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The city was taken over by the Japanese during World War II, who renamed it Jakaruta.

BY- JAYA CHOUDHARY

Jakarta began almost 500 years ago as a little port on the Ciliwung River. The port city evolved into a well-known worldwide commercial center over the ages. The many stone tablets buried deep in and around the port have yielded early information about Jakarta, which has been unearthed in little bits. The understanding of Jakarta prior to the arrival of European expeditions is quite limited. The Portuguese were the first European party to arrive in Kalapa's seaport. But how did Jakarta get its name? Let's find out.


There were two occurrences that occurred near the end of the 15th century. The emergence of Islamic monarchies and the fall of Hindu-Buddhist monarchies. With the collapse of Majapahit in 1527 and Blambangan in 1546 to the new and powerful Islamic sultanate Demak, Pajajaran became the last Hindu kingdom in Java. Pajajaran forbade any Islamic trader from trading in their harbor in order to undermine the Islamic presence in their lands.

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Pajajaran had one of Java's oldest and largest trading ports at the time, named Sunda Kelapa. Because this harbor was so vital to Pajajaran, they signed a contract with the Portuguese, allowing them to establish trading offices and a fort in Sunda Kelapa. Demak, of course, was not pleased with this. They collected their followers and intended to depose Pajajaran as soon as possible after learning of the Pajajaran-Portuguese pact.

Jakarta Jakarta preserves much more than a remnant of its "Sanskritic" past in symbols and architecture today, despite being mainly Muslim.Pixabay

However, because Pajajaran was a powerful kingdom that even Majapahit couldn't conquer, Demak began their campaign by assaulting Pajajaran's lifeblood, its ports. Banten was their initial target. Another major port to Pajajaran was Banten, but it was already heavily influenced by Islamic teachings, thus Demak didn't have to exert much effort to subjugate it.

The main struggle came at Sunda Kelapa, where Pajajaran defenders put up a valiant fight, as this port was also near to the Pajajaran capital city. The port was dubbed Jayakarta by the commander of Demak's troops, Fatahillah since it was so important and deadly. Jaya signifies triumph in Sanskrit, while Karta refers to a completed job or task. In general, this means that they were eventually victorious. The name can alternatively be translated as "city of champion" or "city of blessing." The true meaning is "the champion as a result of an act or effort." Jakarta was formerly known as Sunda Kalapa, a Sunda kingdom port on the Ciliwung River.

ALSO READ: Hinduism in Indonesia

The city was afterward colonized by the Dutch, who called it Batavia. The city was taken over by the Japanese during World War II, who renamed it Jakaruta. Finally, the Japanese surrendered in 1945, the Indonesians proclaimed independence, and the city was renamed Jakarta! The name Jakarta is really a misnomer for Jaya Karta. It's been quite a cultural trip for the city and its inhabitants, from Sunda Kelapa to Jaya Karta to Jakaruta to Jakarta. The fact that a Muslim monarch gave his son a Sanskrit name demonstrates how deeply Sanskrit was ingrained in Indonesia. Jakarta preserves much more than a remnant of its "Sanskritic" past in symbols and architecture today, despite being mainly Muslim.


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