Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Ronda-Ronda: Hang Kasturi Mausoleum

Hang Kasturi Mausoleum is an old Malay grave located in Jalan Hang Jebat or also known as Jonker Walk in Malacca. Hang Kasturi is one of the 5 high-ranking Malay warriors during the time of the Malacca Sultanate, particularly during the reign of the 6th Sultan of Melaka, Sultan Mansur Shah (1456-1477). The other 4 being Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, Hang Lekiu and Hang Lekir. As young men, they studied silat under the same silat master (Adiguru). The title "Hang" is bestowed by the sultan for the highest ranking Malay warriors.

According to a version of the Malay Annals (Sejarah Melayu), Hang Kasturi is said to have gained notoriety for having an affair or having outraged the modesty of one of the Sultan's concubines, and Hang Tuah was sent to kill him. Unfortunately in a different version (as the Malay Annals were initially handed down by mouth, there are now many different written versions in existence), it was Hang Tuah, another Malay warrior, who was accused of having an affair with the palace ladies.

In one popular version, Hang Tuah so offended the Sultan that he order Tuah to be executed. However, the Bendahara Tun Perak (prime minister) took him into hiding. Later, courtiers discovered that Hang Kasturi was having an affair with one of the sultan's concubines. They surrounded the palace but no one dared to enter to capture Kasturi. When the sultan was told that Hang Tuah was still alive, he ordered Hang Tuah to kill his best friend to prove his loyalty. 

During the fight, Hang Tuah embedded his keris in the palace wall three times, but Kasturi allowed him to remove it. But when the same thing happened to Kasturi, Tuah stabbed him to death. The sultan later rewarded Hang Tuah the title of laksamana, for his loyalty.

Hang Kasturi's Mausoleum is located along, interestingly, Jalan Hang Jebat (formerly Jonker Street), whereas Hang Jebat's Mausoleum is located at Lorong Tukang Kuli, within a stone's throw from Jalan Hang Kasturi. Although the mausoleums were claimed to belong to these warriors, no factual evidence has been put forth to verify this.