Location: 15 Ulu, Seberang Ulu I District, Palembang City, South Sumatra 30267
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Tourist attractions are not always synonymous with nature. Buildings with interesting and unique architecture can also be tourist attractions.
Generally, the buildings that become tourist attractions come from the legacy of ancient people. If it leads to Semarang then there is Lawang Sewu, if in Jakarta there is the Old City and many others.
This time we will discuss the buildings that are tourist attractions. However, not from areas within the island of Java, but on the neighboring island, namely Sumatra, to be precise in the province of South Sumatra.
The provincial capital is famous for its specialty food, namely pempek. The name of its capital is Palembang.
Not only famous for its culinary tours. Palembang also has an iconic building. Not Ampera Bridge, but a place of worship for Muslims or better known as a mosque.
There is a unique feature of the mosque which will be discussed in this article. The name of this mosque is Cheng Hoo Mosque. The following is information about religious tourism spots in the city of Palembang.
History of the Mosque
There used to be an admiral from China named Admiral Cheng Hooo. He often travels around the world and has visited Palembang four times.
Admiral Cheng Hoo was a Muslim eunuch. He was also a confidant of the Yongle Emperor who ruled from 1403 to 1424.
The Yongle Emperor has the real name Ma He. This emperor was also known as Ma Sanbao. The origin of this emperor was from Yunnan. When the Ming troops managed to subdue Yunnan, Cheng Hoo was arrested.
It was this beginning that made Cheng Hoo become a eunuch. He comes from the Hui tribe, which is a tribe that is physically similar to the Han tribe, but has a variety of Islam or a Muslim.
It is well known that the spread of Islam in the archipelago was carried out by Arab traders. However, it turns out that traders from Chinese origin also played a role in spreading this religion, especially in the coastal areas of Palembang and the role of Admiral Cheng Hoo was no exception.
His fleet consists of 62 ships and an army of 27,800 people. This fleet has docked at the old port four times, Palembang. In 1407, Palembang was the territory of the Srivijaya kingdom.
Sriwijaya used to ask the Chinese fleet for help to crush the Hokian Chinese robbers who disturbed the peace.
The head of this robber was named Chen Tsu Ji and he was arrested and then taken to Peking. Since that event, Admiral Cheng Hoo formed the Chinese Islamic community in Palembang City. So since the days of the Srivijaya kingdom, Palembang had Muslim Chinese people.
Actually, Chen Tsu Ji is a former naval officer from the Canton area. When the Ming dynasty came to power, he fled and this escape ended in Palembang.
His arrival in the city of Pempek worried the merchants, because he and his thousands of followers built a base of power here.
As long as he controlled the area around the mouth of the Musi River, the waters of Sungsang and the Bangka Strait, his men were active in pirating all the ships that crossed those waters. Even today the area is known as a place for bandits in Palembang.
Admiral Cheng Hoo carried out Chen Tsu Ji in 1407 and it was true that his fleet stopped in Palembang in order to crush the pirates.
After successfully arresting this pirate gang, he went back and forth to Palembang three times, namely in 1413-1415, 1421-1422 and 1431-1443.
Admiral Cheng Hoo’s main goal was to spread Islam in the archipelago. Therefore, to support these activities he made a mosque called the Cheng Hoo mosque.
Initially, the background for the establishment of this iconic mosque in Palembang was to maintain good relations between the Chinese community and the local community.
In addition, this mosque was founded with the aim of deepening the teachings of Islam here and introducing it to the wider community.
Have Two Towers
The Cheng Hoo Mosque has a size of 20 × 20 meters. This mosque was built on the ground with an area of 4,900 m2. The land was formerly given by the Governor of South Sumatra at that time. This governor is named Syahrial Oesman. This mosque has two minarets.
Each of them has a name, namely Habluminallah and Habluminannas. The bottom of the tower is a place of ablution with a size of 4 × 4 meters.
Each of these towers has 5 levels. The purpose of this level represents the number of obligatory prayers, which is 5 times a day. This tower has a height of 17 meters which also has its own meaning. The meaning of this 17 is the number of obligatory cycles of prayer in a day.
On the outside there is a typical Palembang ornament in the form of a goat horn. The use of this ornament is intended as a symbol of the closeness between Palembang culture and Chinese culture.
The mosque which is located at Jalan Pangeran Ratu Housing TOP Atlit Depan Pasar Induk Jakabaring, 15 Ulu Village, Seberang Ulu District, Palembang City, South Sumatra it has a typical Chinese architectural design. It is dominated by Chinese architecture, but there is also acculturation from Arabic and Palembang.
The minarets in this mosque are painted with colors imitating the Chinese temples, namely red and jade green. The combination of several cultures in this mosque makes it unique and exotic.
August 2008 was the time when this mosque was actively used and now it can be found on online maps along with pictures and pictures. This mosque consists of two floors.
The first floor is used for men and the second floor for women. The mosque itself can accommodate up to 600 worshipers. Around the mosque area there is a small house for the imam, a library, multipurpose room and offices.
Not only function as a place of worship. Unique and exotic architectural designs and thick with the history of Islam in the archipelago make this mosque also a historical tourist destination in Palembang. In fact, these two things can attract visitors from outside Indonesia.
According to data from the Ministry of Religion of the Republic of Indonesia. Religious activities at the Al Islam Muhammad Cheng Hooo Sriwijaya Palembang mosque are quite a lot.
These religious activities include empowering zakat, infaq, shodaqoh and waqf, holding fardhu prayers, Friday prayers, Islamic holidays, preaching Islam or tabligh akbar, routine recitation, educational activities and as a center for community learning activities.
If you still want to linger in this iconic mosque from the city of Palembang, of course you need lodging that is located close to this mosque. The following are some of these inns.
This three-star hotel is located on Jalan Circle 1 Dempo, Bukit Kecil, Palembang. The distance between this hotel and the unique mosque is approximately 4.8 km. The facilities at this hotel are very complete. Prices per night at this hotel start from Rp. 398.400.
This three-star hotel is 5.1 km from the iconic mosque of Palembang city. This hotel has quite expensive rates per night, starting from Rp. 700,000. The address itself is on Jalan Kolonel Atmo No. 16-17, Ilir Timur, Palembang.
This two-star hotel is 5.2 km from Cheng Hoo Mosque. The address of this hotel is on Jalan Dr. M. Isa No. 988, Ilir Timur, Palembang. Prices per night at this hotel start from Rp. 351,000.
If you are looking for an affordable price per night, this inn can be an option. The price per night offered by this inn is Rp. 125,000 per night. The distance from the Cheng Hoo Mosque itself is 5.3 km. The address of this inn is at Jalan Circle 1 No. 23, Ilir Timur, Palembang.