Malabar

Tea Plantation in the South of Bandung

Malabar is an area in Indonesia in Java Island. It is in the province of West Java, in the Bandung District, south of the city of Bandung near Mount Malabar (Gunung Malabar), a stratovolcano. Malabar Tea Plantation is located in Pangalengan, 45 km south of Bandung. When using the tollroad, exit at the door Moh. Toha or Buah Batu then continue the journey toward Banjaran. There is a junction after passing through the Square and Market of Banjaran, choose to Pangalengan (turn left). Having started entering The District of Pangalengan City, there is a junction again; point your vehicle to the left toward Center of Pangalengan City. Continue the journey through the city center to arrive at the Door Junction. As the name implies Door, is the entrance to the Malabar tea plantation and tea estates others. It was formerly well known as a hill station near to the town of Pangalengan for recreation during the Dutch period in Indonesia. Some of the tea estates in the area provide good facilities for tourists to stay overnight, walk through tracks in the tea plantations, and bath in nearby hot springs. One of the main tea estates in the area, the Malabar Tea Estate, was for many years (1886–1928) managed by K.A.R. Bosscha who was active in the development of the region.

Malabar tea plantation has an amazing natural beauty, the surrounding landscape of green hills and tea plantations. Especially when the early morning when the mist was spotted in the garden and the settlement became a fascinating natural treats. The smiles of the tea pickers will add to the atmosphere Malabar Tea Plantation more comfortable and friendly.

In this plantation you can rent a villa with a garden atmosphere tea and a cool garden. In the morning you can stroll around the housing estates, or visit the houses of plantation workers with the typical style of Sundanese architecture. The atmosphere of the cool morning with the fresh air will make you feel at home.

The history of Malabar dates back to the 1890 when the culture of Dutch began to flow into the highland of Pangalengan.

Malabar tea estate was established in 1896 with a height of 1550 above sea level and Karel Albert Rudolf Bosscha was the plantation’s first manager. Later on, he was the General Manager to all tea estate in the Pangalengan region.

During his 32 years as manager of the tea estate he had accomplished his job enormously. He erected two tea factories in Malabar, one was near his residence also his office, called Malabar tea factory and the other was erected later (1905), called Tanara (now Malabar tea factory). The first Malabar tea factory is now known as the “Sporthall Gelora Dinamika”.

The tea picker gathered in the Malabar tea factory’s yard. The tree Ki Hujan on the left side was planted in 1931, signing the people hope that rainfall will come in adequate amount.

Both were built in the center of his tea plantation as to enable collected tea leaves reached the factory within fresh condition.

By that time, collected tea leaves were carried in baskets and tea pickers had to walk to the factory through tea bushes. Therefore, small paths were made crossing from every direction embracing the areas to facilitate its transport, maintenance, spraying and to do the figuring of production. To inspect those activities, a watch tower was built at the peak of Gunung Nini , which also used as a resting place.

Two nice tea picker ladies specially photographed as a showcase of activity in tea estate.

To operate his machineries in the factories and light in houses, a power house of hydro-electric power-plant was built by the river of Cilaki, with 3000 HP. Up to now, the power house has been functioning, partly.

The name Malabar is believed to come from the Arab language, meaning “Mal-“for money, and “Abar” for a well or source. In fact, Malabar has been making money for PT Perkebunan XII by yielding its best production, supported by its low cost of production.

Presumably, Bosscha had chosen the right place to live. He loves his life in Malabar. He became a part of it. He didn’t even bother to get married. He died on the 26th November 1928 and was buried among his tea bushes in Malabar tea estate as he had requested. His simple tomb is still there, unspoiled.

His beautiful tomb is still there, unspoiled.