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From top left, clockwise: Kemaro Island Pagoda, Benteng Kuto Besak, Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium, Grand Mosque of Palembang, Ampera Bridge.
From top left, clockwise: Kemaro Island Pagoda, Benteng Kuto Besak, Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium, Grand Mosque of Palembang, Ampera Bridge.
Official seal of Palembang
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 city in southern Sumatra
Palembang is located in Indonesia
Location of the city in Indonesia
Country Indonesia
Province South Sumatra
Incorporated (city) 16 June 683
 • Mayor H. Romi Herton (2013-2018)
 • Vice Mayor H. Harnojoyo (2013-2018)
 • Total 374.03 km2 (144.41 sq mi)
Elevation 8 m (26 ft)
Population (2013)
 • Total 1,742,186
 • Density 4,858/km2 (12,580/sq mi)
Time zone WIB (UTC+7)
Area code(s) +62 711

Palembang (Jawi: ڤلامبڠ‎) is the second-largest city on Sumatra Island after Medan and the capital city of the South Sumatra province in Indonesia. It is one of the oldest cities in the Malay Archipelago and Southeast Asia. Palembang is located on the Musi River banks on the east coast of southern Sumatra, with a land area of 374.03 square kilometres and a population of 1,742,186 people (2013 estimate).[1] Palembang is the seventh-largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Medan, Semarang, and Makassar. The city hosted the 26th edition of Southeast Asian Games from 11 to 22 November 2011 along with Jakarta.

Palembang is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, and has a history of being the capital city of the Kingdom of Srivijaya, a powerful Malay kingdom, which influenced much of Southeast Asia.[2] The earliest evidence of its existence dates from the 7th century; a Chinese monk, Yijing, wrote that he visited Srivijaya in the year 671 for 6 months. 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.[3]

Palembang's main landmarks include Ampera Bridge and Musi River, the latter of which divides the city into two. The north bank of river in Palembang is known as Seberang Ilir and the south bank of the river in Palembang is known as Seberang Ulu. The Seberang Ilir is Palembang's economic and cultural centre and the Seberang Ulu is its political centre.


  • History 1
    • Kingdom of Srivijaya 1.1
    • Colonial period 1.2
    • Palembang today 1.3
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
    • Topography 2.2
    • City Border 2.3
  • Administration 3
  • Demography 4
  • Transport 5
  • Economy 6
  • Tourism and recreation 7
  • Culture 8
    • Cuisine 8.1
  • Sport 9
    • Jakabaring Sport City 9.1
    • Sriwijaya F.C. 9.2
  • Education 10
  • Gallery 11
  • Sister cities 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


The city was once the capital of the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Srivijaya, which controlled a large part of what is now Indonesia, Malaysia and Southern Thailand. In 1025, it was conquered by the Chola Empire (In the period of Emperor Rajendra Chola I) of southern India.[4][5] 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 colonisation is still visible in the city. Deep-water port facilities which flow through the city have been built along the Musi River.

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

Kingdom of Srivijaya

The Kedukan Bukit Inscription, which is dated 682 CE, 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.[6]

According to Sailendra reigning in Java...its center at Palembang."[7]:92

In the period 850 - 1025 A.D., Palembang prospered as a centre of trade between the East and West and as a center of Sanskrit and Buddhist learning. Students from China stopped in Palembang to study Sanskrit before continuing their studies in India.[8]

In the year 990, an army from the 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 sent his troops to assist King Wurawari of Luaram in his revolt against Medang. In subsequent battles, Medang Palace was destroyed and the royal family of Medang executed.[9]

In 1068, King Virarajendra Chola of the Chola Dynasty of India conquered what is now Kedah from Srivijaya.[10] Having lost many soldiers in the war and with its coffers almost empty due to the twenty-year disruption of trade. The reach of Srivijaya was diminished. Its territories began to free themselves from the suzerainty of Palembang and to establish many small kingdoms all over the former empire.[11]

Local elders of Palembang during colonial period.

Colonial period

The walled city of Palembang with its three fortresses in 1682.

