The kingdom of Tarumanagara was located in the present Indonesian province of West Java . It was likely centered on the region stretching from Jakarta , the capital of Indonesia, to the eastern city of Bekasi . It is the oldest kingdom of the island of Java known to date.

The existence of this kingdom is attested by seven inscriptions found in West Java . The paleography allowed to date them to around 450 AD. It mentions only one name of king, Purnawarman. Its capital is thought to be either in the Tugu district of North Jakarta or Bekasi , about 40 km east of Jakarta.

The name “Taruma” survived in the Citarum River , “the indigo river “, which flows into the sea east of Jakarta . Indigo was indeed one of the products exported from this region, especially to India.



The Batujaya site , located east of Jakarta , capital of Indonesia , in the regency of Karawang in the province of West Java , was examined for the first time by experts in 1984. It covers an area of 5 km 2 and revealed some 20 structures buried in tumuli that the inhabitants of the region call unur .


In 1952, at the site of Cibuaya , located near the sea, east of Jakarta , a statue of the Hindu god Vishnu was discovered . In 1957 and again in 1975, two other Vishnu statues were discovered. They have been dated to the 7th and 8th centuries. They can be seen at the National Museum of Indonesia in Jakarta.

Near the statues, five archaeological sites were discovered, revealing religious constructions of Hindu rite. The only visible monument is currently the Candy Cibuaya II, discovered in 1984, is in the form of a mound of 9 m side and 2 m high, at the top of which is a lingam of 1 m high and 0 , 40 m in diameter. A door and a staircase opening to the east shows that it is a Shaivitemonument .



The inscription of Tugu was discovered in 1879 in the village of Batu Tumbuh. The name of the village means “stone that has grown”. It appeared after a period of one month of rain, probably with erosion caused by rain. Written in Pallava alphabet and Sanskrit , the inscription praises King Purnawarman of Tarumanagara. She recounts that in 21 days he dug a 11- kilometer canal called “Gomati” through the property of priests, which the king rewarded with 1,000 goats. She describes another channel called “Candrabhaga”. His text is as follows:

Pura rajadhirajena guruna pinabhahuna khata khyatam purine phrapya
Candrabhagarnavam yayau pravarddhamanadwavincadvatsa (re) crigunaujasa narendradhvajbhunena (bhuten)
Crimata Purnnavarmmana prarabhya Phalgune mase khata krshnatashimithau Caitracuklatrayodcyam dinais siddhaikavinchakai (m)
Ayata shatsahasrena dhanusha (m) sacaten ca dvavincena nadi ramya Gomati nirmalodaka pitamahasya rajarshervvidarya cibiravanim
Bhrahmanair ggosahasrena (na) prayati krtadakshino

translated by:

“Formerly, on the order of the kings of the kings His Majesty Purnawarman, eminent above kings in happiness and merit, in the twentieth year of his glorious reign, was carried out digging into the river Candrabhaga, after which river was passed by the famous capital and before it flows into the sea. This digging was started on the eighth day of the moon of the month of Phalguna and was completed on the thirteenth day of the full moon of the month of Citra, for twenty-one days.The new channel with clear water is called the Gomati River, it flows along 6,122 arches, passes through the residence of the priests of the king who are revered as ancestors with the Brahmans. To these priests he was offered a thousand cows. ” 1

These two canals, Candrabhaga and Gomati, are thought to have been located near the present Cakung River and were used to regulate floods (still numerous today) or irrigate fields. Indeed, rice husks were found in the mixture used to make the temple bricks found at the Batujaya and Cibuaya sites discovered in the Karawang region of East Jakarta.


Near Bogor , south of Jakarta, in the Ciaruteun River, is an 8-tonne rock . It was discovered in 1863 in the village of Kampung Muara. It bears an inscription of four lines written in Pallava alphabet, and two footprints. The inscription of Ciaruteun  (id) explains that the imprints are similar to that of the Hindu god Vishnu and belong to King Purnawarman.

Kebon Kopi

Not far from Ciaruteun is the first Kebon Kopi inscription , accompanied by a pair of elephant prints attributed to Purnawarman, compared to the Airwata elephant.


