Home » attraction » South Sumatera » Top 4 Historical Places in Palembang to Have Better Understanding about History

Top 4 Historical Places in Palembang to Have Better Understanding about History

by Yoga Adi
Historical Places in Palembang - Cover

Previously, we talked about one great attraction on Sumatra island, the one and only Ngarai Sianok or Sianok Canyon. This canyon alone can be a proof that the island is actually really worth visiting. The attractions are abundants, the foods are memorable, plus the views are incredible.

One thing you should know that, other than the natural attraction hunting, you may as well do some historical journey to explore many stories Sumatra has. One example is the city of South Sumatra called Palembang. For some people, this city is mostly known for the popular South Sumatran foods, like the famous Pempek Palembang for example.

But, not many know that this city holds many histories.  There’s so many things to do in Palembang, including seeing and feeling what’s left from the old untold stories.

Palembang As a City of History

Ampera Bridge

The Palembang city is the mother city of South Sumatra, known as the second biggest city of the whole island. The name of Palembang is mentioned in many old historical books, even known not only inside the country, but also in the Western World. They even gave the city with a beautiful title, “The Venice of the East”.

The advancements in trading and economy of the old Palembang can not be divided from the fact that this place was once a home from one dominating kingdom of Nusantara called Sriwijaya (Srivijaya). The advantage of strategic power put the Kingdom made it to be the biggest Buddhist Kingdom in South East Asia.

The Kingdom was known for mastery in maritime power, both in war and economy. The Srivijaya fleet was one of the best armies you can possibly imagine, even feared by invaders.

Opening up the trade routes to different countries making it a prosperous Kingdom. In the 9th century, Srivijaya Kingdom was dominating the whole country, and even called it as Bumi Sriwijaya (Srivijaya’s Land).

 Other than the Kingdom, Palembang city is also known as the oldest city in Indonesia. This can be proven by the Kedukan Bukit tablet that was found in Bukit Siguntang.

The tablet shows the information of the founding of the city, that was done way back in June 16th 682. With a long life it has, the city itself is a watcher to many historical stories that some many now know. And this time, you might have a chance to actually see what’s left from those histories.

Historical Places Around Palembang

  • Taman Purbakala Kerajaan Sriwijaya (The Old Park of Srivijaya Kingdom)
Taman Purbakala Srivijaya

·      Location                   : Syakhyakirti st., Karanganyar, Gandus, Palembang

·      Ticket Fee                : Rp3.000,-

·      Opening Hours        : 08.00 – 18.00

One of the interesting things to do in Palembang is to see the history of Srivijaya. If you want to see what’s left after the fall of Srivijaya Kingdom, you can visit the Taman Purbakala Kerajaan Sriwijaya in Karanganyar.

The park is believed to be a part of Great Srivijaya Kingdom. It’s proven by the several man-made facilities like water canals, trenches, and ponds with proper structure.

Around the park, some ancient relics were found by an archaeological team back in 1985. The search was continued years later in 1989.

Some items were then saved inside a museum that was built later called Srivijaya Museum. Years after repair and renovation, the park then inaugurated by Mr. Soeharto, Indonesian President of 2004 in 22 December.

  • Kuto Besak Fort
Kuto Besak Fort

·      Location                   : Sultan Mahmud Badarudin st., Bukit Kecil, Palembang

·      Ticket Fee                : Rp 5.000,-

·      Opening Hours        : 08.00-21.00

Aside from the castles that are part of the Medan historical site attractions, you may also find a castle or fortress in Palembang, called Kuto Besak. This giant building was built in the Sultanate Era of Sumatra. The building process wasn’t a short one. It took about 17 long years in order to build this fortress from ground up.

Now, the tourists can visit it as well, seeing how great the building is even for a 300 years old architecture. Some people would visit it during the evening in order to see the beautiful sunset from the castle.

  • Cheng Hoo Mosque
Cheng Hoo Mosque

·      Location                   : Ulu st. 15, Seberang Ulu 1, Palembang

·      Ticket Fee                : Free

·      Opening Hours        : 04.00-21.00

Even though there was an Islamic Sultanate Era in the 17th century, Palembang is not a place for muslims only. You may also find the christians as well, along with the abundant Chinese. But they can keep the peace for these long years without problem. It’s because they respect and love each other despite the differences.

The icon of this peacefulness is Cheng Hoo Mosque that was built by PITI (Indonesian Chinese Islamic Association) in order to achieve harmony between Chinese and muslims people. Now this place works regularly as a mosque that can hold 600 people inside.

  • Bumi Ayu Temple
Bumi Ayu Temple

·      Location                   : Bumiayu, Tanah Abang, Muara Enim

·      Ticket Fee                : Free

·      Opening Hours        : Opens 24 hrs

If you’re asking some Indonesian people where is the place to look for traditional temples, they would mention Central Java province, especially since it has a lot of temples in Central Java. But in South Sumatra, you may also find one. This temple is not located right in Palembang city. Instead, it’s in Muara Enim, a bit far from the city.

However, Bumi Ayu Temple complex was found heavily destroyed at first. It almost looked like a little hill of soil. That’s why, the effort of uncovering the real stories of Bumi Ayu is still going, even now. There must be some truth about the nine temples located on the site.

The historical places mentioned above are only some of many.  For the other ones, it’s up to you to recover the old stories that you want to know, adding the other reasons why you should visit Sumatra for your bucket list.

You may also like