South Kalimantan

coastal plain, lined by vast mangrove forests, to mountains

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Visit South Kalimantan 's Culture & Ecological Wealth

South Kalimantan province lies at the southern end of island and is one of four provinces on Kalimantan. This region known as the Land of a Thousand Rivers, wide swamps and lowlands are characteristic for this southern province. Some of those rivers, such as the Barito, Martapura and Negara mark the boundary between South Kalimantan and the neighboring Central Kalimantan with dense tropical rain forests and covered mountainous sparsely inhabited territory.

The southern region is a coastal plain, lined by vast mangrove forests. This coastal area is rich in fresh and salt-water fishes.Those three regions are practically separated from each other by the Meratus mountain which spread from the north to south through the center of the province. Many villages and plantations lie along the Barito river course, which runs from the north to south. Like most other regions in South Kalimantan has two seasons, a dry and a rainy.

The population of South Kalimantan consists of two main groups: the Banjar who live along the coasts and make up the majority, and the Dayaks who inhabit the upstream regions of the rivers. The Banjar people are devout Moslems. They are friendly, like to help one another, and have a good sense of humor. They also are tolerant of other religions and respect one another.The friendly attitude of the Banjar, and their hospitality, tends to make visitors immediately feel at home in their midst. The daily languages spoken by the Banjar people Malay and Indonesian although in a distinct local dialect.


The Dayaks form the minority. They generally inhabit the upstream regions of the rivers or other isolated areas in the mountainous hinterland.


The influence of Hinduism on the Banjar culture has been very minimal, despite the fact that an ancient Banjar kingdom once maintained relationships with Majapahit, in Java. The first kingdom known to have existed in South Kalimantan was Negaradipa, established by Empu Jatmika around the 12th century A. D.


This Banjar kingdom later split into two separate states once occupying the hinterland regions (Negara Daha), ruled by Prince Tumenggung; the other on the coast (Banjar Matsih), ruled by Prince Samudera.In 1526, however, both kingdoms were reunited by Prince Samudera with the help of Demak, in Java and the first Islamic state in the area was established. All Banjar soldiers were converted to Islam, and Prince Samudera himself changed his name into Sultan Suriansyah. A few days later, he died. The next period was that of Dutch domination. In 1606, the Dutch arrived in Banjarmasin and established a trading post to monopolize the pepper trade. this period, disputes often arose between the people of the Banjar kingdom and the Dutch.

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