Sunda Kingdom

Sunda Kingdom

The Sunda Kingdom was, according to primary historical records from the sixteenth century, a kingdom covering areas of present-day Banten Province, Jakarta, West Java Province, and the west of Central Java Province. Based on primary historical record, Bujangga Manik manuscript (telling travel records of Prince Bujangga Manik, a Hindu Sundanese monk who visited all of the holy Hindu sites in Java and Bali islands at the beginning of the sixteenth century AD), which are saved in Boelian Library of Oxford University of England since 1627, the border of the Sunda Kingdom in the east is Pamali River ("Ci Pamali", present day Brebes River) and Serayu River ("Ci Serayu") in Central Java Province. [1]

In his travel log “Summa Oriental (1513 – 1515)”, Portuguese writer Tomé Pires mentioned the area of Sunda Kingdom as follows:

:The Sunda kingdom takes up half of the whole island of Java; others, to whom more authority is attributed, say that the Sunda kingdom must be a third part of the island and an eight more. It ends at the river chi Manuk. They say that from the earliest times God divided the island of Java from that of Sunda and that of Java by the said river, which has trees from one end to the other, and they say the trees on each side line over to each country with the branches on the ground.

Emerging of Sunda Kingdom

Historical record from Jayabupati inscription

The origin of the name Sunda was being used to identify a kingdom, written on an inscription found in Sukabumi area. The inscriptions consist of 40 lines requiring 4 piece of stone to write on. These 4 stones are found in the Cicatih river bank in Cibadak. Three were found near Kampung Bantar Muncang, while one was found near Kampung Pangcalikan. The inscriptions are written in the ancient Javanese script. Now the four inscriptions are stored at National Museum of Indonesia, with code D 73 (Cicatih), D 96, D 97 and D 98. The contents of the first three inscriptions (according Pleyte):

D 73 : //O// "Swasti shakawarsatita 952 karttikamasa tithi dwadashi shuklapa-ksa. ha. ka. ra. wara tambir. iri- ka diwasha nira prahajyan sunda ma-haraja shri jayabhupati jayamana- hen wisnumurtti samarawijaya shaka-labhuwanamandaleswaranindita harogowardhana wikra-mottunggadewa, ma-"

D 96 : "gaway tepek i purwa sanghyang tapak ginaway denira shri jayabhupati prahajyan sunda. mwang tan hanani baryya baryya shila. irikang lwah tan pangalapa ikan sesini lwah. Makahingan sanghyang tapak wates kapujan i hulu, i sor makahingan ia sanghyang tapak wates kapujan i wungkalagong kalih matangyan pinagawayaken pra-sasti pagepageh. mangmang sapatha."

D 97 : "sumpah denira prahajyan sunda. lwirnya nihan."

Translation:"Peace and well-being. In the year of Saka 952, Kartika month on the 12th day on the light part, Hariang day, Kaliwon, first day, Wuku Tambir. Today is the day that king of Sunda Maharaja Sri Jayabupati Jayamanahen Wisnumurti Samarawijaya Sakalabuwanamandaleswaranindita Haro Gowardhana Wikramottunggadewa, makes his marks on the Eastern part of Sanghiyang Tapak. Made by Sri Jayabupati King of Sunda. And may there be nobody allowed to break this law. In this part of river catching fish is forbidden, in the sacred area of Sanghyang Tapak near the source of the river. Up until the border of sacred Sanghyang Tapak marked by two big tree. So this inscriptions is made, enforced with an oath."

The oath of the king is written on the fourth inscription (D 98). Consisting of 20 lines, the oath is an invocation of all supernatural powers, deities from heavens and earth to protect and support the king's mandate. Whoever breaks the law would be punished by these supernatural beings, die in horrible way such as their brain being sucked, blood being drank, disembowelment, and chest is split in two. This inscription is closed by the words, "I wruhhanta kamung hyang kabeh" ("O being known by thee.., all the spirits").

