Home > Photos & Comment > A Real Archeology is Not Impossible

A Real Archeology is Not Impossible

It’s from my latest visit to Gunung Puntang. I went there with Endro Purwanto and his wife. We felt like we wanted to have lunch together with all of the officers at Gunung Puntang while at the same time we welcome a ham friend of mine named Agus S. Gustian (YB1ALL). He was to do the mapping of the area around Radio Malabar where five radio stations are planned to be built for the 5th of May next year.

After we let him took some pictures, Endro leaded us to have a walk thru a small path, which was actually a way to the right side of Radio Malabar. It was heavily bushed. Along the way I could see there were more traces of the ruin :


That might look like lower part of a wall made from a mix of stones and concrete. I always know that old buildings from the era of Dutch Colonialization have a very robust construction quality. That is to say that it has become what it is today because of a conscious effort to demolish it.


This one clearly shows that there used to be a wall here. However not all of the traces are those that flat-to-the-ground. I found something curious. There was a wall, curiously hiding something behind it :


It might not be clearly seen here from the above picture, but that black background is actually a wall. I wish I could go around it to see the other side, but I suppose it would require removing the thick bushes here and there.

I also found some relics. This is obviously fraction of antenna insulators :


I conclude that from what I have found and seen, (at least) the reconstruction of the foundation of the building is possible. That is assuming that an archeological excavation is carried out in advance, and not to mention an involvement of a serious benefactor.

If we just browse through the pictures of the internal part of Radio Malabar, we would have this images that there were a lot of machineries and equipments: anything made of steel. My question for that has been: where have they all gone ? Could we still find anything at all ? A small museum is planned to be built here, but it will mostly contain printed old photographs. I think (if) anything found in the ruin should be worthed as a collection for the museum.

Yes, a real archeology is not impossible, even if Radio Malabar is not anything ancient. It is not ancient, but it is not less historical.

  1. 03/12/2012 at 10:05 pm

    Thank you so much for a great reference of Malabar Radio Station.

    Saya Athifah, atau bisa dipanggil Tifeh, mahasiswi tahun ke-3 di IM Telkom jurusan Ilmu Komunikasi, konsentrasi Broadcasting. Kebetulan saya mendapat tugas untuk membuat film dokumenter dan kami memilih untuk membahas tentang Stasiun Radio Malabar.

    Jujur, sebelumnya kami tidak tahu banyak mengenai Malabar. Tetapi setelah mencari dari berbagai sumber di internet (dalam bahasa Indonesia, Belanda dan juga Jerman yang tidak saya mengerti) we think we might found a hidden treasure! Yeah. Tidak banyak orang yang mengetahui adanya reruntuhan stasiun radio yang memiliki nilai historis tinggi, termasuk saya orang bandung.

    Kalau berkenan, would you mind to spare a few minutes for chit-chating about the malabar? Atau memberikan referensi tentang Malabar dan poin-poin tertentu untuk memberi arah pada film dokumenter kami?

    Mungkin film dokumenter kami, jika hasilnya memuaskan, can be a great addition for the 90th anniversary of Radio Malabar.

    Terima kasih.

    • 05/01/2013 at 11:41 am

      Tifeh : Silahkan, bagaimana saya bisa menghubungi anda ? YM saya: tomitaprakoso

  2. 24/12/2012 at 5:04 am

    Information sheet 2012-001, 21st December 2012
    To: Affiliated organizations
    From: VRZA project Malabar-RKwk 2013

    The Malabar – Radio Kootwijk Project 2013
    On Sunday, May 5th 2013 it is exactly 90 years ago, that in the Malabar gap (40 km south of Bandung in Indonesia) the Governor General of the former Dutch East Indies Mr. Dirk Fock opened officially the two-way telegraphy (CW) radio link on long wave (VLF) from Radio Malabar, call-sign PKX, to Radio Kootwijk in The Netherlands, call-sign PCG.
    In May of this year the webmaster of http://www.radiokootwijk.com Mr. Robbert Jan de Groot received via Mrs. Elizabeth van Kampen an e-mail from Mr. Tomita Prakoso in Bandung.
    In this email Mr. Prakoso, radio amateur, call-sign YC1MTT, and lecturer at the Bandung University, revealed his plans to celebrate the commemoration of this historical fact in Indonesia on May 5th 2013 (see his blog on https://radiomalabar.wordpress.com). He asked us also if it would be possibile to organize something in The Netherlands at Radio Kootwijk to celebrate this historical occasion.
    After consultations with the Dutch Forestry Agency (SBB), now owner of the former buildings of Radio Kootwijk, and the Society of Radio Amateurs (VRZA), it has been decided that SBB will facilitate the event but that the organization of it will be done by the VRZA.
    The VRZA has appointed both of us as a project team to organize this celebration. Apart from our contacts with SBB and VRZA we have made contact with the Former Dutch East Indies Heritage Foundation and the Apeldoorn Monuments Foundation. Of course we have regular contacts via the Internet with Mr. Prakoso in Bandung.

    Our thoughts and plans
    Our main purpose is trying to realize a two way radio link with Malabar on short wave (Morse-telegraphy and, if possible, telephony) from the former main building (in Dutch: “gebouw A”) of Radio Kootwijk on Sunday May 5th 2013. We wil try to transmit form the original transmitting room in “gebouw A”, using an original Radio Kootwijk shortwave transmitter. We will apply for a special event call-sign PI90PCG. Our Indonesian friends will transmit form Malabar with the special call-sign YB90PKX. This station will be manned by an enthusiastic group of Bandung radio amateurs who will make a radiocamp on the historical grounds of the Malabar gap. A special QSL card will be available to ham radio operators to confirm a successful connection with these stations.

    In “gebouw A” at Kootwijk Radio it won’t be just only radio-transmissions on May 5th 2013.
    There will be a photo-exhibition and the history of Radio Malabar and Radio Kootwijk will be presented by movies, a slide show and a PowerPoint presentation.
    Furthermore, we think of Indonesian meals consisting of appetizers, satay, spring rolls, prawn crackers and fried rice and some traditional live music from Indonesia like Krontjong, Gamelan and Angklung.
    There is free admittance to the public to “Gebouw A” throughout the day with an opportunity to take part in a “tour of Radio Kootwijk” with experienced guides. The notice-boards near the entrance of “gebouw A” will give the public the necessary information and there is free, ample parking.

    Help and sponsoring

    Of course we can’t realize this project on our own. We are looking for sponsors and volunteers who want to support the project. Should you have any other ideas or suggestions, please let us know.
    You will find our contact information at the bottom of this sheet.

    See you on May 5th 2013 at Kootwijk Radio!

    The project team,
    Ron Goossen, PB0ANL and Jan-Willem Udo, PA0JWU

    Contact information:

    Actual information about the project you will find on:
    http://www.radiokootwijk.com and https://radiomalabar.wordpress.com

    Mail to: VRZA Malabar-RKwk 2013, c/o Radioweg 2, 7348BH Radio Kootwijk, The Netherlands

    E-mail to: : jwudo@hetnet.nl

    Phone: +3110223718 (Jan-Willem Udo) and/or +31653219638

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