Gedung Batu

January 1st, 2017 | by TheJourneyMagz
Gedung Batu

I n the early 15th century when Ming dynasty ruled China, The Yongle Emperor sponsored seven expeditions of unprecedented naval fleet to impress other nations across the Indian Ocean and control trade in the region. The great expedition, however, was commanded by Zheng He, a Muslim eunuch who had proven his allegiance to the new emperor. On his expeditions, Admiral Zheng He supplied the vessels with various goods such as gold, silver, porcelain and silk to be dispensed along the way. In return he received some exotic presents such as a giraffe, zebras, ostriches, camels and ivory from the Swahili in East Africa.



Generally all the expeditions commanded by Zheng He were conducted peacefully since diplomacy was his preferred way to interact with other nations. However he occasionally used the military power to suppress pirates who had long plagued the Chinese and Southeast Asian waters. His successful effort to crush piracy in the region had positively raised his image among regional kingdoms.

Once upon a time when Zheng He’s fleet cruised around the northern coast of Java, some of the crews fell sick. Then the admiral commanded his fleet to anchor at a place which is now part of modern-day Semarang. At this particular place, apart from curing his crews by using herbs gathered in the area, he found a small cave inside a rock and did his prayer there. Purportedly, the admiral’s arrival to Java, among other things, had helped spread Islam to the local people.




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