Sri Baduga Museum

Things to do in Bandung: explore Sri Baduga Museum to find the treasure of the rich history and culture of people in Sunda | #ExploreSunda #Bandung #Sunda #history

Sri Baduga Museum is the state museum in Bandung. Its collections has reached 6,923 pieces, starting from the prehistoric era through Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms until present, rich with Sundanese culture.

Let's start with the name of the museum. Sri Baduga was derived from the great king of Pajajaran kingdom in Sunda: Sri Baduga Maharaja Ratu Haji di Pakuan Pajajaran Sri Sang Ratu Dewata. He was mentioned in Batu Tulis inscription, which was made twelve years after his demise. He brought the kingdom to prosperity and greatness, hence, during his reign Sunda reached its golden age.  He became legend known as Prabu Siliwangi. Since the museum showcase the history of Sunda, the name is a perfect match.

Batu Tulis Inscription in Sri Baduga Museum, BandungBatu Tulis Inscription was found in Batu Tulis Village, Bogor. King Surawisesa had made the inscription in memoriam of his father, the late Sri Baduga Maharaja.
Tapak Gajah Inscription in Sri Baduga Museum, BandungTapak Gajah Inscription was found in Muara Hilir Village, Bogor stating they are a pair of elephant's print belong to Airawata, the elephant that leads Great Taruma into glory.
Tugu Inscription in Sri Baduga Museum, BandungTugu Inscription was found in Tugu, Jakarta. It mentioned King Purnawarman had dug the river of Chandrabhaga to flow the water to sea and Gomati river in 21 days.
Paksinagaliman, a horse cart from Kanoman Sultanate of Cirebon in Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung

The exhibits in Sri Baduga Museum starts from the front yard. There are several replicas of stone inscriptions decorated the lawn, but the most prominent display is a horse-drawn carriage called Paksinagaliman from Kanoman Sultanate of Cirebon. It lays inside a glass walled room. It was built on 1608 AD. Initially it was a jampana (a palanquin) for royal family, but later on they added four wheels so it can be pulled by horses.

As the name implies, Paksinagaliman is a combination of three animals:

  • the wings of Paksi (the mythical bird of Garuda),
  • the neck, mouth, canine, horn, ear and tail of Naga (dragon)
  • the body and trunk of Liman (elephant). Its trunk holds a trident.
Replica of Pawon cave where the pawon man found, Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung

As soon as we step inside the Sri Baduga Museum, we will see a large and bright room, where the centerpiece lays. It is the replica of Pawon cave, where Pawon man was found. Pawon men were Homo sapiens of Mongoloid race. They were estimated to live around 5,600-9,500 years ago and their remains were found in Pawon cave, a cave in Masigit mountain, west of Bandung. The archaeologists found five remains of Pawon men buried in the same hole along with stone and bones artifacts.

On a side note, Pawon is a Sundanese word for kitchen and Masigit is a Sundanese word for mosque. Their names are related to the legend of Sangkuriang and the origin of Mount Tangkuban Perahu.

There are many other archaeological sites all over West Java. For example Gunung Padang site, Cipari archaeological site in Kuningan, and Tugu Gede site in Cisaat Sukabumi. The pictures of these sites decorate the upper wall of this room. The remaining of this room displays the artifacts found in those sites.

Replica of bones from an ancient burial site in Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung
Accessories found from archaeological site is displayed in Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung.
A replica of Pawon man skull, displayed in Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung.

Next room provides information from the geological angles, the rock formations and layers that shape West Java. Of course, Geology Museum has much more detail information on this subject.

At the end of the room there is a display cabinet showcasing the fauna native to West Java.

Then we continue our exploration to the Hindu and Buddhist periods. One of the archaeological findings is Jiwa temple in Batu Jaya compound in Karawang. This Buddhist temple dated around fourth century, which means it is the oldest temple in Indonesia. 

Replica of Pajajaran statue at Sri Baduga Museum, BandungReplica of Pajajaran type statue, from Cikapundung, Bandung. The statue is a depiction of the ancestor during Megalithic period.
Arca Wisnu Cibuaya at Sri Baduga Museum, BandungWisnu Cibuaya statue was found in Karawang. The statue has four hands, each holds an object and wears a bracelet.
Elephant statue from Megalithic period at Sri Baduga Museum, BandungElephant statue from Megalithic period was found in Pejambon Lor Cirebon. The statue is used as a media in a Megalithic cult.

