Jakarta /dʒəˈkɑːrtə/, officially known as the Special Capital Region of Jakarta (Indonesian: Daerah Khusus Ibu Kota Jakarta), is the capital and largest city of Indonesia, (though Jakarta is also a province) and one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world.
Located on the northwest coast of Java, Jakarta is the country’s economic, cultural and political centre, and with a population of 10,075,310 as of 2014.The official metropolitan area, known as Jabodetabek (a name formed by combining the initial syllables of Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi), is the fourth largest in the world, yet the metropolis’s suburbs still continue beyond it. Its unofficial built-up (metropolitan) area covers Bogor, Tangerang, Bekasi, Karawang, Serang, Purwakarta, Sukabumi and Subang regencies (123 districts) including also Tangerang, Bekasi, Tangerang Selatan, Depok, Serang and Cilegon Municipalities was home to 30,214,303 inhabitants as of 2010 census
Established in the fourth century, the city became an important trading port for the Kingdom of Sunda. It was the de facto capital of the Dutch East Indies (known as Batavia at that time). Today, the city has continued as the capital of Indonesia since the country’s independence was declared in 1945. The city is currently the seat of the ASEAN Secretariat as well as houses important financial institutions such as the Bank of Indonesia, the Indonesia Stock Exchange, and the corporate headquarters of numerous Indonesian companies and multinational corporations. Jakarta’s business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living, attract migrants from all over Indonesia, making the city a melting pot of many communities and cultures.
Jakarta is listed as an alpha-global city in the 2012 Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC) research. Based on survey by Brooking Institute, in 2011 economic growth in Jakarta ranked 17th among the world’s 200 largest cities, a jump from its 2007 ranking of 171. Jakarta has grown more rapidly than Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Bangkok.
Jakarta has been home to multiple settlements along with their respective names: Sunda Kelapa (397–1527), Jayakarta (1527–1619), Batavia (1619–1942), Djakarta (1942–1972), and Jakarta (1972–present)
Its current name derives from the word “Jayakarta”. The origins of this word can be traced to the Old Javanese and ultimately to the Sanskrit language. “Jayakarta” translates as “victorious deed”, “complete act”, or “complete victory”.
Jakarta is nicknamed the Big Durian, the thorny strongly-odored fruit native to the region, as the city is seen as the Indonesian equivalent of New York City (the Big Apple).In the colonial era, the city was also known as Koningin van het Oosten (Queen of the Orient), initially in the 17th century for the urban beauty of downtown Batavia’s canals, mansions and ordered city layout. After expanding to the south in the 19th century, this nickname came to be more associated with the suburbs (e.g. Menteng and the area around Merdeka Square), with their wide lanes, many green spaces and villas.
The area in and around modern Jakarta was part of the fourth century Sundanese kingdom of Tarumanagara, one of the oldest Hindu kingdoms in Indonesia.Following the decline of Tarumanagara, its territories, including the Jakarta area, became part of the Kingdom of Sunda. From 7th to early 13th century port of Sunda was within the sphere of influence of the Srivijaya maritime empire. According to the Chinese source, Chu-fan-chi, written circa 1225, Chou Ju-kua reported in the early 13th century Srivijaya still ruled Sumatra, the Malay peninsula, and western Java (Sunda). The source reports the port of Sunda as strategic and thriving, pepper from Sunda being among the best in quality. The people worked in agriculture and their houses were built on wooden piles.The harbour area became known as Sunda Kelapa and by the fourteenth century, it was a major trading port for Sunda kingdom.
The first European fleet, four Portuguese ships from Malacca, arrived in 1513 when the Portuguese were looking for a route for spices. The Kingdom of Sunda made an alliance treaty with Portugal by allowing the Portuguese to build a port in 1522 to defend against the rising power of the Sultanate of Demak from central Java. In 1527, Fatahillah, a Javanese general from Demak attacked and conquered Sunda Kelapa, driving out the Portuguese. Sunda Kelapa was renamed Jayakarta,and became a fiefdom of the Sultanate of Banten which became a major Southeast Asia trading centre.
Through the relationship with Prince Jayawikarta from the Sultanate of Banten, Dutch ships arrived in Jayakarta in 1596. In 1602, the English East India Company’s first voyage, commanded by Sir James Lancaster, arrived in Aceh and sailed on to Banten where they were allowed to build a trading post. This site became the centre of English trade in Indonesia until 1682.