Banten and Jakarta
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JAKARTA AND BANTEN>

The existence of Jakarta city has parallel history with the existence of current province of Banten and West Java in general as the capital city of West Java province which is also known as the Pasundan land. Both Banten Port city and Jakarta city are located on the north shore of West Java. Here the name of Jakarta is used to refer historical name of Jakarta. The history of Jakarta was started by the record of Sunda Kelapa Port from 8th century then changed by the Dutch into Batavia in the turn of 17th century. Later during that period the army of Islam from kingdom of Demak took over Batavia and renamed Jayakarta. During the Japanese occupation in 1945 the name is shortened into Jakarta. On the following writing will refer all those names only with the term of Jakarta.

The Sultanate of Banten in 16th to 17th century can not be separated with the existence of current Jakarta metropolitan city. When Jakarta was under control of Dutch East India Company Sultanate of Banten was at their full power to insert their influence to Jakarta. the area of Banten is located on the tip of West Java enclosed by the sea at 3 sides. The north is Java sea, on the west is Sunda strait, and on the south is the vast and thrusting Indian ocean. At the east is the river of Cisedane, the area of Kabupaten Tanggerang bordering with Jakarta city. The only sea port on the southern shore is Pelabuhan Ratu, which is located deep in the bay of Pelabuhan Ratu protected from thundering wave of Indian sea. The port is enclosed by high mountain which is a hard zone to construct land connection of transport. Beside natural barrier is too big to reach pelabuhan Ratu from the main area of Banten, the natural resources at the area is only fishing, so in the past no interest for the south.

Other southern shore have even greater natural barrier, with very small plain land along the beach. If one from Jakarta is to reach Banten, it can also be accessed from some ports at the west beach. Although at the south beach is very difficult, but west beach especially on the river called Ciliman seemed to have been used as traffic in 5th century, since around 20 kms deep into the river have been found which is known as the charter of king Purnawarman, near a village now called Labuhan. Literally Labuhan means sea port, so it is no doubt that the area was once a sea port during 5th century, and the era of Indonesian history was started here with the finding of the first writing in Java after the stupa with writing also found in East Kalimantan at the current location of Mahakam river. The tsunami caused by the explosion of Mt. Krakatau in 1883 has damaged the remnants of the town, leaving nothing to trace the ancient heritages of the history. Labuhan village is until now still used as sea port by fishermen and traditional trade by local boat to Lampung at Sumatra island and Anyer, the other port in northern area of Banten west port. It was most probably that starting from Labuhan, and all the villages now and small towns along the north beach of west and north Banten such as Anyer, Merak, Banten, Lontar, Tanara, Mauk, Teluknaga, and Jakarta were used as port or at least the fishermen port since ancient times. Merak port for example has been developed well and today as the main gate to Java from Sumatra, and from Sumatra to Java by sea transportation.

During Idul Fitri Holiday, the traffic from Jakarta and other big cities in Java are flowing densely through this port. Yet the ancient capital of Sultanate of Banten is not developed further even it is surpassed by new town of Serang, which is now the capital city of Banten Province. Serang is known also as the home of terrorist Imam Samudra whom was sentenced to death by High Court of Indonesia. Both Banten and Jakarta have been a strong base of Muslim since 17th century, although their ancestors was the Pasundan great kingdom of Hindu as their main belief. With the fall of Banten, jakarta under the control of Dutch India Company developed very fast and all ports on the northern coast of Banten province slowly disappeared except Merak. Even Banten Port city which was the capital city of Sultanate in 17th century and was considered rival of Jakarta, today is only a village with no sign of greatness of history.

One of the port near Banten port called Karangantu still showing business life, as most of their residents are the Bugis people of the south Sulawesi who use to live on the sea with their famous pinisi wooden boat to transport wooden lodges from Sumatra or Kalimantan. Industrialization in Banten province giving advantage to the trade of wood and other building materials. This new trade tendency have forced the government to enhance the capacity of the port by constructing an anchorage pit for the big tonnage ship. South of Karangantu there were ports of Tenggerang and Batang according to the record of Portuguese trader who arrived in the area around 1555 AD. During Jakarta was controlled by Dutch East India Company all sea traffic seemed to have been seriously concentrated to Jakarta. Other causes that kill the activities of trade on the coast of Banten must have been fast sedimentation of the river, which caused the river and it's port no longer can be used to sail. At the south west area of Banten where standing up mount Halimun 600 meters was not inhabited for long period until the Dutch open the plantation estate of coffee, rubber, coconut oil, and gold mine at Cikotok. Until the end of 19th century this area was inhabited by leopards and the Rhinos.

