Sukabumi Regency

Sukabumi Regency (Indonesian: Kabupaten Sukabumi; Sundanese: ᮊᮘᮥᮕᮒᮦᮔ᮪ ᮞᮥᮊᮘᮥᮙᮤ) is a regency (kabupaten) in southwestern Java, as part of West Java province of Indonesia. The regency seat is located in Palabuhan Ratu, a coastal district facing the Indian Ocean. The regency fully encircles the administratively separated city of Sukabumi. Covering an area of 4,161.00 km2, the regency is the largest regency in West Java and the second largest regency Java after the Banyuwangi Regency in East Java. The regency has a population of 2,434,221 (as of January 2015) with a large part of it living in the northeastern part of the regency that encircles Sukabumi City, south of Mount Gede. A plan to create a new regency, the North Sukabumi Regency is currently waiting for the approval of the central government.[1]

Sukabumi Regency

Kabupaten Sukabumi
Regional transcription(s)
  Sundaneseᮊᮘᮥᮕᮒᮦᮔ᮪ ᮞᮥᮊᮘᮥᮙᮤ
Clockwise, from top left : Karanghawu Beach, Streetscape of Pelabuhan Ratu, Cikaso waterfall, Pelabuhan Ratu Bay

Gemah Ripah Loh Jinawi
(Serene, Prosperous, Abundantly Fertile)
Location within West Java
Sukabumi Regency
Location in Java and Indonesia
Sukabumi Regency
Sukabumi Regency (Indonesia)
Coordinates: 6°59′19″S 106°33′03″E
ProvinceWest Java
ConsolidatedJune 1, 1921
Anniversary DayOktober 1, 1945
Regency seatPalabuhanratu
Administrative divisions47 Subdistricts
386 Villages
  RegentMarwan Hamami
  Vice RegentAdjo Sardjono
  Total4,161.00 km2 (1,606.57 sq mi)
Highest elevation
3,019 m (9,905 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
  Density590/km2 (1,500/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+7 (Indonesia Western Time)
Postal code(s)
431xx, 433xx
Area code(s)+62 266
Vehicle registrationF
HDI 0.644 (Medium)
WebsiteOfficial Portal

Sukabumi is strategically located south of Jabodetabek and west of Bandung Metro, two largest metropolitan area in Indonesia. Geologically, the regency is at the western end of Cimandiri Fault which split the northern plateau and the southern hilly areas.[2][3][4] Its southern region is less populated and contains a high level of biodiversity and significant geological heritage, acknowledged in 2015 by UNESCO with the declaration of Ciletuh-Palabuhanratu Geopark located in the southwestern coast of the regency.[5][6][7][8]


Early history

The area around Sukabumi was already inhabited at least in the 11th century. The first written record found in this area was the Sanghyang Tapak Inscription in Cibadak district, 20 km west of Sukabumi. Written in Kawi script, the stone tells about the prohibition of fishing activity in the nearby river by the authorities of the Sunda Kingdom.[9] Another written record found is the undeciphered Pasir Datar Inscription in the Cicantayan subdistrict.

After the fall of Sunda Kingdom in 1579, most of present-day Sukabumi Regency was under the control of Sumedang Larang, while the area west of Mount Gede was controlled by the Banten Sultanate. In 1620, King Aria Suriadiwangsa of Sumedang Larang declared his kingdom as part of Mataram Sultanate.[10][11][12][12] During this era, Dipati Ukur, the local ruler of present-day Bandung revolted against Mataram after the failed Siege of Batavia. The revolt triggered migration of people from Sumedang Larang to move and settle the area around Palabuhanratu and Jampang to protect themselves from the approaching Mataram troops.[13][14]

After Sultan Agung died in 1645, the Priangan region slowly breaking away from Mataram influence.[15] In 1674, Trunajaya rebellion started in Madura and greatly weakened Mataram.[16] Sukabumi which was still a part of Cianjur was declared itself independent from Mataram under the leadership of Wiratanu I in 1677, when Trunajaya forces sacked the Plered Palace in Mataram's capital.[17][18][19] The Sultanate itself was officially ceded Priangan region west of Citarum to the VOC on October 20, 1677, by an unequal treaty between Amangkurat II and Maetsuycker, as a compensation for Dutch assistance to quell the Trunajaya rebellion.[20][21][22][23] By that time, there were only few rural Sundanese settlements existed, one of the largest was Cikole.[24] Under the leadership of Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa, Banten tried to reclaim Priangan between 1677-1683 via an invasion of Cianjur, however his effort was ultimately failed when Banten descended into civil war between Ageng and his crown prince Abdul Kahhar.[11][17][25][26]

