Bandjermasin or Bandjarmasin) is the capital of
It is located on a delta
island near the junction of the Barito
rivers. As a result, Banjarmasin
is sometimes called the "River City". Its population is about
627,245 ( ).
Banjarmasin is served by the Syamsudin Noor
Airport, located about 25 km outside the town.
The town is also served by a port, named Trisakti Harbour
. A fairly important
deepwater port, Pelabuhan Trisakti Banjarmasin is the trade center
of the Barito basin; exports include rubber
, and diamonds
Passenger ships and ferries to and from Java also carry their
Main economic sectors in order of their contribution to
Banjarmasin’s GDP (2005): transportation and communication (26.1%),
processing industries (24.9%) and trade and commerce (16.5%). Main
processing industries are: plywood
and rubber manufacturing.
Banjarmasin's waterfront of Martapura
The city is laced with flood-prone waterways, and many houses are
built on rafts or stilts over the water. Many of such waterways are
also used for travel, using relatively small rowboats (only major
rivers are accessible by larger speedboats, tugboats, longboats,
The large majority of the population is Muslim (96%). Other
religions include Protestants, Catholics, Hindus and Budhists. The
city is the home of the Roman Catholic Diocese of
was an ancient kingdom in
South Kalimantan, but soon it was replaced by Buddhist
kingdom of Tanjungpuri
. In the fourteenth century,
Banjarmasin was part of the Hindu
of Negara Dipa
and Negara Daha
respectfully, a vassal of Majapahit
. But Pangeran Samudera converted to
become a Muslim
in the fifteenth century.
Following this Banjarmasin was founded at the junction of the
Barito and Martapura Rivers on September 24, 1526. The Dutch opened trade there in 1606.
controlled the city for several brief periods, and in 1787 it
became a Dutch protectorate. Banjarmasin remained the region's capital
until the onset of the Banjarmasin War in 1860, when the Dutch
headquarters were moved to Martapura.
The Hikayat Banjar
is the chronicle
of Banjarmasin. This text, also called the History of Lambung
Mangkurat, contains the history of the kings of Banjar and of Kota
Waringin in South-east and South Borneo respectively.
At the beginning of the 20th century Banjarmasin was the largest
city in Borneo. In 1930 its population was 66,000 and grew rapidly
reaching 444,000 in 1990.
Local places of interest
Sabilal Muhtadin Mosque, the largest
mosque in Banjarmasin
A row of hotels in downtown
The Sabilal Muhtadin Mosque
located along the Martapura riverfront, is a major landmark in the
city. Completely built in 1979, the mosque accommodates thousands
of worshippers on Friday prayers.
A state university (Universitas Lambung Mangkurat
UNLAM) is also located in the town.
Banjarmasin has long been renowned as a center for gem trading,
particularly rare diamonds and ruby's. An informal network with
international connections exists, which also supports the large
domestic Indonesian trade in rare diamonds. Banjar's diamonds are
especially known for their exquisite brilliance. In recent times,
however, many of Indonesia's large diamond stones have been traded
out of the country.
Pasar Lima, a market by the
A floating marketplace
, where buyers and
sellers meet each other using boats, is located on the western
outskirts of town. It is a traditional market and is considered one
of city's identity mark for years.
A famous local dish is "soto banjar", a soup served with lime.
Another notable local dish is "Ketupat
", a ketupat
dish with coconut
milk soup (can be served with either chicken
- Eliot, Joshua (1998). Indonesia handbook. Bath:
Footprint Handbooks Ltd.
- Kalsel Population Statistics
- Kalsel Statistics: Religion, Retrieved
- Muller Kal:Indonesian Borneo, Kalimantan, Periplus
Editions, Singapore 1992, ISBN 0-945971-09-5
- Brookfield, Harold et al: In Place of the Forest:
Environmental and Socio-economic Transformation in Borneo and the
Eastern Malay Peninsula, United Nations University Press,
Tokyo, 1995