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
Flag of Banda Aceh City.png
Lambang Kota Banda Aceh.png
Kota Serambi Mekkah
(the Chamber of Mecca)
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
Region Sumatra
Province Flag of Aceh, Indonesia.svg  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)
 (2020 Census) [1]
   City 252,899
  Density4,100/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
HDI Increase2.svg 0.850 (Very High)

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 (115 feet). The city covers an area of 61.36 square kilometers (23.69 sq mi) and had a population of 223,446 people at the 2010 Census, [3] rising to 252,899 at the 2020 Census. [1]


Banda Aceh is located on the northwestern tip of Indonesia at the mouth of the Aceh River. Banda Aceh itself is a semi-enclave within Aceh Besar Regency, as Banda Aceh is surrounded by Aceh Besar in south, east, and west, while it borders with Strait of Malacca in the north.

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 stopover in the city before continuing their journey to Mecca.

Banda Aceh had long been at the center 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 epicenter, which lay 249 kilometers (155 miles) off the coast. [5] It suffered great damage in the earthquake and further damage when a tsunami struck shortly afterwards. Around 60,000 people in the city 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 modernization 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 modernization and fortification of the city, and while coastal areas were lost the Dutch underestimated the city's defenses. 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 the tsunami disaster, 2004 US Navy 050106-N-4166B-024 An aerial view of Tsunami-stricken Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia.jpg
Banda Aceh aerial view after the 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 ]


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. [11]

The Hindu community consists of both Balinese Hindus and Tamil Hindus who originate from India. [12] [ dead link ]

There is a type of police in Indonesia called the religious police; they enforce Islamic laws in the Islamic majority province. They are known for being very strict. [13]


Banda Aceh features a tropical rainforest climate under the Köppen climate classification, with near-constant average temperatures. The city's annual average temperature is 27.3 °C or 81.1 °F. However, the city features wetter and drier seasons, with June through August being the driest months of the year. Like other cities with a tropical rainforest climate, Banda Aceh does not have a true dry season, with the driest month averaging 90 millimeters or 3.54 inches of precipitation. On average, the city experiences a little less than 2,000 millimeters or 79 inches 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 rainfall mm (inches)155
Source: [14] [15]

Administrative districts

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

Banda Aceh is divided into nine districts (Indonesian : kecamatan), listed below with their areas and their populations at the 2010 Census [3] and the 2020 Census. [1]

KecamatanArea in
at 2010
Census [3]
at 2020
Census [1]
Jaya Baru3.7822,03125,939
Banda Raya4.7920,89125,228
Lueng Bata5.3423,59224,336
Kuta Alam10.0542,21742,505
Kuta Raja5.2110,43315,291
Syiah Kuala14.2434,85032,969
Ulee Kareng6.1522,57127,257


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: [18]

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. [19]


Motorized becaks are common in Banda Aceh. Transport by taxis and minibuses, known as labi-labi, are also common. Since 2018, some online transportation is also available like Grab and Gojek.

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-Sigli Toll Road, part of Trans-Sumatra Toll Road, is currently under construction; it is located at the tip of the toll road and connected with Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport.

Banda Aceh has two seaports, Pelabuhan (port) Ulèë Lheuë and Pelabuhan Malahayati. [20] 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 ran 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. [21] Since 2017, it has 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; [22] and Corridor II-B with route Pelabuhan Ulèë Lheuë (Port) – Pasar Aceh (vv) and operates from 07:00–18:35 everyday. [23] From 2016 till 2018, thanks to subsidies from Aceh government, it was a free-of-charge transportation for passengers. [24]


Sport complex

Lapangan Blang Padang is a multi-use park located in the center of Banda Aceh and has become a location for citizen sports activities for decades. It has jogging track, volleyball court, football pitch, basketball court, and food courts, as well. [25] 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 [26]

Indoor sport hall

In Banda Aceh, there are several indoor sport halls (id: Gelanggang Olah Raga, abbreviated as GOR) which previously hosted as a 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 at night Foto malam hari di Jalan Teuku Nyak Arief, Banda Aceh; 2013.jpg
Banda Aceh at night

The oldest newspaper in the Banda Aceh region is Serambi Indonesia, part of Tribun Network. Several other newspapers such as Harian Aceh, Rakyat Aceh and ProHaba are also available.

The privately owned Kutaraja TV and Aceh TV are the local TV stations based in Banda Aceh. The public TVRI Aceh is also covered the city, though its studios are located in nearby Aceh Besar.

Sister cities

Related Research Articles

Aceh Province of Indonesia

Aceh, formerly Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, is the northernmost and westernmost province-level division of Indonesia. It is located at the tip 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 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. Due to strict religious practices including public flogging, despite among Indonesia's highest birthrates, population outflow is common, particularly out of Banda Aceh itself.

