West Java

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West Java
Jawa Barat
Province of West Java
Flag of West Java (vectorised).svg
Coat of arms of West Java.svg
Pasundan (Sundanese)
Sundanese homeland
Gemah Ripah Répéh Rapih (Sundanese)
Prosperous, Serene, Peaceful, Harmonious
West Java in Indonesia.svg
  West Java in    Indonesia
West Java
Coordinates: 6°45′S107°30′E / 6.750°S 107.500°E / -6.750; 107.500 Coordinates: 6°45′S107°30′E / 6.750°S 107.500°E / -6.750; 107.500
Established19 August 1945
Re-established14 July 1950
Capital Bandung
Largest city Bekasi
  BodyWest Java Provincial Government
  Governor Ridwan Kamil
  Deputy Governor Uu Ruzhanul Ulum
  Legislative West Java Regional People's Representative Council
  Total35,377.76 km2 (13,659.43 sq mi)
  Rank21st in Indonesia
Highest elevation3,078 m (10,098 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 (mid 2021 estimate) [2]
  Rank1st in Indonesia
  Density1,379/km2 (3,570/sq mi)
   Rank2nd in Indonesia
   Ethnic groups
Time zone UTC+7 (Indonesia Western Time)
ISO 3166 code ID-JB
HDI (2021) [4] Increase2.svg 0.725 (High)
HDI rank 10th in Indonesia (2021)
GRP NominalIncrease2.svg$150.30 billion [5]
GDP PPP (2019)Increase2.svg$493.97 billion [5]
GDP rank 3rd in Indonesia (2019)
Nominal per capita US$ 3,048 (2019) [5]
PPP per capita US$ 10,017 (2019) [5]
Per capita rank 21st in Indonesia (2019)
Website jabarprov.go.id

West Java (Indonesian : Jawa Barat, Sundanese : ᮏᮝ ᮊᮥᮜᮧᮔ᮪, romanized Jawa Kulon) is a province of Indonesia on the western part of the island of Java, with its provincial capital in Bandung. West Java is bordered by the province of Banten and the country's capital region of Jakarta to the west, the Java Sea to the north, the province of Central Java to the east and the Indian Ocean to the south. With Banten, this province is the native homeland of the Sundanese people, the second-largest ethnic group in Indonesia.


West Java was one of the first eight provinces of Indonesia formed following the country's independence proclamation and was later legally re-established on 14 July 1950. In 1966, the city of Jakarta was split off from West Java as a 'special capital region' (Daerah Khusus Ibukota), with a status equivalent to that of a province, [6] while in 2000 the western parts of the province were in turn split away to form a separate Banten province.

Even following these split-offs, West Java is the most populous province of Indonesia with a population of 48,274,160 as of the 2020 Census, [7] which grew to 48,782,402 at mid 2021 according to the official estimates. [8] The province's largest cities, Bekasi (a satellite city within the Jakarta metropolitan area) and Bandung, are the third and fourth most populous cities in Indonesia respectively. Bandung is also one of the most densely populated cities proper in the world. [9]


Rice fields terrace in Priangan highland, West Java, Dutch East Indies. In/before 1926. COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Sawahlandschap bij Priangan Java TMnr 60012818.jpg
Rice fields terrace in Priangan highland, West Java, Dutch East Indies. In/before 1926.
Parahyangan highland near Buitenzorg (Bogor), c. 1865-1872 COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM De weg van Buitenzorg naar de Preanger Regentschappen TMnr 3728-429c.jpg
Parahyangan highland near Buitenzorg (Bogor), c. 1865–1872

The oldest human inhabitant archaeological findings in the region were unearthed in Anyer (the western coast of Java) with evidence of bronze and iron metallurgical culture dating to the first millennium AD. [10] The prehistoric Buni culture (near present-day Bekasi) clay pottery were later developed with evidence found in Anyer to Cirebon. Artefacts (dated from 400 BC — AD 100), such as food and drink containers, were found mostly as burial gifts. [10] There is also archaeological evidence in Batujaya Archaeological Site dating from the 2nd century[ citation needed ] and, according to Dr Tony Djubiantono, the head of Bandung Archaeology Agency, Jiwa Temple in Batujaya, Karawang, West Java was also built around this time.[ citation needed ]

One of the earliest known[ clarification needed ] recorded histories in Indonesia is from the former Tarumanagara kingdom, where seven fourth-century stones are inscribed in Wengi letters (used in the Pallava period) and in Sanskrit describing the kings of the kingdom Tarumanagara. [10] Records of Tarumanegara's administration lasted until the sixth century, which coincides with the attack of Srivijaya, as stated in the Kota Kapur inscription (AD 686).

The Sunda Kingdom subsequently became the ruling power of the region, as recorded on the Kebon Kopi II inscription (AD 932). [10]

An Ulama, Sunan Gunung Jati, settled in Cirebon, intending to spread the word of Islam in the pagan town. Meanwhile, the Sultanate of Demak in central Java grew to an immediate threat against the Sunda kingdom. To defend against the threat, Prabu Surawisesa Jayaperkosa signed a treaty (known as the Luso-Sundanese Treaty) with the Portuguese in 1512. In return, the Portuguese were granted an accession to build fortresses and warehouses in the area, as well as forming trading agreements with the kingdom. This first international treaty of Sunda Kingdom with the Europeans was commemorated by the placement of the Padrao stone monument at the bank of the Ciliwung River in 1522.

