This page is about the capital city of Indonesia. For The Apache Jakarta project, see Jakarta Project.
Map of Indonesia showing Jakarta
Map of Indonesia showing Jakarta

Jakarta (also Djakarta or DKI Jakarta, formerly known as Batavia) is the capital and the largest city of Indonesia, located on the northwest coast of the island of Java, at Template:Coor dm. It has an area of 650 km² and a population of 8,792,000 (2004).

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Map of Jakarta (note that the regency of Thousand Islands located in northern Jakarta is not included in the map)


1888 German Map of Batavia (now Jakarta)
1888 German Map of Batavia (now Jakarta)

The first recorded settlement at what is now Jakarta was the port of Kalapa, near the mouth of the Ciliwung River. Its origin can be traced to a Hindu settlement as early as the 5th century. By the 12th century, it was a major port for the Hindu kingdom of Sunda. The Portuguese were reported to be the first Europeans to visit the port of Kalapa. A Hindu king granted Portuguese traders permission to build a fort at Kalapa in the early 16th century. Jakarta's port is still called Sunda Kelapa today, after this early settlement.

In 1527, the city was conquered by Fatahillah (or Faletehan), a young leader from a nearby kingdom from the north. Fatahillah changed the name Kalapa into Jayakarta (meaning "victorious and prosperous" in Javanese) on 22 June, 1527. This particular date is regarded as the official birth date of Jakarta. The Dutch came to Jayakarta at the end of the 16th century. In 1619 the forces of the Dutch East India Company, led by Jan Pieterszoon Coen, conquered the city and renamed Jayakarta to Batavia, the Latin name for the Netherlands. Batavia was the capital of the colonial Dutch East Indies. In the early 19th century, the city was expanded as the Dutch began moving to the south, to higher-elevation areas thought to be healthier. The British captured Java in 1811 and occupied the island for five years while the Netherlands were occupied with the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, before returning it to Dutch control.

With formal, direct rule by the Netherlands expanding to more parts of the archipelago during the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the importance of the colonial Batavia (Jakarta) increased. Dutch tactics to maintain control and tax revenue at times required nearly all exports from anywhere in the region to be shipped through the city, establishing for the city an overwhelming political and economic dominance that it retains today.

Japan took possession of the city in 1942 during World War II and renamed it Jakarta, to gain local favor. Following Japan's defeat in 1945, the Dutch reoccupied the city despite the declaration of independence by the Indonesians on August 17, 1945. Jakarta was the center of the Dutch effort to retain control over their former colony during the war of independence that ended with the establishment of Indonesia in 1949.


Seal of Jakarta
Seal of Jakarta

Unlike other cities in Indonesia, Jakarta has a special provincial status. The city is headed by a governor, not by a mayor. Jakarta is divided into five districts of kotamadya headed by walikotamadya (now the term kotamadya has been changed to just kota).

The Thousand Islands (Kepulauan Seribu) to the north of Jakarta is also part of Jakarta. It has the status of a regency.


Being the capital of Indonesia and the center of governance, politics, and economy, Jakarta attracts many immigrants, foreign and domestic. As a result, Jakarta has a decidedly cosmopolitan flavor and a diverse culture. Many of the immigrants are from other parts of Java, bringing along a mixture of dialects of Javanese and Sundanese, and their traditional foods and customs. Orang Betawi ("people of Batavia")is a term used to describe the descendants of the people living around Batavia from around the 17th Century. Orang Betawi are mostly descended from various Southeast Asian ethnic groups brought to or attracted to Batavia to meet labour needs, including people from various parts of Indonesia. They have a culture and language distinct from the Sundanese and Javanese.

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Sunset downtown

Jakarta has several performance centers, such as the Senayan center. Traditional music is often found at high-class hotels, including wayang and gamelan performances. As the largest city Jakarta has attracted many regional talents to relocate in hopes of finding a better audience and more opportunities for their arts and crafts.

The concentration of wealth and political influence in the city means that it has much more noticeable foreign influence on its landscape and culture; many major international fast-food chains have locations in the city, for example.


