Palembang is the capital city of South Sumatra Province in Indonesia. Palembang is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia with a lot of history as a capital of a maritime empire. Located on the Musi River banks on the east coast of southern Sumatra island, it has an area of 400.61 square kilometres and a population of 1,441,500. Palembang is the second-largest city in Sumatra after Medan and the seventh-largest city in Indonesia. The city will host the 26th edition of Southeast Asian Games in November 11, 2011 along with Jakarta.

It was formerly the capital city of the Kingdom of Srivijaya, a powerful Malay kingdom, which influenced much of Southeast Asia.[1] The earliest evidence of its existence dates from the 7th century; a Chinese monk, I-Tsing, wrote that he visited Srivijaya in 671 for 6 months.[2][3] The first inscription in which the name Srivijaya appears also dates from the 7th century, namely the Kedukan Bukit Inscription around Palembang in Sumatra, dated 683.

Palembang landmarks include the Ampera bridge and the Musi River which divides the city into two, Seberang Ilir to the north and Seberang Ulu to the south. The Seberang Ilir is the economic and cultural centre and the Seberang Ulu is the political centre.

Coat of arms
Nickname(s): “Bumi Sriwijaya (The Land of Srivijaya)”
Motto: Palembang BARI (Bersih, Aman, Rapi, Indah) (Palembang: Clean, Safe, Neat, and Beautiful)
Palembang is located in Sumatra


Location of the town in southern Sumatra

Palembang is located in Indonesia


Location of the town in Indonesia

Coordinates: 2°59′27.99″S 104°45′24.24″E / 2.9911083°S 104.7567333°E / -2.9911083; 104.7567333Coordinates: 2°59′27.99″S 104°45′24.24″E / 2.9911083°S 104.7567333°E / -2.9911083; 104.7567333


The city was once the capital of the ancient, Buddhist kingdom of Srivijaya that controlled a large part of what is now Malaysia and Indonesia. Following a 1025 raid by the Chola Empire (In the period of Emperor Rajendra Chola I) of southern India it began to gradually decline in importance. Srivijaya’s capital eventually moved northward to Jambi. Palembang is also the origin of Parameswara, founder of the Malacca Sultanate.

The architectural legacy of Dutch colonization is still visible in the city. Deep-water port facilities are built along the Musi River, which flows through the city.

The naval Battle of Palembang was fought near the city during the Second World War between February 13-February 15, 1942.

[edit] Kingdom of Srivijaya

The Kedukan Hill inscription, which is dated 682 A.D., is the oldest inscription found in Palembang. The inscription tells of a king who acquires magical powers and leads a large military force over water and land, setting out from Tamvan delta, arriving at a place called “Matajap,” and (in the interpretation of some scholars) founding the polity of Srivijaya. The “Matajap” of the inscription is believed to be Mukha Upang, a district of Palembang.

In the period 850 – 1025 A.D., Palembang prospered as the center of trade between East and West. Palembang also was a center of Sanskrit and Buddhist learning. Students from China stopped in Palembang to study Sanskrit before continuoing their study in India .

In the year 990, an army from Kingdom of Medang in Java attacked Srivijaya. Palembang was sacked and the palace was looted. Chulamanivarmadeva, however, requested protection from China. By 1006, the invasion was finally repelled. In retaliation, Chulamanivarmadeva send his troops assisted King Wurawari of Luaram in his revolt against Medang. In subsequent battles, Medang Palace was destroyed and the royal family of Medang was executed.

In 1068, King Rajendra I of the Chola Dynasty of India conquered what is now modern day Kedah from Srivijaya, and began a twenty-year series of raids against Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula. Though ultimately Srivijaya prevailed in its conflict with the Indian kingdom, the invasion left Srivijaya severely weakened. Having lost many soldiers in the war and with its coffers almost empty due to the twenty-year disruption of trade occasioned by the raids, the reach of Srivijaya was diminished. Its territories began to free themselves from the suzereignty of Palembang and to establish many small kingdoms all over the former empire. There is some evidence that the capital of Srivijaya moved from Palembang to Jambi, but this is widely disputed. [4]

Ampera Bridge.