In 1619 the Dutch East Indies opened a trading post in Palembang. Although it was closed a few years later by Jan Pieterszoon Coen, some contact was maintained with the town. The VOC's Resident in Jambi ordered pepper from the traders of Palembang, who sailed to Batavia themselves to sell the pepper. Because of the low profit yield for the Company, Batavia asked the sultan for permission to reopen the trading post in the town. The contract with the sultan gave the VOC Resident authority over all foreign ships calling at the harbour of Palembang. This enabled the Company to guard against illicit trading. Despite these privileges, the Company was still dependent on the sultan, who decided whether the Resident's demands were acceptable or not.[12]

In the 18th century Palembang supplied around 50,000 pounds of white pepper annually.[12]

After that Palembang was divided into two major prefectures, and settlements in Palembang were divided into regions and Ulu Ilir. Several examples of colonial architecture in Palembang remain, including the Palembang Water Tower (now the mayor's office) and De Javasche Bank building.

Palembang today

SEA GAMES XXVI 2011 opening ceremony held in Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium, Palembang in 11 November 2011

The President of Indonesia declared Palembang to be the "City of Water Tour" on 27 September 2005.

The city of Palembang in 2008 publicized its tourist attractions with the slogan "Visit Musi 2008". More recently, Palembang has drawn further international attention as one of the host cities of the 2011 Southeast Asian Games and 2013 Islamic Solidarity Games.


Palembang is located at 2°59'S 104°45'E. The total area of Palembang City is 102.47 km², with an average elevation of 8 meters above sea level. Location of Palembang is strategic because it passed by the road linking the Trans Sumatra between regions in the island of Sumatra. Palembang is split by the Musi River, which can be crossed over the Ampera Bridge, which serves as a means of transport and trade across the river.


Palembang has a tropical rainforest climate with relatively high humidity and sometimes significant winds. The temperature ranges from 23.4 to 31.7 degrees Celsius. Annual rainfall ranges from 2000 mm to 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.

Climate data for Palembang
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29
Average low °C (°F) 24
Average precipitation mm (inches) 240


Palembang is generally flat, with altitudes generally between an average of 0 to 20 m. 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 alluvial soil. Clay and sand, which lie in the topmost layer, may contain petroleum.

City Border

  • North: Pangkalan Benteng Village, Gasing Village dan Kenten Village, Talang Kelapa District, Banyuasin Regency.
  • South: Bakung Village, Inderalaya District, Ogan Ilir Regency and Gelumbang District, Muara Enim Regency.
  • West: Sukajadi Village, Talang Kelapa District, Banyuasin Regency.
  • East: Balai Makmur Village, Banyuasin I District, Banyuasin Regency.


Palembang divided into 16 districts and 107 [13] subdistricts:

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


The local language of Palembang, Musi, belongs to the same group as Malay. There are also Palembang residents originating from other parts of South Sumatra. They have their own regional languages, such as Komering, Lahat, Rawas, and Semendo. There are also people that came from outside South Sumatra. Most of them are Javanese, Chinese, Arab, Indian, Minangkabau, or Sundanese.

Palembang's primary religion is Islam, but many of the inhabitants also practice Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism.


Palembang has networks of mini-bus routes for the main form of public transport and the new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, Trans Musi as well.

  • Corridor 1 : Bus stop below the Ilir part of Ampera Bridge - Alang Alang Lebar Bus Station (KM 12)
  • Corridor 2 : Perumnas Bus Station - PIM (Palembang Indah Mall)
  • Corridor 3 : Plaju - PS Mall (Palembang Square Mall)
  • Corridor 4 : Jakabaring - Karya Jaya Bus Station (Kertapati)
  • Corridor 5 : Alang Alang Lebar Bus Station (KM 12) - Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport
  • Corridor 6 : Pusri - Palembang Square (PS)
  • Corridor 7 : Kenten - Dempo (Coming Soon)
  • Corridor 8 : Alang Alang Lebar Bus Station (KM 12) - Terminal Karya Jaya (Kertapati)
  • Pangkalan Balai Corridor : Alang Alang Lebar Bus Station (KM 12) - Pangkalan Balai
  • Indralaya Corridor : Terminal Karya Jaya - Indralaya
  • Unsri Corridor : Unsri Bukit - Unsri Indralaya

Palembang also has a large number of taxis. The number keeps rising since the Pekan Olahraga Nasional 2004 and SEA Games 2011, which both were held in Palembang.

