Banda Aceh

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Banda Aceh
City of Banda Aceh
Kota Banda Aceh
Other transcription(s)
   Jawoë باندا اچيه
Meuseujid Raya Bayturrahman.JPG
Aceh Tsunami Museum.JPG
Replika Seulawah 001 di Blang Padang, Banda Aceh.jpg
Aceh Thanks the World.JPG
Gunongan Putroe Phang.JPG
Peucut 3.JPG
From top left : Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, Aceh Tsunami Museum, Seulawah 001 Monument, 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami Monument, Gunongan Historical Park, Kerkhof Peucut
Lambang Kota Banda Aceh.png
Kota Serambi Mekkah
Saboeh Pakat Tabangun Banda
Banda Aceh
Lokasi Aceh Kota Banda Aceh.svg
Location within Aceh
Indonesia Sumatra location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Banda Aceh
Location in Sumatra, Indonesia and the Bay of Bengal
Indonesia location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Banda Aceh
Banda Aceh (Indonesia)
Bay of Bengal location map simple.svg
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Banda Aceh
Banda Aceh (Bay of Bengal)
Coordinates: 5°33′0″N95°19′3″E / 5.55000°N 95.31750°E / 5.55000; 95.31750 Coordinates: 5°33′0″N95°19′3″E / 5.55000°N 95.31750°E / 5.55000; 95.31750
Country Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia
Province Aceh Indonesia Flag.png  Aceh
Founded22 April 1205
  MayorAminullah Usman
  Vice MayorZainal Arifin
   City 61.36 km2 (23.69 sq mi)
2,935.36 km2 (1,133.35 sq mi)
0–10 m (0–32.9 ft)
 (mid 2019) [1]
   City 268,148
  Density4,400/km2 (11,000/sq mi)
  Metro density180/km2 (450/sq mi)
Demonyms Acehnese
Warga Aceh (id)
Kawom Aceh (ace)
  Ethnic groups Acehnese
  Religion Islam 97.09%
Buddhism 1.13%
Christianity 0.70%
Catholic 0.19%
Hinduism 0.02% Others 0.85% [2]
  Languages Indonesian (official)
Acehnese (regional)
Time zone UTC+7 (Indonesia Western Time)
Postal code
Area code (+62) 651
Vehicle registration BL XXX AX

Banda Aceh is the capital and largest city in the province of Aceh, Indonesia. It is located on the island of Sumatra and has an elevation of 35 meters. The city covers an area of 61.4 square kilometres and had a population of 223,446 people at the 2010 Census, rising to 250,227 at the 2015 Census; the latest official estimate (as at mid 2019) is 268,148. [3] Banda Aceh is located on the northwestern tip of Indonesia at the mouth of the Aceh River.


The city was originally established as Bandar Aceh Darussalam Kandang [4] and served as a capital and hub for the Sultanate of Aceh upon its foundation in the late 15th century. Later its name was changed to Bandar Aceh Darussalam, and then became popularly known as Banda Aceh. The first part of the name comes from the Persian bandar (بندر) meaning "port" or "haven". The city is also dubbed the "port to Mecca," or the "porch of Mecca" (Indonesian: Serambi Mekkah) in reference to the days when hajj pilgrims travelled by sea from Indonesia and would make a stop over in the city before continuing their journey to Mecca.

Banda Aceh had long been at the centre of protracted conflicts between the Acehnese and foreign domination, including war with Portuguese, wars with the Dutch, the Japanese and the Indonesian government. The city rose to international prominence in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean earthquake in 2004, which struck off the western coast of Sumatra. Banda Aceh was the closest major city to the earthquake's epicentre, which lay 249 km off the coast. [5] It suffered great damage in the earthquake and further damage when a tsunami struck shortly afterwards. 167,000 people died as a result and many more were injured. [6] [7]

The aftermath of the tsunami has seen a cessation of much of the conflict in the city and province, and domestic and international aid as a result has seen a major modernisation and reconstruction of the city over the past decade. [8]