Inscription's date

The date of the Jayabupati inscription is suggested to be October 11, 1030. According to Pustaka Nusantara, Parwa III sarga 1, Sri Jayabupati reigned for 12 years (952 - 964) saka (1030 - 1042AD). Strangely the style of the inscriptions reveal an East Javanese style of script. Not only letters, language, and style, but the noble name of the king is similar to royal names in Darmawangsa's court. Sri Jayabupati in Carita Parahiyangan is mentioned as Prabu Detya Maharaja. He is the 20th king of Sunda after Tarusbawa.

Historical record from Wangsakerta manuscript

According to Wangsakerta manuscript, king Tarusbawa from Sunda Sambawa, a vasal kingdom of Tarumanagara, had succeeded his father in-law as the 13th king of Tarumanagara. At the same time, Tarumanagara's prestige and power had been declining, likely due to the series of invasions from Srivijaya. Wishing to restore the glory of King Purnawarman that reigned from Purasaba (capital city) of Sundapura, in 670 AD he changed the name of Tarumanagara to Sunda kingdom. This event confirmed by a Chinese source that mentioned the last time Tarumanaga sent their envoy was in 669 AD. Tarusbawa did send his emissary to the Chinese Emperor at the time to informed his ascension to the throne in 669 AD. He was coronated on the date 9 on full moon on Jesta month in 591 Saka, or corresponds to 18th May 669 AD.

Separation of Galuh from Sunda Kingdom

Citarum River separates Sunda and Galuh] According to the Wangsakerta manuscript, the establishment of the Sunda Kingdom was used as an excuse by Wretikandayun, the lord of Galuh, another former vasal kingdom of Tarumanagara to break eastern Taruma apart from Tarusbawa's Sunda.

is divided into two kingdoms: the Sunda Kingdom in the west, and the Galuh Kingdom the east, separated by the Tarum (Citarum) River.

Location of Sunda capital

King Tarusbawa built a new capital city inland near the source of Cipakancilan river. According to "Carita Parahiyangan" (translation: 'The Story of Rahiyangs'), a manuscript from 15-16th century, king Tarusbawa was only mentioned as Tohaan (Lord/King) of Sunda. He will become the ancestor of a series of Sunda kings that reigned until 723 AD.

Location of Galuh capital

The capital of Galuh kingdom was in the area now known as Karang Kamulyan, Ciamis, around the town of Kawali.

Reunification of Sunda and Galuh

Sunda Kingdom and Galuh Kingdom coexisted under a strange and complex relationship. At times the two kingdoms unitied as the Sunda kingdom under the same king, at others they separated with different kings. They would finally unify as the Sunda kingdom under the same king.

The two kingdoms united as the Sunda kingdom under kings:

* Sanjaya (723 – 732 AD) with capital city in Kawali Galuh (present-day ciamis City)
* Tamperan or Rakeyan Panaraban (in 732 - 739 AD) with capital in Kawali Galuh
* Wuwus (819 – 891 AD) with capital city in Pakuan (present-day Bogor City)
* Darmaraksa (891 – 895 AD) with capital in Pakuan
* Prabu Guru Darmasiksa with capital city in Sawunggalah (present-day Kuningan city)
* Rakeyan Jayadarma resided in Kawali
* Prabu Ragasuci (1297 – 1303 AD) resided in Saunggalah
* Prabu Citraganda (1303 – 1311 AD) resided in Pakuan
* Prabu Lingga Dewata (1311 – 1333 AD) might be resided in Kawali
* Prabu Ajiguna Wisesa (1333 – 1340 AD) resided in Kawali.
* Prabu Maharaja Lingga Buana (1340 – 1357 AD) resided in Kawali
* Prabu Mangkubumi Suradipati/Prabu Bunisora (1357 – 1371 AD) resided in Kawali
* Prabu Raja Wastu/Niskala Wastu Kancana (1371 – 1475 AD) resided in Kawali
* Sri Baduga Maharaja (1482 to 1521 AD) resided in Pakuan

Sri Baduga Maharaja moved the government from Kawali back to Pakuan in 1482. After Sri Baduga Maharaja, the capital city of the Sunda kingdom remained in Pakuan until the end of this kingdom.

unda kings

Since the crown prince of Sunda died before King Tarusbawa, Princess Tejakencana (the daughter of crown prince) was hailed as heiress of Sunda. She married to Rakeyan Jamri, who was a son of Bratasenawa (the third king of Galuh kingdom and a son of Wretikandayun) and princess Sanaha (from Kalingga). In 723 Jamri surpassed Tarusbawa to be the second king of Sunda. As the lord of Sunda he was known as Prabu Harisdarma and when he acquired the throne of Galuh he was known as Sanjaya.