Today the habitat of these endangered animals has been declared as nature reserve of Mount Halimun. So Banten province has two nature reserve including Ujung Kulon known for it's Java cows called Boss Indicus. The northern part of Banten province consist of plain low land with two big rivers flowing on the land, the Cisedane and Ciujung. Seeing back to history, were was actually the center of the kingdom of Banten before Islam, is a continuing question among archaeologists and historians. Some estimation based on still can be found fact on the spot that is basically one accepted opinion that the center of the kingdom must have been at a place what is now called Banten Girang. The location of this town is near current town of Serang. As mentioned above, that the fast development of Jakarta since 17th century have caused the dead of ports, towns and business centers on Banten port town and other ports on the shore of Banten. The location of Banten Girang is on the outskirt of current Serang which means Banten town at deeper location of the river. This town started to develop at the beginning of 19th century. The establishment of Banten Girang was meant to totally minimized the role of old Banten Port town in politic and business activities. The Dutch after took control on Banten Sultanate used Banten Girang as the center of their administration as the extension of the power inserted from Jakarta as the center of VOC ( Verenigde Oost Indijsche Compagnie ) or known as Dutch East India Company. The story of Banten Girang was found on the 2 tombs believed as the tomb of 2 brothers who first converted themselves into Islam. Behind the tomb is believed the existence of shining stone ( watu girang ) as the seat of Ratu Pendeta who was probably the last king of Banten Hindu, before the town was devastated and let down by by Muslim soldiers of Demak. In 1526 - 1529 according to manuscript the first who converted into Islam were Ki Jong and Agus Jo. A dignitaries of kingdom of Pakuan, the Hindu kingdom in west Java also converted into Islam and became one of the religious leader having important role in influencing people of Banten to change their belief. Until today the tomb of this dignitary known as Ki Jongjo still maintained and considered sacred place by the people. According to the manuscript of Banten Ki Jongjo had a brother at Pakuan, who was one of the dignitaries of the kingdom and betrayed their king by giving way to Muslim army to attack Pakuan. Pakuan was later known as the capital city of West Java kingdom or Pasundan kingdom of Hindu or known also as Pajajaran kingdom.

Jakarta at that time was an important sea port known as Sunda Kelapa which until today still preserved as the historic places of Jakarta city. Tourism bibliography always describe Sunda Kelapa port as one of the tour interest when promoting Jakarta city sightseeing. Even the influence of Pajajaran kingdom is known to have reached Sriwijaya with their stone inscription found at Pagaruyung village on West Sumatra, around 20 kms east of Bukit Tinggi city the second biggest city in West Sumatra. It must be the busy port of Sunda Kelapa as the beginning of Jakarta as the main gate to west Java kingdom, especially to the capital city of Pakuan. But until today archaeologists could not locate the trace of great kingdom capital city. In the tradition of Parahyangan, a manuscript about Pajajaran kingdom it is mentioned that the center of the kingdom at Galuh, and this name still by taxonomy can not be identified until now, but an assumption based on places mentioned, it must have been closed to the place of current Bogor town or Bandung town. The indication that Banten Girang was once the capital city of Banten also shown by a site called Asem Reges just across the river from the tombs of Ki Jongjo. In this site still can be seen layout of city pit. Telaya is the whole highland south of the tombs which is originally Tirtalaya, a name appeared when war happened between Sultan Ageng and the Dutch in 1682, the name of Banten Girang changed into Telaya. East of Telaya on the ravine has been found ancient man made cave in which are 2 rooms believed as the place for hermitage. Pandarigan, a felt earth is located at north west of Telaya formed crater. This crater during rainy season onward for months become the habitat of various fish, so it is called as the place of food ( pandaringan ). Banusri, located across the river at south east Telaya. Until 1991 the pits were still can be seen before it was bulldozed for building new houses. According to old people this place was the location of the market during the period of Banten Girang kingdom. It is a great sorry that local government at the time did not understand the important value of a historical site. This attitude of some of Indonesian must be corrected if the nation be oriented to develop into a nation with good personality and respected their land and nationality.