Banda Aceh, situated at the tip of Sumatra, has long been a strategic, transportation and trading hub in the eastern Indian Ocean. Its first mention in western accounts comes from 1292 when Marco Polo and his expedition visited the city, referred to as 'Lambri' from Lamuri Kingdom which previously existed there and noted as the logical first port of call for travellers from Arabia and India to Indonesia. [9] Ibn Battuta also reported visiting the city in the mid-14th century when under the control of the trading kingdom of Samudera Pasai, the then dominant entity in northern Sumatra. [10] However the Pasai began to collapse under pressure from declining economic conditions and the Portuguese, who occupied much of the area after occupying Malacca in the early 15th century. Sultan Ali Mughayat Syah, ruler of the newly founded Sultanate of Aceh, aggressively expanded in the area in the 1520s and established sultanate was built on the remains of the Pasai and other extinct kingdoms in the area, and made Banda Aceh the capital, naming it for himself as Kutaraja or 'City of the King'.

Koetaradja/Banda Aceh old map AMH-6875-KB View of Achin.jpg
Koetaradja/Banda Aceh old map

After a long period of rule by the Sultanate, Aceh began to come into conflict with the Dutch and the British in the second half of the 18th century. At the end of the 18th century, the territory of Aceh in the Malay Peninsula, namely Kedah and Pulau Pinang, were seized by the British. In 1871, the Dutch began to threaten Aceh, and on 26 March 1873, the Dutch formally declared war on Aceh. The Dutch bombarded the capital in that year and sought to capture the Sultan's palace in the city to bring about a capitulation of the Acehnese. Significant support from the British in the region led the modernisation and fortification of the city, and while coastal areas were lost the Dutch underestimated the city's defences. The Dutch expedition commander General Johan Köhler was killed in a skirmish around the city, leading to the failure of the first expedition. A second expedition was mounted by the Dutch within months and was successful in overwhelming the city. The Dutch moved into the capital in January 1874 believing the Acehnese to have surrendered; however, the conflict moved into the countryside, and the Acehnese continued to actively oppose Dutch rule.

Banda Aceh aerial view after tsunami disaster, 2004 US Navy 050106-N-4166B-024 An aerial view of Tsunami-stricken Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia.jpg
Banda Aceh aerial view after tsunami disaster, 2004

After it entered the Government of the Republic of Indonesia on 28 December 1962, the name of the city was changed back to Banda Aceh by the Ministry of Public Administration and Regional Autonomy on 9 May 1963. On 26 December 2004, the city was hit by a tsunami caused by a 9.2-magnitude earthquake in the Indian Ocean. The disaster killed 167,000 inhabitants and destroyed more than 60% of the city's buildings. Based on the statistical data issued by the City Government of Banda Aceh, Banda Aceh had 248,727 inhabitants in May 2012. [ citation needed ]

Administrative divisions

Mayor office of Banda Aceh Kanto Walikota.JPG
Mayor office of Banda Aceh

Banda Aceh is divided into nine districts (Indonesian : kecamatan), listed below with their areas and populations at the 2010 Census:

KecamatanArea in
at 2010
Census [11]
Banda Raya5.0120,891
Jaya Baru4.3822,031
Kuta Alam8.9542,217
Kuta Raja3.6210,433
Lueng Bata4.3223,592
Syiah Kuala14.8834,850
Ulee Kareng5.2722,571


Motorised becaks are common in Banda Aceh. Transport by taxis and minibuses, known as labi-labi, are also common.

Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport is located in Blang Bintang, 13.5 km from Banda Aceh.

Two main highways run from Banda Aceh to the south. One runs down the eastern side of the province through main towns such as Bireuen and Lhokseumawe to Medan, the large capital of the province of North Sumatra. The other highway runs down the western side of the province, through lesser-populated areas, to the towns of Calang, Meulaboh, and Singkil. The main bus station, Terminal Terpadu Batoh, is located at Jalan Mr. Teuku Muhammad Hasan.