Aceh War Military conflict between the Sultanate of Aceh and the Kingdom of the Netherlands

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.

Aceh Besar Regency Regency in Sumatra, Indonesia

Great Aceh Regency is a regency of the Indonesian province of Aceh. The regency covers an area of 2,903.49 square kilometres and had a population of 351,418 at the 2010 Census and 405,535 at the 2020 Census. The Regency is located at the northwest tip of Sumatra island and surrounds the provincial capital of Banda Aceh. It includes a number of islands off the northern tip of Sumatra, which comprise Pulo Aceh District within the regency. The seat of the Regency government is the town of Jantho.

Aceh Sultanate Historic sultanate state based on the northern island of Sumatra

The Sultanate of Aceh, officially the Kingdom of Aceh Darussalam, was a Sultanate centered in the modern-day Indonesian province of Aceh. It was a major regional power in the 16th and 17th centuries, before experiencing a long period of decline. Its capital was Kutaraja, the present-day Banda Aceh.

Lhokseumawe City in Sumatra, Indonesia

Lhokseumawe, is the second largest city in Aceh Special District, in the north of Sumatra, Indonesia. The city covers an area of 181.06 square kilometres, and had a population of 171,163 at the 2010 Census and 188,713 at the 2020 Census. Being between Banda Aceh and the large southern city of Medan, the town is a key regional centre important for the economy of Aceh.

Alauddin al-Kahar

Sultan in Ri'ayat Syah al-Kahar was the third sultan of Aceh, and was one of the strongest warrior rulers in the history of the sultanate. In his time the power structures that his father had begun were greatly strengthened. His age was marked by warfare with the Portuguese and Malay rivals, with varying degrees of success.

Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport

Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport, also called Banda Aceh International Airport is the airport located 13,5 kilometres southeast of the capital of Aceh province, Banda Aceh. It is named after the twelfth sultan of Aceh, Iskandar Muda. This airport was formerly called Blangbintang Airport, referred to its location in a district with same name. This airport is listed as the 23rd busiest airport in Indonesia.

Iskandar Muda Sultan of Aceh

Iskandar Muda was the twelfth Sulṭān of Acèh Darussalam, under whom the sultanate achieved its greatest territorial extent, and was the strongest power and wealthiest state in the western Indonesian archipelago and the Strait of Malacca. "Iskandar Muda" literally means "young Alexander," and his conquests were often compared to those of Alexander the Great. In addition to his notable conquests, during his reign, Aceh became known as an international centre of Islamic learning and trade. He was the last Sultan of Aceh from male descendant of Ali Mughayat Syah as the founder and the first Sultan of Aceh Sultanate. Iskandar Muda's death meant that the founding dynasty of Aceh Sultanate, the House of Meukuta Alam died out and was replaced by other dynasty.

Sulṭāna Taj ul-Alam Safiatuddin Syah was the fourteenth ruler of Aceh. She was the daughter of the sultan Iskandar Muda and the wife of his successor, Iskandar Thani. She became sulṭāna upon the death of her husband and ruled from 1641 to 1675, being the first of four women to hold the position in succession.

Sultanate of Deli

Sultanate of Deli was a 1,820 km² Malay state in east Sumatra founded in 1630. A tributary kingdom from 1630 it was controlled by various Sultanates until 1814, when it became an independent sultanate and broke away from the Sultanate of Siak.

Baiturrahman Grand Mosque Mosque in Indonesia

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.

Gunongan Historical Park

Gunongan Historical Park is located in the Aceh Province of Sumatra, Indonesia. Possibly built by Iskandar Muda, the grounds of the historical park contain a 17th Century palace, garden, and white circular structure whose purpose is unknown, the Gunongan, after which the park has been named.

Ulèë Lheuë is an area in Meuraxa sub-district, Banda Aceh, Indonesia. It was the former main seaport of Aceh. The town and seaport was heavily damaged and depopulated during the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

Teuku Nyak Arif

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.

Aceh Museum Ethnographic museum in Jalan Sultan Alaiddin Mahmudsyah, Banda Aceh

Aceh State Museum, popularly known as Aceh Museum or Banda Aceh Museum is a museum in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. It is one of the oldest museum in Indonesia.

Baiturrahim Mosque Mosque in Indonesia

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.

Teuku Iskandar is an Indonesian scholar, literary critic and lexicographer.

Gouvernment of Atjeh and Dependencies

The Gouvernment of Atjeh and Dependencies was an administrative subdivision (governorate) of the Dutch East Indies located in northern Sumatra in the region of present-day Aceh, Indonesia which existed from the late nineteenth century to 1938. The capital of the governorate was at Koetaradja. In 1938, due to a reorganization of the government structure of the Indies, it no longer had a governor and became a Residency instead, called the Atjeh and Dependencies Residency.


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  15. Weather and climate in Banda Aceh Record low, Record high (1980-2018)
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