The Fall of Sriwijaya

After the collapse of Sriwijaya, there was no major power to control the town. At that time in Palembang and the surrounding emerging local forces such as the Great Commander in the lower Yellow River Musi, The Trembling Nature group in the hills, the Master and Master Bosai Strong River upstream Histories, Commander Gumay groups along the Bukit Barisan, and so on.[citation needed] In addition, some merchants of China make this city as their trade base. Sea People also made their headquarters Palembang as a pirate.

In this phase, Prince emerged last Sriwijaya, Parameswara. Following the invasion of Majapahit to Palembang, Parameswara with Sang Nila Utama go Tumasik fled. There he killed the governor Tumasik Thai nationals. When the Thai army will attack Tumasik, Parameswara with his followers moved to Malacca in the Malay Peninsula, and established the kingdom of Malacca. Parameswara converted to Islam to marry the daughter of Ocean Pasai and changed his name to Sultan Iskandar Shah. Malacca flourished in the 15th century so that Parameswara became the sole ruler of the Malacca Strait and waters around it.

Sultanate of Palembang

Destruction of Majapahit in Java indirectly contributed to the result of a long power Pamalayu expedition in Sumatra. Several key figures behind the collapse of Majapahit as Raden Patah, Ario Dillah (Ario Damar), and Pati Unus the figures closely kaitanya with Palembang. After the Sultanate of Demak which was the replacement of Majapahit in Java. Palembang was made the center of a sultante with Darussalam Mukmiminin Khalifatul susuhunan Sayyidu Abddurrahaman Faith as the first king. This kingdom formed the merger of two cultures. The maritime heritage of the Sriwijaya and Majapahit and agriculture and trade center of the greatest in the Malay Peninsula at the time. One of the most famous king during this period was the Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II who had won three battles against the either Dutch or English forces.Colonial period

Local elders of Palembang during colonial period.

After the fall of the Sultanate of Palembang Darussalam after the defeat of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II in heavy fighting involving General Hendrik Merkus de Kock, Palembang became a subordinate kingdom within the Dutch East Indies. The main victory of Dutch forces under de Kock occurred in 1821.

Some of the sultan after Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II which states surrendered to the Dutch, tried to rebel but all failed and ended with the burning of the imperial buildings.

After that Palembang was divided into two major prefectures, and settlements in Palembang were divided into regions and Ulu Ilir.


Palembang city have been declared by the President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as the “City of Water Tour” on September 27, 2005. The President revealed that the city of Palembang be made water attractions such as Bangkok in Thailand and Phnom Penh in Cambodia.

The city of Palembang in 2008 welcomed a tour with the name “Visit Musi 2008”. Palembang will become one of the host cities of SEA GAMES XXVI 2011.

Geographical situation Geographical Location

Geographically, Palembang is located at 2 ° 59’27 .99 “S 104 ° 45’24 .24” longitude. The total area of Palembang City is 102.47 km ² with an average height of 8 meters from the sea surface. Location of Palembang is strategic because it passed by the road linking the Trans Sumatra between regions in the island of Sumatra. In addition there are also in Palembang, Musi River, which traversed Ampera Bridge, which serves as a means of transport and trade across regions.

The city of Neiva in Colombia is the antipode of Palembang.

Climate and Topography


Palembang has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical rainforest climate with relatively high humidity and sometimes significant winds. Wind speeds ranges from 2.3 km / h – 4.5 km / hour. The temperature ranges of 23.4 to 31.7 degrees Celsius. Annual rainfall ranges from 2000 mm – 3000 mm. Humidity ranges from 75 to 89% with an average of 45% of annual sunshine. During its wettest months, the city’s marshlands are routinely inundated. Average temperatures are nearly identical throughout the year in the city. The temperature ranges between 22 and 32 degrees Celsius.

