is the provincial capital and largest city in the province of Aceh
Aceh is a special region of Indonesia, located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. Its full name is Daerah Istimewa Aceh , Nanggroë Aceh Darussalam and Aceh . Past spellings of its name include Acheh, Atjeh and Achin...
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...
, located on the island of Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...
, with an elevation of 35 meters. The city regency covers an area of 64 square kilometres and according to the 2000 census had a population of 219,070 people. Banda Aceh is located at the northwestern tip of Indonesia at the mouth of the River Krueng Aceh.
The city was originally named Kutaraja
, and determined as the provincial capital in 1956.
Kuta Raja means "City of the King", in reference to the founding of the Aceh Sultanate
The Sultanate of Aceh, officially the Kingdom of Aceh Darussalam was a sultanate centered in the modern area of Aceh Province, Sumatra, Indonesia, which was a major regional power in the 16th and 17th centuries, before experiencing a long period of decline...
The kingdom of Champa was an Indianized kingdom that controlled what is now southern and central Vietnam from approximately the 7th century through to 1832.The Cham people are remnants...
origins. Later its name was changed to Bandar Aceh Darussalam
or popularly known as Bandar Aceh
, with the first part of the name coming from the Persian
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...
Bandar or Bunder is a Persian word meaning "port" and "haven". Etymologically it combines Persian بند Band and در dar meaning "an enclosed area" . The word travelled with Persian sailors over a wide area leading to several coastal places in Iran and elsewhere having Bandar as part of their names...
(بندر) meaning "port" or "haven". Today the city is spelled Banda Aceh
with the lost of "r" in "Bandar". The city is also dubbed to as the "port to Mecca", and Aceh is also referred to as the "porch of Mecca" (Indonesian: Serambi Mekkah
), since in the past during the days when the hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...
pilgrims travelled by sea, the hajj pilgrim from all over Indonesian archipelago traditionally always make a stop over in the city before continuing their journey to Mecca. It is also known that earliest Southeast Asian Islamic sultanates — such as Samudra Pasai — were first established in Aceh, which means Islam
Islam . The most common are and . : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...
first arrived in Aceh before spreading throughout Southeast Asia.
Banda Aceh was not frequently the subject of international discussion until December 26, 2004, the day the Indian Ocean earthquake
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake...
struck off the western coast of Sumatra. Banda Aceh was the closest major city to the earthquake's epicenter
The epicenter or epicentre is the point on the Earth's surface that is directly above the hypocenter or focus, the point where an earthquake or underground explosion originates...
, and suffered further damage when a tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...
struck shortly afterward. It was the worst hit area out of all the locations hit. 167,000 people died and many more were injured. The tsunamis resulted from an earthquake of magnitude 9.3 and struck at about 6:58am. The epicenter was about 155 miles off the coast of Banda Aceh.
The elected mayor and vice-mayor of Banda Aceh are Mawardi Nurdin and Illiza Saaduddin.
The city is divided administratively into 9 subdistricts
In Indonesia, a kecamatan or district is a subdivision of a regency or of a city . A district is itself divided into kelurahan or administrative villages....
- Banda Raya
- Jaya Baru
- Kuta Alam
- Kuta Raja
- Lueng Bata
- Syiah Kuala
- Ulee Kareng
Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport is located in Blang Bintang, 13,5 km from Banda Aceh.
Two main highways run out of Banda Aceh to the south. One runs down the eastern side of the province through main towns such as Bireuen
Bireuën Regency, is a regency of Aceh, Indonesia. The capital is Bireuën, 105 miles east of the provincial capital, Banda Aceh. The regency covers an area of 1,899 square kilometres and according to the 2000 census had a population of 340,271 people.It is bordered by the Strait of Malacca on the...
Lhokseumawe is the second largest city in Aceh province, Indonesia. It faces the Malacca Strait, and is surrounded by North Aceh Regency . The city covers an area of 212 square kilometres. According to the 2000 census Lhokseumawe had a population of 188,974 people...
- Demography :The city is Indonesia's fourth most populous after Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung, and Indonesia's largest city outside of Java island. Much of the population lies outside its city limits, especially in Deli Serdang....
, the large capital of the province of North Sumatra
North Sumatra is a province of Indonesia on the Sumatra island. Its capital is Medan. It is the most populous Indonesian province outside of Java. It is slightly larger than Sri Lanka in area.- Geography and population :...
. The other highway runs down the western side of the province through lesser-populated areas to the towns of Calang
Calang, the capital of the Aceh Jaya Regency of the special territory of Aceh was on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. It had a population of about 12,000 though it was reported to have "vanished completely leaving only scattered shards of concrete" as a result of the tsunami produced by the 2004...
