Sumbawa Besar

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Sumbawa Besar
Downtown Sumbawa Besar
Downtown Sumbawa Besar
Location of Sumbawa Regency in West Nusa Tenggara
Location of Sumbawa Regency in West Nusa Tenggara
Sumbawa Besar is located in Indonesia
Sumbawa Besar
Sumbawa Besar
Location in Indonesia
Coordinates: Coordinates: 8°30′S 117°25′E / 8.500°S 117.417°E / -8.500; 117.417
RegionLesser Sunda Islands
ProvinceWest Nusa Tenggara
 • Total56,337
Time zoneUTC+7

Sumbawa Besar is a town on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, and is the second-biggest settlement on the island after Bima. It is the administrative capital of the Sumbawa Regency within the province of West Nusa Tenggara, and has a population of 56,337 inhabitants as of the 2010 census.[1]


The slogan of Sumbawa Besar is BESAR, meaning "big" in Indonesian. However, this slogan has also been used an acronym for:

  • B: Bersih ("Clean")
  • E: Elok ("Beautiful")
  • S: Sehat ("Healthy")
  • A: Aman ("Safe")
  • R: Rapi ("Proper")


Indonesian is widely spoken in Sumbawa Besar, with some local languages such as Sumbawa. Several people can also speak Balinese.


Public transportation in Sumbawa Besar may include bemo, dokar (a traditional horse-drawn vehicle), and becak.

There is one airport, Sultan Muhammad Kaharuddin III Airport (formerly Bandar Udara Brangbiji), serving small flights to and from Mataram, Lombok.

The harbour of Sumbawa Besar is of minor importance. However, Poto Tano (id), the most important harbour of Sumbawa, is 90 kilometres (56 mi) to the west.

There is no railway on Sumbawa.

Tourism and sights[edit]

The Isatana Dalam Loka, former residence of the Sultan of Sumbawa
The Great Mosque of Sumbawa Besar
The Dutch colonial era Balai Kuning
The Dutch Reformed Church

Sumbawa Besar has a few historic buildings from the Dutch colonial period.

The former palace of the sultan, the Istana Dalam Loka, was built in 1885 with 99 columns, and without the use of a single nail;[2] well-known Sultan Jalaludin III reigned in the area from 1883-1893. The palace, renovated in the 1980s, is today used for various cultural events.

The largest mosque in Sumbawa Besar, Masjid Agung Nurul Huda, was built beside the palace. The Dutch Reformed Church (Gereja Masehi Injili di Timor) of Sumbawa Besar was founded around 1900, and still holds services. A Balinese Hindu temple, Pura Agung Giri Gnatha, is nearby.

In 1932, the Dutch constructed the Balai Kuning, a tall administration building in a European half-timbered style.[3] The foundation stone from 11 February 1932, with Dutch inscription, is still visible on the northern wall. The building houses various weapons and clothing used by previous sultans, and is surrounded by a park, with two canons dating from colonial times.

Taman Krato a park in Sumbawa Besar

Taman Krato is a park with avenues of palms and hibiscus on Jalan Merdeka, the street opposite the Balai Kuning.

The clock tower on the corner of Jalan Kartini and Jalan Sultan Hasanuddin is considered to be the middle of Sumbawa Besar.


University of Samawa

Sumbawa Besar has various public schools and one private Catholic school.

A university was founded in 1998, Universitas Samawa ("UNSA"; "Samawa University"), across the Brang Biji River to the west of the city centre. The study programs include Management Finance and Banking (D3), Mechanical Engineering (D3), Civil Engineering (D3 & S1), Physics, Agronomy, Administration, Economy, Food Science, and Education (S1).[4][5]


The village of Poto, about 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) east of Sumbawa Besar, is known for its traditional architecture and ikat weaving.[6]

Air Beling, a waterfall with a height of 50 metres (160 ft), is near the village of Semamung, and is located in a forest previously used as royal hunting grounds.

Mount Tambora, an active stratovolcano whose 1815 eruption was one of the world’s most powerful, lies 40 kilometres (25 mi) to the northeast of Sumbawa Besar.

The Batu Bulan Dam was built from 1998–2003 with financial aid from Japan, and is used for the irrigation of 5,576 hectares of land.


  1. ^ Moritz Jacobi: Indonesien von Sumatra bis Sulawesi, p. 429. Ostfildern 2013
  2. ^ Anne Teffo: Indonésie, p. 502. Boulogne-Billancourt 2013
  3. ^ Moritz Jacobi: Indonesien von Sumatra bis Sulawesi, p. 429. Ostfildern 2013
  4. ^ Universitas Samawa - Rank and Review - UniRank. Accessed 29 August 2017
  5. ^ (in Indonesian) Universitas Samawa - official website
  6. ^ Anne Teffo: Indonésie, p. 503. Boulogne-Billancourt 2013