Climate data for Palembang
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29.4
Average low °C (°F) 23.9
Precipitation mm (inches) 240


Palembang’s topography is generally flat, with altitudes generally at an average between 0 to 20 mm. Only a small portion of the land area of the city sees significant elevation, namely in the northern part of town. The type of soil in Palembang is layered soil alluvial. Clay and sand, which lies in the youngest layer, may contain petroleum.

Border Area

  • North side; with Fortress Base Village, the Village and Village Kenten Spinner, Coconut Talang District, District Banyuasin
  • South side; with Lily Village Sub Inderalaya Ogan Ilir and District GELUMBANG Muara Enim
  • West side; with Sukajadi Village District Banyuasin Regency Coconut Gutters
  • East side; the Central District Makmur Banyuasin I Banyuasin District


Palembang divided into 16 districts and 107 sub-districts, they are:

  • Ilir Timur I
  • Ilir Timur II
  • Ilir Barat I
  • Ilir Barat II
  • Seberang Ulu I
  • Seberang Ulu II
  • Sukarame
  • Sako
  • Bukit Kecil
  • Kemuning
  • Kertapati
  • Plaju
  • Gandus
  • Kalidoni
  • Alang-alang lebar
  • Sematang Borang


Palembang bride in Aesan Gede wedding costume wearing gold jewelry and songket Palembang.

Palembangan is a member of the Malay family, the people speak Malay as their language but with their own dialect and they called it Bahasa Palembang or Bahasa Musi. Other people that are not native to Palembang but still came from South Sumatra usually blended their language with Bahasa Palembang, such as Bahasa Komering, Lahat, Rawas, etc. There are also people that came from outside South Sumatra. Most of them are Javanese, Chinese, Arab, Indian, Minangkabau, and Sundanese.

The major religion in Palembang is Muslim. But many of the inhabitants also practice Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Konghucu.


Palembang residents use a network of city mini-bus routes for the main form of public transport.

There are also traditional and speed boats that serve the people who live near the riverside. The traditional boat is called the Ketek.

The city is served by Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport which has scheduled flights to many cities in Indonesia and also to Singapore by Silk Air and Malaysia by Sriwijaya Air. The latter destination being only recently offered by the airport since it has been upgraded to an international airport. This airport also serves other cities around South Sumatra Province.

The Boom Baru Harbor is the main harbor of Palembang, it is located and also connected Palembang with Bangka-Belitung Islands Province.

Palembang also has three main harbors, Boom Baru Harbor (which is the main harbor of Palembang, located on the north shore of Musi River), 36 Ilir Harbor, and Tanjung Api-api Harbor. From here frequent ferries connect Palembang to Muntok Harbor in Bangka Island, Bangka-Belitung Islands Province and also to Batam Island.


Palembang’s economy has been developed significantly since it became a host for a National Sporting Event in 2004. The city government has set a revenue target of IDR 3.5 billion from advertising alone.[citation needed]. Palembang was also one of hosts of the 2007 AFC Asian Cup.

Art and Culture

The Palembang Grand Mosque

Since ancient times, Palembang is a cosmopolitan port city absorbs neighboring as well as foreign cultures and influences. The influences and cultures of coastal Malay, inland Minangkabau, Javanese, Indian, Chinese, and Arab, has created rich Palembang culture. Throughout its history, Palembang has attracted migrants from other regions in the archipelago, has made this city as a multi-cultural city. Although today the city had lost its function as the major port city in the archipelago, the remnants of its heyday still evident in its culture. Most of its population was then adopted the culture of coastal Malays and Javanese. Even now it can be seen in its culture and language. Word such as “wong (person)” is an example of Javanese loanword in Palembang language. Also the Javanese knight and noble honorific titles, such as Raden Mas or Raden Ayu is used by Palembang nobles, the remnant of Palembang Sultanate courtly culture. The tombs of the Islamic heritage was not different in form and style with Islamic tombs in Java.