Although the treaty with the Portuguese had been established, it could not come to realisation. Sunda Kalapa harbour fell under the alliance of the Sultanates of Demak and Cirebon (former vassal state of Sunda kingdom) in 1524 after their troops under Paletehan alias Fadillah Khan had conquered the city. In 1524–1525, their troops under Sunan Gunung Jati also seized the port of Banten and established the Sultanate of Banten which was affiliating with Demak. The war between the Sunda kingdom with Demak and Cirebon sultanates continued for five years until a peace treaty was made in 1531 between King Surawisesa and Sunan Gunung Jati. From 1567 to 1579, under the last king Raja Mulya, alias Prabu Surya Kencana, the Sunda kingdom declined, essentially under pressure from Sultanate of Banten. After 1576, the kingdom could not maintain its capital at Pakuan Pajajaran (present-day Bogor), and gradually the Sultanate of Banten took over the former Sunda kingdom's region. The Mataram Sultanate from central Java also seized the Priangan region, the southeastern part of the kingdom.

In the 16th century, the Dutch and the British trading companies established their trading ships in western Java after the fall of Sultanate of Banten. For the next three hundred years, western Java fell under the Dutch East Indies' administration. West Java was officially declared as a province of Indonesia in 1950, referring to a statement from Staatblad number 378. On 17 October 2000, as part of nationwide political decentralisation, Banten was separated from West Java and made into a new province. There have been recent proposals to rename the province Pasundan ("Land of the Sundanese") after the historical name for West Java. [11]

Administrative divisions

2nd-level Administrative map of West Java Province West Java Province.png
2nd-level Administrative map of West Java Province

Since the creation of West Java Province, [12] the province of West Java was subdivided into four cities (Indonesian : Kota) and sixteen regencies (Indonesian: Kabupaten), excluding the four regencies which were separated off in 2000 to form the new Banten Province. Subsequently five new independent cities were created between 1996 and 2002 by separation from their surrounding regencies - Bekasi on 16 December 1996, Depok on 27 April 1999, Cimahi and Tasikmalaya on 21 June 2001, and Banjar on 11 December 2002. A 17th regency was formed on 2 January 2007 – West Bandung Regency – from the western half of Bandung Regency, and an 18th regency was formed in October 2012 – Pangandaran Regency – from the southern half of Ciamis Regency.

These 9 cities and 18 regencies are divided into 620 districts (Indonesian: Kecamatan), which comprise 1,576 urban villages (Indonesian: Kelurahan) and 4,301 rural villages (Indonesian: Desa). [12] On 25 October 2013, the People's Representative Council (DPR) began reviewing draft laws on the establishment of 57 prospective new regencies (and eight new provinces), [13] including a further three regencies in West Java – South Garut (Garut Selatan), North Sukabumi (Sukabumi Utara) and West Bogor (Bogor Barat) – but none of these three prospective regencies are shown separately on the map below, nor in the following table.

Cities and Regencies of West Java
  1. Bekasi
  2. Depok
  3. Bogor
  4. Sukabumi
  5. Cimahi
  6. Bandung
  7. Tasikmalaya
  8. Banjar
  9. Cirebon
Map of West Java with cities and regencies names.png
LogoName Seat Area
in km2
mid 2021
2021 (/Km²)
Coat of arms of Bekasi.png Bekasi City206.611,993,4782,334,8712,543,6802,564,94112,414
Logo Kabupaten Bekasi.jpg Bekasi Regency Central Cikarang 1,224.881,983,8152,630,4013,113,0173,157,9622,578
Lambang Kota Depok.png Depok City200.291,374,9031,738,5702,056,3402,085,94110,415
Emblem of Bogor.svg Bogor City118.50891,467950,3341,043,0701,052,3598,881
Lambang Kabupaten Bogor.svg Bogor Regency Cibinong 2,710.623,829,0534,771,9325,427,0705,489,5362,025
Sukabumi coat of arms.png Sukabumi City48.25291,277298,681346,330350,8047,271
Lambang Kab Sukabumi.svg Sukabumi Regency Palabuhanratu 4,145.702,168,8922,341,4092,725,4502,761,476666
Lambang Kabupaten Cianjur.svg Cianjur Regency Cianjur 3,840.162,079,7702,171,2812,477,5602,506,682653
Kab Bandung Barat.svg West Bandung Regency
(Bandung Barat)
Ngamprah 1,305.77(a)1,510,2841,788,3401,814,2261,389
Kota Cimahi.svg Cimahi City39.27546,879541,177568,400571,63214,556
Lambang Kota Bandung.svg Bandung City167.272,288,5702,394,8732,444,1602,452,94314,665
Lambang Kabupaten Bandung, Jawa Barat, Indonesia.svg Bandung Regency Soreang 1,767.964,037,2743,178,5433,623,7903,666,1562,074
Lambang Kabupaten Garut.svg Garut Regency South Tarogong 3,074.072,196,4222,404,1212,585,6102,604,787847
Lambang Kota Tasikmalaya.jpeg Tasikmalaya City171.61582,423635,464716,160723,9214,218
Tasikmalaya Regency Seal.png Tasikmalaya Regency Singaparna 2,551.191,619,0521,675,6751,865,2001,883,733738
Lambang Kabupaten Pangandaran.jpg Pangandaran Regency Parigi 1,010.92(b)379,520423,670427,614423
Logo kota banjar.jpg Banjar City 113.49162,383175,157200,970203,4171,792
LAMBANG KABUPATEN CIAMIS.svg Ciamis Regency Ciamis 1,597.671,511,9421,152,9901,229,0701,237,726775
Logo Kabupaten kuningan.jpg Kuningan Regency Kuningan 1,110.561,045,6911,035,5891,167,6901,180,3911,063
Seal of the City of Cirebon.svg Cirebon City37.36308,771296,389333,300336,8649,017
Lambang Kabupaten Cirebon.gif Cirebon Regency Sumber 984.522,044,2572,067,1962,270,6202,290,9672,327
Lambang Kabupaten Majalengka.jpeg Majalengka Regency Majalengka 1,204.241,167,5661,166,4731,305,4801,318,9651,095
Lambang Kabupaten Sumedang.png Sumedang Regency North Sumedang 1,518.331,014,0191,093,6021,152,5101,159,346764
Lambang Kabupaten Indramayu.png Indramayu Regency Indramayu 2,040.111,689,2471,663,7371,834,4301,851,383908
Lambang Kabupaten Subang.jpeg Subang Regency Subang 1,893.951,380,0471,465,1571,595,3201,608,594849
Lambang Kabupaten Purwakarta.jpg Purwakarta Regency Purwakarta 825.74753,306852,521997,8701,011,4661,225
Reynan-Karawang-emblem.jpg Karawang Regency West Karawang 1,652.201,926,4712,127,7912,439,0902,468,5761,494