Banda Aceh has two sea ports, Pelabuhan (port) Ulèë Lheuë and Pelabuhan Malahayati. [12] Pelabuhan Ulèë Lheuë was formerly the main sea port in Aceh. It now functions as a ferry terminal. It is located in the Meuraksa area. Pelabuhan Malahayati, the current main sea port, is located in Krueng Raya, 27 km from Banda Aceh. It now functions as the main freight cargo terminal.

Since May 2016, Banda Aceh has had a bus rapid transit system, called Trans Koetaradja. Initially, Trans Koetaradja runs only a single line Keudah – Darussalam (vv) (Corridor I), which operates from 06:30–18:36 on Monday-Saturday and 07:20–17:20 on Sunday and Holidays. [13] Since 2017, it added 2 additional lines: Corridor II-A with route Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport – Pasar Aceh (vv) and operates from 08:00–18:20 everyday; [14] and Corridor II-B with route Pelabuhan Ulèë Lheuë (Port) – Pasar Aceh (vv) and operates from 07:00–18:35 everyday. [15] From 2016 till 2018, thanks to subsidies from Aceh government, it is a free-of-charge transportation for passengers. [16]


Banda Aceh at night Foto malam hari di Jalan Teuku Nyak Arief, Banda Aceh; 2013.jpg
Banda Aceh at night

The TVRI Aceh, state-owned, Kutaraja TV and Aceh TV, both privately owned, are the local TV stations in Banda Aceh. The oldest newspaper in the Banda Aceh region is Harian Serambi Indonesia. Several other newspapers such as Harian Aceh, Harian Waspada, Harian ProHaba, and Harian RajaPost are also available.


Sport Complex

Lapangan Blang Padang is a multi-use park located in the centre of Banda Aceh, and has become location for citizen sport activities for decades. It has jogging track, volleyball court, football pitch, basketball court and foodcourts, as well. [17] There is a famous replica of RI 001, the first Indonesian plane, at Lapangan Blang Padang.

Some other sport complexes in Banda Aceh are: Lapangan Neusu, Komplek Harapan Bangsa, Lapangan Gelanggang Unsyiah and Lapangan Tugu [18]

Indoor Sport Hall

In Banda Aceh, there are several indoor sport halls (id: Gelanggang Olah Raga, abbreviated as GOR) which previously hosted as venue for multiple sports: GOR KONI, GOR Dista, GOR Pango and GOR A. Madjid Ibrahim Unsyiah.


The city has two major football stadiums:

In addition, there are also several small capacity stadiums in the city, i.e.: Syiah Kuala University Stadium and Lambhuk Mini Stadium.


Banda Aceh features a tropical rainforest climate under the Köppen climate classification, with near constant average temperatures. The city's annual average temperature is 27 degrees Celsius. However, the city features wetter and drier seasons, with June through August being the driest months of the year. Like all cities with a tropical rainforest climate, Banda Aceh does not have a true dry season month where an average of less than 60 mm of precipitation falls. On average, the city experiences a little less than 2000 mm of precipitation annually.

Climate data for Banda Aceh
Record high °C (°F)34.6
Average high °C (°F)27.8
Daily mean °C (°F)25.9
Average low °C (°F)24.1
Record low °C (°F)18.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)155
Source: [19] [20]


As the capital of the Aceh province, Banda Aceh is home to many landmarks important to the history of the Acehnese people and the sultanates.

Baiturrahman Grand Mosque Meuseujid Raya Baiturrahman, Aceh.jpg
Baiturrahman Grand Mosque
Gunongan Gunongan Putroe Phang.JPG
Kerkhoff Poucut entry gate Peucut 3.JPG
Kerkhoff Poucut entry gate
Aceh Museum Museum Aceh.JPG
Aceh Museum

Several festivals are held annually by the city: [23]

There are three beaches close to Banda Aceh which can be reached by car or motorcycle: Ujông Batèë Beach, Lhôk Nga Beach, and Lam Pu'uk Beach, which is the most developed of the three. [24]


The religion of the majority of the population is Islam, with minorities including Buddhists, Christians (both Protestant and Catholic), and Hindus.