Sanjaya also had legitimate right to Kalingga's throne (from his grandmother's side). Thus in 732 AD he chose to live in Kalingga (in the northern part known as "Bhumi Mataram") and later established the Mataram Kingdom and Sanjaya Dynasty. In 732 he gave his right of western Java to his son from Tejakencana, Prince Tamperan (Rakeyan Panaraban). Rakeyan was a halfbrother of Rakai Panangkaran, Sanjaya's son from Sudiwara (daughter of Dewasinga, king of southern Kalingga).

Based on PUSTAKA RAJYARAJYA i BHUMI NUSANTARA, looking back at the most probable timeline for the rulers of the Sunda kingdom is as follows:

# Tarusbawa (669 – 723 AD)
# Sanjaya/Harisdarma/Rakeyan Jamri (723 –732 AD).
# Rakeyan Panaraban/Tamperan Barmawijaya (732 – 739 AD).
# Rakeyan Banga (739 – 766 AD)
# Rakeyan Medang Prabu Hulukujang (766 – 783 AD)
# Prabu Gilingwesi (783 – 795 AD)
# Pucukbumi Darmeswara (795 – 819 AD)
# Prabu Gajah Kulon Rakeyan Wuwus (819 – 891 AD)
# Prabu Darmaraksa (891 – 895 AD)
# Windusakti Prabu Dewageng (895 – 913 AD)
# Rakeyan Kemuning Gading Prabu Pucukwesi (913 – 916 AD)
# Rakeyan Jayagiri Prabu Wanayasa (916 – 942 AD)
# Prabu Resi Atmayadarma Hariwangsa (942 – 954 AD)
# Limbur Kancana (954 – 964 AD)
# Prabu Munding Ganawirya (964 – 973 AD)
# Prabu Jayagiri Rakeyan Wulung Gadung (973 – 989 AD)
# Prabu Brajawisesa (989 – 1012 AD)
# Prabu Dewa Sanghyang (1012 – 1019 AD)
# Prabu Sanghyang Ageng (1019 – 1030 AD)
# Prabu Detya Maharaja Sri Jayabupati (1030 – 1042 AD).
# Jayabupati
# Raja Sunda XXI
# Raja Sunda XXII
# Raja Sunda XXIII
# Raja Sunda XXIV
# Prabu Guru Dharmasiksa
# Rakeyan Jayadarma.
# Prabu Ragasuci (1297 – 1303)
# Prabu Citraganda (1303 – 1311)
# Prabu Lingga Dewata (1311 – 1333)
# Prabu Ajigunawisesa (1333 – 1340.
# Prabu Maharaja Lingga Buana (1340 – 1357)
# Mangkubumi Suradipati/Prabu Bunisora (1357 – 1371)
# Prabu Raja Wastu/Niskala Wastu Kancana (1371 – 1475)
# Prabu Susuk tunggal (1475 – 1482)
# Sri Baduga Maharaja

Famous kings of Sunda

Some of the most famous kings of Sunda included:

# Prabu Maharaja Lingga Buana.
He resided in Kawali Galuh. He died in the Bubat War (Majapahit kingdom‘s territory – current East Java Province) in 1357 AD against the betrayal of Majapahit prime minister, Gajah Mada. The war started with the intention of Hayam Wuruk, the highest king of Majapahit to marry Diah Pitaloka, a daughter of Prabu Maharaja Lingga Buana. The Sunda royal family came to Majapahit, sailing the Java Sea, to marry his daughter with Hayam Wuruk. But in their way to Majapahit pallace, the Sunda royal family was attacked by Gajah Mada's army in Bubat. As a result there was a skirmish between the royal family and the Majapahit army. The royal family were decimated by the Majapahit army in the name of thier honour. After his death, Prabu Maharaja Lingga Buana was called by Sundanese as Prabu Wangi (lit. king with good smell) because of his heroic act against Majapahit and his descendant kings were called Siliwangi (lit. successor of Wangi). We can find the sory of the Bubat War in Kidung Sunda at
# Sri Baduga Maharaja
He is a grandchild of Prabu Wastu Kancana alias Prabu Niskala Wastu, one of Prabu Wangi’s sons. Sri Baduga Maharaja alias Prabu Siliwangi moved the government from Kawali back to Pakuan in 1482. Based on Prasasti Kebantenan copperplate inscription, he established a sacred estate (tanah devasasana) at Mount Samya (Rancamaya) and ordered that anyone entering was forbidden to disturb this area and the imposition of taxes and other levies was prohibited because devasana contained facilities for worship, which belonged to the king.
He also announced that holy construction in Sunda Sembawa, which should be cared for and be undisturbed because the area stipulated is the residential area of the wiku (priests).
According to Batutulis stone inscription, Sri Baduga Maharaja paved the roads with stones so that carriages could pass the mountains (today’s Puncak road); he established huts and forest reserves for wood destined for offerings, and he established the Talaga-warna-mahawijaya Lake (which is close to the Puncak Pass). Certainly, there was a good road to Sunda Kalapa (present-day Jakarta Metropolitan city) too, the most important harbor of the Sunda kingdom.
At the time of the visit of Tome Pirés in Pakuan, Sri Baduga Maharaja reigned over the Sunda kingdom (1482 to 1521 AD). The year of his coronation, 1482, has been stipulated at the birth date of the present-day city of Bogor. However, there was certainly an important settlement there long before, and Pakuan had already been declared the capital of the Sunda kingdom under previous kings of Sunda.
# Prabu Surawisesa Jayaperkosa alias Ratu Sanghiang (by the Portuguese called Ratu Samian)
He reigned from 1521 until death in 1535. He established the Prasasti Batutulis inscription stone in 1533 AD to commemorate his great father. He faced the threat of expansion by and absorption into Sultanate of Banten and Demak. He concluded a peace treaty (which is called Luso Sundanese Treaty with the Portuguese from Malacca to establish a warehouse and fortress at Sunda Kalapa harbour in return for protection against the expansionist forces. The contract document was drafted into two copies and signed, with the agreement commemorated by the placement of the Padrao stone monument at the mouth of the Ciliwung River in 1522 AD. His trade and defense treaty with the Portuguese from 1522 lacked its realization because Fatahilah had conquered Sunda Kalapa harbour just before the Portuguese arrived back there. Because of ongoing battles, he often could not stay in his palace in Pakuan Pajajaran.

undanese Royal Family members who become Javanese Kings

There were two Sundanese royal family who became kings of Javanese. They were:

# Sanjaya or Harisdama or Rakeyan Jamri, king of Galuh (723 – 732 AD).
Sanjaya’s mother is Princess Sanaha from Kalingga and his father is Bratasenawa (the third king of Galuh Kingdom). Sanjaya is a grandson of Wretikandayun and married Tejakancana, a daughter of Tarusbawa. Sanjaya become the second king of Sunda replacing Tarusbawa in 723 AD. Sanjaya was not interested in becoming the King of Sunda. He assigned his son, Rakeyan Tamperan as a king in Sunda. Sanjaya himself went to Kalingga and established a new kingdom there called Mataram.
# Sangrama Wijaya (Raden Wijaya), the first King of Majapahit, is the son of Sunda King; Rakeyan Jayadharma.
According to PUSTAKA RAJYARAJYA i BHUMI NUSANTARA parwa II sarga 3: Rakeyan Jayadarma is the son-in-law of Mahisa Campaka of Singhasari. Prince Jayadharma married Dyah Singamurti alias Dyah Lembu Tal.
Except for Gajah Mada who insisted to incorporated the Sunda kingdom within Majapahit realm, this is the likely reason why Majapahit kings were reluctant to attack the Sunda kingdom. Thus there was some sacred alliance between the Sunda kingdom and Majapahit kingdom.

