The tomb of Raja Ali Haji is situated on Penyengat Indera Sakti Island, Kepulauan Riau province. It is the tomb of a famous leader not only in this province, but also in other parts of Indonesia. This island is synonymous with the great poet. For the local Malay, particularly those living on Malacca peninsula, he is a great hero who is respected and honored.
His full name is Raja Ali al-Hajj ibni Raja Ahmad al-Hajj ibni Raja Haji Fisabilillah bin Opu Daeng Celak, alias Engku Haji Ali ibni Engku Haji Ahmad Riau. Born in 1808, or 1193 Hijriah, in Riau-Lingga Sultanate on Penyengat Island, Raja Ali Haji died in 1873 on the same island.
The Tomb of Raja Ali Haji is located within the cemetery of Engku Putri Raja Hamidah, outside the main building of the Tomb of Engku Putri Raja Hamidah. Inside this main building, you will find an excerpt of the famous “Gurindam Dua Belas” poem. (the Twelve Aphorism). The Tomb of Raja Ali Haji itself has a green roof. Two grave stones on this tomb are properly covered with yellow fabrics.
Another reason to stay in Tanjung Pinang: gift shops are abound. There’s no particular souvenir outlet in Penyengat Island. So the next best thing is buying local handicrafts from Tanjung Pinang’s shops.
There are no hotels or commercial inns on this island. If you want, some of the locals provide homestays. But there are also a lot of affordable hotels in Tanjung Pinang.
His simple tomb is located at the foot of a small hill surrounded by shady trees. When entering this cemetery, you will find several typical buildings including a small mosque with a dome dan niche. It has yellow and green walls with round windows.You can continue your journey to other historical sites on this island such as the Sultan Riau Mosque, tombs of Kings, forts, Government Palace, etc.
To travel around Penyengat Island, you can take a “Becak Motor (Bemor)” (a three wheel motor vehicles) for Rp 20,000 (2 US Dollars). On the island, visitors will not find any cars or similar vehicles.
There are regular daily ferries from Singapore and Johor Baru in Malaysia to north Bintan as well as to Tanjung Pinang.