Solo River

Bengawan Solo River

The Bengawan Solo River (alternatively, Solo River, with Bengawan being an old Javanese word for river) is the longest river on the Indonesian island of Java, approximately 540 km in length. Apart from its importance as watercourse to the inhabitants and farmlands of the eastern and northern parts of the island, it is a renowned region in paleoanthropology circles. Many discoveries of early hominid remains have been made at several sites in its valleys, including that of the first early human fossil found outside of Europe, the so-called "Java Man" skull. Bengawan Solo was the crash site of Garuda Indonesia Flight 421


The Bengawan Solo River has its source at the volcano of Mount Lawu,in Central Java. From there it flows in a northerly direction, through the Sewu Mountains. Along its course it is joined by several tributaries. Some of these, such as the Madiun and Brantas rivers are substantial rivers themselves. The river makes an easterly turn through East Java, passing through the Kendang Mountains and into the Solo Valley, which is relatively flat. It passes through the major city of Surakarta (called Solo by the local inhabitants), and eventually reaches its outlet on the Java Sea near the city of Surabaya.

Media depiction

Inspired by the river, Gesang Martohartono created a song named after the river. Bengawan Solo became a popular folk song in Indonesia.


  • Turner, Peter Java (1st edition). Melbourne: Lonely Planet. ISBN 0-86442-314-4.

Further reading

  • Prabowo, Dibyo, & McConnell, D. J. & Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (1993), Changes and development in Solo Valley farming systems, Indonesia Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome ISBN 9251028974

External links

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