Masjid Agung Sang Cipta Rasa

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Sang Cipta Rasa, Cirebon Overview

Sang Cipta Rasa Great Mosque is also known as Great Mosque of Cirebon. It is located in West Java, Indonesia. Sang Cipta Rasa is taken from the word "sang" which means grandeur, "Cipta" which means building, and "rasa" which means taste. The name of this mosque was considered from Hindhu-Buddha theology. Sang Cipta Rasa mosque was built in 1480 AD by Wali Sanga. Wali Sanga was instrumental in spreading Islamic way of life in Java. Hence, the Sang Cipta Rasa mosque is one of the places where Islam was originally introduced in the western part of Java.  It is located right opposite the Keraton Kesapuhan, making it among the top tourist destinations in the region.

The highlight of the mosque, however, is its architecture which includes the absence of a rooftop as is often found in other mosques of the region and world- over. Masjid Agung, due to its rich history has assumed a place of high importance in the locals as well tourists.

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Apart from having rich traditions in the mosque, Sang Cipta Rasa mosque has an interesting story behind its construction. During the 1480s, the construction of the mosque and the Jamblang Temple coincided. According to the records, the temple and the mosque were built simultaneously. The mosque was built after Princess Putri Ong Tien arrived. The princess was guarded by 1000 bodyguards from China.  

Even though all of them were involved in the construction of the great mosque, not all of them were Muslims. That's why one of the guards named Njo Kie Tjit requested the Princess' husband, Sunan Gunung Jati, to allow the non-muslims to construct a temple in Jamblang. The request was approved and the guards were allowed to take one of the pillars made for the construction of the mosque. 

But the architect, Sunan Kalijaga, was surprised to find one of the pillars to go missing. When one of the Princess' guards explained the situation to him, he did not get angry. Instead, he ordered the guards to collect the leftover wood and construct a pillar(Saka) using that. This pillar in the Sang Cipta Rasa mosque is known as Saka Tatal.

Interesting Facts

  • The Sang Cipta Rasa mosque was first named as the Pakungwati Mosque as it was situated inside the Pakungwati Palace. 
  • The mosque was built by the guards (trustees) of the Princess Putri Ong Tien. In the mihrab of the mosque, there are three special tiles which were established by Sunan Gunung Jati, Sunan Bonang and Sunan Kalijaga. These three tiles symbolize faith, Islam, and Ikshan.
  • To enter the main room of the mosque, there are nine doors.  These nine doors represent Wali Songo who had a major role in the construction of the mosque. Eight of these nine doors are smaller than a normal-sized door which makes people bow while entering the mosque. 
  • On the veranda of the mosque, there is a Zam-Zam. It is usually crowded during Ramzan. It also consists of two pools which are used to test one's honesty. 

How To Reach Masjid Agung Sang Cipta Rasa

  • Sang Cipta Rasa is situated 3km away from Cirebon city centre. From the airport, it takes nearly 4 hours to reach the mosque by car. One can also consider travelling by bus. 
  • From the airport, take the ‘KA BANDARA’ bus and get down at the Bekasi Railway station. Take the bus ‘SINGARASI’ from there and get down at the Karawang Railway station. ‘JAYABAYA’ bus from there will take you to the nearest stop to the mosque.

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