Conflicts and decline


anna and Purbasora

Tarusbawa is the good friend of Bratasena or Sena (709 - 716 AD), the third king of Galuh. He also known as Sanna, as mentioned in Canggal inscriptions (732 AD), uncle of Sanjaya. This friendship encourage Tarusbawa to took Sanjaya as his son in-law. Bratasenawa (Sanna or Sena) is surpassed from Galuh throne by Purbasora in 716 AD. Purbasora is the grandson of Wretikandayun from his eldest son, Batara Danghyang Guru Sempakwaja, the founder of Galunggung kingdom. On the other hand Sena is also grandson of Wretikandayun from his youngest son, Mandiminyak, the second king of Galuh (702-709 AD).

Actually Purbasora and Sena is brothers from same mother because the affair between Mandiminyak and Sempakwaja's wife. Sempakwaja can not succeeded his father because he is toothless, a shameful physical handicap considered unsuitable to be king at that time. That's why his younger brother has inherited the Galuh throne from Wretikandayun. However, the son of Sempakwaja still felt deserved to the throne of Galuh. Moreover King Sena has doubtful scandalous origin that fueled Purbasora rebellion and determination to took Galuh throne from Sena.

With the aid of his father in-law, King Indraprahasta, from a kingdom near present day Cirebon, Purbasora launch his coup on Galuh throne. Defeated Sena flee to Kalingga, the kingdom of his wife's grandmother, Queen Shima.

anjaya and Balangantrang

Sanjaya, the son of Sannaha (sister of Sena), determined to take revenge to Purbasora's family. He ask the help of Tarusbawa, friend of Sena. His wish is put to realisation when he become the king of Sunda, reigning on behalf of his wife.

He has prepared a special force placed on Gunung Sawal area with the help of Rabuyut Sawal, also dear friend of Sena. This special force is led by Sanjaya, while Sunda army is led by Patih Anggada. The raid is launced at nightfal is surprise attack. Almost all of Purbasora's family is wiped out, except Bimaraksa, Purbasora's son in-law, the minister of Galuh that escaped with just a handful of guards.

Bimaraksa also known as Ki Balangantrang, he is the Senapati (army general) of the kingdom. Balangantrang also the grandson of Wretikandayun from his second son, Resi Guru Jantaka or Rahyang Kidul, he also considered unfit to be the successor of Wretikandayun because he suffer hernia. Balangantrang hide in Gègèr Sunten village and rising anti-Sanjaya forces. He is supported by kings of Kuningan also the remnants of Indraprahasta army. Indraphrasta has been annihilates by Sanjaya as the revenge for their aid, helping Purbasora to ousts Sena.

Sena has asked Sanjaya to honor all of Galuh royal family, except Purbasora. Sanjaya himself is not interested to reign Galuh. He just attack it to fulfill his godfather's wish to took revenge on Purbasora's family. After defeating Purbasora, Sanjaya ask his uncle, Sempakwaja, in Galunggung to order Demunawan, younger brother of Purbasora, to reign in Galuh. But Sempakwaja decline his fearing this only Sanjaya's trick to annihilate Demunawan.

Sanjaya himself can not reach Balangantrang whereabout. So he accepted his rights on Galuh throne. Realize he is unwelcomed in Galuh court, and also he is a Sunda King that must reside in Pakuan, he put Premana Dikusuma, grandson of Purbasora in charge of Galuh. Premana Dikusuma at that time is placed as vassal king. In the age 43 years old (born on 683 AD), he's already known as Rsi or aeschetic monk because his passion on learning spiritual teaching since young age, he also known as Bagawat Sajalajaya.

The Decline of Sunda Kingdom

After Sri Baduga Maharaja’s death in 1521, the succeding kings, Prabu Surawisesa Jayaperkosa alias Ratu Sang Hiang (by the Portuguese called Ratu Samian), faced the threat of expansion by expansive Sultanate of Banten and Demak. Under this threat, Prabu Surawisesa Jayaperkosa, who reigned over the kingdom from 1521 to 1535, concluded the treaty with Portuguese from Malacca to establish a warehouse and fortress at Sunda Kelapa in return for protection against the expansive forces. The contract document was drafted into two copies and signed, with the agreement commemorated by the placement of the Padrão stone monument at the mouth of the Ciliwung River in 1522 AD. His trade and defense treaty with the Portuguese from 1522, which is called Luso Sundanese Treaty, lacked its realization because Fatahilah had conquered Sunda Kalapa harbour just before the Portuguese arrived back there.

