The Founder of the Kingdom of Tarumanegara – Before becoming a unitary state in the form of a
republic called Indonesia as it is now, various regions scattered throughout the archipelago had their
respective governments under the rule of local kingdoms which were still traditional in nature.
On the main islands in Indonesia, such as Java and Sumatra, the largest kingdoms in Southeast Asia have
been born which have been successful throughout the history of civilization in the Eastern world.
This does not include small kingdoms spread across the archipelago, in areas such as Kalimantan,
Sulawesi, Bali, the Maluku Islands, to Papua.
The form of government in the form of a monarchy or kingdom itself is a form of government in which the
leader who holds power gains legitimacy or recognition from the people based on a shared belief that the
leader is an incarnation of an almighty figure in human form. A king is usually considered to
have the knowledge, skills, and charisma that only certain people have so that the people regard him as a
In the theory of constitutional law, an empire can be formed due to the existence of certain elite groups
that have succeeded in controlling all the land in the local area so that the common people are a class that
“rides” on the king. In addition, a king usually controls food sources, such as agriculture and
animal husbandry, thus determining the continuity of the kingdom’s economy as well as determining the taxes
that must be paid by the people.
In order to achieve political stability in the kingdom and to avoid disturbing forces from both inside and
outside the kingdom, the government formed by a king must also be equipped with complementary tools in the form
of military force.
By using military force, the king was able to secure his kingdom from domestic rebellion by deploying soldiers
who were tasked with quelling conflict while protecting his kingdom or carrying out conquests by ordering his
troops to go to war.
In a kingdom, the power of a king is absolute or unlimited. What a king decrees is a word that
must be recognized as the truth by his people. Thus, the highest sovereignty in this form of
government is held by a ruling king. In another sense, the king is the country itself and the
people are the part that must obey what the king orders.
The power of the king himself tends to be unlimited by time, except for death itself. In
practice, kings who died usually handed over power in governing the kingdom to their descendants, especially
sons who were the oldest and had the most influence.
In addition, it can be said that in the monarchical form of government itself, the power holders tasked
with assisting the king can only be owned by certain elite groups, especially those from the king’s closest
relatives and associates. Thus, in this form of government it will be seen clearly between the
elite or aristocratic groups and the common people.
The kingdoms that once stood in Indonesia itself have experienced a long cycle, starting from the
pioneering period, development, glory, to collapse. A kingdom that has succeeded in building a
strong economy so that it can meet the needs of its people will certainly be more durable in power.
On the other hand, if the kingdom fails to achieve prosperity for its people, then of course
collapse will soon come to it.
Strengthening military forces and foreign policy is also an important milestone in the survival of an
empire. In addition, the character of a king who leads is also an important milestone in the
continuity of a kingdom. A king who is wise in ruling by himself will strengthen power.
Meanwhile, an incompetent king will be very instrumental in the process of destroying the
Of the many kingdoms that have existed in Indonesia, the Tarumanegara kingdom is one of the kingdoms that
has placed an important milestone in the history of the archipelago. This kingdom became one of
the most influential kingdoms during the 4th to 7th centuries AD. By controlling almost the
entire western part of the island of Java in its time, the Tarumanegara kingdom had succeeded in reaching
its peak of glory almost perfectly.
In this article, we invite Sinaumed’s to get to know more about the Tarumanegara Kingdom, from its founding,
heyday, to its downfall. Apart from that, we will also discuss what are the important legacies
and key figures during the survival of this kingdom. Here’s the discussion.
Place and Year Founded Tarumanegara Kingdom
The Tarumanegara kingdom was centered on the banks of the Citarum river, West Java. This
kingdom was founded not by local people, but by a nobleman from Salankayana, India named Maharesi
Jayasingawarman. As a result of the chaos and colonization by Maharaja Samudragupta of the
Magada Kingdom, Jayasingawarman fled and founded a new kingdom in the archipelago. Based on the
Kebon Kopi Inscription and the Ciaruteun Inscription, the Tarumanegara Kingdom existed around the 4th or 5th
This Hindu-style kingdom was formed by Jayasingawarman after he was received by King Dewawarman VIII of the
Salakanagara Kingdom. After being married to the daughter of King Dewawarman VIII,
Jayasingawarman then opened a new territory to the area now known as Bekasi and was named the Kingdom of
Taruma in 358 AD. Since then, Jayasingawarman ruled for 24 years afterwards or to be precise until 382
After establishing the Tarumanegara Kingdom, the capital of the Tarumanegara Kingdom, Jayasingapura,
replaced the center of government of his father-in-law’s kingdom, the Salakanagara Kingdom.
Since then, the Tarumanegara Kingdom ruled over local kingdoms, while the Salakanagara Kingdom was
only an ordinary regional kingdom.
Founder of the Tarumanegara Kingdom
Jayasingawarman was the founder of the Tarumanegara Kingdom in the period 358 – 382 AD. He was an Indian
maharesi from the Salankayana dynasty located in India. He then decided to go to the
archipelago because his territory was attacked and conquered by Maharaja Samudragupta of the Gupta Empire.
