Bandung (pronounced [bənˈ duŋ]) (Indonesian: Kota Bandung) is the capital of West Java
province in Indonesia, and the country's third largest city, and 2nd largest metropolitan area in
Indonesia, with a population of 7.4 million in 2007. Located 768 m (2,520 ft) above sea level,
approximately 140 km southeast of Jakarta. Bandung has cooler temperatures year-around than
most other Indonesian cities. The city lies in a river basin surrounded by volcanic mountains.
This topography provides a good natural defense system, which was the primary reason for the
Dutch East Indies government's plan to move the colony capital from Batavia to Bandung.
The Dutch colonials first opened tea plantations around the mountains in the eighteenth century,
followed by a road construction connecting the plantation area to the capital (180 km or 112
miles to the northwest). The European inhabitants of the city demanded the establishment of a
municipality (gemeente), which was granted in 1906 and Bandung gradually developed itself
into a resort city for the plantation owners. Luxurious hotels, restaurants, cafes and European
boutiques were opened of which the city was dubbed as Parijs van Java (Dutch: "The Paris of
After Indonesian independence on 1945 onwards, the city experienced a rapid development and
urbanization that has transformed Bandung from idyllic town into a dense 16500 people/km²
metropolitan area, a living space for over 2 million people. Natural resources have been
exploited excessively, particularly in the conversions of protected upland area into highland villa
and real estates. Although the city has encountered many problems (ranging from waste disposal,
floods to chaotic traffic system, etc.), Bandung however still has its charm to attract people
flocking into the city, either as weekend travellers or living in.
Bandung, the capital of West Java province, located about 180 kilometres (110 mi) southeast of
Jakarta, is the third largest city in Indonesia. Its elevation is 768 metres (2,520 ft) above sea level
and is surrounded by up to 2,400 m (7,874 ft) high Late Tertiary and Quaternary volcanic
terrain. The 400 km² flat of central Bandung plain is situated in the middle of 2,340.88 km²
wide of the Bandung Basin; the basin comprises Bandung, the Cimahi city, part of Bandung
Regency, part of West Bandung Regency, and part of Sumedang Regency. The basin's main
river is the Citarum; one of its branches, the Cikapundung, divides Bandung from north to south
before it merges with Citarum again in Dayeuhkolot. The Bandung Basin is an important source
of water for drinking water, irrigation and fisheries, and its 6,147 million m³ of groundwater is a
major reservoir for the city.
The northern part of the city is hillier than the rest; the distinguished truncated flat-peak shape of
the Tangkuban Perahu volcano (Tangkuban Perahu literally means 'up-turned boat') can be seen
from the city to the north. Long-term volcanic activity has created fertile andisol soil in the north,
suitable for intensive rice, fruit, tea, tobacco and coffee plantations. In the south and east, alluvial
soils deposited by the Cikapundung river are mostly found.
Geological data shows that the Bandung Basin is located on an ancient volcano, known as Mount
Sunda, erected up to 3,000–4,000 metres (9,850–13,100 ft) during the Pleistocene age. Two
large-scale eruptions took place; the first formed the basin and the other (est. 55,000 Before
Present) blocked the Citarum river, turning the basin into a lake known as "the Great Lake of
Bandung". The lake drained away; the reason for which is the subject of ongoing debate