Friday, April 12, 2013

When Islam meets Hindu at Masjid Menara Kudus, Semarang

My journey to Northern Jawa started with Semarang and ended in Kudus. Kudus is a regency in Central Java, located 51Km to the east of Semarang. I was told that Kudus was the Jerusalem of Jawa. It houses one of the oldest mosques in Indonesia, built at the time of Islam's spread through Jawa. Built around 1549, Menara Kudus Mosque is also known as Al-Manar Mosque.

This mosque preserves the tomb of Sunan Kudus, one of the nine Islamic saints of Java (the Wali Sanga), and it is a popular pilgrimage point. It was before a Hindu temple, but when Islam arrived, it converted into a mosque. Hindu architecture is still visible to this day and they don't allow cattle slaughter within the compound to pay respect to previous Hindu believers.

The old Masjid Menara with brick minaret dated back to the early days of Hindu in Indonesia.
As the name suggests ('kudus' means holy), the town Kudus itself reflects Islamic influences. Some source says that it’s derived from al-Quds or Jerusalem.

I was with three other Indonesian girls that day. All three of them were doctors from Palembang currently on their Jawa trip. They allowed me to join them and we shared rental for a full-day car trip to places at the outskirts of Semarang. Kudus was one of them. =)

In and about Masjid Menara Kudus. 
We actually stopped here for Zuhur prayers and also for lunch. And we did actually visit the many tombs of Sunan Kudus's family situated at the back of the mosque.

People come here to pay respect to Sunan Kudus. The tomb which is veiled under white belongs to him.
There were actually more people visiting the tomb than at the prayer hall. Hahaha!

The doorway into the tombs at the back of the mosque.
We ended our trip to Kudus by tasting the famous local dish there called Garang Asem, a traditional dish that is currently rare. This traditional cuisine is derived from the province of Central Java. And among the cities in Central Java that has this are Demak, Kudus, Pati, and Pekalongan.

Garang Asem Kudus.
This traditional dish is made from chicken that has been cut into small parts, such as breasts, wings, and head. Then it is wrapped in a banana leaf with seasoning and water. After that it is steamed for about 45 minutes.

The taste? A bit hot but delicious nonetheless. I want more!!! :)

Other Source: here.


ruggedmom said... [Reply]

aiyakkk rugi tak pergi padahal dh tulis kat tvl plan

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ ruggedmom... akak kena pergi sekali lagi la kak! hahahaha!

salfhi said... [Reply]

is it wali songo? if x mstaken it derives from javanese word songo=nine.. as told by a neighbor at my MIL house

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ salfhi... yes there were nine of them who were famous in spreading Islam in Jawa.. Sunan Kudus was one of them.. =)

ramdan said... [Reply]

nice gan..

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ ramdan.. I wish i know what u're trying to say. hahaha

Faisal Admar said... [Reply]

wow this is nice and i did not know it is possible to build them both close like this.


again... wow!

and about the food, i did not dare to try! lol.

Alid Abdul said... [Reply]

Do you remember Trowulan by looking at the Menara Kudus.
lucky I've been there during my school trip hehehe, walisongo tour is quite popular in here. instead of wali songo we only visit 5 of them, so we call it ziarah wali limo.

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ faisal... haha. me too. but lots of cross religions in Indonesia. u'll be surprised. and ya.. do try their local cuisine.. it wont kill u. hehe

@ alid... exactly!! it looks exactly the same!! I wonder what are the other 8 wali places. hehee

Alid Abdul said... [Reply]

@Jard The Great

You've been visit the one in Surabaya, in Ampel. Remember?

Mostly mosque and tomb, itu saja :)

hlga said... [Reply]

ah saya tak sempat pegi kesini kak
takde waktu pula..