Monday, January 7, 2013

By the Perak River with Tok Temong - The Prince Part 26

As I mentioned on Saturday, over the weekend I was in Kuala Kangsar, Perak. I was there with Mikhail on a roadtrip ("Living life on the road!", my 9 year-old son says). We left Kuala Lumpur at 8am and was chased all the way up the North-South Highway by a torrential downpour of epic proportions. There was a few hairy moments as we passed by coach buses and heavy lorries trundling up the road. "I don't want to die, God! I have not gotten enough pahala (good merits) yet!!!" protested Mika as the car slightly aqua-planed across a puddle of water on the road. Don't get me wrong, the highway is a well built construct and water drains well off it. But as I said, the rain was epic

We were coming up north to visit the final resting place of al-Marhum Shaykh Raja Ashman Shah ibni Sultan Azlan Muhibbudin Shah. But we are also visiting the maqam (tomb / grave) of Tok Temong, the legendary and real female saint of Perak. Her maqam rests on a quiet plot by the edge of the Perak River, and on the Saturday, Mika and myself managed to visit her first. Below are some pictures we took on the first day of our trip. Oops, I mean road trip. Sorry Mika. He he he.

My directions to the maqam of Tok Temong is sketchy at best. From some online
searches I managed to find the village of Kampung Temong Hilir about 10 minutes drive
from the royal town of Kuala Kangsar, the seat of the Throne of Perak. I also found online
a brief direction telling me to find the mosque in the village and head up another 100 metres
or so. And then there would be a small lane on the right. I saw one and hoping I found
the right place I headed down the quiet kampung road. There was only a few houses.
The road was still wet with the earlier downpour as my son and me slowly drove
through the thick undergrowth and tall trees. Somehow, the place felt right.
We found her alright, but I was a little disappointed to find that the maqam was fenced
and the gate was locked. But there was a small sign giving the cellphone number of the
caretaker. I called Abang Mus (brother Mus) and he said to hold for a bit as he would come.
Less than five minutes later he arrived in a small motorcycle, a dark-skinned gentleman of
41 years of age, a thin figure with an easy smile. He let us into the maqam.
This is a brief signage put up by the Museum Department. If I may translate it,
it reads, "Tok Temong was the (female) ruler of the Temong district before the rule
of Sultan Muzaffar Shah I (1528-1549). On the day of his coronation, His Majesty
was presented by her with a 'geliga embun' which became, to this day, one of the
royal coronation instrument of Perak. She was also responsible for granting
the rule of Inner Perak to the  present Perak state government.
- This maqam was built by the Museum Department in 1976."
Abang Mus later invited us to the riverside which was at the end of a long
steep concrete steps. Mika immediately rushed down.
At the riverside there is a small shelter built of wood and bamboo. There is
also a small rickety old jetty which juts out into the mighty Perak river. At the end of
the short jetty were two medium-sized stones rising above the waters. The two stones are
an important location for one of the royal coronation ceremonies of a new Sultan of Perak.
Tradition tells us that the two stones were originally one stone, but was broken in two by
an earlier Sultan (Sultan Mansor, I think) who later vanished (ghaib)
and was never to be seen again.
Abang Mus. In the background is Mikhail, beating a hasty retreat
after slipping and falling down. No, he wasn't hurt, he just hates
getting his jeans wet and dirty. Poor fella.
We had to postpone the trip to Ku Ash's maqam to the next day. While we rested
in Ipoh, Mika complained about his new Crocs that his mum bought him. "Yes, Papa...
it is almost pink!"
he complained. "And it is the same size as Mummy's!" he paused
before continuing, "I bet Mummy bought it so that she can borrow it! I wish Uncle
(Mika's stepdad) was doing the shopping! He wouldn't have got me this colour!!"
Well, that's it for the first day, sunshine. Sunday would be even better. 

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

The Prince. The link to this post has been uploaded to The Prince Page, which contains all previous postings relating to al-Marhum Shaykh Raja Ashman. You can access the page by clicking here.

1 comment:

jo said...

i was on a road trip too. To Cherating to see some horses. Lovely.