Art and culture of Palembang, among others:

  • Art Dul Muluk (traditional drama performances Palembang) [6]
  • Dances like Gending Sriwijaya held a reception to the guests, and dance that was exhibited in Tanggai wedding reception
  • Regional Songs such as decks Sangke, Cuk Ilang Mak, CEO, and Ribang Kemambang
  • Traditional House of Palembang is Limas House and House Raft
  • Ornamental boat festival and competition in the River Musi bidar

Palembang also held a variety of festivals every year, among others “Sriwijaya Festival” held in June in order to commemorate Palembang Anniversary, Bidar and Ornamental Boat Festival celebrates Independence Day, and various festivals commemorating the Islamic New Year, Month of Ramadan, and New Year’s Day .


Sriwijaya Stadium in Palembang

Sriwijaya Stadium was built in view of the XVI National Sports Week in 2004. The stadium is located in the area Jakabaring, in the southern part of Palembang. The shape of the stadium was inspired from the form screen terkembang boat and given a name based on the greatness of the kingdom of Srivijaya, based in Palembang in the past. In the 40 000 seat stadium was staged two matches in the AFC Asian Cup continued in 2007, the Group D qualifier between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain as well as grabbing a third place between South Korea and Japan. The 2011 Southeast Asian Games will be held at Palembang along with Jakarta in November, 2011. The opening and closing ceremonies will be deliver at the Sriwijaya Stadium.

In addition, the stadium is the home base for a football club in Palembang, Sriwijaya Sriwijaya FC Football Club, which is the pride of the community football club Kilkenny.

Sriwijaya F.C.

Sriwijaya Football Club, which are commonly referred to simply as Sriwijaya, is an Indonesian football club based in Palembang, Province of South Sumatra, Indonesia. They are now playing in Djarum Indonesian Super League.

Although being a football representative from the Province of South Sumatra, Sriwijaya was actually founded in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, as Persijatim in 1976. Because of some financial reasons, the club decided to move to Solo City and become Solo Football Club. The financial condition, however, did not improve until the Province of South Sumatra bought the ownership of the team and renamed the team Sriwijaya Football Club.


University in Palembang:

  • University of Sriwijaya

Sriwijaya University [7] is currently ranked 15th Best University in the Indonesian version of Webometrics January 2010. Sriwijaya University ranking in the rating of World Class University Webometrics version continued to increase since the January 2009 edition (ranked 37th), edition of July 2009 (ranked 29th), and the edition of January 2010 (ranked 15th). For the Sumatran region, Sriwijaya University ranked first, followed by the University of Lampung (Unila), North Sumatra University (USU) and the University of Riau (UNRI).

  • Polytechnic Sriwijaya Palembang
  • State Islamic Institute Raden Fattah Palembang
  • School of Journalism Indonesia

First Journalism School in Indonesia, SJI was inaugurated by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the top of National Press Day (HPN) in Palembang, February 9, 2010. School of Journalism is the first international journalism school in Indonesia under the auspices of UNESCO This school is addressed to who wants to understand the world of Journalism, this is temporarily saaat Training Kepegawaiaan South Sumatra Province.

  • Bina Darma University
  • University of Indo Global Mandiri,
  • Universitas Muhammadiyah Palembang
  • Universities Palembang
  • University Syahyakirty
  • University of IBA
  • Universities Tamansiswa
  • University PGRI Palembang
  • University Kader Nation
  • University Tridinanti
  • Open University


All the national television media, television is now broadcasting in Palembang. TVRI, and other private sector is also based in Jakarta: RCTI, SCTV, TPI, ANTV, Indosiar, Metro TV, Trans TV, Trans 7, TVOne, Global TV Sky TV.


