Kalingga (Ho-ling) Kingdom, Central Java, Indonesia

Ho-ling appeared in the period of Syailendra dynasty expansion. Before this, China record from Early Sung Dynasty  (420-470), called Java with  She-p’o, but later China record from Tang Dynasty (618-906) called Javanese as Ho-ling until 818. Nonetheless Java name as She-p’o appeared again in 820-856 M.  (Marwati Djoened Poesponegoro & Nugroho Notosusanto)

Holing Kingdom was written in Tang Dynasty Chronicles  that reigned in 618-906. According tho the chronic Ho-ling people ate using hands, not spoon or chopstick, and they loved eating tuak, a fermented sap of flower bud of any of a number of species palm /aren. The capital of Ho-ling was encircled with wooden fence. King stayed in a two floor palace with palma leave roof. The king sat on a bench made of ivory, and used bamboo weaving mat. Holing was recorded having a hill, called as Lang-pi-ya, visited by king to see ocean.  (Proyek Penelitian dan Pencatatan Kebudayaan Daerah, 1978)

Other source about the existence of Ho-ling is Buddha priest, I Tsing, who stated that in 664 there was a priest Hwi Ning from Ho-ling and lived there for 3 years. With the assistance of Ho-ling priest, Jnanabhadra, he translated numerous Buddhist holy books of Hinayana (Soekomono 1973)

There are two sources from China, from Tang dynasty which gave information about Holing Kingdom. Both versions are from Chiu-tang and Hsin Tang Shu, which gave information abour Ho-ling as follows: ‘Ho-ling, also called as She-p’o is located on the southern sea. On the east of it located P’o-li and on the west is To-p’o-teng. On the south is ocean amd on the north is Chen-la’ (Marwati & Nugroho, 1984).

From information from China in the era of Tang king  (618-906 M) mention Kaling or Ho-ling kingdom, located in central Java. The land was very fertile and also located source of salt water. People live in prosperity and harmony (Soemono 1973)

Other source mentions an analyse according to China source. Krom’s opinion is that in the end on 7th century there was a queen reigned. Krom appointed that Ho-ling was located in Central Java. From Krom opinion and Tang chronic that mentions La-pi-ya to see ocean, possibly that Ho-ling was located   on the northern littoral of central Java. Drs Pitono research concluded that Ho-ling Kingdom was possibly located between Pundahpayung-Salatiga. (Proyek Penelitian dan Pencatatan Kebudayaan Daerah, 1978)

Lang-pi-ya people, according to Hsin-tang-shu, erected 8 feet high and 4 feet 2 inches long gnomon in the middle of summer. The shadow would fall on the southward. From the shadow and the height of gnomon, can be calculated that Ho-ling was located 6˚ 8’ N, means Ho-ling was not located in Java. But the writer, Hsin-tang-su made two mistakes. First the shadow should be done in winter. Second, the shadow falls northward. If this revision is accepted, then Ho-ling was located in 6 ˚ 8’ S, on the north coast of Java Island. This correction which is actually according to Lang-pi-ya information is located at Krapyak village, nearby Gunung Lasem. (Marwati & Nugroho, 1984).

That correction was strengthened by Buddhist priest, ITsing that stated in 664 came Hwi-Ning from Ho-ling and lived there for 3 years. From that source can be drawn a conclusion that in 664, there was a kingdom which adhered Buddhist and was popular.  The kingdom was Kalingga located in central Java (approximately located in Keling Kelep district, Jepara) according to dhammacakka.or.id. There is another source mentions that Ho-ling was the root of Jepara( suaramerdeka.com).

In 674-675 (notably in 674 M) Ho-ling voted and promoted a queen, named Simo. She ruled her kingdom very strictly yet wisely that her kingdom was always in peace. There was a story about Queen Simo. There was a king who would attack Ho-ling. First he tried to observe Ho-ling situation by putting golden coins on streets. As Ho-ling people were honest, no one took the golden coins. The king’s name was Ta-shih. For three years the coins were there on street and accidentally royal prince stepped on the coins. She ordered death sentence for him, but ministers begged for mercy, and she changed her decision to cut his leg as his leg did mistake. Again, ministers begged only his fingers cut. KNowing this, king Ta-shih cancelled his intention to attack Ho-ling.

The king or queen lived in  She-p’o city, but Ki-yen moved the capital to eastward to P’o-lu-Chia-ssu. There are 28 kingdoms in the vicinity which were under She-p’o. According to Ying-huan-tche-lio, the capital was moved due to war in the period of  T’ien-pao in742-755  (Marwati & Nugroho, 1984).

Holing produced turtle shell, gold, silver, rhino horn, and ivory. There was a cave that always expelled salt water called as bludug. People employed the salt source.

China source, I Tsing memoar, a Buddhist priest from China and Dynasty Sung chronic: in 664-667, Chinese Buddhist Hwu-ning with his assiatance Yun-ki visited Ho-ling. Both priests with Joh-na po-t’o-lo translated Buddhist holy book, on Nirwana chapter. This translation brought back to China. According to I-Tsing, the Buddha book was translated differently than Budha Mahayana book. According to Sung Dinasty record reigned after Tang dynasty, the translation told about the cremating of Buddha body, and the bones that were not burnt were collected as sacred relics. So Ho-ling, obviuosly, Ho-ling was Buddhist and adhered Hinayana Buddhist Mulasarastiwada. Sung dynasty chronicle mantions that Yun-ki led and legalized Jnanabhadra as Buddhist priest.  (Marwati & Nugroho, 1984).

In the period of Chen kuang  (627-649 M), Ho-ling king with king  To-ho-lo To-p’o-teng, sent tribute to China and in return China sent tribute stamped by China kingdom, and king To-ho-lo asked for best horses and granted by caesar of China. Ho-ling sent another tribute in 666, 767, and 768. In 813, messengers brought 4 slaves, parrot and a bird and other things. Caesar was so fond of this and gave the messenger a title. But the messenger asked caesar to give the title to his brother. Caesar was impressed by that attitude and gave title to both. (Marwati & Nugroho, 1984:).