We all know that Banten was taken over by Muslim kingdom under the commander of Hasanudin which was known as Faletehan or Fatahillah by the Portuguese report. The story about the attack of Banten by Hasanuddin is mentioned in short by history of Banten. The date of the taking over of Banten is 1400 Caka year of equivalent with 1478 AD which was at the same time of the fall of the biggest kingdom of Indonesia, the Majapahit, and is logically the decade when also west Java Hindu kingdom began to fall. The fall of Hindu kingdom of Indonesia was too much coming from inside political and religious conspiracy. Religious in term of way of life have given a mouth of Sorga or heavenly life after death. Older religion give more difficult ways to reach the heaven while Islam promised much easier ways. Since the society were illiterate and foolish and the palaces were only self interest, the people were as if no leader that could bring them to better life and far from refining their trandition. This situation seems continue until independence, that's why the influence of foreign cultures has been too easy to seep into the people. The birth of Sultanate of Banten had tempted the birth and strong development of Jakarta. Conflict and hatred was unavoidable between the two centers of cultures, where Jakarta at the period named Batavia controlled by Dutch, then continuously giving pressures to Banten, by blocking economic life of Banten, then this Sultanate become very weak and gradually sublimated and disappeared. Palace power disorientatation happened in 1676 when one of the prince, Sultan Haji ordered to kill all his prince brothers. This conspiracy seemed to have revealed by the palace and in contradictory the palace against the attitude of the young prince and moved from Banten port city to Banten Girang. Since 1682 Banten Girang again as the palace of the royal family while Sultan Haji still based himself at Banten port town. This conflict between 2 palaces was used by the Dutch East India Company to insert the influence of Jakarta in total meaning. War was unavoidable between Banten port and Banten Girang. Although Banten Girang had far more army in number yet their arms were not effective to resist again modern arms of the Dutch that giving hand to Sultan Haji. The war continued and dead soldiers were mounted. Both Sultanates at last disappeared from the land of West Java and now the influence of Jakarta over west Java was unblocked. It seemed that the Sultanate of Banten was administered by the government of Jakarta which enjoyed big development economically and socially since this period Jakarta had become the base of Dutch East India Company to extend their control almost all over Indonesia from Jakarta. It looks that the modern influences flow from Jakarta to any other areas of indonesia step by step keeping pace with the more areas being captured under the control of VOC. This is the reason that the town of Jakarta become known world wide, and later become the administration center of Independence of Indonesia.