  • Trijaya FM 87.6
  • RRI Pro 2 FM 88.4
  • OZ FM 89.2
  • Female 90.0 FM
  • The FM
  • Centers 90.8
  • RRI Pro 3 FM 91.6
  • RRI Pro 1 FM 92.4
  • Sriwijaya FM 94.3
  • Chandra Buana FM 95.1
  • Eljhon FM 95.9
  • Musi FM 96.7
  • Elita FM 98.3
  • IAU 99.1 FM
  • Smart FM 101.8
  • Sonora FM 102
  • LCBS 103.4 FM
  • Momea 104.2 FM
  • Lanugraha 105.0 FM
  • Ramona 105.8 FM
  • Dangdut TPI 106.7 FM
  • Global FM 107.3

Shopping centers

Market crowd 16 Ilir Palembang in the morning

  • Palembang Indah Mall (PIM)
  • Palembang Trade Center
  • Palembang Square
  • International Plaza
  • JM Plaza
  • Lotte Mart
  • Pasar 16 Ilir
  • Shopping Center Ramayana
  • Sumatra Shopping Center
  • Megahria Shopping Center
  • Ilir Barat Permai (Songket, Wardrobe Palembang, Pelaminan Palembang, Palembang Carving etc.)
  • Traditional Market as Market Master Jakabaring, Kuto Market, Market Plaju, 26 Ilir market, etc. Gubah Market.
  • The Fame


Some of the achievements of Palembang:

  1. Host of Indonesia’s National Games in 2004
  2. Host of AFC Asian Cup 2007
  3. 1st place of the cleanest metropolitan city in Indonesia 2007 (Adipura Award)
  4. 1st place of the cleanest metropolitan city in Indonesia 2008 (Adipura Award)
  5. 1st place of the cleanest metropolitan city in Indonesia 2009 (Adipura Award)
  6. 1st place of the cleanest metropolitan city in Indonesia 2010 (Adipura Award)
  7. 1st place of the cleanest Park City in Indonesia 2007 For Kambang Iwak Family Park
  8. 1st place of Asean(Southeast Asia) Environment Sustainable City 2008
  9. Supporting Host of AFF Suzuki Cup 2010
  10. Main Host of 26th SEA GAMES


Pempek, mpek-mpek or empek-empek is a delicacy from Palembang made of fish and tapioca. Pempek is served together yellow noodle with a dark, rich sweet and sour sauce called cuka or cuko (lit. vinegar) and sprinkled with ebi (dried shrimp) powder. Kuah Cuko is produced by adding brown sugar, chili pepper, garlic, vinegar, and salt to boiling water.

Pempek Kapal Selam and Kriting in Kuah Cuko.

There are many varieties of pempek. One of the most famous[citation needed] types is the kapal selam (Indonesian: “submarine”), which is made from a chicken egg wrapped within the pempek dough and then deep-fried. Scientists[citation needed] says that the pempek kapal selam, being high in vitamin, protein, mineral, and carbohydrate content, is the most nutritious variety. Other varieties include pempek telur kecil (lit. small egg pempek), pempek keriting (lit. curly pempek), pempek pistel (lit. pistol pempek), pempek kulit ikan (lit. fish-skin pempek), pempek adaan, pempek lenjer, and pempek tahu (lit. tofu pempek).

According to legend, at around 1617 there was an old Chinese Man who lived near Musi river. He noticed an abundance of fish caught by the local fishermen. The indigenous people, however did not know how to cook the fish properly. During that period, most of the indigenous people simply fried their fish instead of adding in other ingredients to make new dishes. The old Chinese Man mixed in some tapioca and other spices, which he then sold around the village on his bicycle. The people referred to this old man as ‘pek-apek, where apek is a Chinese slang for an old man. The food is known today as empek-empek or pempek.

As a local staple, pempek can be commonly found on every street in Palembang, although the most famous outlets[citation needed] can be found on Jalan Slamet Riyadi. Numerous pempek sellers and producers in Palembang use a cheaper combination of fish, which has a strong scent. The best pempek are made of belido fish and are usually more expensive.[citation needed]

Pempek can also be found in other region, especially in major cities in Indonesia. But, the taste of pempek that we found in other region has usually different than pempek in Palembang, because of the ingredients are different. The same ingredients, like fish and flour are scarce or difficult to be found in other region, causing the taste difference. Sometimes pempek in Bangka Island are made from mackerel (tenggiri), while in Jakarta or other city could be made from gurami fish.

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