Sep 152011

Written by Kris Tjokro

Schedule your trip to Medan, the city with so many cultural diversities that can not be missed!

Medan is the third largest city in Indonesia. The strategic location makes Medan has been a busy commercial area on the island of Sumatra since long time a go. For those of you who have not had a holiday to North Sumatra, Medan is strongly recommended. You can visit the rich cultural diversity, completed with old buildings blend in among the modern buildings around it. In addition to its culinary diversity, Medan is likely could attract more domestic and foreign tourists to increase foreign exchange earnings.

According to Tengku Lukman Sinar in his book “Riwayat Hamparan Perak” [The History of Silver Overlay] published in, it was the King Master Patimpus, the ancestor of Datuk Hamparan Perak (Twelve Cities) and Datuk Sukapiring – the two of four chiefs of Sultanate of Deli – who built Medan city.

John Anderson, a British government official based in Penang,’ve been to Medan in 1823. In his book named “Mission to the Eastcoast of Sumatra”, edition of Edinburgh 1826, Medan was still a small village with a population of about 200 people. On the edge of the river up to the walls of the village mosque of Medan, there he saw the composition of granite boulders square which presumably comes from the Hindu temple in Java.

Speaking of old buildings, there are many old buildings in Medan that still leaves a distinctive Dutch architecture. Medan City Hall for example can be one option to visit. Although side by side with modern buildings around it, but still worthy of an icon thanks to its colonial style.

The building itself or rectangular and therein seen a clock tower decorated with ancient Romans frame. According to the locals, the clock is the gift of great merchants Medan in the past, Tjong A Fie. Try to also look at the Water Tower (which is an icon of Medan city), as well as the hanging bridge – a bridge over the railroad tracks.


In addition, there are still some historic buildings, among other Maimun Palace, Grand Mosque of Medan and also house of Tjong A Fie in the area of ​​General Ahmad Yani street (Kesawan).

Kesawan area still leaves the old buildings, such as buildings PT. London Sumatra, and old shop-houses as can be found in Penang, Malaysia or in Singapore. The shop-houses have become a center of bustling hawker food in the evening in mid-2000’s.

In Kesawan area, there are Notary Office / PPAT Hj. Chairani Bustami, SH which is one of the oldest in Medan Notary, after the late AP Parlindungan, SH Reportedly, the activities of this office was later replaced by the sons and daughters who also continued his parents’ profession as a notary.

Try to Jalan Merdeka visit region, where other classical buildings will look like Lonsum House. In 1906, this classic building built by Horrison & Crossfield Plc (H & C), a plantation and trading firm based in London and is still well maintained.

Another interesting places in Medan is the Shri Mariamman Temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to worship the goddess Mariamman. This temple is the first Hindu temple built by the descendants of Indians (especially Tamils​​) who ever came to this region.

Although many temples and Hindu and Buddhist temples in many places in this country, but people rarely connect it with Indian descent who live here. It seems that the temples had been considered as part of the cultural heritage of Indonesia.

Shri Mariamman Temple is the first temple, built in 1888 by Sani Rengga Naiger, in the same year with the commencement of construction of the Palace Maimun, and has been renovated twice after that.

The temple, which is the oldest Hindu temple in  Medan, located on Jl. Teuku Umar No.18 with the gate facing east, and the right wall is located on Jl. Zainul Arifin.

So what are you waiting for? For lovers of historic buildings, culinary connoisseurs and enthusiasts of photography, Medan is the right choice to visit.


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