After Prabu Surawisesa, other kings who ruled Sunda Kingdom were:

* From 1535 to 1543: Ratu Dewata, alias Sang Ratu Jaya Dewata, was his successor but not Prabu Surawisesa's son.
* From 1543 to 1551: Ratu Sakti. He was the fourth Pajajaran king in Pakuan.
* From 1551 to 1567: King Nilakendra, alias Tohaan di Majaya. Because of ongoing battles, he could not stay in the kraton.
* From 1567 to 1579, under the last king Raja Mulya, alias Prabu Surya Kencana, the kingdom declined essentially, particularly after 1576 due to expansive pressure, and finally collapsed in 1579. In Carita Parahyangan, his name is Nusa Mulya. He lived in Pulasari, Pandeglang, or in Kaduhejo, Menes Subdistrict, at the slope of Mount Palasari.

The final kings could no longer reside in Pakuan Pajajaran. The Sultanate of Banten then ruled the former Sunda Kingdom.



Historical records and references

There are many primary and secondary historical records noted the existence of Sunda Kingdom.

Historical resource from the Sunda kingdom

The earliest time a reference to the name Sunda being used to identify a kingdom is written on the Prasasti Kebon Kopi II stone inscription of 458 Saka (536 AD). The inscription was in old Javanese script; however, the language used was old Malay language. The inscription translates as follows:

Some people have an opinion that the year of the inscription must be read as 854 Saka (932 AD) because they think it is not possible that the Sunda kingdom existed in 536 AD, in the era of the Kingdom of Tarumanagara (358-669 AD).

Another reference to the kingdom is the Sanghiyang Tapak inscriptions which consist of 40 lines written on 4 pieces of stone. These 4 stones were found in the Cicatih river bank in Cibadak, Sukabumi. The inscriptions is written in old Javanese script. Now the four inscriptions are stored at National Museum Jakarta, with code D 73 (Cicatih), D 96, D 97 and D 98. The contents of the inscriptions (according Pleyte):

The date of the Jayabupati inscription is suggested on October 11, 1030. According to Pustaka Nusantara, Parwa III sarga 1, Sri Jayabupati reigned for 12 years (952 - 964) saka (1030 - 1042AD). The style of the inscriptions revealing East Javanese style whether letters, language, and style, and the noble name of the king. It is very possible that Jayabupati (who married Javanese royal family) used Old Javanese language in the prasasti because he wanted to inform Javanese that there is a territory of the Sunda kingdom that must not be disturbed by Javanese.

Historical resources from China

According to F. Hirt and W. W. Rockhill, there is certain Chinese sources concerning the Sunda kingdom. At the time of the Southern Sung Dynasty, the inspector of trade with foreign countries, Chan Ju-kua collected reports from sailors and merchants who had actually visited foreign countries. In his Report on Far countries, Chu-fan-chi, written from 1178 to 1225 AD, the deep water harbor of Sin-t’o (Sunda) is mentioned. Chu-fan-chi reported that:

Chinese book “shun-feng hsiang-sung£ from about 1430 AD tell:

Other historical resources from the Sunda kingdom

Copperplate letters of the fifteenth century with royal instructions also explains the existence of the Sunda kingdom. The copperplate inscription of Prasasti Kebantenan I (Jayagiri) reads that Raja Rahyang Niskala Wastu Kancana sent an order through Hyang Ningrat Kancana to the Susuhunan of Pakuan Pajajaran to take care of dayohan in Jayagiri and Sunda Sembawa. The text expresively mentions a ban on issuing regulations aimed at taking any taxes from the people there because they all are very knowledgeable in (Hindu) religion and they worship the gods.

