Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Go Local :: The Legend of Radin Mas Ayu

This happened a while back, but I thought it's still valuable to share ;) After our visit to the Royal Family Graveyard {Tanah Kubur Diraja}, my friends and I took a short drive to Makam Puteri Radin Mas aka Keramat Radin Mas, the tomb and shrine of Radin Mas Ayu, a 16th century princess of the Javanese Royal Court. Her names means "princess of golden beauty" and she was known not just for her beauty, but also her piety for sacrificing her life for her father's.

Broken tiles connecting the main road to Makam Puteri Radin Mas.

Flights of stairs leading up to the tomb and shrine. The whole place is painted in yellow and green, which symbolises royalty and holiness in the Muslim community. Unlike Tanah Kubur Diraja, this place is very open and welcoming.

In fact, talking to the friendly caretaker, Daeng, he actually wants more visitors so that more people will realise its significance in Singapore's heritage, and come to preserve it. When we were there, we met some visitors from Sumatra who came to pay homage to Radin Mas Ayu.

As you enter you will see a lone grave on the left. The caretaker said it belongs to Radin Mas Ayu's guard, but it's wrapped in yellow so that would mean the person buried there belongs to royalty too I guess.

A sign sharing the legend of Radin Mas Ayu in front of her tomb. Basically she was the daughter of a man who was the brother to the King, and a court dancer. The King objected to the marriage because the lowly status of the court dancer, and had her killed. Princess Radin Mas Ayu managed to escape with the help of her father's loyal servant, and they fled to Singapore. Here he remarried the daughter of the Sultan of Singapore, but she was jealous of Princess Radin Mas Ayu. The evil stepmother forced the Princess to marry an evil Prince. When the public realised the evil plan, the groom attacked her father and to defend him, the Princess got stabbed and died.

The guy sitting there is the caretaker, Daeng. He practises Sufism, which is a branch of Islam. He said that he was told by his Master to come and take care of the place as the Sufis respect what Radin Mas Ayu did and stands for.

Carpets are laid on the floor for visitors to come and pray.

The tomb of Radin Mas Ayu. We didn't enter this area but if you want to, please remove your shoes first.

Was very interesting to see a pot of burnt incense sticks, as it reminded me of the Chinese joss sticks. The caretaker at Tanah Kubur Diraja mentioned that people from other races and non-Muslims paid respect to the graves and sometimes  they brought with them incense.

As much as I like to travel overseas, Singapore is such a multicultural place and it's always nice discovering a little bit of her history and stories.

Makam Puteri Radin Mas
8 Mount Faber Road {Opposite Mount Faber Lodge Apartment}
Free admission.
Open 9am - 6pm daily.

Other Singapore heritage places:


Stacy said...

I had no idea such places lurked still in SG! To me SG is Orchard Rd, tall buildings, basically commercialism and modernisation. Thanks for the eye-opener. :)

Unknown said...

Singapore is definitiely a multicultural melting pot. Looking forward to visiting soon!

Indah Nuria Savitri said...

a historical place indeed and a great example of multiculturalism as well as tolerance...thanks for sharing and cheers from Indonesia..

Kylie Purtell said...

It looks like an amazing place to visit, such history. Thank you for sharing.

mail4rosey said...

It does sound like a very interesting place to visit!

Fiona {The barefoot mumma} said...

Looks amazing! Beautiful photos :)

Sweetday said...

I had come across this name in Bukit Merah Library. One of the function room was named after her and hence I had googled about her. I knew she has a tomb in Singapore but have not find the time to visit it.

An Apel a Day said...

I'd love to visit there. It looks like there is a lot to see.

Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me said...

I really hope we can afford to travel to your home as a family - I want to give my children cultural experiences such as this! xxx

EssentiallyJess said...

These stories are always so interesting! And I love seeing all the care that is taken with the graves and honouring of the body.
Thanks for sharing Ai xx