Notes: (a) the 2005 population is included in the total for Bandung Regency, of which West Bandung Regency was formerly part. (b) the 2005 population total for Ciamis Regency include the figure for the new Pangandaran Regency, created in 2012.


View of the mount and the crater of Tangkuban Parahu, Bandung Tangkuban Parahu.jpg
View of the mount and the crater of Tangkuban Parahu, Bandung
Tea plantations in Malabar, southern Bandung. Tea plantations are common sight across mountainous West Java Malabar Tea Plantation Bandung South.jpg
Tea plantations in Malabar, southern Bandung. Tea plantations are common sight across mountainous West Java

West Java borders Jakarta and Banten province to the west and Central Java to the east. To the north is the Java Sea. To the south is the Indian Ocean. Unlike most other provinces in Indonesia which have their capitals in coastal areas, the provincial capital, Bandung, is located in the mountainous area in the centre of the province. Banten Province was formerly part of West Java but was created a separate province in 2000. West Java, in the densely populated western third of Java, is home to almost one out of every five Indonesians.

West Java and Banten provinces, as a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, have more mountains and volcanoes than any of the other provinces in Indonesia. The vast volcanic mountainous region of inland West Java is traditionally known as Parahyangan (also known as Priangan or Preanger) which means "The abode of hyangs (gods)". It is considered as the heartland of the Sundanese people. The highest point of West Java is the stratovolcano Mount Cereme (3,078 meters) bordering Kuningan and Majalengka Regencies. West Java has rich and fertile volcanic soil. Agriculture, mostly traditional dry rice cultivation (known as ladang or huma), has become the primary way of life of traditional Sundanese people. Since the era of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), West Java has been known as a productive plantation area for coffee, tea, quinine, and many other cash crops. The mountainous region of West Java is also a major producer of vegetables and decorative flowering plants. The landscape of the province is one of volcanic mountains, rugged terrain, forest, mountains, rivers, fertile agricultural land, and natural sea harbours. [14]

Flowing through Bandung Basin to the northeast is Citarum River, the longest and most important river in the province. This 300-km long river is the site of three dams, namely Cirata Dam, Saguling Dam, and Jatiluhur Dam.


Initially, the economy of the Sundanese people in West Java relied heavily on rice cultivation. Ancient kingdoms established in the province such as the Tarumanagara and Sunda Kingdom are known to have relied on rice taxes and agriculture revenues. The cycle of life of the ancient Sundanese people revolved around the rice crop cycle. Traditional rice harvest festivals such as the Seren Taun were important. The ancient goddess of rice, Nyai Pohaci Sanghyang Asri, is revered in Sundanese culture. Traditionally, Sundanese people often used dry rice cultivation (ladang). After the Mataram expanded to the Priangan area in the early 17th century following the Sultan Agung campaign against Dutch Batavia, sawah (wet rice cultivation) began to be adopted in the northern lowlands of West Java. Regencies such as Indramayu, Cirebon, Subang, Karawang and Bekasi are now well known as vital rice-producing areas. The mountainous region of West Java supplies vegetables, flower and much horticultural produce to Jakarta and Bandung, while animal farms in West Java produce dairy products and meats.

