa bekas berukuran besar tampak berserakan di deretan rumah toko yang disulap menjadi bengkel-bengkel mekanik. Setiap ayunan langkah seakan mengisi ulang semangatku untuk segera tiba di area Kampung Bukit dimana Kota Pekanbaru dirintis pada mulanya.

Di area inilah, sebidang tanah bekas pasar baru (Pekan Baharu) yang dirintis oleh Sultan Abdul Jalil Alamuddin Syah berdiri sebuah peninggalan istimewa yaitu masjid tertua di Provinsi Riau.

Lagi….Kubah kuning perlambang kebesaran Melayu.

Masjid yang lahir sebagai sebuah konsekuensi yang dipikulkan di pundak Sultan Abdul Jalil Alamuddin Syah, Sultan ke-4 yang memindahkan pusat Kesultanan Siak Sri Indrapura dari Mempura Besar ke Bukit Senapelan pada pertengahan abad XVIII.

Adalah adat Tali Berpilin Tiga  yang menjadikan Istana Raja, Balai Kerapatan Adat, dan Masjid sebagai satu kesatuan syarat yang harus dipenuhi Sang Sultan jika berniat memindahkan kesultanan. Istana Raja melambangkan pemerintahan, Balai Kerapatan Adat melambangkan adat istiadat leluhur dan Masjid sebagai perlambang agama.

Setengah kubah pada lengkung kanopi teras mengingatkanku dengan arsitektur Mughal di Taj Mahal.

Oleh Sang Sultan, Bangunan Istana diberi nama Istana Bukit, Balai Kerapatan Adat dinamai Balai Payung Sekaki dan Masjid diberi nama Masjid Alam yang diambil dari nama kecil Sang Sultan yaitu Raja Alam.

Ada yang menyebutnya dengan nama Masjid Senapelan Pekanbaru, beberapa orang menyebutnya Masjid Raya Pekanbaru.

Aku tiba di Masjid dalam keadaan Masbuq (terlambat shalat), tak mau tertinggal seluruh raka’at, aku bergegas menuju ke tempat wudhu dan segera mengikuti dua raka’at terakhir berjama’ah. Selepas menggenapkan 2 raka’at terakhir sendirian, aku mulai tertegun dengan enam tiang besar berwarna putih yang ujungnya dilapisi kubah warna emas dan tak sampai menyangga atap, bak mercusuar.

Sinar matahari yang menembus jendela-jendela kaca permanen di dinding teratas semakin menampilkan lengkung-lengkung lancip khas Persia. Sedangkan kaligrafi emas berlatar dasar hijau khas Timur Tengah tampak melingkar mengelilingi bagian dalam masjid.

Mimbar emas beratap hijau bermenara bulan sabit emas.

Keluar dari masjid aku menuju ke sisi timur menuju sebuah gerbang pemakaman. Bernama Kompleks Makam Marhum Pekan yang merupakan komplek makam para pendiri kota Pekanbaru seperti Sultan Abdul Jalil Alamuddin Syah (Sultan ke-4), Sultan Muhammad Ali Abdul Jalil Muazzam Syah (Sultan ke-5) beserta para panglima perang setianya.

Gerbang Kompleks Makam Marhum Pekan. Marhum Pekan sendiri adalah sebutan untuk Sultan Muhammad Ali Abdul Jalil Muazzam Syah (pendiri kota Pekanbaru).

Masjid Nur Alam adalah penutup napak tilasku tentang Kesultanaan Siak Sri Indrapura. Puas dan bahagia bisa mengenal lebih dekat tentang kesultanan tersohor di tanah Sumatera ini.

Yuk….Balik ke hotel, check-in dan makan siang!

Kisah Selanjutnya—->