Colonial era

The inland and coastal areas of Sukabumi were first explored by Europeans at the end of the 17th century, when VOC planned to open plantations throughout Priangan.[27][28] The first Dutch expedition was led in 1687 by Pieter Scipio Van Oostende into the remnant of Pakuan and ended on Wijnkoopsbaai (present-day Palabuhanratu).[29][30] The next expeditions were led by Adolf Winkler in 1690,[31] and governor-general Abraham van Riebeeck in 1703, 1704, and 1709. In the 1709 expedition Van Riebeeck passed through Mount Gede and visited southern Sukabumi to check the progress of coffee cultivation in that area.[32][33] One of the first coffee plantation opened by Van Riebeeck was located in present-day Gunungguruh subdistrict.[34] The first coffee harvest was officially sent on April 14, 1711 by Tjiandjoer regent Wiratanu III.[35] In 1723, The coffee plantation areas in Sukabumi were grown, along with the enlargement of Tjiandjoer Regency during the administration of Hendrick Zwaardecroon.[36][37][38]


The regency was originally carved out from the colonial era-Tjianjoer Regency. It was then part of the Priangan Residency (Residentie Preanger Regentschappen). In 1776, the regent of Tjianjoer Wiratanu Datar VI created a kepatihan (viceregency) named Tjikole Viceregency which consisted the districts of Goenoengparang, Tjimahi, Tjiheoelang, Tjitjoeroeg, Djampangtengah and Djampangkoelon with its administrative center in Tjikole (now part of Sukabumi).

On January 13, 1815 under the British rule, the Tjikole Viceregency renamed as Soekaboemi Viceregency. The name Soekaboemi was proposed by a Dutch surgeon and plantation owner named Dr. Andries de Wilde, who owned a plantation and resided in the viceregency. The origin of the name came from the combination of two Sanskrit words, Soeka (happiness, likely) and Boemi (earth, land). Thus Soekaboemi could be translated as "Likable Land".

In 1921, by the decree of Governor General Dirk Fock, Tjiandjoer Regency was divided into two regencies which were Tjiandjoer and Soekaboemi regency, effective from June 1, 1921.[39] The first regent of Soekaboemi was R. A. A. Soerianatabrata, who also held position as Sukabumi's last viceregent. He held this position until 1930.[40] From 1926 to 1931, Soekaboemi served as the capital of the short-lived West Priangan Residency.[41][42]


The regency borders the Cianjur Regency in the east, Bogor Regency in the north, Lebak Regency in the west, and Indian Ocean in the south.


Along the southern coast of the regency there are several beaches such as Pasir Putih Beach (Cipanarikan estuary), Pangumbahan Beach (also known as Turtle Beach), Cibuaya Beach and Ujunggenteng Beach. Batununggul Beach is suitable for surfing with average wave height approximately 3 meters in dry season, but only 1 meter in rainy season.[43]


The 120-meters Caweni Waterfall is located only 200 metres from Cidolog road, about 70 kilometres south of Sukabumi and about 25 kilometres from Sagaranten District.[44]

The Cikaso Waterfall (Ciniti Waterfall) is located in Jampang Kulon district, 1.5 hours drive (70 kilometres) from Sukabumi City. The waterfall height is 80 metres; it consists of 3 waterfalls, from left to right Asepan Waterfall, Meong Waterfall and Aki Waterfall.[45]


Sukabumi with Cianjur is a part of western Parahyangan cultural region, a fertile mountainous region of West Java home to the Sundanese people.

Traditional festivities

The local people hold the Ocean Fiesta every year on 5 April in Pelabuhan Ratu Beach. There is also Ngabungbang tradition in Cisukawayana river estuary on every full moon of each month in early morning. Ngabungbang or Mass ritual bath is a pre-Islamic tradition since 175-205 BC when King Hyang Brahma ruled Medang Gali (Galuh) Kingdom and continued by Prabu Siliwangi from Sunda Kingdom until now.[46]

Administrative divisions

Until 2014, Sukabumi Regency was divided into 47 districts (kecamatan), listed below with their populations at the 2010 Census.[47] These exclude the further seven districts which are within the city of Sukabumi (and thus administratively outside the regency).

The proposed creation of a new North Sukabumi Regency (Kabupaten Sukabumi Utara) will comprise 23 of the above districts of Sukabumi Regency.


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