Colonial period

During the entire Dutch colonial era, West Java fell under Dutch administration centred in Batavia. The Dutch colonial government introduced cash crops such as tea, coffee, and quinine. Since the 18th century, West Java (known as "De Preanger") was known as a productive plantation area and became integrated with global trade and economy. Services such as transportation and banking were provided to cater for wealthy Dutch plantation owners. West Java is known as one of the earliest developed regions in the Indonesian archipelago. In the early 20th century, the Dutch colonial government developed infrastructures for economic purposes, especially to support Dutch plantations in the region. Roads and railways were constructed to connect inland plantations area with urban centres such as Bandung and the port of Batavia.[ citation needed ]

Post independence

After Indonesian independence in 1945, West Java became a supporting region for Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. Jakarta remained as the business and political centre of Indonesia. Several regencies and cities in West Java such as Bogor, Bekasi and Depok were developed as supporting areas for Jakarta and came to form the Greater Jakarta area or Jabodetabek (Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi). The northern area of West Java has become a major industrial area, with areas such as Bekasi, Cikarang and Karawang sprawling with factories and industries. The area in and around Bandung has also developed as an industrial area.[ citation needed ]

Natural resources

Rancabali, Bandung Regency Rancabali bandung.jpg
Rancabali, Bandung Regency

Based on the data from Indonesia State Secretary, the total area of rice fields in West Java Province in 2006 was 9,488,623 km which produced 9,418,882 tons of paddy in 2006, consisting of 9,103,800 tons rice field paddy and 315,082 tons farmland paddy. Palawija (non-rice food) production, reached 2,044,674 tons with productivity 179.28 quintal per ha. Nevertheless, the widest plant's width is for corn commodity which reaches 148,505 ha. West Java also produces horticulture consists of 2,938,624 tons vegetables, 3,193,744 tons fruits, and 159,871 tons medicines plants/ bio pharmacology.

Forest in West Java covers 764,387.59 ha or 20.62% from the total size of the province. It consists of productive forest 362,980.40 ha (9.79%), protected forest 228,727.11 ha (6.17%), and conservation forest 172,680 ha (4.63%). Mangrove forest reaches 40,129.89 ha, and spread in 10 regencies where coasts are available. Besides, there is also another protected forest of about 32,313.59 ha organised by Perum Perhutani Unit III West Java and Banten.

From the productive forest, in 2006 West Java harvested crop of about 200,675 m³ wood, although the need for wood in this province every year is about 4 million m³. Until 2006, populace forest's width 214,892 ha with wood production is about 893,851.75 m³. West Java also produces non-forest's crop which is potential enough to be developed as forestry work, such as silk, mushroom, pine, dammar, maleleuca, rattan, bamboo, and swallow bird's nest.

In the fishery sector, commodities include goldfish, nila fish, milkfish, freshwater catfish, windu shrimp, green mussel, gouramy, patin, seaweed and vaname shrimp. In 2006, this province harvested 560,000 tons of fish from fishery cultivation crop and brackish or 63.63% from fishery production total in West Java.

In the poultry field, dairy cow, domestic poultry, and ducks are common commodities in West Java. 2006 data stated that there are 96,796 dairy cows (25% of the national population), 4,249,670 sheep, 28,652,493 domestic poultries, and 5,596,882 ducks (16% of the national population). Now there are only 245,994 beef cattle in West Java (3% national population), whereas the need every year is about 300,000 beef cattle.

This province has many plantation crops, such as tea, cloves, coconut, rubber, cacao, tobacco, coffee, sugar, palm and akar wangi (Chrysopogon zizanioides). From all those commodities, cloves, coconut, rubber, cocoa, tobacco, and coffee are common in West Java.[ citation needed ] From area side, the best productivity, that is plan area's width equals with the plant's width that produces tobacco and sugar palm commodities. From the production side, the highest productivity is oil palm (6.5 tons per ha) and sugar palm (5.5 tons per ha).

West Java also has several mining operations. In 2006, it contributed 5,284 tons zeolite, 47,978 tons bentonite, iron sand, pozzolan cement, feldspar, and jewel barn/ gemstone. Precious stone mining potential generally is found in Garut, Tasikmalaya, Kuningan, and Sukabumi Regency areas.

As consequences of having many volcanoes, West Java has the potential of geothermal energy. There are eleven points of geothermal energy, and three, i.e. Papandayan, Ceremai, and Gede Pangrango have conducted pre-exploration. [15]

Raw natural resources include chalk, several offshore oilfields in the Java Sea, and lumber. Most of the province is very fertile, with a mix of small farms and larger plantations. There are several hydropower dams, including Jatiluhur, Saguling, Cirata, and Jatigede.


Kawah Putih Kawah Putih from the bottom, Bandung Regency, 2014-08-21.jpg
Kawah Putih

Tourism is an important industry in West Java, and the Bandung and Puncak areas have long been known as popular weekend destinations for Jakartans. Today, Bandung has developed into a shopping destination, popular not only among locals, but also with neighbouring Malaysian and Singaporean visitors. [16] The history-rich coastal city of Cirebon is also a cultural tourism destination since the city has several kratons and historical sites such as Gua Sunyaragi. Other tourist destinations include the Bogor Botanical Garden, Safari Park of Indonesia, Tangkuban Perahu crater, Pelabuhanratu Bay, Ciater hot springs, Kawah Putih crater to the south of Bandung, Pangandaran beach, and various mountain resorts in Cianjur, Garut, Tasikmalaya, and Kuningan.