Prasasti Kebantenan II (Sunda Sembawa I) copperplate has the inscription announcing the approval of Sri Baduga Maharaja (1482-1521), the king staying in Pakuan, of a sacred estate (tanah devasasana); the borders of which are already established, and that ground must not be distributed because devasana harbors facilitates for worship, which belong to the king. The text also tells that this restricted area was put at the disposal of the wiku (priests).

Prasasti Kebantenan III (Sunda Sembawa II) copperplate contains announcement of approval from the king of Sunda and sanctions of holy construction in Sunda Sembawa, which should be cared for and not being disturbed because the area stipulated is the residential area of the wiku (priests). If anyone dares to enter that area in sunda Sembawa, they are to be killed.

Prasasti Kebantenan IV (Gunung Samaya) inscription says that Sri Baduga Maharaja, who is ruling in Pakuan, sanctions a sacred place (tanah devasana) at Gunung (Mount Samya (Rancamaya), the borders of which are already established. Anyone entering was forbidden to disturb this area, and the imposition of taxes and other levies was prohibited because the area contained places of worship, which belonged to the king.

Historical resources from European explorer

European explorers also report the existence of the Sunda kingdom. One of the explorers was Tome Pirés from Portuguese. Tome Pirés in his report “Summa Oriental (1513 – 1515)” wrote that:

Tome Peres also wrote that:

quotation|Sunda kingdom is very rich. The land of Sunda has as much as four thousands horses which come there from Priaman (Sumatera) and other islands to be sold. It has up to forty elephants; these are for the king’s array. An inferior gold, of six carats, is found. There is abundance tamarinds which serve the native for vinegar.

The city where the king is most of the year is the great city of Dayo. The city has well-built houses of the palm leaf and wood. They say that the king’s house has three hundred and thirty wooden pillars as thick as a wine cask, and five fathoms high, and beautiful timber work on the top of the pillars, and a very well-built house. The city is two days’ journey from the chief port, which is called Kalapa.

The people of Sunda are said to be truthful. They, with great city of Dayo, the town and lands and port of Bantam, the port of Pontang, the port of Cheguide, the port of Tangaram, the Port of Tangaram, the port of Calapa, the port of chi Manuk. are justly governed. The king is a great sportsman and hunter. The kingdom descends from father to son. The women are handsome, and those of the nobles chaste, which is not the case with those of the lower classes. There are monasteries of convents for the women, into which the nobles put their daughters, when they cannot match them in marriage according to their wishes. The married women, when their husband die, must, as point of honour, die with them, and if they should be afraid of death they put into the convents. The inhabitants are not very warlike, much addicted to their idolatries. They are fond of rich arms, ornamented with gold and inlaid work. Their krises are gilt, and also the point of their lances.

The people of the sea cost get on well with the merchants in the land. They are accustomed to trade. These people of Sunda very often come to Malacca to trade. They bring cargo lancharas, ships of a hundred and fifty tons. Sunda has up to six junks and many lancharas of the sunda kind, with masts like a crane, and steps between each so that they are easy to navigate.

unda Kingdom – Portuguese Treaty of 1522 AD

Sunda kingdom had made international treaty with Portuguese in 1522 AD. This treaty is better known under the name of Luso Sundanese Treaty of Sunda Kalapa. Because the growing expansive kingdom of Demak, the king of Sunda, Sri Baduga Maharaja, sought assistance from the Portuguese at Malacca. Therefore, in 1512 and again in 1521, he sent his son, the Crown Prince Prabu Surawisesa alis Ratu Sang Hiang (Portuguese heard it as Samian) to Malacca in order to invite the Portuguese to sign a peace treaty, to trade in pepper, and to build a fort at his main port of Sunda Kalapa.

By 1522, the Portuguese were ready to form a coalition with the King of Sunda in order to get access to his profitting pepper trade. That was the same year as Magellan’s global circumnavigation was completed. The commander of the fortress of Malacca at that time was still Jorge de Albuquerque. He sent a ship, the São Sebastião, under Captain Henrique Leme, to Sunda Kalapa with valuable gifts for the king of Sunda. Two written sources describe the concluding of the treaty in detail. One is the original Portuguese document of 1522 with the text of the treaty and the signatories of the witnesses, and the other is a report on that event by João de Barros in his book Da Ásia, printed not before 1777/78.

