BANDUNG AND ITS HISTORY
Bandung first gained prominence in the 18th century when Dutch colonists set up tea plantations in the hills surrounding the city. It soon developed into a sophisticated resort town for plantation owners with chic cafes, boutiques, Art Deco villas and hotels. Before long, because of its European style ambience, it was nicknamed “Paris van Java.” In addition to this, the city is also often called the “City of Flowers” for its abundance of green spaces and parks filled with brightly coloured flora. Like in many parts of Java, Bandung has many old legends and its most colourful one relates to the forming of the Tangkuban Parahu volcanic crater. The name translates as “upturned boat” and is one of the area’s most popular natural sights. The legend of Tangkuban Parahu tells the story of Dayang Sumbi, a beautiful woman from West Java. She has a fierce argument with her son. She disowned her own son Sangkuriang, and praying to the gods, she was given the gift of eternal youth. After many years apart, Sangkuriang returned home and not recognising his own mother, fell in love with Dayang Sumbi and the two subsequently planned to marry. Just before the ceremony, Dayang Sumbi recognised a birthmark on Sangkriang, and was horrified to learn that she had planned to marry her own son. In order to stop the wedding taking place, she set Sangkuriang a seemingly impossible task to make a dam on the river Citarum and then to build a large boat to cross the river, both to be completed before sunrise. When Dayang Sumbi saw that her son was close to completing the task in time, she used magical powers to recreate the sunrise on the horizon so that Sangkuriang would be fooled into believing that he had failed. In his despair, he broke the dam and kicked the unfinished boat, which then created Tangkuban Perahu from the hull of the boat.