Tomb of Sharifah Ambami

The tomb of Sharifah Ambami, also called Rato Ebo (Mother Queen), is in the Aer Mata burial ground (Pesareyan Aer Mata also Makam Aeng Mata Ebhu) not far from Arosbaya on the north coast of Madura Island.

From the Bungurasih (Purabaya) bus terminal in Surabaya take a bus across the Suramadu Bridge to Bangkalan in Madura, a trip of one to two hours depending on Surabaya’s traffic. At the bus terminal on the edge of Bangkalan board another bus to Arosbaya. Ask to be set down at the turnoff to the Aer Mata burial ground (“Minta diturunkan di jalan ke Makam Aer Mata”). The turnoff is on Jalan Raya Tengket about one kilometre short of Arosbaya. It is clearly signposted “Pesarean Aer Mata” [6°56’47.23″S  112°49’48.03″E].

Take an ojek motorbike taxi, or a horse-drawn dokar trap, or simply walk the four kilometres to the Aer Mata burial ground in the village of Buduran (also spelled Budduran) at 6°56’54.78″S  112°51’23.22″E. There are several twists and turns in the route, but local people can help you find the way, and there are signs directing visitors to Aer Mata.

The Aer Mata royal burial ground takes the form of a long rectangular walled compound oriented roughly north-south. From the roofed entry gate at the southern end, there are four rectangular enclosures rising in shallow steps one behind the other. The first is an open cemetery area. After traversing it you pass into a reception area through a massive, very old stone gate topped by a weighty stone roof. In an open pavilion on the left there is a site office staffed by the site custodians. Here it is possible for you to obtain information about the site and, if necessary, have a member of the site staff escort you around the spectacularly carved stone graves of the site.

Sharifah Ambami’s grave is in the pavilion at the far end.