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Malay history

Al Mukarrammah Sintang Palace

1. The History

In 1262 A.D., Demong Irawan established the Hindu-based kingdom of Sintang, which later on developed into the Islam-based Sultanate of Sintang. The establishment of the kingdom was signed with the installation of a phallus stone that is widely known as Batu Kundur by people living in surrounding area.

In an attempt to centralize the royal administration, Demong Irawan assigned his people to build a palace in an area at the meeting of the Melawi and Kapuas rivers. River at that time was the main line for transportation system that functions for trading. In the local word, the meeting of two rivers is called senetang area, now is called “sintang.”


Demong Irawan, who was also known as Jubair Irawan I, was the ninth descendant of Aji Melayu, a Hindu missionary from the Land of Java who was assigned in Sintang and surrounding areas. Hindu devotees were still in a large number during the tenure of Abang Tembilang (Pangeran Agung) in the 17th Century, but since the influence of Pangeran Agung, the inhabitants of Sintang began to learn Islam through trading. Islam alone came to Sintang along with the coming of Javanese merchants.

Since that time, Sintang (Hindu) Kingdom converted into Sintang (Islamic) Sultanate with the first ruler Sultan Nata Muhammad Syamsuddin Sa‘adul Khairiwaddin. As the logic consequence of such alteration, Sintang Sultanate began applying Islamic law at every level of life. Then, Sintang Sultanate established the basic law of Sintang Sultanate, and built a palace that was known to be the origin of Al Mukarrammad Sintang Palace.

In its early years, the palace was still in a very simple architecture style. It adopted the architecture style of Rumah Panjang, literally means “Long House.” In addition, Rumah Panjang is a traditional house typically the Dayak tribe settling down in almost all parts of Kalimantan Island.

In the following period of time Raden Abdul Bachri Danu Perdana, Sintang ruler in 1937 A.D., built a palace with complicated and elegant architecture style. In the present, it is known as the Palace of Al Mukarrammah Sintang.


2. Location

Al Mukarrammah Sintang Palace stands above a wide land at Kapuas Kiri HIlir Village, Sintang Sub-district, Sintang District, West Kalimantan Province, Indonesia.

3. Width

The entire width of Al Mukarrammah Sintang Palace is measured around 652 square meters.

4. Architecture Style

In its early years, Al Mukarrammah Sintang Palace was just a mere Rumah Panjang, a traditional house typically the Dayak tribe. A major refurbishment carried out in 1937 A.D. under the command of Raden Abdul Bachri Danu Perdana. The present architecture of Al Mukarrammad Sintang Palace combines together the Dutch house and tropical house styles.

The wall was made of concrete slab, while the three-centimetre-belian-wood-made floor. Cement fibber covers the entire ceiling inside the palace. Above the ceiling, belian-wood-made gantry supports the outer roof that is made of sirap woods.


The palace complex comprises three buildings; one main building is flanked by two other buildings on the right and left sides. The main room is the sultan‘s private room and the guest room. It consists of a front veranda and back veranda. The remaining one, building right of the main building, is the sultanate family room as well as the sultanate lounge; and the building left of the main building is the sultan‘s bed room.


5. Draftsman

Al Mukarrammah Sintang Palace of Sintang Sultanate ground map was drawn by a Dutch architect. However, there is no information about the surname of the architect. The sketch of the palace‘s ground map is still kept well inside the palace.

6. Renovation

In the process of data collecting.

7. Collections

Inside Al Mukarrammah Sintang Palace, some historical properties are kept. Those properties are listed below:

  • Kundur Stone. A phallus stone as the symbol of the establishment of Al Mukarrammah Sintang Palace. It was erected by Demong Irawan, the founder and the first ruler of Sintang Kingdom, before being altered into Sintang Sultanate
  • Dowries of Patih Logender, a war commander of Majapahit Kingdom, to Demong Irawan‘s daughter named Putri Dara Juanti. The dowries are gamelans, a wooden garuda statue, and a heap of sand from the Kingdom of Majapahit
  • Three archaic cannons namely Raja Suka, Raja Beruk, and another one made in Portugal
  • Some ancient household appliances such as talam (tray), kempu (such a round box to keep clothes and other small things), and spears
  • An ancient handwritten Koran that was written at the ruling period of Sultan Nata
  • Sultanate seal and some ancient sultanate official letters
  • A copy of Undang-undang Adat Kerajaan Sintang (the Adat law of Sintang Sultanate) that was issued at the tenure of Sultana Nata. The copy was made in 1939.

Lukman Solihin (sej/01/01-09)

Translated by Irfan Nugroho (ter/103/02-09)

References:

  • Wibowo, Taufik, Kesultanan Sintang, in Istana-istana di Kalimantan Barat, unpublished textbook.
  • Syahzaman and Hasanuddin (2003), Sintang dalam Lintasan Sejarah, Pontianak: Romeo Grafika.
  • Pengurus Masjid Jamik Sultan Nata (1990), Sejarah Berdirinya Masjid Jamik Sultan Nata Sintang, unpublished textbook.

Photo credit: The Center for Research and Development of Malay Culture. Photographer: Aam Ito Tistomo.

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