There are also traditional and speed boats that serve the people who live near the riverside. The traditional boats are called "Keteks" or sampans.

The city is served by Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport which has scheduled flights to many cities in Indonesia and also to Singapore by Silk Air and Kuala Lumpur by AirAsia. This airport also serves other cities around South Sumatra Province.

Palembang also has three main harbours, Tanjung Api-api Harbor (which is the International harbor of Palembang, located on sea-shore, 68 kilometres from city), 36 Ilir Harbour, and Boom Baru Harbour on riverside. From Tanjung Api-api Harbour frequent ferries connect Palembang to Tanjung Kalian Harbour in western side of Bangka Island (it takes only 2 hours on ferries from Tanjung Api-api to Bangka), Bangka-Belitung Islands Province, and also ferries to Batam Island.

Tanjung Api Api Harbour is now fully operational. It opened at 10.00 am on 11 December 2013. It is an international port so it can be visited by all kind of boats from all over the globe.

Railway tracks connect Palembang to Bandar Lampung, Tanjung Enim, Lahat dan Lubuk Linggau. The largest railway station in Palembang is Kertapati Station.


Palembang's economy has been developed significantly since it became a host for a National Sporting Event in 2004.

Tourism and recreation

People enjoying local dishes on floating warung boats.
A statue of Buddha, discovered in Bukit Seguntang archaeological site, today displayed in Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Museum Palembang.
  • Musi River, about 750 km along the river which divides the city into two parts, namely Palembang Seberang Ulu and Ilir opposite is the longest river in Sumatra. Since the first of the Musi River has become the economic lifeblood and the city of Palembang in South Sumatra Province. Along the banks of the river there are many attractions like the Ampera Bridge, Fort Religious Tourism, Museum of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II, Kemaro Island, 16 Ilir Market, home Raft, Pertamina's oil refineries, fertilizer plants PUSRI, beach Good Yellow, Musi II Bridge, Al Munawar Mosque, etc..
  • Ampera Bridge, main city landmark, is a bridge crossed over 1177 meters above the Musi River which connects Seberang Ulu and Seberang Ilir area of Palembang.
  • Grand Mosque of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Palembang, Palembang is located in downtown, this mosque has a capacity of 15,000 pilgrims.
  • Benteng Kuto Besak, situated on the banks of the Musi River and adjacent to Ampera Bridge, this fort is one of the Palembang Darussalam Sultanate of heritage buildings. Inside the fort there are the health office II Sriwijaya Military Command and hospitals.
  • Kantor Ledeng, located in downtown, at first this building serves as a water tower because it serves to drain the water throughout the city. Today this building serves as the Office of the Mayor of Palembang
  • Kambang Iwak, a lake situated in the tourist center of town, close to Palembang mayor's residence. On the banks of this lake, there is a park and recreation arena which is always crowded on holidays.
  • Punti Kayu Tourism Forest, city forest located about 6 miles from the city center with an area of 50 ha and since 1998 designated as protected forests. In this forest there is a family recreation area and a local shelter a group of monkeys: long-tail macaque (Macaca fascicularis) and monkey (Macaca nemistriana) under the Sumatran Pine wood (Pinus mercussi).[14]
  • Sriwijaya Kingdom Archaeological Park, the remnants of Sriwijaya site located on the banks of the River Musi. There is an inscription and stone relics, complex of ancient pond, artificial island and canals dated from the Srivijayan kingdom in this area. The Srivijaya Museum is located in this complex.
  • Bukit Seguntang archaeological park, located in the hills west of Palembang city. In this place there are many relics and tombs of the ancient Malay-Srivijayan king and nobles.
  • People's Struggle Monument (Indonesian: Monumen Perjuangan Rakyat), located in downtown, adjacent to the Great Mosque and Ampera Bridge. As its name in this building there are relics of history in the colonial period.
  • Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Museum, located near the Bridge and Fort Ampera Religious Tourism and former royal palace is one of the relics of Palembang Darussalam.


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

Since ancient times, Palembang has been a cosmopolitan port city which 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 a rich Palembang culture. Throughout its history, Palembang has attracted migrants from other regions in the archipelago, and 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.