Historical population
1971 21,623,529    
1980 27,453,525+27.0%
1990 35,384,352+28.9%
1995 39,206,787+10.8%
2000 35,729,537−8.9%
2010 43,053,732+20.5%
2020 48,274,160+12.1%
2021 48,782,402+1.1%
2000 Census decline due to the splitting off of Banten as a separate province. Source: Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2021.

The population of West Java was 43,053,732 at the 2010 Census and 48,274,160 at the 2020 Census, making it the most populous province of Indonesia, home to 18% of the national total on 1.8% of the country's land. [17] Aside from the special district of Jakarta, it is the most densely populated province in the country with an average of 1,364.5 people per km2 (2020 Census). The average annual population growth rate recorded in the ten years to 2010 was 1.9%, [18]

Ethnic and linguistic composition

Ethnic Groups in West Java [3]

   Sundanese (71.87%)
   Javanese (13.29%)
   Betawi (6.2%)
   Cirebonese (4.22%)
   Batak (1.09%)
   Minang (0.63%)
   Chinese (0.59%)
   Malay (0.44%)
  Others (1.67%)

West Java is the native homeland of Sundanese people which forms the largest ethnic group in West Java. Since Jakarta and the surrounding area, including West Java, is the business and political centre of Indonesia, the province has attracted various people from other parts of Indonesia. The biggest minority is Javanese who migrated to the province centuries ago. Other Native Indonesian ethnic groups such as Minangkabau, Batak, Malay, Madurese, Balinese, Ambonese and many other Indonesians who migrated to and settled in West Java cities can also be easily found. The urban areas also have a significant population of Chinese Indonesians.

In addition to Indonesian, the official national language, the other widely spoken language in the province is Sundanese. In some areas near the southern borders with Central Java, Javanese is also spoken. The main language spoken in Cirebon and nearby areas (Majalengka, Indramayu, Sumber) is Cirebonese, a dialect of Javanese with Sundanese influence. [19]

Indonesian is widely spoken as a second language.


Religion in West Java (2020)

   Islam (97.22%)
   Protestantism (1.84%)
   Roman Catholic (0.65%)
   Buddhism (0.22%)
   Hinduism (0.04%)
   Confucianism (0.03%)
   Folk religion (0.01%)


The Sundanese share the Java island with the Javanese and primarily live in West Java. Although the Sundanese live on the same island as the Javanese, their culture is distinct and likewise consider themselves to live in a separate cultural area called Pasundan or Tatar Sunda. Someone moving from West Java to Central or East Java is literally said to be moving from Sunda to Java worlds. Bandung is considered as the cultural heartland of Sundanese people, and many indigenous Sundanese artforms were developed in this city. The nearby province of Banten is similar in this regard and is also considered to be part of Pasundan as well.


Gamelan orchestra

Gamelan Degung Orchestra Gamelandegung.jpg
Gamelan Degung Orchestra

The musical arts of Sunda, which is an expression of the emotions of Sundanese culture, express politeness and grace of Sundanese. Degung orchestra consists of Sundanese gamelan.

In addition to the Sundanese forms of Gamelan in Parahyangan, the region of Cirebon retains its own distinct musical traditions. Amongst Cirebons' varying Gamelan ensembles the two most frequently heard are Gamelan Pelog (a non-equidistant heptatonic tuning system) and Gamelan Prawa (a semi-equidistant pentatonic tuning system). Gamelan Pelog is traditionally reserved for Tayuban, Wayang Cepak, and listening and dance music of the Kratons in Cirebon, while Gamelan Prawa is traditionally reserved for Wayang Purwa.

Cirebon also retains specialised Gamelan ensembles including Sekaten, which is played in the Kratons to mark important times in the Islamic calendar, Denggung, also a Kraton ensemble, which is believed to have some "supernatural powers", and Renteng, an ensemble found in both Cirebon and Parahyangan known for its loud and energetic playing style.

Zither ensembles

SambaSunda performance in Cologne 2010 SambaSunda Quintett in Cologne (0233).jpg
SambaSunda performance in Cologne 2010

Tembang Sunda is a genre of Sundanese vocal music accompanied by a core ensemble of two Kacapi (zither) and a Suling (bamboo flute). The music and poetry of tembang Sunda are closely associated with the Parahyangan, the highland plateau that transverses the central and southern parts of Sunda. The natural environment of Priangan, an agricultural region surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, is reflected in some songs of the tembang Sunda. [20]

Kacapi suling is tembang Sunda minus vocal.

Tarawangsa is a genuine popular art is performed on ensemble consists of tarawangsa (a violin with an end pin) and the jentreng (a kind of seven-stringed zither). It is accompanied by a secret dance called Jentreng. The dance is a part of a ritual celebrating the goddess of paddy Dewi Sri. Its ceremonial significance is associated with a ritual of thanksgiving associated with the rice harvest. Tarawangsa can also be played for healing or even purely for entertainment.

