Prasasti Karang Berahi
(Engraved Stone in the Village of Karang Berahi)
Phyllis, standing beside the fence around the engraved Karang Berahi stone.
In the Village of Karang Berahi is an engraved stone, though not dated, is claimed by some to have been carved out between 608 and 686 AD1. The language used is the ancient Melayu language, and it being during the time of the Hindu Sriwijaya Kingdom, in many respects resembles ancient Sanskrit.
The writing on the stone is an appeal to the Hindu gods for protection and blessing on the Sriwijaya Kingdom, as well as curses on those who are not loyal to the Kingdom (16 total). The writing on this stone is said to be similar to the writing on similar stones in other locations, like:
How to Find Prasasti Karang Berahi’s Location
The stone is located in Dusun Batu Bersurat, Village Karang Berahi, Pamenang Region of the Merangin Regency of the Jambi Province of Indonesia.
The bridge you get to walk across to see the Karang Berahi stone.
To get there, first drive to the 51 kilometer “mile marker” between the Cities of Sarolangun and Bangko. After arriving at this location, turn north off the main road and travel 1.4 kilometers. The road will dead end. You will need to leave your vehicle and walk to the east about 30 meters (100 feet). From there you will descend a concrete path to a swinging bridge. Yes,… you get to cross the narrow foot/motorcycle bridge to get to the Village of Karang Berahi on the other side of the Merangin River. From there turn left, and ask people in the village the stone’s location. It is only another 61 meters (200 feet).
This stone has had a history of being moved about between its current location in the Village of Karang Berahi and the City of Bangko.
The Karang Berahi stone is maintained in a well-kept park with a roof over it, but tragically exposed to the elements.
- Moved to the yard in front of the Dutch authority in Bangko.
- When the Japanese came, they granted permission for it to be moved back next the the mosque in Dusun Batu Bersurat.
- It is said that several children had a dream in which a person named Ulya came and commanded the stone to be moved from its position close to the mosque. In the dream, it was said that Ulya said a great catastrophe will take place in Dusun Batu Bersurat if the stone isn’t move away from the mosque. It was then moved to its current location.
- The stone’s writing, being a reflection of their ancestor’s Hindu religion, could have prompted the moving of the stone away from the mosque.
1Junaidi T. Noor, the author of Mencari Jejak Sangkala (pg. 28) says the engraving on the stone can be dated between 608 and 686 AD.