Meulaboh is the capital of West Aceh Regency, Indonesia. Meulaboh is among the hardest hit areas by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Being just 150 km from the epicenter of the earthquake, Meulaboh was hit by tsunami, leaving the estimated deaths of 40,000 people out of 120,000...
, and Singkil.
The main bus station called Terminal Terpadu Batoh
is located at Jalan Mr. Teuku Muhammad Hasan
Teuku Muhammad Hasan was an Indonesian Politician, and The First Governor of Sumatera after Indonesian Independence in 1945 , and Deputy Chairman, concurrently Home Affairs, Education & Culture and Religious Affairs ad interim in Sjafruddin Prawiranegara's Indonesia Emergency Cabinet .- Early...
Banda Aceh has two sea ports, Pelabuhan (port) Ulèë Lheuë and Pelabuhan Malahayati.
- Pelabuhan Ulèë Lheuë was the main sea port in Aceh, now is functioned as ferry terminal. Located in sub-district Meuraksa.
- Pelabuhan Malahayati, the current main sea port, is located in Krueng Raya, 27 km from Banda Aceh.
Banda Aceh features a tropical rainforest climate
A tropical rainforest climate, also known as an equatorial climate, is a tropical climate usually found along the equator...
under the Koppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...
, with near constant average temperatures. The city annual average temperature is 27 degrees Celsius and most days in Banda Aceh hovers around this mark. However, the city features wetter and drier seasons, with June through August being the driest months of the year. Like all cities with a tropical rainforest climate, Banda Aceh does not have a true dry season
The dry season is a term commonly used when describing the weather in the tropics. The weather in the tropics is dominated by the tropical rain belt, which oscillates from the northern to the southern tropics over the course of the year...
month; a month where less than 60 mm of precipitation falls on average. The city experiences on average a little less than 2000 mm of precipitation annually.
Baiturrahman Grand Mosque
The Grand Mosque
Baiturrahman Grand Mosque is a large mosque located in the centre of the city of Banda Aceh, Aceh province, Indonesia...
, located in the heart of Banda Aceh, is one of the most famous landmarks in the city. The original mosque was built around the 12th century during the Sultanate of Iskandar Muda
Iskandar Muda was the twelfth Sultan of Aceh, 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...
(1607-1636). It was rebuilt in 1875 after it was burnt down in the Aceh war. The architecture and interior design of the mosque is notable for having seven domes and four smaller towers along with a main tower. The mosque can accommodate up to 9,000 people.
Gunongan is a private playground and bathing place, built by Sultan Iskandar Muda, dedicated to his wife Putroe Phang. Gunongan was part of royal garden complex Taman Sari
A number of places near to the centre of Banda Aceh have been established as reminders of, and to provide information about, the impact of the December 2004 tsunami in the city. These include several mass burial centres, such as the graves at Ulee Lee, several places where boats were carried several kilometers inland by the tsunami (PLTD Apung 1
PLTD Apung 1 is an electric generator ship in Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia that has become a tourist attraction. The 2,600 ton vessel had been in the sea and was flung 2 to 3 km inland by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. It was owned by PLN, the local power generating company, and...
, or the "Floating Diesel Plant", and the "Foating Boat on the Roof"), and the Tsunami museum.
Besides it's landmarks, royal heritage sites, and beautiful beaches panorama that attract people to visit, Banda Aceh is also famous for it's Warong Kupie
(Coffee Shops). Special brewed coffee is served at any Warong Kupie. There are two kind of brewed coffees: Ulee Kareng
Several festivals are held annually by the City :
- Banda Aceh Festival
- Festival Krueng Aceh Peunayong
- Festival Geulayang Tunang (kite festival)
- Festival Kupi, etc
Surrounding Banda Aceh there are 3 beaches which may accessed in 15 to 20 minutes by vehicles, they are:
- Ujong Batee Beach, black sand beach and calm waves, suitable for swimming and kids activities
- Lhok Nga Beach, the most developed beach, visited by local and foreign tourist, suitable for surfing and watching sunset
- Lampu'uk Beach, very quiet, dangerous for swimming, has cliff and good scenery
- Uzbekistan Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....
- Netherlands Apeldoorn
Apeldoorn is a municipality and city in the province of Gelderland, about 60 miles south east of Amsterdam, in the centre of the Netherlands. It is a regional centre and has 155,000 . The municipality of Apeldoorn, including villages like Beekbergen, Loenen and Hoenderloo, has over 155,000...
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...