The beginning of Banten, Jakarta and Pajajaran started into light in west Java after the research on western adventures records and archaeological researches organized to explore the mystery of west Java's past. In 165 AD it was proved that Banten had relation with Europe which is proved by a map made by Claudius Ptolomeus or the map describes the route of trade from Europe to China via India, Vietnam, North Sumatra, along west coast of Sumatra, Penaitan island, Sunda strait, and via south China sea to China. On Penaitan island off the coast of Pandegelang was found ancient remains such as stone sculpture of Ganesha and god Shiva sculptures. The finding of inscription at Pandegelang mentioned the name of the king as Purnavarman, while it is known already that the kingdom of Tarumanegara was at the current area of Jakarta to Bogor. The domain of his kingdom now no doubt included Banten. Yet until 14th century no historical fact has been found to explain the historical aspect of west Java. During 14th century appeared the kingdom of Pajajaran or Pakuan Pajajaran. The kingdom was divided into 4 vassals called Kadipaten. It is estimated that the location of Pakuan town was around the area of Bogor town. The kingdom observed Hindu - Buddha religion. According to the record by Joao de Barros, a Portuguese adventurer, the king built many temples for worship, monastery for widows, and monastery for women who did not yet get husband. Since the land was so fertile, with agricultural product such as rice, cloves, coconut, vegetables and poivres ( spice ). The biggest yielding income for them is the spice which was also sold to China and many buyers from Europe. Some names of areas had been recorded by Barros such as Banten, Pontang, Cikande, Tanggarong, Kawawang, Cimanuk, Jakarta ( Xacatra ) or Kalapa. It was said that Banten and Xacatra were the biggest port at that time. Very interesting to know that the name of Xacatra or Jakarta already introduced at 14th century. We know from historical fact that the first name of Jakarta ( Jayakarta only known in 17th century when Batavia was taken over by Demak Muslim kingdom change into Jayakarta. To manage the traffic of trade the king of Pakuan said to have built roads connected between capital city of Pakuan to the port cities mentioned above. The route to Jakarta used the river of Ciliwung which was said could be sailed up to the town of Pakuan. So it is clear that the town of Pakuan must have been located along the Ciliwung river and Jakarta was the gate of the kingdom. At that time Islam has been successful in converting the people at once change the vision of the large part of the west Javanese and central Javanese. Since the philosophy of the earlier kingdoms was they do not take the first priority to make the people prosper and knowledgeable, it would have been the main cause of the fall of Hindu kingdom on West Java, and was probably most of the kingdoms of 16th century in Indonesia. It is easy to forecast if a nation will worship forever their kingdom or look for other patronage. The kingdoms in Indonesia in the past did not look for knowledge to upgrade their people in economy and social aspects, except presenting the show of power of the king and when he is died the show changed into the conflict of power among the royal palace princess. Indeed this type of philosophy would have been cascading down to the lowest civil servants. Because this philosophy is contrasting with the very root of human life, that is enlightenment and welfare, when actually the people are already knowledgeable and wealthy, the leaders can pursue to the higher state of status. This is never happened. The coming of Portuguese in Malacca and their rival to insert power in Indonesia actually met no difficulty unless they had competitors like Dutch, which at last won by the Dutch. The fading power of Pajajaran kingdom would come from this situation, why any power could easily abolish the royal palace, such as the attack of Banten and Cirebon had easily captured the kingdom because the people did not loyal anymore to the royal rulers.

See More Area Information on Jakarta
Ancol Recreation Park
China Town or Glodok
Gambir Railway Staion
Kemang Area
Kelapa Gading
Kebayoran Baru Area
Kuningan Area
Jakarta Convention Center
Jakarta International Expo
Jalan Thamrin Area
Lapangan Banteng Area
Mangga Dua Area
Marina Boat Pier
Tanjung Priok Sea Port
Tebet Area
Museum in Jakarta
National Museum
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
Taman Marzuki Art Center






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National Museum One of the biggest and most complete exhibition of human history from prehistory up to the classical period. This museum is the most frequented place by students and reserachers. Indonesia presents rich human historical facts which can be used to reconstruct the culture of south east asia and even further to the influence giving countries such as China, India and Arabia.
National Monument is a tower more then 100 meters in the center of Jakarta city as the mark of Indonesian independence and the appointment of Jakarta as the capital city of Indonesia. One can ascend up the tower and watch the city's beautiful panorama.
The Pekan Raya Jakarta known as Jakarta Fair or Jakarta International Expo is one of the biggest fair ground in South East Asia built to boost the business life of Indonesia and regionally the countries of south east Asia. The organization of exhibition is held regularly for various line of products from traditional to modern hi-tec products that can be produced at the decades. The location of the Jakarta International Expo as the regular place of Jakarta Fair orPekan Raya Jakarta is at South Jakarta near
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah or in English is Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature, located on south east of Jakarta. This park is one of the mark of the city offering selected arts from all over Indonesian regions from architecture, dances, and musics and culinary. Some of them offer daily cultural attractions to the visitors during certain hours. Special modern recreations are also available and is very cheering for the chldren.
Tanjung Priok Sea Port Tanjung Priok is one of the biggest seaport in Indonesia belong to Jakarta Spceial Province. Among the biggest sea port of Indonesia developped since 17th century are Tanjung Perak - Surabaya, Belawan - North Sumatra, and Soekarno - Hatta Sea port in Makassar, south Sulawesi. The traffic of goods from various areas of Indonesia are concentrated at those 3 ports to be forwarded to outside Indonesia, and as on entry.
Jakarta Convention Center Jakarta Convention Center is one of Jakartas land mark on conference, exhibition and meeting business with international standard. Located at Jalan Gatot Subroto in the center of Jakarta city, quipped with the latest audio visual for the full function of business promotion and transaction. Some short information on Jakarta Convention Center are available, see list of interesting places