Banten is one of the young provinces in Republic of Indonesia. This region is situated in west Java. It can be reached about an hour from Jakarta. It’s feel unbelievable, after the busy toll-way and hectic Jakarta as metropolitan city; we enter small and charming Banten. This city has a lot of treasure to whom that likes history. Such as the ruins of Surosowan Palace, Kaibon Palace, ‘Masjid Agung Banten’ [Banten Great Mosque, enlisted in Moslem's pilgrimage in Indonesia], Speelwijk fortress and Chinese temple Avalokiteshvara, and the harbor of Banten, Karanghantu [devil rock's harbor] that still used nowadays already existed since centuries ago. From this place, Sultan Banten’s troopers took fight against the pirates and take defense from the Dutch.
Along with the prevailing regional government changing, in respect to the insistence of Banten People’s aspiration to demand the separation from West Java Province, and after long process based on Law Number 23 Year 2000 concerning on Formation of Banten Province dated 17th October, 2000, established Banten Province as the 30th Province. Banten Province consists of 4 Regencies and 2 Cities, 94 Districts, 128 sub districts and 1,339 Villages. Geographically, the location of Banten Province is strategic because of the link between Java Island and Sumatra Island as well as the capital of Republic of Indonesia and West Java Province as a potential market of Banten’s products.
The economic sector, that have a great potential resources and various to be developed, namely sectors in agriculture, industry/trade, tourism, mining/exploration, and also supported by the availability of variety natural resources in great amount. Industry sector contribute more than 52 % from total of Banten’s GRDP, because in Banten there are 17 Industrial Zones equipped by good facilities and managed by professional private companies.
Banten is one of the newest provinces in Indonesia and also one of the richest. The province combines many of the most important Industrial Zones in Indonesia and also has the extended recreation areas along the western coast of Java and in south the Ujung Kulon National Park and the mountainous areas that are home to the Baduy people. Banten has the easiest access to Jakarta being merely an enclave in this province.
This province uses its own unique culture and language, both called Sundanese that is also used to call its people. The ancient kingdoms of Banten are Tarumanegara, Pajajaran, Banten and Cirebon would make interesting studies for the student of archaeology. Cirebon is located on the border between West and Central Java, having a mixed culture originating from the ancient Cirebon and Banten kingdoms, resulting in similar customs and dialects of the two people, although Banten city is located at the extreme western part of the province. Banten city on Banten Bay was one of the first places to begin trade with the Dutch. There is little to see of the past glories of this area today with the exception of the Grand Mosque, which was completed in 1599 and is certainly worth a visit.
The Province has a great number of attractions, from the wildlife reserve of Ujung Kulon on the southwestern tip of Java and the isolated communities of the mysterious Baduy to the unspoiled beaches. The villages are busy and attractive and the pace of life gets slower as we move towards the National Park in the southwest. From any point along the western coast we can see the “son of Krakatau” volcano, which rises impressively from the sea. Banten offers many different recreational experiences. The trip to Anyer area from Jakarta is now quick and easy because of the toll road, which connects Merak port with Jakarta. As we move further south along the west Java coast the lifestyle becomes more relaxed and after Labuan we move into more rural areas where the road conditions worsen and the lifstyle is relaxed. Here access to the forest areas begins and we can move back in time and enjoy the peace of nature. There is a bus each day from Labuan to Taman Jaya, which is on the edge of Ujung Kulon national park. There are simple cabins can be hired and a ranger can then take us on a walk into the park. It takes about six hours to reach a camping site.
The total area of Banten is 8,800.83 Km2, consisting of 4 Regencies and 2 Cities, which are divided into as follows:
- Serang Regency: 1.724,09 km2 - Lebak Regency: 2.859,96 km2
- Pandeglang Regency: 2.746,88 km2
- Tangerang Regency: 1.110,38 km2
- Cilegon Town: 175,50 km2
- Tangerang Town: 177,20 km2 _Banten region is surrounded by Java Sea in the North. Sunda Straits in the West, and facing the India Ocean in the South. These make Banten as a region with very great of sea product resources.
Total population in 2001 was 8,258,055 persons, consists of 4,231,079 men (51.24%) and 4,026,976 (48.76%). The densely populated regency is in Tangerang with its total population 2,873,256 persons. The highest density Region is Tangerang City 7,362.26 persons/Km2 in 1990 until 2001 period. Population growth from increased at 2.99%/year. Total workforce or aged 15 years above in 2001 was 3,330,224 or 52.57%.
The coastal city of Banten, 75 kilometers west of Jakarta on the northern coast of Java, was one of the Asia’s
largest cosmopolitan trading harbors in the 16th and 17th century. Ships visited its port from Malacca, China, Vietnam, India, Arab, Portugal and Netherlands. At its peek, it was almost as important as Amsterdam. Nowadays Banten is only a small fishing village. There are still old buildings left which are worth a visit for someone who is interested in the history of Indonesia before and during the colonial times.
MASJID AGUNG BANTEN
Located at Kecamatan Kasemen, 10km from City Center of Serang, built first time at Sultan Maulana Hasanudin government on 1566M or 5 Zulhijah 966 H, and then the building continued by Sultan Maulana Yusuf era.
