Local people call Som Po Kong temple as Gedong Batu. This Temple is located in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia. It was built to worship Admiral Ming Dynasti (1368-1643), in the when Caesar Yung Lo reigned. This admiral was sent as representative in Indonesia, notably in Java, landed on Semarang shore in 1401. This admiral is Sam Po Tay Djien, or known as Cheng Ho.
After centuries, in 1774, there was a big celebration held plus built a temple to commemorate Cheng Ho. 20 years before, a cave that is believed to be the meditation place of Cheng Ho was collapse due to lightening hit. After restored, inside the cave placed the statue of Cheng Ho with his Followers, transported from China. In 1724, the veranda part was then added in front of the cave.
Annually, held celebration of Cheng Ho landing. This event is started by a ceremony at Tay Kak Sie, and the proceed with parade of Sam Po Kong of Tay Kak Sie to Sam Po Kong Temple, where the statue will be placed next to the real statue of Sam Po Kong.
This unique tradition was commenced in 19th Century, when the area was controlled by a greedy landlord, that pilgrims visiting Sam Po Kong temple should pay expensive cost. As pilgrims could not pay, then the worship activities moved to Tay Kak Sie Temple and later placed a replica of Sam Po Kong statue there. Every 29 and 3o of the sixth month of Chinese Calendar, the replica will be paraded to Gedong Batu, that the replica will get the blessing of the real one.
As other chinese temple, here visitors can see their future fortune. For this visitors should light incense inside the cave, and then throw coins to the altar to pray. If one coin opens and one coin closes, it said that he/she will get fortune. Or visitors can shake bamboo stick until one of the stick falls in front of the altar. The caretaker will take sheet of paper contain verse according to the number of the falling bamboo.
The temple architecture is a single building with terraces roof, and there are altars of the admiral followers. Cheng ho followers were buried here, in the temple area.
This temple is popular among chinese Indonesian even abroad. This temple has islam background as Cheng Ho is known as moslem. Yunan ethnic is very familiar with this great guy as moslem, This temple shows the close relation among Asian countries as written in inscription in this temple.