Pontianak City is one of the oldest cities in Kalimantan. The city is 249 years old. Even various sources often present quite different backgrounds. One of them is related to the female ghost who has died in childbirth, kuntilanak.
The following is the background we found. The city of Pontianak was founded by Syarif Abdurrahman Alkadrie on Wednesday, 23 October 1771 (14 Rajab 1185 H) which was marked by forest clearing at the intersection of the Landak River, the Kapuas Kecil River and the Kapuas Besar River. The place later stood the hall and residence.
Then, in 1778 (1192 H), Syarif was appointed the first Sultan of Pontianak. The establishment of the Jami ‘Mosque, which is now called the Sultan Syarif Abdurrahman Mosque and the Kadariah Palace located in Dalam Bugis Village, East Pontianak District, marked the location of his power.
In the book “Borneos Wester Afdeling.”, V.J. Verth, a Dutch historian wrote the history of the city of Pontianak, whose contents are slightly different from the stories that are widely circulating today.
According to Verth, the Dutch entered Pontianak in 1194 Hijriah (1773 AD) from Batavia.
Verth wrote that Syarif Abdurrahman was the son of the cleric of Syarif Hussein bin Ahmed Alqadrie, or in another version known as Al Habib Husin. Syarif left Mempawah kingdom and started living overseas.
While in the Banjarmasin region, Syarif married the younger brother of the Sultan of Banjar, Sunan Nata Alam and was appointed Prince. He was successful in trading activities and raised sufficient capital to arm his designer ships and boats.
Not long after that, he started his resistance against Dutch colonialism. With the help of the Sultan of Pasir, Syarif succeeded in hijacking the Dutch ships near Bangka as well as British and French ships in the Port of Pasir.
After that, Sharif became a well-off man and tried to establish a settlement on an island in the Kapuas River.
He also found a branch of the Landark River which he later developed into a prosperous trading center. This area became known as Pontianak.
The Origin of Pontianak
Pontianak has been known as the city of the equator through which the latitude zero degrees of the earth pass. Because it is in a rare position, a monument or equator monument is built in Siantan.
Not only that, this city which has an area of 107.82 square kilometers also keeps a legend that originated from past mystical myths.
According to several sources, the name Pontianak originated from the story of Syarif, who was often disturbed by a ghost in the form of a kuntilanak while he was walking along the Kapuas River.
Initially, the place was called Khun Tien, which was inhabited by many ethnic Chinese along the Kapuas River coast.
When he arrived at the confluence area of the Kapuas Besar and Landak Rivers, Syarif was very disturbed by the kuntilanak, so he fired cannons to expel it. This kuntilanak figure is depicted as a woman with long hair and a white dress.
Apart from this story, some people also believe that the origin of Pontianak comes from the legend of the Malay community by taking the name from the word punti trees, which means tall trees. At that time, the Pontianak area was indeed surrounded by tall trees.
This is reinforced by evidence of historical records, a letter between Husein bin Abdul Rahman Al-Aidrus (People of Pontianak) to Sultan Syarief Yusuf Al-Kadrie.
Others say that Pontianak means “child gate” because the area is a dividing gate between the Kapuas River and the Landak River.