The Story of the Sacred Tomb in Ambarawa Threatened by the Bawen-Jogja Toll Road


The project for the construction of the Jogja-Bawen toll road will evict the site of Nyi Pedelingan’s grave in Ambarawa, which is known to be sacred. How’s the story?

The tomb is located in Lonjong Hamlet, Ngampin Village, Ambarawa District, Semarang Regency. Local residents hope that the sacred tomb can be saved and not disturbed.

Observations at the location, the tomb of Nyai Pedelingan is in a hilly area which is quite far from settlements. The entrance to the cemetery is flanked by two large banyan trees.

In the center of the cemetery there is a cupola containing two headstones. The east gravestone is believed to be the tomb of Nyai Pedelingan. On the headstone were incense and incense that had been burned.

Ngampin village elder, Wartoyo Nurdi Mulyo (68) said the tomb has been around for hundreds of years.

“It’s been around for hundreds of years. Actually, we don’t know who Nyi Pedeling is. But what is clear is the figure of a woman who walks using a stick made of bamboo or deling, so she is nicknamed Pedeling,” he said when met at his home, Wednesday (2/11) then.

The grave of Nyi Pedelingan, in Lonjong, Ngampin, Ambarawa, Semarang Regency.  The photo was uploaded on Thursday (11/3/2022).Nyi Pedeling’s Grave in Ambarawa Photo: Ria Aldila Putri/detikJateng

Wartoyo was entrusted by his parents to look after and care for the sacred tomb after his parents died. The tomb was later rebuilt in 2007.

“There are two tombs, the east is filled because the women’s grave must be on the left. That one, my father said, has the jaler (Nyi Pedelingan’s husband) but has not been found until now,” he explained.

He explained, many mystical stories in the tomb. Many people got lost while passing through the tomb, until there were many obstacles when there was the construction of an electric tower at a location 50 meters away.

“Many people play around here, usually outsiders. They feel like someone is looking at the village, even though it’s a graveyard. When there was a tower construction, it was very difficult, the staff must have been disturbed, for example, when it was measured it would be higher, then moving places turned out to be lower ,” he added.

During the inventory process at the grave site, Wartoyo said, the officers working also fell into a trance.

“There was someone who was in a trance yesterday during the toll process as well. Even the toll PPK officers initially did not believe there was a sacred tomb because it was not detected by Google. Then we checked together, it turned out that they were surprised there was a tomb,” he said.

Wartoyo also once found a kris and also pieces of money thought to be relics of the Dutch era.

“I once found ancient money and a keris. Until now, I have left them at my sister’s house,” he continued.

Not only respected by local residents, Nyi Pedelingan’s grave is also often visited by residents from outside the city.


This article has been published in detikJateng and can be read in full here.

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