Sumbawa Besar

Sumbawa Besar

Sumbawa Besar is a town with 56,337 inhabitants at the 2010 Census[1] on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa. It is the administrative capital of the Sumbawa Regency within the province of West Nusa Tenggara.


Taman Krato Park in Sumbawa Besar

The slogan of the town is BESAR which can mean big in Indonesian. However, this slogan has 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 Samawa. Few people speak Balinese.


Former Palace Dalam Loka

Public transportation in Sumbawa BESAR may include bemo, dokar, and becak. There is one small airport named Bandar Udara Brangbiji that serves some small flights to and from Mataram. However, due to the limited number of passengers using these flight services, the flight schedules have been limited to once or twice a week. The harbour of Sumbawa Besar is of minor importance. Porto Tano, the most important harbour of Sumbawa, is 90 km to the west. There is no railway on Sumbawa.

Tourism and Sights

Clock Tower
Balai Kuning
Dutch Reformed Church

Tourism in Sumbawa Besar or on Sumbawa has not been promoted by the government up to now although Sumbawa Besar has various sights to offer.

The former palace Dalam Loka was built in 1885 on 99 columns without a single nail.[2] Jalaludin III, a famous sultan, reigned here from 1883-1893. The palace was renovated in the 1980ies and is used for various cultural events today. The largest mosque of Sumbawa Besar was built beside the palace.

In 1932 the Dutch built Balai Kuning, a tall administration building in a European half-timbered style which is well-preserved.[3] The foundation stone dating from 11 February 1932 with an inscription in Dutch is still visible in the northern wall. In the building various weapons and clothes used by the sultan can be seen. Balai Kuning is surrounded by a well-kept park with cages for deer and horses. In the park a tree-lined avenue leads from the former gate which was built under a tower to the representative entrance. Two canons dating from colonial times can be seen as well. Taman Krato is a well-kept park with avenues of palms and hibiscus in Jalan Merdeka street opposite Balai Kuning.

Some more sightworthy buildings can be visited in the northern part of the city centre. The new Roman Catholic Church Gereja Sang Penebus was built in 2009 in Jalan Diponegoro street.[4] The church is surrounded by the former church building which is no longer used and by a catholic school. Pura Agung Giri Gnatha, an interessting small Hindu temple is close by. The Dutch Reformed Church (Gereja Masehi Injili di Timor) of Sumbawa Besar which was founded around 1900 is worth a visit as well. The Clock Tower on the corner of Jalan Kartini and Jalan Sultan Hasanuddin is considered to be the middle of Sumbawa Besar.

Universitas Samawa is the university of Sumbawa Besar which was founded in 1998. It was built across the river Sungai Branj Biji in the west of the city centre.


Poto is a village about 12 km from Sumbawa Besar to the east which is known for its traditional architecture and weaving (ikat).[5]

Air Beling is a waterfall (50 metres) near the village of Semamung in a forest which was used by the sultan for hunting.

A famous volcano with a height of 2,851 meters, Tambora is 40 km from Sumbawa Besar to the northeast.

Batu Bulan Dam was built from 1998-2003 with financial aid from Japan. It 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. ^
  5. ^ Anne Teffo: Indonésie, p. 503. Boulogne-Billancourt 2013


Sumbawa BESAR has various public schools and so far only one private Catholic school.

A university was built in 1998 named Universitas Samawa. The tuition fee is Rp. 400,000 / year. There are 694 students. Study programs include Management Finance and Banking (D3), Mechanical Engineering (D3), Civil Engineering (D3 & S1), Physics, Agronomy, Administration, Economy, Food Science, and Education (S1).