JAMBI Province

riverside batanghari

Night scene along Batanghari Riverside, Tanggo Rajo (lit. means ‘King’s ladder) Jambi City 

Official Name : Jambi

Origin of Name: According to local legend, the word ‘Jambi’ is related to the word ‘Pinang’ (battlenut). It was told that the area alongside Batanghari river was controlled by a queen named ‘Puteri Selaras Pinang Masak’. During the engagement with the Javanese kingdom of Majapahit, the influence of Javanese court language was absorbed, including the word ‘pinang’ (battlenut) which was called ‘Jambe’ in Javanese.

Other version said, that most likely when Datuk Orang Kayo Hitam tried to pick the land for the construction site of the new kingdom (in locals called  ‘Tanah Pilih Pesako Bertuah’), he chose a land that were grown by battlenuts along the Batang Hari river. Accordingly, its new name of the sultanate was called “Jambe” means “battlenut”.

History: Jambi was the site of the Srivijayan kingdom that engaged in trade throughout the Strait of Malacca and beyond. Jambi succeeded Palembang, its southern economic and military rival, as the capital of the kingdom. The movement of the capital to Jambi was partly induced by the 1025 raid by pirates from the Chola region of southern India, which destroyed much of Palembang. In the early decades of the Dutch presence in the region, when the Dutch were one of several traders competing with the British, Chinese, Arabs, and Malays, the Jambi sultanate profited from trade in pepper with the Dutch. This relationship declined by about 1770, and the sultanate had little contact with the Dutch for about sixty years.

In 1833, minor conflicts with the Dutch (the Indonesian colonial possessions of which were now nationalised as the Dutch East Indies) who were well established in Palembang, meant the Dutch increasingly felt the need to control the actions of Jambi. They coerced Sultan Facharudin to agree to greater Dutch presence in the region and control over trade, although the sultanate remained nominally independent. In 1858 the Dutch, apparently concerned over the risk of competition for control from other foreign powers, invaded Jambi with a force from their capital Batavia. They met little resistance, and Sultan Taha fled upriver, to the inland regions of Jambi. The Dutch installed a puppet ruler, Nazarudin, in the lower region, which included the capital city. For the next forty years Taha maintained the upriver kingdom, and slowly reextended his influence over the lower regions through political agreements and marriage connections.

In 1904, however, the Dutch were stronger and, as a part of a larger campaign to consolidate control over the entire archipelago, soldiers finally managed to capture and kill Taha, and in 1906, the entire area was brought under direct colonial management. Following the death of Jambi sultan, Taha Saifuddin, on April 27, 1904 and the success of the Dutch controlled areas of the Sultanate of Jambi, Jambi then set as the Residency and entry into the territory Nederlandsch Indie. Jambi’s first Resident OL Helfrich was appointed by the Governor General of the Dutch Decree No. 20 dated May 4, 1906 and his inauguration held on July 2, 1906.

After Indonesia independence in 1945, Jambi along with Minangkabau, Riau and Riau Archipelago were grouped into Central Sumatra Province. In 1958 it finally gained its provincial status.  Although grouped with Riau and Minangkabau, culturally – especially its Malay language – Jambi is closer to Bengkulu & Palembang rather than to Riau or Minangkabau (except probably Kerinci regency which once belonged to Minangkabau region)

Founded : June 25 1958

Legality : UU No. 61 /1958

Location : Laid in the southern side of Central Sumatera, Jambi borders with Berhala Strait (east);  to the north is Riau ( Kuantan Singingi, Inderagiri Hulu & Inderagiri Hilir ) ; to the north-west is West Sumatera Province ( Dharmasraya, South Solok & Pesisir Selatan ); to the south-west is Bengkulu ( Mukomuko, North Bengkulu & Lebong ); and largely borders to the south-east is South Sumatera province ( Musi Rawas Utara, Musi Banyuasin & Banyuasin ).