Jayasingawarman then married the daughter of King Dewawarman VIII, King Salakanagara, who at that
time ruled over parts of West Java.
During Jayasingawarman’s reign, the center of the royal administration shifted from Rajatapura to
Tarumanegara. Rajatapura or commonly called Salakanagara (Silver City) is the capital of the
Kingdom of Salakanagara which is located in the Teluk Lada area, Pandeglang Regency, Banten.
The city became the seat of government for the kings of Salakanagara, from Dewawarman I to Dewawarman VIII.
After the center of government moved to Tarumanagara, the status of the Salakanagara Kingdom
changed to become a regional kingdom or it could be equated as a state, in addition to the Tarumanagara
Kingdom appearing to be the main kingdom in the West Java region.
Since the death of Jayasingawarman, Dharmayawarman has continued to rule the Tarumanegara Kingdom.
However, unfortunately Dharmayawarman’s actions have not been recorded in history. It
was only since Purnawarman’s reign as the third king that the Tarumanegara Kingdom managed to reach its peak
Throughout the history of the Tarumanegara Kingdom, there were 12 kings who had ruled before the kingdom
finally collapsed. The kings of the Kingdom of Tarumanegara who once served are as
- Jayasingawarman (358-382 AD)
- Dharmayawarman (382-395 AD)
- Purnawarman (395-434 AD)
- Wisnuwarman (434-455 AD)
- Indrawarman (455-515 AD)
- Chandravarman (515-535 AD)
- Suryavarman (535-561 AD)
- Kertawarman (561-628 AD)
- Sudhavarman (628-639 AD)
- Hariwangswarman (639-640 AD)
- Nagajayavarman (640-666 AD)
- Linggawarman (666-669 AD)
The pinnacle of Tarumanagara’s glory
Throughout the history of the Tarumanegara Kingdom, there was only one king who really had a big impact on
the Tarumanegara Kingdom. During Purnawarman’s leadership, the Tarumanegara Kingdom succeeded
in building a national capital known as Sundapura in the coastal area in 397 AD. The name of this new
capital city later became the origin of the use of the name “Sunda” for the people of West Java to this
It didn’t stop there, based on the Tugu Inscription, Purnawarman was also said to have succeeded in
bringing the Tarumanegara Kingdom in a large-scale project, namely digging the Gomati River along the 6112
spears or 12 km which at that time played an important role in the development of trade connecting the main
areas that stretched along the royal territory. In addition, the river plays a role in
providing water supply during the dry season and controlling floods during the rainy season.
The success of Purnawarman’s leadership also had a big impact on the Tarumanegara Kingdom. The
territory conquered by the kingdom was successfully expanded to cover almost the entire western part of
Java, including what is now the territory of several cities such as Cirebon, Bogor and Jakarta, as well as
almost the entire province of Banten. Thus, there are 48 regions that are part of the power of
the Tarumanegara Kingdom. Economic and military strengthening is one of the important milestones in the
process of progress created by King Purnawarman.
The people of the Tarumanegara Kingdom generally live with a livelihood as farmers and live under an
orderly government. Based on the records of the Chinese explorer of the 5th century AD, Fa
Hien, apart from farming, people also make a living in the animal husbandry sector, animal hunting, trade in
rhino horn, turtle shells, and silver.
Not only strengthening domestic politics, Purnawarman is also active in activities related to foreign
policy. Thanks to his expertise in diplomacy, Purnawarman managed to build diplomatic relations
with the kingdoms of China. Thus, international trade between the Kingdom of Tarumanegara and
China could run well. In addition to trade affairs, the shipping sector that can connect people
in the two regions has also been achieved as a result of this diplomatic relationship.
The success of the Tarumanegara Kingdom under Purnawarman’s leadership was not solely due to his hard work
alone. In developing domestic and foreign politics, Purnawarman was assisted by his two younger
brothers, Cakrawarman who served as commander in chief and Nagawarman who served as commander of the sea.
Apart from being known for Purnawarman’s brilliance in politics during his time as king, he is
referred to as a king who has good moral standards, is virtuous and always fights for the interests of his
As a kingdom whose founders came from the land of Hindustan, the Tarumanegara Kingdom was not spared from
the practice of worship based on Hindu teachings. Based on Fa Hien’s records, in 414 AD not
many people adhered to Buddhism, while Hindus succeeded in dominating the population of the Tarumanegara
Kingdom. Under Purnawarman’s reign, the Kingdom of Tarumanegara once performed a ritual
offering of 1,000 head of cattle to Dewa Brahmana as recorded in the Tugu Inscription.
The Fall of the Tarumanegara Kingdom
The Tarumanegara Kingdom began to lose its strong influence since it was ruled by the twelfth king, Linggawarman,
who had ruled since 666 AD. After three years in power, Linggawarman died so that the power he held had to be
handed over to his son-in-law, Tarusbawa.
Tarumanegara’s power was not continued by Tarusbawa because he preferred to return to his home territory,
the Kingdom of Sunda, which had previously been under the rule of the Kingdom of Tarumanegara.