Bamboo ensembles

Angklung as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Angklung-arumba.jpg
Angklung as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

The three main types of Sundanese bamboo ensembles are angklung, calung, karinding and arumba. The exact features of each ensemble vary according to context, related instruments, and relative popularity.

Angklung is a generic term for sets of tuned, shaken bamboo rattles. Angklung consists of a frame upon which hang several different lengths of hollow bamboo. Angklungs are played like handbells, with each instrument played to a different note. Angklung rattles are played in interlocking patterns, usually with only one or two instruments played per person. The ensemble is used in Sundanese processions, sometimes with trance or acrobatics. Performed at life-cycle rituals and feasts (hajat), angklung is believed to maintain balance and harmony in the village. In its most modern incarnation, angklung is performed in schools as an aid to learning music.

The Angklung received international attention when Daeng Soetigna, from Bandung, expanded the angklung notations not only to play traditional pélog or sléndro scales but also diatonic scale in 1938. Since then, angklung is often played together with other Western musical instruments in an orchestra. One of the first well-known performances of angklung in an orchestra was during the Bandung Conference in 1955.

Like those in angklung, the instruments of the calung ensemble are of bamboo, but each consists of several differently tuned tubes fixed onto a piece of bamboo; the player holds the instrument in his left hand and strikes it with a beater held in his right. The highest-pitched calung has the highest number of tubes and the densest musical activity; the lowest-pitched, with two tubes, has the least. Calung is nearly always associated with earthy humour, and is played by men.

Arumba refers to a set of diatonically tuned bamboo xylophones, often played by women. It is frequently joined by modern instruments, including a drum set, electric guitar, bass, and keyboards.


Wayang Golek, a traditional Sundanese puppetry. Dalang.jpg
Wayang Golek, a traditional Sundanese puppetry.

Wayang golek is a traditional form of puppetry from Sunda. Unlike the better-known leather shadow puppets ( wayang kulit ) found in the rest of Java and Bali, wayang golek puppets are made from wood and are three-dimensional, rather than two. They use a banana palm in which the puppets stand, behind which one puppeteer (dalang) is accompanied by his gamelan orchestra with up to 20 musicians. The gamelan uses a five-note scale as opposed to the seven-note western scale. The musicians are guided by the drummer, who in turn is guided by signals from the puppet master dalang gives to change the mood or pace required. Wayang golek are used by the Sundanese to tell the epic play "Mahabarata", and various other morality-type plays.

Sandiwara Sunda is a type folk teather performed in Sundanese and presenting Sundanese themes, folklores and stories.


Jaipongan dance performance accompanied by Sundanese degung mixed with modern instruments. Jaipongan Bunga Tanjung 01.jpg
Jaipongan dance performance accompanied by Sundanese degung mixed with modern instruments.

Sundanese dance shows the influence of the many groups that have traded and settled in the area over the centuries, and includes variations from graceful to dynamic syncopated drumming patterns, quick wrist flicks, sensual hip movements, and fast shoulder and torso isolations. Jaipongan is probably the most popular traditional social dance of Sundanese people. It can be performed in solo, grups, or pair. The Tari Merak (Peafowl Dance) is a female dance inspired by the movements of a peafowl and its feathers blended with the classical movements of the Sundanese dance.

Folktales and legend stories

A painting depicting Nyai Loro Kidul Kanjeng Ratu Kidul.jpg
A painting depicting Nyai Loro Kidul

There are stories and folktales transcribed from Pantun Sunda stories. [21] Among the most well-known folktale and stories are:


Old Sundanese literature, among others, are:

Human Development Index

Cities and regencies of West Java by Human Development Index in 2020
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0.801 above
0.751 to 0.800
0.701 to 0.750
0.651 to 0.700 West Java cities regencies HDI 2021.svg
Cities and regencies of West Java by Human Development Index in 2020
  0.801 above
  0.751 to 0.800
  0.701 to 0.750
  0.651 to 0.700

Cities and Regencies in West Java range high to medium Human Development Index (HDI).

#  City / RegencyHDI (2021 data) [25]
Very high human development
1 Bandung City0.819
2 Bekasi City0.819
3 Depok City0.813
High human development
4 Cimahi City0.780
5 Bogor City0.765
6 Cirebon City0.752
7 Sukabumi City0.746
8 Bekasi Regency 0.744
9 Tasikmalaya City0.733
10 Bandung Regency 0.727
- Flag of West Java (vectorised).svg West Java0.724
- Flag of Indonesia.svg Indonesia0.722
11 Banjar City0.719
12 Sumedang Regency 0.718
13 Purwakarta Regency 0.709
14 Karawang Regency 0.709
15 Ciamis Regency 0.709
16 Bogor Regency 0.706
Medium human development
17 Kuningan Regency 0.697
18 Subang Regency 0.691
19 Cirebon Regency 0.691
20 West Bandung Regency 0.682
21 Pangandaran Regency 0.682
22 Majalengka Regency 0.678
23 Indramayu Regency 0.676
24 Sukabumi Regency 0.670
25 Garut Regency 0.664
26 Tasikmalaya Regency 0.659
27 Cianjur Regency 0.655


Toll roads

Jagorawi Toll Road. Rambuppj.jpg
Jagorawi Toll Road.

