Java island is one of the biggest islands in Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Bornoe, Celebes, West Papua), bordered by the Indian Ocean on the south and the Java Sea on the north. With a population of over 141 million (including the inhabitants of its surrounding islands), Java is the home to 56.7 percent of the Indonesian population and is the world’s most populous island. Jakarta, the Indonesian capital city, is located on its northwestern coast, in West Java area. Java island, formerly was divided into 5 administration area; Jakarta – the capital city of Indonesia, West Java – Central Java – Special Province of Yogyakarta and East Java. Today it is divided into 6 (Jakarta – the capital city of Indonesia, west Java, Banten, Central Java, Yogyakarta (Jogja) – the special province and East Java. Much of Indonesian history took place on Java. It was the center of powerful Hindu-Buddhist empires, the Islamic sultanates, and the core of the colonial Dutch East Indies. Java was also the center of the Indonesian struggle for independence during the 1930’s and 1940’s. Java dominates Indonesia politically, economically and culturally. Four of Indonesia’s eight UNESCO world heritage sites are located in Java island: Ujung Kulon National Park, Borobudur Temple, Prambanan Temple, and Sangiran Early Man Site. These facts lead almost all travelers visit and explore Java island first as the main gateway, before Bali and other islands in Indonesia.
Formed mostly as the result of volcanic eruptions from geologic subduction between Sunda Plate and Australian Plate, Java is the 13th largest island in the world and the fifth largest in Indonesia by landmass at about 138,800 square kilometers (53,600 sq mi). A chain of volcanic mountains forms an east–west spine along the island, created ‘a ring of fire’ connected with Sumatra and other islands in Indonesia. Three main languagesare spoken on the island: Javanese, Sundanese, and Madurese, where Javanese is the most spoken; it is the native language of about 60 million Javanese people in Indonesia, most of whom live on Java. Furthermore, most residents are bilingual, speaking Indonesian (the official language of Indonesia) as their first or second language. While the majority of the people of Java are Muslim, Java’s population comprises people of diverse religious beliefs, ethnicity, and cultures.