Mystery of Viral Grave in the Middle of Jalan Purwokerto

The Ragasemangsang Tomb, intriguingly located in the middle of a road in Purwokerto, has captivated social media users. A tweet by the account @mwv_mystic, posted on May 15, 2022, highlighted this unusual tomb’s location and sparked widespread interest.

“In the middle of a fork in the road in Purwokerto, there is a grave called ‘Ragasemangsang Grave,’ which translates to ‘Hanging Body,'” the tweet explained. “Legend has it that a powerful warrior named Diponegoro was executed here by hanging, the only method by which he could be killed.”

This tweet, garnering over five thousand likes, raised questions about the tomb’s authenticity. According to a report by the Regional channel, the tomb is indeed real. It is situated adjacent to the Banyumas Regent’s Hall Complex, in Sokanagara Village, North Purwokerto. The tomb, resembling an ancient fort, measures approximately 2.5 x 1.5 meters and stands 180 centimeters high at a crossroads.

Despite its urban setting, the tomb exudes an eerie atmosphere. It features a small door, about 70 centimeters tall with a curved roof on the south wall, and surveillance holes on the west and east walls. The roof, constructed during the Colonial era, is tightly sealed. Inside, reports mention seven kinds of flowers wrapped in newspaper.

The local government has repeatedly attempted to relocate the tomb, citing traffic disruption. However, these efforts have always failed. Contractors and officials reportedly experienced disturbing dreams involving “grave dwellers” who resisted the tomb’s relocation. There are tales of workers fainting or falling ill, even dying, after working near the tomb.

Local resident Karto Suwito, living less than 100 meters from the tomb, shared that the exact date of its construction is unknown, but it has existed since the Dutch colonial era. The tomb holds significant cultural and spiritual value. Many, including state officials and local businesspeople, visit the site for meditation or to leave offerings, hoping for success in their endeavors.

Two Versions of the Story

Karto Suwito recounted two versions of the tomb’s origin.

Version 1: The tomb belongs to a powerful figure named Ragasemangsang, who could only die if his body was cut into parts and none touched the ground. Thus, his body was hung to prevent contact with the earth. Ragasemangsang once fought and defeated an antagonist named Kyai Pekih, whose body was subsequently hung from a banyan tree near the petilasan (a sacred place of pilgrimage).

“This is the grave of Kyai Ragasemangsang, which used to be a petilasan. Previously, Kyai Pekih’s body was hung on a tree near here,” Suwito explained.

Version 2: During the colonial era, a war took place in Purwokerto. Days later, a body was found tangled in a large banyan tree, possibly that of a wounded fighter who had hidden there. The body was then buried at the current site of the tomb.

The Ragasemangsang Tomb remains a place of mystery and reverence, deeply embedded in the mythology of Purwokerto and its surrounding areas.