Banda Aceh is home to four long-standing churches: the Hati Kudus Catholic church, Western Indonesian Protestant church (GPIB), Methodist church, and the Batak Protestant church (HKBP). There are 93 mosques and 112 musholla (small mosques). There is a Buddhist temple and a Hindu temple in the city. [25]

The Hindu community consists of both Balinese Hindus and Tamil Hindus who originate from India. [26]

Sister cities

  1. Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Samarkand, Uzbekistan [27]
  2. Flag of the Netherlands.svg Apeldoorn, Netherlands [28] [29]
  3. Flag of Yemen.svg Sana'a, Yemen
  4. Flag of Indonesia.svg Martapura, South Kalimantan

Related Research Articles

Aceh Province of Indonesia

Aceh is the westernmost province of Indonesia. It is located on the northern end of Sumatra, with Banda Aceh being its capital and largest city. Granted a special autonomous status, Aceh is a religiously conservative territory and the only Indonesian province practicing Sharia law officially. There are ten indigenous ethnic groups in this region, the largest being the Acehnese people, accounting for approximately 80% to 90% of the region's population.

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Aceh War conflict

The Aceh War, also known as the Dutch War or the Infidel War (1873–1904), was an armed military conflict between the Sultanate of Aceh and the Kingdom of the Netherlands which was triggered by discussions between representatives of Aceh and the United States in Singapore during early 1873. The war was part of a series of conflicts in the late 19th century that consolidated Dutch rule over modern-day Indonesia.

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Aceh Sultanate historical sultanate centered on the modern-day Indonesian province of Aceh

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Lhokseumawe City in Sumatra, Indonesia

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Iskandar Muda Sultan of Aceh

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Baiturrahman Grand Mosque mosque

Baiturrahman Grand Mosque is a Mosque located in the center of Banda Aceh city, Aceh Province, Indonesia. The Baiturrahman Grand Mosque is a symbol of religion, culture, spirit, strength, struggle and nationalism of the Acehnese people. The mosque is a landmark of Banda Aceh and has survived the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Acehnese people Ethnic group in Indonesia

The Acehnese are an ethnic group from Aceh, Indonesia on the northernmost tip of the island of Sumatra. The area has a history of political struggle against the Dutch. The vast majority of the Acehnese people are Muslims. The Acehnese people are also referred to by other names such as Lam Muri, Lambri, Akhir, Achin, Asji, A-tse and Atse. Their language, Acehnese, belongs to the Aceh–Chamic group of Malayo-Polynesian of the Austronesian language family.

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Ulèë Lheuë is an area in Meuraxa sub-district, Banda Aceh, Indonesia. It was the former main seaport of Aceh. Ulèë Lheuë is made of two words. Ulèë means "head" and lheuë means little peninsula. Ulèë Lheuë is indeed a coastal town sitting on the tip of Sumatra Island.

Teuku Muhammad Hasan politician

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Teuku Nyak Arif Indonesian politician

Teungku Nyak Arif was an Acehnese nationalist and National Hero of Indonesia. He has been given the nickname Rencong of Aceh, after the traditional Acehnese weapon, for his bravery.

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Baiturrahim Mosque

Baiturrahim Mosque is a mosque located in Ulee Lheue, Meuraksa sub-district, Aceh Province, Indonesia. As a legacy of the Sultan of Aceh in the 17th Century, it is one of the historical mosques in Indonesia. Back then the mosque was named Jami Ulee Lheu Mosque. In 1873, when the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque was burned by the Dutch, all the worshipers held a Friday prayer at Ulee Lheue. Since then the name of the mosque became Baiturrahim Mosque.

Ghali (ship) Galley-like vessels from Nusantara

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