Kota Pontianak is the capital of the Indonesian province of Kalimantan Barat which was founded by Syarif Abdurrahman Alkadrie as a capital of Sultanate of Kadriyah (Kesultanan Kadriyah) on 23 October 1771 / 14 Rajab 1185 Hijriah. Syarif Abdurrahman Alkadrie developed Pontianak as a trading port on the island of Borneo, occupying an area of 107.82 km² in the delta of the Kapuas River. It is located precisely on the equator line, hence it is widely known as Kota Khatulistiwa (Equatorial City). The city centre is actually less than 3 kilometres (2 miles) south of the equator.

The city was formerly the capital of the independent Sultanate of Pontianak and was founded on 23 October 1771 around an old trading station on the Borneo coast. It was built on swampy ground that is subjected to regular flooding by the river, requiring buildings to be constructed on piles to keep them off the ground. The word Pontianak refers to a story about ghosts that people in West Kalimantan refer to as Pontianak (a ferocious female ghost in Malay); it was a ghosts’ nest until Syarif Abdurrahman Alkadrie and his Army fought and extruded the ghosts who attacked his group by shooting cannon balls. He then built a mosque and a palace, exactly on the location of the ghosts’ nest, and settled. The mosque and the palace became the first buildings in Pontianak City. To this day, Pontianak people shoot cannons made from logs every Ramadhan and holiday events to pay attribute to the Sultan. Pontianak City lies on the Equator line with an altitude ranging from 0.1 to 1.5 meters above the sea level. The city is separated by the Kapuas Besar River, Kapuas Kecil River and Landak River. Thus, Pontianak is divided into three parts.

Time Zone

In 1963 by Presidential Decree No. 243 In 1963, the City entered into the zone Central Indonesian Time (WITA). But, on January 1, 1988 by Presidential Decree No. 41 Year 1987, Central Kalimantan and West Kalimantan which previously entered the zone of Central Indonesian Time (WITA) turning into the zone of Western Indonesian Time (WIB). So that in 1988 the city of Pontianak celebrated the New Year twice: at 00:00 am in GMT+8 and then 00:00 am in GMT+7.


Pontianak features a tropical rainforest climate under the Köppen climate classification (Af). The city experiences a large amount of rainfall throughout the year, averaging 3,210 mm (126 in) of precipitation annually. Only in the month of August does the average monthly precipitation fall below 200 mm (7 7⁄8 in). Temperatures are consistent throughout the course of the year, with average highest temperatures of 30 °C (86 °F) and average lowest temperatures of 23 °C (73 °F).


The 2010 census enumerated Pontianak’s population at 554,764; the latest official estimate (from January 2014) is 573,751. Pontianak is a diverse and multicultural city. Its population mainly consists of Malays, Chinese and Dayak, with several minor ethnics such as Bugis, Javanese, Madura, and etc.


The native language and main lingua franca of the city is Pontianak Malay, a distinct variety of Malay that is closely related to Sarawak Malay in neighbouring Sarawak, Malaysia as well as Johor-Riau Malay in Malaysia, Riau and Riau Islands in Indonesia and Singapore. However, many people in the city also use Indonesian as their second language. Other ethnic groups like the Chinese mostly are Teochew with a small Hakka speakers, Dayak and others mainly use their respective languages.