Due to its proximity to Jakarta and its growing population and industry, West Java has the longest tolled highway road of any provinces. As of April 2015, there are several toll roads in West Java

In addition to completed highways there are some highways that are being built, one of them is Cileunyi–Sumedang–Dawuan (Cisumdawu) with length 60.1 kilometres.

Several other proposed toll roads are Bandung Intra-Urban Toll Road, Cileunyi–Tasikmalaya, and Jakarta Outer Ring Road 2 (a section of this road has been built).


Most cities and towns in West Java are served with narrow-gauge (mainly 1067mm) lines and connected to other provinces on Java Island. Jakarta's KRL Commuterline electric suburban trains run into the province to Bogor and Cikarang.

A high-speed railway, connecting Jakarta and Bandung, is now under construction. [26]


Bandung Husein Sastranegara International Airport serves direct domestic flights to Batam, Pekanbaru, Medan, Bandar Lampung, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Denpasar, Semarang, Banjarmasin, Makassar, and also international services to/from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The Kertajati International Airport in Majalengka Regency is built to replace the Husein Sastranegara Airport and to ease air traffic at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Jakarta. [27] [28] [29]


West hall of Bandung Institute of Technology ITB 1.jpg
West hall of Bandung Institute of Technology

West Java is one of the most popular destinations for higher education in Indonesia. It has many well-known universities joined by many students from the entire country. Some of which are:

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Java</span> Island in Indonesia

Java is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 148.76 million people, Java is the world's most populous island, home to approximately 55% of the Indonesian population.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Banten</span> Province of Indonesia in western Java

Banten is the westernmost province on the island of Java, Indonesia. Its capital city is Serang. The province borders West Java and the Special Capital Region of Jakarta on the east, the Java Sea on the north, the Indian Ocean on the south, and the Sunda Strait on the west. The province covers an area of 9,662.82 km2 (3,730.84 sq mi). It had a population of over 11.9 million in the 2020 census, up from about 10.6 million in 2010. The estimated mid-2021 population was 12.06 million. Formerly part of the province of West Java, Banten was declared a separate province in 2000. The region is the homeland of the Bantenese people, whose culture differs slightly from that of West Java's Sundanese people. The northern half has recently experienced rapid rises in population and urbanization, and the southern half has a more traditional character.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Central Java</span> Province of Indonesia

Central Java is a province of Indonesia, located in the middle of the island of Java. Its administrative capital is Semarang. It is bordered by West Java in the west, the Indian Ocean and the Special Region of Yogyakarta in the south, East Java in the east, and the Java Sea in the north. It has a total area of 32,800.69 km2, with a population of 36,516,035 at the 2020 Census making it the third-most populous province in both Java and Indonesia after West Java and East Java. The official estimate as at mid 2021 was 36,742,501. The province also includes the island of Nusakambangan in the south, and the Karimun Jawa Islands in the Java Sea.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Angklung</span> Indonesian musical instrument made of bamboo

The angklung is a musical instrument from the Sundanese people in Indonesia made of a varying number of bamboo tubes attached to a bamboo frame. The tubes are carved to have a resonant pitch when struck and are tuned to octaves, similar to Western handbells. The base of the frame is held in one hand, while the other hand shakes the instrument, causing a repeating note to sound. Each performer in an angklung ensemble is typically responsible for just one pitch, sounding their individual angklung at the appropriate times to produce complete melodies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cirebon</span> City in West Java, Indonesia

Cirebon is a port city on the northern coast of the Indonesian island of Java. It is the only coastal city of West Java, located about 40 km west of the provincial border with Central Java, approximately 297 km (185 mi) east of Jakarta, at 6°43′S108°34′E. It had a population of 296,389 at the 2010 census and 333,303 at the 2020 census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sundanese people</span> Ethnic group from Indonesia

The Sunda or Sundanese are an indigenous ethnic group native to the western region of Java island in Indonesia, primarily West Java. They number approximately 42 million and form Indonesia's second most populous ethnic group. They speak the Sundanese language, which is part of the Austronesian languages.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sukabumi</span> City in West Java, Indonesia

Sukabumi is a landlocked city surrounded by the regency of the same name (enclave) in the southern foothills of Mount Gede, in West Java, Indonesia, about 100 km (62 mi) south of the national capital, Jakarta.

<i>Wayang wong</i> Indonesian traditional theatre

Wayang wong, also known as wayang orang, is a type of classical Javanese and Balinese dance theatrical performance with themes taken from episodes of the Ramayāna or Mahabharāta. Performances are stylised, reflecting Javanese court culture:

Wayang wong dance drama in the central Javanese Kraton of Yogyakarta represents the epitome of Javanese aesthetic unity. It is total theatre involving dance, drama, music, visual arts, language, and literature. A highly cultured sense of formality permeates every aspect of its presentation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sukabumi Regency</span> Regency in West Java, Indonesia

