An extract on #surabaya
Surabaya (Suroboyo) is locally believed to derive its name from the words "suro" (shark) and "boyo" (crocodile), two creatures which, in a local myth, fought each other in order to gain the title of "the strongest and most powerful animal" in the area. It was said that the two powerful animals agreed a truce and set boundaries: the shark's domain would be the sea while the crocodile's domain would be the land. However one day the shark swam into the river estuary to hunt. This angered the crocodile, who declared it his territory. The shark argued that the river was a water realm which meant that it was shark territory, while the crocodile argued that the river flowed deep inland, so it was therefore crocodile territory. A ferocious fight resumed as the two animals bit each other's tails. Neither of them won the fight.
Another source alludes to a prophecy of Jayabaya, a 12th-century psychic king of Kediri Kingdom, foreseeing a fight between a giant white shark and a giant white crocodile taking place in the area, which is sometimes interpreted as foretelling the Mongol invasion of Java, a major conflict between the forces of Kublai Khan, Mongol ruler of China, and those of Raden Wijaya's Majapahit in 1293. The two animals are now used as the city's symbol, with the two facing and circling each other, as depicted in a statue appropriately located near the entrance to the city zoo.
Alternate derivations proliferate: from the Javanese "sura ing baya", meaning "bravely facing danger"; or from the use of "surya" to refer to the sun. Some people consider Jayabaya's prophecy as being about the great war between native Surabayan people and foreign invaders at the start of the war of independence in 1945. Another story tells of two heroes who fought each other in order to be the king of the city. The two heroes were named Sura and Baya. These folk etymologies, though embraced enthusiastically by its people and city leaders, are unverifiable.
The earliest record of Surabaya was in the 1225 book Zhu fan zhi written by Zhao Rugua, in which it was called Jung-ya-lu. The name Janggala was probably originated from the name "Hujung Galuh" (Old Javanese lit: "Cape Diamond" or "Cape Gemstone"), or "Jung-ya-lu" according to Chinese source. Hujung Galuh was located on the estuarine of Brantas River and today is the part of modern Surabaya city and Sidoarjo Regency.
By the 14th to 15th century, Surabaya seems to be one of Majapahit ports or coastal settlements, together with Tuban, Gresik, and Hujung Galuh (Sidoarjo). Ma Huan documented the early fifteenth-century visit of Zheng He's treasure ships in his 1433 book Yingyai Shenglan: "after traveling south for more than twenty li, the ship reached Sulumayi, whose foreign name is Surabaya. At the estuary, the outflowing water is fresh".
Ma Huan visited Java during Zheng He's 4th expedition in the 1413, during the reign of Majapahit king Wikramawardhana. He describes his travel to Majapahit capital, first he arrived to the port of Tu-pan (Tuban) where he saw large numbers of Chinese settlers migrated from Guangdong and Chou Chang. Then he sailed east to thriving new trading town of Ko-erh-hsi (Gresik), Su-pa-erh-ya (Surabaya), and then sailing inland into the river by smaller boat to southwest until reached the Brantas river port of Chang-ku (Changgu). Continued travel by land to southwest he arrived in Man-che-po-I (Majapahit), where the Javanese king stay.