Sunday, May 2, 2021

The Legendary Kemaro Island Palembang


Palembang City has always been one of the favorite destinations in Sumatra. If you have the opportunity to have a vacation to Palembang in the near future, don't forget to stop by Kemaro Island because this island has a unique story and a very legendary specialty.

Kemaro Island, a small delta on the Musi River, is located about 6 km from the Ampera Bridge. Kemaro Island is located in an industrial area, between the Sriwijaya Fertilizer Factory and Pertamina Plaju and Sungai Gerong. The position of Kemaro Island is somewhat to the east from the center of Palembang City.

Kemaro Island has an area of ​​± 79 hectares with an altitude of 5 m above sea level. Besides having beautiful natural charm, Kemaro Island is synonymous with the city of China and the Chinese community as well as the customs and original life of the Palembang people. The attraction of historical tourism on the island of Kemaro is in the form of historical relics (9-floor Pagoda, Sriwijaya Princess Tomb, Hok Tjing Rio Temple, Buddhist Temple, performing arts, and religious rituals of Tridharma people).

The history of Kemaro Island dates back to the Sriwijaya Kingdom which is closely related to the story of the daughter of the king of the Srivijaya Kingdom and the son of the king of the Kingdom of China, from the legend that an island known as Kemaro Island emerged. Which means Kemaro Island is a dry island (an island that never sinks when the Musi River is high tide).

The history of Kemarau Island (Kembara), Kemarau Island is one of the Musi River Delta which has been used since the Sriwijaya era as a guard post, even Commander Cheng Ho once settled on Kemarau Island in order to crush sea pirates from China. And the era of the Palembang Kingdom became one of the fortresses to function as a river gate before entering the Kraton (center) of Palembang City at that time. The name of the fort is Tambak Bayo Fort. Visiting ships will enter the city center, they must pass and get permission from the fort post.

Kemaro Island is located in the Musi River area and can be reached within 20 minutes from the Kuto Besak Fort Pier. This island is not too big because it covers only 30 hectares and is inhabited by hundreds of people. However, Kemaro Island is never empty because it is always crowded with tourists.

One of the attractions of Kemaro Island lies in the pagoda building in the middle of the island. The architecture of the pagoda is very similar to the bamboo curtain country pagoda. The walls of this nine-story pagoda depict the legend of Kemaro Island. The top part of the pagoda consists of Buddhist places of worship which are often used by the Chinese ethnic community, so it is not surprising that the pagoda is crowded with Chinese New Year holidays or other Buddhist holidays. In fact, several rooms in the pagoda are often used by Chinese festival participants to stay overnight.

Right next to the pagoda, there is the Hok Tjing Bio temple which is more popularly known as the Kwan Im temple. In front of the temple, which was built in 1962, is the tomb of Tan Bun An, Siti Fatimah, and their bodyguards who are believed to be the origin of the formation of Kemaro Island.

In the corner of Kemaro Island there is a tree called the Tree of Love, which is said to be a symbol of the eternal love story of Tan Bun An and Siti Fatimah, which is the legendary story of this island. The local people also believe that if a couple comes together and writes their name on the tree, the couple's love will last forever. However, due to this issue, the love tree was finally fitted with a fence around the tree, to keep the tree from being damaged by visitors who wanted to write their names on the trunk of the love tree.

The specialty of Kemaro Island certainly makes you interested in visiting and witnessing its uniqueness firsthand. Don't delay planning your vacation to Palembang anymore. Get ready to enjoy fun holiday moments on Kemaro Island.

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