Sukabumi Regency is a regency (kabupaten) in southwestern Java, as part of West Java province of Indonesia. The regency seat is located in Palabuhan Ratu, a coastal district facing the Indian Ocean. The regency fully encircles the administratively separated city of Sukabumi. Covering an area of 4,145.70 km2, the regency is the largest regency in West Java and the second largest regency on Java after the Banyuwangi Regency in East Java. The regency had a population of 2,341,409 at the 2010 census and 2,725,450 at the 2020 census; the official estimate as at mid 2021 was 2,761,476 with a large part of it living in the northeastern part of the regency that encircles Sukabumi City, south of Mount Gede. A plan to create a new regency, the North Sukabumi Regency is currently waiting for the approval of the central government.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cirebon Regency</span> Place in West Java, Indonesia

Cirebon Regency is a regency (kabupaten) of West Java, Indonesia. Sumber is its capital. It covers 1,070.29 km2 and had a population of 2,068,116 at the 2010 census and 2,270,621 at the 2020 census; the official estimate as at mid 2021 was 2,290,967. These area and population figures exclude those of Cirebon City, which is an independent administration, although totally surrounded by the regency on its landward side.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Serang</span> City and capital of Banten, Indonesia

Serang is a city and the capital of Banten province and was formerly also the administrative center of Serang Regency in Indonesia. The city is located towards the north of Banten province, on the island of Java. Before Banten province was formed in 2000 Serang was part of West Java province.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kingdoms of Sunda</span>

Kingdoms of Sunda refers to the monarchies of the Sundanese region prior to the establishment of Indonesia in 1945 AD. The history includes several eras:

  1. Salakanagara
  2. Tarumanagara
  3. The Sunda Kingdom and Galuh Kingdom
  4. Kingdom of Sumedang Larang, The Sultanate of Banten & The Sultanate of Cirebon
<span class="mw-page-title-main">Salakanagara</span>

The Salakanagara Kingdom is the first historically recorded Indianised kingdom in Western Java. The kingdom existed between 130-362 AD.
Claudius Ptolemaeus wrote about Java in his book, Geographie Hypogenesis. He mentions the name of Argyre Chora in Labadio. According to the historian, Labadio means Dwipa-Javaka, Dwipa-Javaka or Java Dwipa, which is the ancient name of Java Island. There was one kingdom which rule west coast Java in 160 AD, Salakanagara. Salakanagara means “Silver Nation”. It reinforces the theory that Ptolemaeus may have visited Java in 160 AD.
A relatively modern literature in the 17th century Pustaka Rajya Rajya i Bhumi Nusantara describes Salakanagara as being founded by an Indian merchant from Pallava Kingdom.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sunda Kingdom</span> Hindu kingdom on the island of Java from 669 to 1579

The Sunda Kingdom was a Sundanese Hindu kingdom located in the western portion of the island of Java from 669 to around 1579, covering the area of present-day Banten, Jakarta, West Java, and the western part of Central Java. The capital of the Sunda Kingdom moved several times during its history, shifting between the Galuh (Kawali) area in the east and Pakuan Pajajaran in the west.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pakuan Pajajaran</span> Historical city in Sunda Kingdom

Pakuan Pajajaran was the fortified capital city of Sunda Kingdom. The location is roughly corresponds to modern Bogor city in West Java, Indonesia, approximately around the site of Batu Tulis. The site is revered as the spiritual home of Sundanese people as it contains much of shared identity and history of Sundanese people.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Parahyangan</span> Cultural region in West Java, Indonesia

Parahyangan is a cultural and mountainous region in West Java province on the Indonesian island of Java. Covering a little less than one sixth of Java, it is the heartland of Sundanese people and their culture. It is bordered to the West by Banten province, to the North by the northern coast region of Subang, Cirebon and Indramayu, to the east by Central Java province, and to the south by the Indian Ocean.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sundanese dance</span> Sundanese traditional dance, Indonesia

Sundanese dances is a dance tradition that is a part of ritual, artistic expression as well as entertainment and social conduct among the Sundanese people of West Java and Banten, Indonesia. Sundanese dance is usually cheerful, dynamic and expressive, with flowing movements in-sync with the beat of kendang accompanied with Gamelan degung music ensemble.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sumedang Larang Kingdom</span>

Sumedang Larang is an Islamic Kingdom based in Sumedang, West Java. Its territory consisted of the Parahyangan region, before becoming a vassal state under the Mataram Sultanate.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">King Siliwangi</span> Sri Baduga Maharaja of the Sunda kingdom

King Siliwangi was the ruler of the Kingdom of Pajajaran in West Java from 1482 to 1521. He was a member of the Sunda royal family and was the son of King Jayabaya and Queen Tribuana Tungga Dewi. Siliwangi was a skilled military leader and under his rule, the Kingdom of Pajajaran became one of the most powerful empires in Southeast Asia. He was also a great patron of the arts and helped to promote the development of Javanese culture and art. King Siliwangi was a very popular ruler and was loved by his people. He was assassinated in 1521 by his own brother, Prince Jayeng Resmi.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Sunda Kingdom</span>

The history of Sunda Kingdom spanned almost a millennium, between 7th to 16th century. It is not sure however, whether the Sunda Kingdom was actually a continuous polity or not, nor whether its rulers belongs to a single continuous lineage of dynasty or not. This is because the scarcity of evidences, historical records and archaeological findings that plausibly connected to this kingdom.


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