Palembang is famous for its local cuisine called pempek Palembang. It is a Pempek served in sweet and sour sauce called kuah cuko. Another Palembang signature dishes are tekwan, model, mie celor, laksan and lakso, and also pindang patin (pangasius in sweet and sour soup).


Jakabaring Aquatic Center in Jakabaring Sport City complex.

Jakabaring Sport City

Jakabaring Sport City ia a sport complex located 5 kilometers southeast from Palembang city center, across Musi river through Ampera Bridge in Jakabaring, Seberang Ulu I area. It was the main venue of 2011 Southeast Asian Games. Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium, one of the largest stadium in Indonesia, is located within this complex. The complex consists of Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium football field, Dempo sport hall, Ranau sport hall, Athletic stadium, Aquatic center, Baseball and Softball field, Shooting range, Athlete lodging, Artificial lake for outdoor water sports (rowing, water ski, dragon boat) and Golf course. two matches were staged at the stadium 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 was held at Palembang along with Jakarta in November, 2011. The opening and closing ceremonies held in Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium. This sport complex also planned to host the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia along with Jakarta and Bandung in West Java.

Sriwijaya F.C.

Sriwijaya Football Club, which is commonly referred to as SFC, is an Indonesian football club based in Palembang, Province of South Sumatra, Indonesia.


Universities in Palembang:

  • University of Sriwijaya
  • State Polytechnic of Sriwijaya Palembang
  • State Islamic University of Raden Fatah 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, 9 February 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 sat Training Kepegawaiaan South Sumatra Province.
  • Universitas Bina Darma
  • Universitas Bina Nusantara - Unit Sumber Belajar Jarak Jauh
  • Universitas Indo Global Mandiri
  • Universitas Muhammadiyah Palembang
  • Universitas Palembang
  • Universitas Sjakhyakirti
  • Universitas IBA
  • Universitas Taman Siswa
  • Universitas PGRI
  • Universitas Kader Bangsa
  • Universitas Tridinanti
  • Universitas Terbuka
  • Politeknik Akamigas Palembang
  • Multi Data Palembang

Top Senior High Schools in Palembang:

  • 1. SMA Negeri 6 Palembang
  • 2. SMA Plus Negeri 17 Palembang
  • 3. SMA Xaverius 1 Palembang
  • 4. SMA Negeri 5 Palembang
  • 5. SMA Negeri Sumatera Selatan
  • 6. SMA Xaverius 3 Palembang
  • 7. SMA Ignatius Global School (IGS) Palembang
  • 8. Sekolah Kusuma Bangsa
  • 9. SMA Negeri 1 Palembang
  • 10. SMA Negeri 3 Palembang
  • 11. SMA Negeri 13 Palembang

Top Junior High Schools in Palembang:

  • SMP Xaverius 1 Palembang
  • SMP Xaverius Maria Palembang
  • SMP Ignatius Global School (IGS) Palembang
  • SMP Sekolah Palembang Harapan (SPH ) Palembang
  • SMP Kusuma Bangsa Palembang
  • SMP Negeri 1 Palembang
  • SMP Xaverius 6 Palembang
  • SMP Negeri 9 Palembang
  • SMP Negeri 4 Palembang
  • SMP Negeri 43 Palembang
  • SMP Negeri 3 Palembang
  • SMP Negeri 8 Palembang
  • SMP Negeri 34 Palembang
  • SMP Negeri 54 Palembang
  • MTS Negeri 1 Palembang


Sister cities


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Early kingdoms of the Indonesian archipelago and the Malay Peninsula by Paul Michel Munoz p.161
  5. ^ Cengage Advantage Books: The Earth and Its Peoples by Richard Bulliet,Pamela Crossley,Daniel Headrick,Steven Hirsch,Lyman Johnson p.182
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ The Cambridge Economic History of India: c.1200-c.1750 herausgegeben by Tapan Raychaudhuri,Irfan Habib,Dharma Kumar p.40
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^ Situs resmi kota Palembang
  14. ^
  15. ^

External links

  • Official website - in Indonesian
  • Palembang travel guide from Wikivoyage
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