Garut: The Historical City

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Garut is a town in the west Java province of Indonesian and is the capital of the Garut Regency. It is located about 75 km to the southeast of the major city of Bandung.


The modern history of Garut started on March 2, 1811 when Balubur Limbangan Regency was dissolved by Governor General Herman Willem Daendels, because the area’s production of coffee had decreased and the Regent, Tumenggung Wangsakusumah II had refused a command to plant indigo. Balubur Limbangan Regency then comprised 6 district: Balubur, Malangbong, Wanaraja, Wanakerta, Cibeureum, and Papandak.

When the site was first found, there was a spring nearby that was said to have been surrounded by a small pond closed off by thorny scrub. According to local stories, one person in the group had his hands badly scratched by thorns.

A European in the team asked about the bleeding and was told that the problem was “kakarut!”

The answer was misheard by the European visitor as “gagarut” rather than “kakarut”. Team members of the committee thus named thorny plant “Ki Garut” and the pond was named “Ci Garut” (the location of this pond now was occupied by SLTP 1, SLTP 1, and SLTP 4 Garut buildings).

The name of “Garut” was approved by Regent Limbangan Adipati Adiwijaya to be made the capital of Limbangan Regency.

Charlie Chaplin have visited Garut

Garut was well known before World War II, being a hill station for Dutch elite of the region. The legendary film star Charlie Chaplin is said to have visited Garut twice. He reported to have visited in 1927 and 1935, staying at the Grand Hotel Ngamplang in Cilawu region, a hilly resort around 3.4 kilometers from the city center.

More recently, Garut is in a centre of tourism in the region south of Bandung for hiking, hot spas, nearby lakes and villages, and so on.


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