The site of Pande village located in the sub-district of Kuta Raja Banda Aceh municipality is one of the old Islamic archaeological sites in Aceh. In this site it is found many relics of the former Islamic empire like tombstones with various types, ancient ceramics, currency and others. Some research indicate that Kampung Pande was a strategic area and was the center of governance, trade and other activities of the Kingdom of Indra Purba which was originally centered in Lamuri (its previous word ‘Lamreh’), a village in Aceh Besar of sub-district Krueng Raya. The displacement of the center of the kingdom of Lamuri to Kampung Pande has a historical background and considerations that need more in-depth further studies. According to historical records, the kingdom of Indra Purba was founded about 2000 years BC. In its development, the Kingdom had experienced ups and downs, including several attacks from other kingdoms such as China, Sriwijaya, Chola, Portuguese and others (Hasjmy, 1983:55). Some chroniclers mention that Lamuri derived from Lam Uriek, an area in the region of Lamkrak, Aceh Besar. But in terms of geographical and archaeological evidences, the word of Lamuri originally derived from the word Lamreh, which was located around Krueng Raya Aceh Besar.
The kingdom of Indra Purba (Lamuri) was originally a
Hindu kingdom, and then it became an Islamic kingdom which in its development it placed Kampung Pande as the capital of the kingdom. Hasjmy mentioned that the transitional status of the kingdom of Indra Purba, from Hindu to Islam conducted at the inauguration ceremony of the kingdom Darussalam gathering by Muslims Indra Purba on Friday of Ramadan Month 601 H (1205 AD). Meurah Johan was crowned as the first king who titled as Sultan Alaiddin Johan Syah.
In another written record, it mentioned that the information about Lamuri was debatable because of the difference opinion among reviewers, both about the location of the kingdom of Lamuri and when the Kingdom was established? The latest information retrieved from the site http://history.melayuonline.com revealed that the empire of Lamuri emerged since the mid- 9th century AD. Later in the year 932 AD the kingdom of Lamuri was ruled by the kingdom of Sriwijaya, but in running government as a sovereign Islamic kingdom it still had a widely autonomous rights. The kingdom of Lamuri only reported to Sriwijaya if there was a problem and paid taxes if necessary.
An article from a daily newspapers Analisa, which was published on December 31, 2008 mentioned the revelation of Edmund Edwards Mc.Kinnon, a British archaeologist who has known Aceh for about 30 years. He stated that Islam was already in existence for about100 years before entering in Samudera Pasai, North Aceh. This is reinforced by the article that was published in one newspaper in France in 1995 which stated that the King Sulaiman was the ruler of the Islamic Kingdom in Lamreh (Lamuri), Aceh Besar who died in the year 608 H (1211 AD).
Revealing Pande village as one of the largest residential areas at that time, Mc.Kinnon Kampung confirmed that in addition to the residential area, Pande village also well developed as a center of trade. The most important fact about Pande village was also in charge for controlling the royal government at that time. The Sultan also lived and was buried in this area. This can be seen at the tombs of the Sultan and his relatives which were found there.
The study from this author in 2006-2007 has found that the typical type of headstone shapes and decorations described Megalithic tradition in the village of Pande. This gravestone was thought to be the earliest gravestones used before 9 AD Based on these findings, the Village Pande was the earliest location of Muslims settlement not only in Aceh, but also in the Southeast Asia. It is supported by the finding of all kinds of gravestones which were found throughout Southeast Asia in Kampung Pande.
As the capital of the kingdom, Pande village was functioning as the center of government administration as well as a trading town and a place for making a variety of crafts. The meaning of Pande village is pandai/smart. This meaning is closely associated with intelligent people who lived in Pande village, such as masons, carpenters, blacksmiths, goldsmiths and others.
Current conditions that are ragging Pande village has been the findings gold coins belonging to the kingdom of Aceh and the kingdom of Turkey on 11 November 2013, followed by the findings of VOC’s sword. These findings suggest that Pande village was previously one of the world’s centers of government and commerce. It’s therefore Pande village should be protected in order to further study the historical greatness of Aceh as a great Islamic Empire that had much contributed to the world civilization and thought.