According to these sources, the king welcome them warmly upon their arrival. The crown Prince (1512 and 1521) had succeeded his father and was now King Prabu Surawisesa with his title Ratu Samiam (Sang Hiang). Barros called him King Samião. This Sunda ruler agreed to an arrangement of friendship with the King of Portugal and decided to grant a fortress at the mouth of the Ciliwung River where the Portuguese could load as many ships as they wished with pepper. In addition, he pledged that from the day when the building of the fortress began, each year he would donate one thousand sacks of pepper to the Portuguese king (that is more than 20 tons). On the said day, Henrique Leme of Portuguese and his entourage together with deputies of the King of Sunda, erected a memory stone, called a padrão.

The Portuguese failed to keep their promise to construct the fortress because of troubles in Goa / India.

The army of Paletehan alias Fadillah Khan (1487-1570), comprising around 1452 troops from Cirebon-Demak aliance, had forcefully conquered Sunda Kalapa The commander of the Sunda kingdom and his troops fell to them. The harbor chief and his family, the royal minister, and all of the people working in the harbor, lost their lives. Most of the city was destroyed, as the reinforcements sent in from Pakuan realized that their forces were too weak and retreated. Sunda Kalapa Harbour was named as Jayakarta or Jakarta.

Thirty Portuguese sailors, who had been shipwrecked by storm, swam to the beach at Kalapa only to be killed by Fadillah Khan’s men. The Portuguese recognized the political leadership had changed when they were not allowed to set foot on the land. As they were too weak for a battle, they set sail back to Malacca. The next year, a second attempt failed because of striking sailors who were angry at not having been paid.

The war between Cirebon-Demak allliance and the Sunda kingdom lasted almost five years. The king lost 1000 of his troops. Finally, in 1531 a peace treaty was concluded between king Surawisesa and Syarif Hidayatullah.

The photograph of the Portuguese Padrao is by Herwig Zahorka. Copyright was not honored.

Historical resources after Sunda Kalapa was named Jakarta

Other Portuguese explorer, Diogo do Couto, also wrote that the Sunda kingdom is thriving and abundant; it lies between Java and Sumatra, having between it and the latter Sunda Strait. Many islands lie along the coast of this kingdom within the strait, for nearly the space of forty leagues, which in the widest are about twenty-five, and in others only twelve leagues, which in the widest are about twenty-five, and in others only twelve leagues broad. Banta is about the middle distance. All the islands are well timbered, but have little water. A small one called Macar, at the entrance of [Sunda Strait, is said to have much gold.

He also noted that the principle ports of the Sunda kingdom were Banten, Ache, Chacatara (Jakarta), to which every year resort about twenty sommas, which are a kind of vessel belonging to Chienheo (cochin china), out of the maritime province of China, to load pepper, for this kingdom produces eight thousand bahars, which are equal to thirty thousand quintals of pepper annually.

Bantam is situated in six degrees of south latitude, in the middle of a fine bay, which is three leagues from point to point. The town in length, stretching landward, is eight hundreed and fifty fathoms, and the seaport extends about four hundred. A river capable of admitting jungs and gallies, flow through the middle of the town: a small branch of this river admits boats and small craft.

There is a brick fort, the walls of which are seven palms thick, with wooden bulwarks, armed with two tiers of artillery. The anchorage is good; in some places a muddy, in others a sandy bottom, the depth from two to sixt fathoms.

See also

* History of Indonesia



* “Maharadja Cri Djajabhoepathi, Soenda’s Oudst Bekende Vorst”, TBG, 57. Batavia: BGKW, page 201-219, 1915)
* Sumber-sumber asli sejarah Jakarta, Jilid I: Dokumen-dokumen sejarah Jakarta sampai dengan akhir abad ke-16
* Kebudayaan Sunda Zaman Pajajaran, Jilid 2, Edi S. Ekajati, Pustaka Jaya, 2005
* The Sunda Kingdom of West Java From Tarumanagara to Pakuan Pajajaran with the Royal Center of Bogor, Herwig Zahorka, Yayasan Cipta Loka Caraka, Jakarta, 2007-05-20

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