Total area is 13 Ha and almost over the mosque’s roof consist of 5 traps which height is about 23 m and is like a lighthouse.
In the past usually used as a lighthouse. Tiyamah (Paviliun) is the extension building which is placed at the South of Mosque and the form is square and rise up. At Golden Period of Banten Moslem Kingsom, this Pavilion was used as meeting room and discussion place about religion.
Around the mosque also placed the tomb of Sultan Banten and his family, like the tomb of Sultan Maulana Hasanudin, Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa, Sultan Abdul Mufasir Muhammad Aliyudin,etc.
This is one of the most interesting place to visit at Banten. You could see the Map to visit this interested place.
Other Places of Interest at Banten
Baduy Traditional Society
Baduy Traditional Society. In the area of 5,101 hectares consisting or two parts : inner and outer Baduy tribes. Live in harmony with nature, avoid modern life. It is located at Lebak Regency.
Keraton Surosowan (The Palace of Surosowan) was built during the reign of Sultan Maulana Hasanuddin (1525-1552). Most of buildings were partly totally damaged. What remains is only the wall of the fortress ciecling the ruin of the monument. According to the old maps it is known that in the past the complexes of the palace were surrounded by a ditch as a guard. It was said, that in the past small ship was able to sail along the ditch or along the canal to the open sea.
Tasikardi at Margasana village, Kramatwatu district is a part of arceological complex of Old Banten. Its width is approximatelly 5 hectares and in the cebter of the lake there is a square formed “islands”. During the period of the Kingdom of Banten, Tasikardi used irigate the recifields and as a water treatment system in Surosowan Palace.
Speelwijk Fortress is located at kampung Pamarican, around at Banten Gulf. In the past it was used as the fortress of the Sultanate of Banten, before the Deutch pene¬trated to and accupied Banten.
Ujung Kulon National Park
Ujung Kulon National Park. One of World Natural conservation as UNESCO declared. Observe the natural tropical forest, found the rare single horn rhino. The grazing area of buffaloes peacock and specific animals completed by beautiful islands around. There is a bus each day from Labuan to Taman Jaya which is on the edge of the Ujung Kulon national park. There simple cabins can be hired and a ranger can then take you on a walk into the park. It takes about six hours to reach a camping site. Food is not readily available so take some with you from Matahari in Labuan. Boats from and of the west.
Taman Jaya where the wood carving community, located nearby Ujung Kulon National Park.
Pulau Dua/Pulau Burung
Pulau Dua/Pulau Burung (Birds Island) is a natural bird conservation area for bird watching, located about 3 miles from the northern of Karangantu harbor. It can be reached by motorized pats or sail boats in 15 minutes. From April to August the island is visited by thousand of bird coming from the continent of Africa, Asia and Australia to lay and hatch their eggs. Soon after the young birds become mature, they will return to their original places. At least 50 kinds of birds and generally those are fishering birds that only to fly far distance such as herons, ducks, teals, fowis and other be able to lay 2-4 eggs, and stayed together in Pulau Dua of 8 hectares land.
The Tower of Bojong
The Tower of Bojong. Built in 1885 the Dutch, it is 75, 7 meter in height and it is an eighteen-story house light in Anyer Kidul. This area is an historical place. It is very well known for its 1000 km Daendles Post Road from Anyer to Panarukan (East Java) in 1811.
Karang Bolong Beach
Karang Bolong Beach is located 50 km from Serang town or 140 km from Jakarta, on Karang Bolong Street. Karang Bolong beach is the beach recreation area where there is a big rock with its hole in the center, facing the open sea.
The Hot Spring
The Hot Spring of Batu Kuwung. Its heat reaches 70-80 Fahrenheit degree. The hot water is iodized but it doesn’t contain any sulphur.
Mount Krakatau is located at Sunda Strait. This volcano is very well known all over the world because its eruption in 1883 shocked the world and had caused a big disaster. The eruption of Krakatau was so powerful and its sound was heard in Australia and Colombo. The new volcano began emerged to surface in 1928. In 1951 geologists recorded that the height of Anak Gunung Krakatau was just above 72 m dpl, but right now it’s already reached a height of more than 200 m.
Rangkasbitung in Lebak Regency is a center of souvenirs made of Opal (Batu kali maya) and Onyx.
Bumi Jaya in Serang Regency produce various kind of export quality potteries.
Shopping Center Unleash the sense of discovery and experience some of the Indonesia’s most sophisticated shopping malls in Tangerang and Cilegon.
Golf Courses. 11 golf course and 1 dri¬ving range all around Banten. The luxurious facilities, including 18 holes and first class accommodation.
Pulau Umang, white sandy beach over looking the crystal clear sea water, located 183 km about 4 hours driving by car and 5 min by boat from Jakarta, there is a resort and spa facilities to relax and living in nature with magnificient view of Krakatau and the Ujung Kulon National Park.
Keraton Kaibon (The Palace of Kaibon) It is located at the village of Kroya on the bank of the road of Old Banten, approximately 7 km from the town of Serang or 1 km from Surosowan Palace. The name Kaibon was derived from the word Kai-i¬buan namely Ratu Asiah, taking over his son’s position, Sultan Rafiudin who was just 5 months old to lead the reign.
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