For Tarusbawa, the Tarumanegara Kingdom no longer had the big influence it had in the past, so it
was considered obsolete. He began to plan to establish a new power to the foundation of the
Kingdom of Sunda, his kingdom of origin. Tarusbawa also tried to transfer the center of power
of the Tarumanegara Kingdom to the Sunda Kingdom. This invited further divisions when the Galuh
Kingdom, which was also under the rule of the Tarumanegara Kingdom, withdrew from the rule of the
As a result of the power struggle after Linggawarman’s death, the ruins of the Tarumanegara Kingdom
eventually split into two kingdoms. The Kingdom of Sunda and the Kingdom of Galuh continued the
journey of the Tarumanegara Kingdom with their respective governments which were separated by the Citarum
River that stretched between the two. This collapse was also supported by an onslaught from
outside where at that time the Majapahit Kingdom began trying to attack and conquer the Tarumanegara
Relics of the Tarumanegara Kingdom
Throughout its reign, the Kingdom of Tarumanegara left some historical evidence which can then be used as
historical sources for historians to this day. Evidence of the historical heritage of the
Tarumanegara Kingdom can be found in various forms, such as inscriptions, statues and literary works.
Here are some of the remains of the Tarumanegara Kingdom that still remain today.
An inscription is a charter or document that can be used as a historical source. Usually,
inscriptions are written on a hard and durable material such as stone, metal, and ejection. In
proving the existence and history of the Tarumanegara Kingdom, historians obtained a lot of information from
the inscriptions found.
Throughout the archaeological excavations carried out so far, there are seven inscriptions which are proof
of the existence of the Tarumanegara Kingdom. These inscriptions were found scattered,
especially in the Bogor area where five were found, followed by in Jakarta where one remained, then in
Lebak, Banten which was found one. Here are seven inscriptions left by the Tarumanegara
Ciaruteun or Ciampea inscription
This inscription was found in Ciampea, Bogor. In this inscription, we can find carvings of
spiders and footprints as well as poetry written in Palawa letters and in Sanskrit which reads “These
two (footprints) that are like (the soles of) Vishnu belong to the king of the world who is brave and famous.
Purnawarman the ruler of Tarumanagara.”
Jambu or Koleangkak inscription
This inscription was found in a Jambu plantation, about 30 km west of Bogor City. The
inscription, which is commonly called the Jambu Inscription, contains praise for the greatness, valor and
courage of King Purnawarman which reads, “The famous and loyal to his duties is the peerless king named Sri
Purnawarman who rules over Taruma and his armor cannot be penetrated by the arrows of his enemies. belongs
to these two footprints, which always succeeds in destroying the enemy’s fortress, which always gives a
banquet of courage (to those who are loyal to him), but is a thorn for his enemies.”
Coffee Plantation Inscription
This inscription was found in Muara Hilir, Cibungbulang. In this inscription, two elephant
feet can be found which are likened to the footprints of Airawati’s elephant, the elephant that was the
vehicle of Lord Vishnu.
This inscription contains the story of the excavation of the Cabdrabaga River by Jayasingawarman and the Gomati
River by Purnawarman.
Cidanghiang or Lebak inscription
This inscription was found in Pandeglang, Banten with the contents which read “This is a sign of true
virtuousness, majesty and courage from the king of the world, noble Purnawarman, who is the banner of all
Muara Cianten inscription
The Muara Cianten inscription is one of the inscriptions left by the Tarumanegara kingdom and is located on
the banks of the Cisadane river, or more precisely near Muara Cianten. The full address is
Kampung Pasirmuara, Ciaruteun Ilir Village, Cibungbuang District, Bogor Regency.
Pasir Awi inscription
The Pasir Awi inscription is located in the Cipamingkis hill forest area, Bogor Regency. The
location of the height of this inscription is approximately 559 meters above sea level.
Arca is a sculptural art that has the purpose of being used to worship certain gods.
Throughout the historical excavations of the Tarumanegara Kingdom, statues were found,
- Rajarsi statue
- Statue of Vishnu Cibuaya I
- Statue of Vishnu Cibuaya II
Literary works are one of the historical sources to trace the whereabouts of the Tarumanegara Kingdom. One
of the famous literary works at that time that has ever been found is the Wangsakerta Manuscript.
The manuscript was made by a team led by Prince Wangsakerta from Cirebon. The
manuscript was written from 1677 to 1698.
We have seen how the Tarumanegara Kingdom once had a huge influence on the history of the archipelago.
As one of the oldest kingdoms in the archipelago, the Tarumanegara Kingdom also experienced phases
of birth, glory, and collapse like other kingdoms.
Meanwhile, we can still trace further how the situation was at that time and how the description of the
founder of the Tarumanegara kingdom can be seen through the relics that have been found in
the present and there is still the opportunity to expand knowledge about it through the discovery of related
historical relics in the future.
Knowing history can add insight as well as our knowledge, you can also find out about history through history
books that can be found at sinaumedia.com . Reading lots of books and
articles will never hurt you, because Sinaumed’s will get #MoreWithReading information and