Mulawarman Museum or called Kutai Sultan Palace is situated in Tenggarong, the capital city of Kutai Kartanegara district. After the Kutai Sultanate government ends in 1960, its 2,270 m2 palace was then occupied by Sultan A.M. Parikesit until 1971. The Palace was then handed over to the East Kalimantan provisional government on 25 November 1971. On 18 February 1976, the provincial government then handed over the Palace to the Ministry of Education and Culture to be managed as a state museum called Mulawarman Museum (up to now). At present, Sultan Aji Muhammad Salehudin II is recorded as the 20th king of the Sultanate.
Visitors can travel around the Palace/Museum on foot, visiting from one room to another storing various historical items. To its right, we will find cemetery of kings and their royal families. Not far from the cemetery, we can drop by to souvenir shops selling their merchandises and stalls selling foods and drinks. Mulawarman Museum is well-maintained that it provides convenience for visitors when taking museum tour to see the history of sultanate and its historical items. The museum looks strong and is dominated by white color. In this museum, various collections of Kutai Sultanate are presented e.g., royal throne, statues, jewelries, war attributes, beds, gamelan, ancient ceramics from China etc. Jirat or gravestones of Sultans and their families are mostly made of long-lasting ironwood in crafted Arabic letters. Sultans buried here among others are Sultan Muslihuddin, Sultan Salehuddin, Sultan Sulaiman and Sultan Parikesit. Only Sultan Alimuddin is buried in his own land in Gandek Mountain, Tenggarong.
When shopping in souvenir shops in this tourist destination, you should be good in bargaining. Sometimes, we can get a cheaper price than the one offered in Kebun Sayur Market in Balikpapan or Citra Niaga Market in Samarinda, popularly known as souvenir centers in East Kalimantan.
How To Get There
This tourist destination is situated at Diponegoro street, Tenggarong, Kutai Kartanegara district in East Kalimantan. Tenggarong is easier and closer to reach from Samarinda. From Sepinggan airport in Balikpapan, you can take a local plane to Samarinda. Alternatively, you can also take a taxi for Rp250.000-Rp300.000. It takes about 60 minutes to reach the palace from Samarinda. Since it is situated in the city center of Tenggarong, you should not find any difficulty to find this museum. Public transportation from Samarinda to Tenggarong is also available.