Berastagi (meaning "rice store") is a town and subdistrict of Karo Regency situated on crossroads on the main route linking the Karo highlands of Northern Sumatra to the coastal city of Medan. The village rose to significance when Dutch settlers in Sumatra opened a boarding school there in the 1920s.
The main economic activities in Berastagi, centre on the colourful fruit and vegetable market and on tourism. Berastagi is famous for its passion fruit. The main attractions of the town are the two active volcanoes; Gunung Sibayak, with its hot springs, and Gunung Sinabung.
Berastagi is 11 km from the capital Karo Regency government in Kabanjahe.
There are 9 desa in Berastagi subdistrict. It is the smallest (30.5 square kilometres), and most densely populated (1,530 persons/square kilometre) subdistrict of Karo Regency. Elevation is 1400 metres.
Desa with population (2007):
- Gurusinga, 3,900
- Raya, 4,358
- Rumah Berastagi, 6,611
- Tambak Lau Mulgap I, 2,677
- Tambak Lau Mulgap II, 3,147
- Gundaling I, 8,388
- Gundaling II, 5130
- Sempajaya, 7,115
- Doulu, 2,011
Berastagi subdistrict is significantly more Islamic than most parts of Karo Regency, with 17,801 Muslims, 5,042 Catholics, 19,195 Protestants, 1,245 Hindus or Buddhists, and 54 others. Sempajaya is the most Muslim desa, being 67% Muslim. There are 11 mosques, 18 mushollas, 29 churches, and 2 vihara in the subdistrict.
97% of primary-age children are in school, but only 77% of high-school-age children. There are 26 junior schools, 8 middle schools, and 9 high schools within the district.
Agriculture is much less important in Berastagi (and Kabanjahe) than the rest of Karo Regency. Crops include spring onion, Common bean, peas, potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, radish, chinese cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, and chayote. Rice is not a significant crop. Fruit grown include oranges, passionfruit, Japanese Persimmon and avocadoes. There is significantly more industry in Berastagi subdistrict than the rest of Karo Regency, aided by the fact of Berastagi's 100% paved roads.
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