Taman Bungkul Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia

Taman Bungkul or Bungkul Park is located in Darmo Street of Surabaya right on the vein of this metropolitan city. Since few years ago this park has become popular meeting spot for Surabaya people. Beside of having wireless network access, this park also has facilities for skaters, bikers, food stall, children park, and even stage. This spot is a choice for weekend relax and even until midnight.

Bungkul got its name from Mbah Bungkul,whose tomb stone located right behind the park, that’s why this site is not popular as meeting point but also as pilgrimage attraction. Bungkul tomb area draw people from around Java and outside java. On Ramadhan (fasting month), more pilgrimage visit it days and nights. Other historical spot in Bungkul area is the mosque that was built bu Mbah Bungkul and Sunan Ampel( Raden Rahmat), where usually pilgrims sholat (moslem prayer). Beside the tomb of Mbah Bungkul, also located the ones of Mbah Bungkul’s followers. A holy spring that is believed to be made by Mbah Bungkul and Sunan Ampel is also located close to the tomb. This spring is never dry and save to drink.

There is no written literature about Mbah Bungkul that is also known as Sunan Bungkul. The caretaker of the site said that centuries ago formerly Surabaya area was called as ‘The Hermitage of Mbah Bungkul”. Raden Rahmat or Sunan Ampel believed to reside here for months after sailing river from Trowulan , that is known as the capital city of Majapahit, the big kingdom that reigned almost all over Indonesia. Mbah Bungkul lived in the end of Majapahit Empire, after converting Islam then his name changed to KI Ageng Mahmuddin. Other source believe that Mbah Bungkul is the spiritual teacher of Sunan Ampel, one of popular nine saints that spread Islam all over Java.

He had a daughter, Dewi Wardah,and it said that she married to Sunan Ampel. Because of no written source about Sunan Bungkul, there are many different stories about who this man was. Event a historian from Holland GH Von Faber in his book Oud Surabaya that was published in 1931, found that finding who Mbah Bungkul really was, was a hard task. Elders people prohibited anyone to tell anything about Bungkul, any violation against this interdiction, will be punished. Or the violator will be threatened by spirit, be sucked by bats, neck twisted and etc, so with the mother, wife, and children of the violator.