Home West Java Bogor
Bogor is a city in West Java with a population of approximately 800,000 people in the CBD area and 2,000,000 in suburban area, bringing a total of 3 million population. It was the capital of Indonesia during the British occupation under Stamford Raffles and was used as the capital by the Dutch during the dry season, then known as Buitenzorg (meaning "beyond cares").
Bogor boasts a presidential palace, a deer park and a botanical garden in the town centre. It is home to the Institut Pertanian Bogor (or Bogor Institute of Agriculture).
Bogor is on a main road from Jakarta to Bandung, over the Puncak pass. To the south of the city are large tea plantations. During colonial times the Bogor area developed as a centre for plantations. Apart from the tea (Mount Mas), there were coffee plantations at nearby Sukabumi and later vast rubber plantations that stretched from Bogor as far as Citereup and Bukit Sentul.
The suburban area of Bogor is part of the Bogor Regency, while the urban is the Bogor City. Currently Bogor bears the nickname "the Rain City" (Kota Hujan), suggesting that it is very wet and nearly always rains even during the dry season.
In 450 A.D. Bogor was part of Tarumanegara, the very first Hindu kingdom in Java, and the second in Indonesia after the Kutai Kingdom in Kalimantan. The most popular king of Tarumanegara was Purnavarman, who ruled around the 5th century. It was during his reign the kingdom reached its golden era. The city was then, with the name of Pakuan, the capital of the western Javanese kingdom of Sunda Galuh, whence came the founder of the Majapahit empire, Raden Wijaya. Bogor was later part of the Siliwangi Kingdom (1482), ruled by King Siliwangi.
Bogor now houses numerous stone inscriptions (prasasti) from both the Tarumanegara and the Siliwangi. 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. 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.
In 2004, Bogor and St. Louis, Missouri, USA became Sister Cities.
The traditional language of Bogor is Sundanese. However, many thinks that Bogor's Sundanese is somewhat harsher and uses much more slang than any other part of the province. Due to the expansion of Jakarta, more people from different places and different ethnic stay in Bogor. Indonesian, the official national language, is becoming more common in the urban area.
The easiest and the most popular means of transportation in Bogor is the public vans ("angkot", the acronym of angkutan kota). They serve certain routes indicated by the combination of their numbers and their colours, which come in green and blue. These angkots are run by private owners and the prices are fixed.
Buses and taxis are not present in particularly large numbers, especially taxis because they are relatively expensive. Minibuses are more commonly seen in the city. Meanwhile, the railroads connect Bogor to other big cities in Java, such as Jakarta (to the north) and Sukabumi (to the south).
For leisure means, the traditional horse carriages are available. These are called delman, and they have only two wheels, different from the four-wheeled andong existing only in the province of Yogyakarta. Delman in Bogor are not delicately decorated like their fellows in Jakarta, Bandung, or Yogyakarta.
There are also becak, a type of man-pedaled carriages in which the driver pedals at the back and the passengers' seat facing front with a roof above. A becak can only carry two or three people at a time. Becak can also be used to deliver heavy loads such as fruits and vegetables around wet markets.
In addition, Bogor is also accessible via Jagorawi Tollway, which is the earliest tollway in Indonesia.