Walking up through a series of steps, we arrived at the next section of the Sri Baduga museum: the culture of Sundanese people.

There are ancient manuscripts, miniature of local houses with various types of the roof, antique furniture used by people during Dutch colonization, and clothes as well as traditional wedding costumes.

A model of old living room in Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung
A model of old bed room in Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung
A model of old kitchen in Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung
A palanquin called Tandu Garuda Mina in Sri Baduga Museum

The museum also displays Jampana (Tandu Garuda Mina) a palanquin for bride and groom from Cirebon. This Jampana has a head of Garuda (the mythical bird from Hindu beliefs, representing power), a body of serpent or dragon (representing fertility), a pair of wings in the front and serpent/dragon tail sticking up in the back.

Display of traditional fishing equipment at Sri Baduga Museum, BandungTraditional fishing equipment as well as the fish carry-on containers made of bamboo.
Traditional chips container and numismatic collection in Sri Baduga Museum, BandungTwo large drums of traditional chips container. The numismatic collection is in the background.

Then we continue to the items used in daily life such as tools used for processing the paddy into rice, fishing, and food carts. The museum also has many types of weighing scales, but don't expect to find the digital ones :)

Various weighing scales at Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung

Next is the displays of musical instruments. Sundanese people are well known for their craftsmanship on creating musical instruments made of bamboo, particularly angklung and calung. Unknown to most people, there are many types of angklung and calung.

Angklung Buhun in Sri Baduga Museum, BandungAngklung Buhun from Lebak, Banten, played by twelve men: nine men playing angklung and three men playing bedug.
Angklung Gubrag in Sri Baduga Museum, BandungAngklung Gubrag from Sukabumi. It comprises 6 angklung in a set. The size is bigger than other type of angklung (between 215-90 cm)
Calung Bumbung in Sri Baduga Museum, BandungCalung Bumbung from Tangerang is the king of calung due to its largest size. Calung is played by hitting the instrument with a stick.

Other musical instruments are also displayed in this area. The largest one is Kacapi Maung Nagara. Kacapi in Sundanese word or kecapi in Bahasa Indonesia is a type of horizontal harp, which is played by plucking the strings with the fingers.

Kacapi Maung Nagara in Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung
Kacapi Maung Nagara in Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung

Walking further in this room we will see a set of wayang golek. Wayang golek originates from the land of Sunda. It has a 3D form, so it looks more like a puppet than wayang kulit (shadow puppet). However, any wayang performance will never be completed without the music accompanying it, that's why a set of gamelan displayed beside the puppets.

Wayang golek collection of Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung
Wayang golek collection of Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung
Wayang golek collection of Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung
A set of gamelan to accompany wayang golek performance in Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung
A set of gamelan to accompany wayang golek performance in Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung

In one corner of this floor we saw a vault type of door. Although the door is opened, the metal bars preventing us to enter the room. Inside is a room for the master pieces. The collections here are made of gold, a very rare items, delicate china from overseas, glass painting, and woven fabrics from all over Indonesia. Sadly, we could not see them since there was no staff around and there was not any information how we can accessed it.

Now you can imagine what a treasure Sri Baduga Museum is. Unfortunately, how the museum lays out the exhibits and the poor lighting make it less desirable for us to explore in leisure pace. I really hope they will upgrade the facilities, so a visit to Sri Baduga Museum becomes a very memorable one.

Directions to Sri Baduga Museum

The address of Sri Baduga Museum is jalan BKR No.185, Pelindung Hewan, Astanaanyar, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40243, which is right in front of Tegalega park, the largest public park in Bandung. The GPS coordinate is 6°56'15.0"S 107°36'13.0"E.

The museum has spacious parking lot, the only problem you may encounter is finding the entrance gate especially in this always busy street.

Opening Hours:

Tue-Fri: 8am-4pm
Sat-Sun: 8am-2pm

Closed on Mondays and Public Holidays


Children Rp.2,000
Adult       Rp.3,000

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Spending an hour or two exploring Sri Baduga Museum is surely a fun and educative way to spend your holiday in Bandung. But, having fun in the outdoor in the highland surrounding Bandung would double the fun. What do you think of these places?

Cangkuang temple, Garut
Pangandaran beach.

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