Tomb of Sunan Bonang in Tuban

The mausoleum of Sunan Bonang (Makam Sunan Bonang) is visited by more than one million pilgrims a year. It is behind (to the west of) Tuban’s Grand Mosque (Masjid AgungTuban) on the west side of the alun-alun square in the centre of Tuban on the north coast of East Java [6°53’40.78″S  112° 3’47.61″E]. The entry point is in the south-west corner of the alun-alun [6°53’45.36″S  112° 3’50.70″E].

Walk along a laneway lined with small shops for about 100 metres and turn right to enter the mausoleum complex through a small, low, ancient roofed gate. Follow the pathway past several pavilions and washrooms, through two more massive and very old roofed gates decorated with ancient Chinese porcelain plates set into the plaster. You pass through two courtyard gardens filled with tombstones before reaching the saint’s mausoleum.

It stands under a broad, airy protective roof. The original pyramidal roof reaches down to about a metre from the ground. Inside it a couple of steps lead into the inner burial chamber. Because of its cramped size, access to the interior is restricted. Most visitors have to pay their respects seated on the tiled floor outside the burial chamber.

From Semarang’s Penggaron terminal, Tuban can be reached by bus in five to six hours. From Surabaya’s Bungurasih terminal (also called Purabaya) the bus trip to Tuban takes between four and five hours. See also Bonang (Lasem)