Bogor City History PDF Print E-mail

History of Bogor City

bogor incription

Bogor is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, which was founded in the 16th century (in the year 1579). Before the Dutch and VOC occupation, Bogor was the center of the Kingdom of Pajajaran. But after the invasion of troops from Banten, the city was destroyed and for one century it was almost wiped out from history. By the time VOC occupied Banten and its vicinity, Bogor also fell under the control of VOC.

Parung Angsana which was named Kampung Baru (The New Village) was the origin of modern Bogor (Tanujiwa 1689-1705). In Kampung Baru, a kind of holiday residence was built by GJ. Baron Van Imhoff (1740), which is now known as the Bogor Palace.  In 1745, the city was given the name Buitenzorg, which meant "beyond worry". In 1904, Buitenzorg was formally appointed as capital and residence of the Governor General of the Dutch Indies, covering an area of 1,205 hectares, and comprising 2 sub-districts (Kecamatan) and 7 villages.
In 1924, through the decree of the Governor General of the Dutch Indies Number 289 of 1924, the villages of Bantar Jati and Tegalega were added to the district, an expansion of 951 hectares, which made the area of Buitenzorg to total 2,156 hectares. The area was designed to be inhabited by 30,000 people. In 1941, Buitenzorg was formally separated from Batavia, and was given autonomy.
The Indonesian Act Number 16 of 1950 established the City of Bogor as a big city and municipality, which was divided into 2 Kecamatans and 16 neigborhoods.

Bogor was part of the Siliwangi Kingdom (1482), ruled by Prabu Siliwangi ("prabu" means "king"). But long before that, in 450 A.D., it was part of Tarumanegara, the very first Hindu kingdom in the Java Island, and the second in Indonesia after the Kutai Kingdom in Kalimantan. The most popular king of Tarumanegara was Purnavarman (spelled in Bahasa Indonesia as "Purnawarman", with w instead of v), who ruled around the 5th century. It was during his reign the kingdom reached its golden era. The city was then, with the name Pakuan, the capital of Sunda Kingdom, whence came the founder of the Majapahit empire, Raden Wijaya. Bogor was later part of the Pajajaran Kingdom (1482), ruled by King Siliwangi.

Bogor now houses numerous stone inscriptions (prasasti) from both the Tarumanegara and the Sunda Kingdom. These inscriptions, scattered throughout the urban, suburban, and rural areas of Bogor, are written in Sanskrit using the Pallava writing system.

The most well-known inscriptions are:
Ciaruteun inscription
This is a large boulder found in a streambed upon which Purnavarman's footprints were engraved together with his Pallava handwriting. The set of footprints show to many that Purnavarman was a kind of divine being, or an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu. Indeed, the text on the stone compares his footprints to Vishnu's.
The boulder has now been removed to a protected location with metal fences surrounding it, just a few kilometres away from the river where it was discovered.
Kaki Gajah inscription
As its name implies, this brown flat stone bears a set of an elephant's footprints. The elephant is presumed to be the royal elephant Purnavarman rode on. The text compares it to the mythical elephant Airawata which belongs to another Hindu god Indra. This inscription was discovered not far from Prasasti Ciaruteun.
Batutulis inscription
This inscription is located in Batutulis area in the urban Bogor. It is now placed inside a house, across from former president Sukarno's house. It is actually a collection of four stones made by Prabu Surawisesa, one of king Siliwangi's son to honor his father. The first small stone, bearing Siliwangi's footprints, is placed in front of the second stone engraved with the impressions of his knees. The third one is a large, flat, upright brown stone carved with the king's Sanskrit handwriting. These three stones are arranged in such a way that they give the impression that the king was actually kneeling down when carving.
The last stone is a strange cylindrical rock that is set beside the rest of them. Many people say it was Siliwangi's staff, although it seems impossible since this rock is quite wide in diameter.

Rubber trees were brought to Buitenzorg's botanical gardens in 1883.

In 2004, Bogor and St. Louis, Missouri, USA became Sister Cities.


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