In the hamlet of Pasir Koleangkak, Nanggung district, Bogor kabupaten ( 0 ° 15 ’46 “S, 6 ° 34′ 08” E ), Jonathan Rigg found in 1854 in the rubber plantation of Sadeng-Djamboe a block stone 2 to 3 meters in length, bearing a two-line inscription with a pair of footprints.

The inscription of Jambu was not studied for the first time until 1954. It is written in Pallava script and Sanskrit language, in a meter called Sragdhara . She mentions the name of King Purnawarman who reigns over Tarumanagara. The text is as follows:

  • siman = data krtajnyo narapatir = asham yah pura tarumayam
  • nama sri purnnavarmma pracura ri pusara bhedya bikhyatavarmmo
  • tasyedam = pada vimbadvayam = arinagarot sadane nityadaksam
  • bhaktanam yandripanam = bhavati sukhakaram salyabhutam ripunam

that can be translated by:

“Proud, impressive and faithful to his duty is the unparalleled and famous sovereign of the men Sri Purnawarman who once in time (commanded) to Taruma and whose famous tunic can not be pierced by the arms of the enemy. pair of prints of his feet that will always attack the cities of the enemy, a tribute to the princes, but thorn in the flesh of his enemies. ”


In the Lebak area of Cidanghiang village, 120 km southwest of Jakarta, in Banten province , a two-line inscription was found renting Purnawarman, declared as an example for rulers around the world , and identified with Vishnu.

Muara Cianten [ edit this | change the code ]

In the Bogor region, in the village of Muara Cianten the Cisadane River, NW Hoepermans discovered in 1864 a stone block of 2.70 m x 1.40 m x 1.40 m wearing of drawings that n has not yet been able to decipher.

Pasir Awi

On the southern flank of Pasir Awi Hill in the Bogor area, NW Hoepermans also discovered in 1864 a stone bearing drawings of branches and leaves, as well as a pair of footprints.


The Chinese Buddhist monk Faxian , returning from India to China , made a forced stopover in 413 to “Ye – po – ti”, that is to say “Yavadvipa”, name that the Indians gave to the island of Java. at the time. This name, which means “the island of millet ,” is attested in the Indian epic Ramayana , written between the iii th century BC. BC and iii th century AD. It is not known in which port it has anchored and there is no indication that it is Tarumanagara. What is certain is that we do not know

Faxian describes a kingdom whose inhabitants follow the Hindu and Buddhist teachings. He also mentions a third religion, which he describes as “dirty”.

The end of Tarumanagara

To this day, it is not known when Tarumanagara disappears. The inscription of Kota Kapur , found on the island of Bangka east of Sumatra , dated 686 , says that Sriwijaya did the right thing to submit Java.

According to some sources, Tarumanagara would have been powerful enough to control the Straits of Sonde and Malacca through which a large maritime trade passed. In 689 , a naval defeat in front of the city-state of Sriwijayain South Sumatra would have made him then lose this hegemony in favor of a new power of the west of the Indonesian archipelago.

Religious syncretism

Faxian describes the inhabitants of Tarumanagara as disciples of Hindu and Buddhist teachings . He also mentions a cult that could be a traditional religion.

Purnawarman, identified with Vishnu , was the object of a Hindu cult. Beginning in 1977, remains were found in the Cibuaya and Batujaya districts of East Jakarta , the Tarumanagara region. More extensive excavations have revealed sets of Buddhist ritual constructions, we dated th century . The two religions would have coexisted in Java since that time.

This situation will be found later in other parts of Java. The temples built in the center of the island of the viii th century to the th centuries are rite effect Buddhist as Borobudur or Shiva as Prambanan , or have elements of both rites. In East Java, the Nagarakertagama , a poem written in 1365 , says of King Hayam Wuruk of Majapahit that “he is Shiva and Buddha”, and reports the existence of clergy of both religions in the kingdom.

Under constructions Batujaya Cibuaya and was discovered earlier structures that may date back to the st century AD. Excavations were undertaken in 2002 to obtain more elements on the history of this region, the “country of indigo”.


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