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Sudirman Road, a major Jakarta thoroughfare

There are railways throughout Jakarta; however, they are inadequate in providing transportation for the citizens of Jakarta. In peak hours, the number of passengers simply overloads the capacity provided. The railroad tracks connect Jakarta to its neighboring cities: Depok and Bogor to the south, Tangerang and Serpong to the west, and Bekasi, Karawang, and Cikampek to the east. The major rail stations are Gambir, Jatinegara, Manggarai, and Jakarta Kota.

Buses and transport cars (local language: Angkot, angkutan kota) are also popular. Like trains, they also become overloaded during peak hours. In 2003, the government formed Busway; it serves the route from Jakarta Kota all the way to Blok M. Normally, it takes more than one hour from Jakarta Kota to Blok M during peak hours. On the busway, it now takes less than half an hour. The second phase of the busway will be constructed in 2005, serving the route from Pulogadung to Kalideres.

Despite the presence of many large, wide boulevards, Jakarta suffers from heavy traffic congestion, especially in the central business district. To reduce traffic jams, some major roads in Jakarta have a three in one rule during rush hours, prohibiting vehicles carrying less than three passengers on certain roads.

Jakarta's transportation also depends on tollroads. The major tollroad is the inner ring road from Tanjung Priok-Cawang-Grogol-Tandjung Priok. The outer ring road is now being constructed and is partly operational from Cilincing-Cakung-Pasar Rebo-Pondok Pinang-Daan Mogot-Cengkareng. The tollroads also connect Jakarta to the International airport of Soekarno-Hatta to the northwest, to the port of Merak and Tangerang to the west, to Serpong to the southwest, to Depok and Bogor to the south, and to Bekasi, Cibitung and Karawang, Purwakarta and eventually to Bandung to the east.

Two monorail tracks are being constructed: the green track serving Semanggi-Casablanca-Kuningan-Semanggi and the blue track serving Kampung Melayu-Casablanca-Tanah Abang-Roxy.

The government is also considering waterbus ferries as a cheaper type of transportation along the canals in Jakarta.


Jakarta is the home of several universities:

Recreational Places

Shopping centers

Being the home of many of the country's political and economic elite, Jakarta boasts far more shopping venues than elsewhere in Indonesia. While these malls are too expensive to be accessible to many Jakarta residents, they dominate the high-end retail industry. Recent development of satellite cities in the surrounding areas, usually built around their own mega malls, parks, entertainment centers, and in some instances schools, has significantly expanded what is considered to be the practical border of Jakarta.


Jakarta is the home of popular soccer team Persija Jakarta, which regularly plays its matches in the stadium of Lebak Bulus. The biggest stadium is Gelora Bung Karno. With a capacity of more than 100,000 seats, it is one of the biggest stadia in the world.

The Senayan sports complex is comprised of several sport venues, which include: Gelora Bung Karno soccer stadium, Stadion Madya athletic stadium, Istora senayan, a shooting range, a tennis court, a golf driving range and several others.


Like many big cities in developing countries, Jakarta suffers from major urbanization problems. The population has sharply risen from 2.7 million in 1960 to 8.3 million in 2000. The rapid population growth has outgrown the government's ability to provide basic needs for its residents. As the biggest economy in Indonesia, Jakarta has attracted a large number of workers from its surrounding areas. The population during weekdays is almost double that of weeknights or weekends, due to the influx of workers residing in the surrounding areas. Because of government's inability to provide adequate transportation for its large population, Jakarta also suffers from severe traffic jams that occur almost every workday.

During the wet season, Jakarta suffers from floodings due to clogged sewage pipes and waterways. Depleting rainforest on the hill areas south of Jakarta near Bogor and Depok, due to rapid urbanization, has also contributed to the floods.

See also

External links

Template:Indonesiabn:জাকার্তা da:Jakarta de:Jakarta es:Yakarta fr:Jakarta hi:जकार्ता io:Jakarta id:DKI he:ג'קרטה nl:Jakarta ja:ジャカルタ no:Jakarta pl:Dżakarta pt:Jakarta ru:Джакарта sk:Jakarta fi:Jakarta sv:Jakarta th:จาการ์ตา zh:雅加达


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