Pop:  2,840,295 (20th)/ Area: 50,058 km2 (11th)

Province Seal :

jambi seals logo

Motto : Sepucuk Jambi Sembilan Lurah (Malay) ; Definition of Jambi Sultanate which covered 9 hills or 9 rivers or 9 regions. Today Jambi Province also consists of 9 regencies, so that motto once again met its prophecy.


Administrative Divisions : 2 cities & 9 regencies

Cities (2) :

1. Kota Jambi ( Provincial capital, as well as an autonomous city )

2. Kota Sungai Penuh (used to be the seat of Kerinci regency, now is an autononous city separated from the regency)

Regencies / Kabupaten (9) :

3. MUARO JAMBI ( Sengeti )

4. EAST TANJUNG JABUNG ( Muara Sebak )

5. WEST TANJUNG JABUNG ( Kuala Tungkal )

6. BATANGHARI ( Muara Bulian )

7. MERANGIN ( Bangko )

8. TEBO ( Muaro Tebo )

9. SAROLANGUN ( Kota Sarolangun )

10. BUNGO ( Muaro Bungo )

11.  KERINCI (1956-2011: Sungai Penuh ; 2011-now:  Siulak )

ZIP Code :36-37xxx  Phone Code:  0740 (Mendahara/Muara Sabak); 0741 (Kota Jambi & Sengeti/Muara Jambi);  0742 (Kuala Tungkal/Tebing Tinggi Jambi);  0743  (Muara Bulian); 0744 (Muara Tebo); 0745 (Sarolangun); 0746 (Bangko); 0747 (Muara Bungo); 0748 (Kerinci & Sungai Penuh)

Vehicle Plate : BH (all province)

State University :

university jambi 2

Jambi State Univ (Univ. Negeri Jambi / UNJA) – Kampus Pinang Masak, Kota Jambi

iain sultan thaha

Sultan Thaha Saifuddin State Islamic Institute (IAIN STS) –  Telanai Pura, Kota Jambi


sulanthaha jambi airport

Sultan Thaha Airport / DJB  (Jambi city)


Muaro Bungo Airport (Muaro Bungo city, Bungo)

Province Fauna/Floral:

jambi flora fauna

Ethnics of origin: Malays (Melayu Jambi); Kerinci; Native people (Sakai, Rimbo)

anak dalam rimba2

Native people of Jambi, the forest-nomad Anak Dalam (Orang Rimba)

Food: Jambi culinaries are influenced by Arab-India, Chinese and Malays/Minangkabaus. Some Palembang specialties are also common here such as Pindang ikan, Empek-empek, Tekwan, Tempoyak.


Folksong:  Injit-injit Semut, Pinang Mudo, Mak Inang, Tanduklah Lancip, Batanghari, Angso Duo, Rang Kayo Itam.


Traditional Clothes:

Traditional weapon 

Traditional house :

kjglako pg jambi

Jambi Malays Traditional ‘Kajang Lako’ & ‘Panggung’ house

Downtown & Mall :

Port :

Rivers :  Batang Hari, Batang Asam, Batang Tembesi, Bulian, Kumpeh, Pengabuan, Serengam, Singkati Gedang.

jambi city

Jambi City is actually a river city, Batang Hari River runs through it

Mountain & Natural :

National Park/Ocean Park :

Bridge & Dam : Aur Duri ( Batanghari I ); Makalam ; Batanghari II

bridge project jambi

Pedestrian Bridge – projected done by the end of 2014 for tourism, it’ll connect Metropolitan Jambi with Seberang Side (across Btanghari River) where Old Malay Jambi villages exist.  

Places of Interest :  *Historical Tourism, including : *Religious Tourism, including :  *Adventure Tourism : *Shopping Tourism : (handicrafts as well as many Malaysian & Singaporean products)

Visit : Pics of Provincial Capitol & Landmarks (click here):

Official Map:

Photos credit: Balaputradewa, Skyscrapercity.com


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