The History of Palembang

This city was traditionally a trade center, and, for about 500 years up to the 13th Century, Palembang was one of the principal ports of the world, meaning a central point for the bulk of the Indonesian islands' trade. Mahayana Buddhism came here around in the 7th century. A Chinese-Buddhist pilgrim, I Tsing, who was going to India, arrived at Sriwijaya University in 671 A.D., and spent 6 months studying Sanskrit. And when he was returning home in 68E A.D., he stayed here for 4 years, writing his memoirs and giving a valuable description of the city.


Palembang was believed to be the predatory power, and was once the capital of Sriwijaya Empire. There were regular ships that laid their anchor here and it sent its mercenaries as far as Mesopotamia. There were many scholars and monks, and perhaps thousands of them, who learned Buddhist teachings and translated Sanskrit texts here. When the 13th century was begins to end, Sriwijaya had splintered into 8 smaller kingdoms, the largest of which, Malayu, was centered on Jambi and became a strong power. But finally, with the rise of Melaka in the 14th Century, Sriwijaya became a remote backwater. The region around Palembang still produces fine woven fabrics and performs unique Hindu-like dances.

It can be seen that this city had a long association with many countries of world and it had a great past and great history to beckon. The tourists enjoy visiting this place, which has seen so much of variation in its fortune and destiny.

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