Benteng Inong – For you lovers of conventional tourism, Inong Balee Fortress may not be one of the favorite places. Besides its location which is quite far in remote Bukit Soeharto, Krueng Raya, the terrain that must be taken is quite hard. The only reason that makes this object worthy of your stay is a view of the incredibly beautiful landscape from the hill. But for those of you nature adventurers, touring enthusiasts and historical tourism hunters, this fort might be worthy of being included in one of the target destinations you should visit.

Benteng  Inong
Benteng Inong

The history of the fort at the East End of the Krueng Raya Bay cannot be separated from the figure of Keumalahayati or Malahayati. Malahayati was the first female Admiral of the Aceh Sultanate who was instrumental in guarding international diplomacy between Aceh and European countries.

Malahayati became the initiator and commander of the legendary Laskar Inong Balee, the origin of the name of this fort. Malahayati’s role as a successful woman as a military commander as well as a diplomat, has been recognized and recorded in the history of various nations.

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In Acehnese, ‘Inong’ means woman, while ‘Balee’ means widow. Laskar Inong Balee is a special force consisting of widows from martyrs in the Battle of the Haru Sea.

During the battle, the Aceh Sultanate Armada succeeded in repelling the Portuguese Armada but had to lose two admirals and a thousand soldiers. This made many of the wives of the Aceh Sultanate naval warriors widowed.

Malahayati who is the wife of one of the Admiral who died took the initiative to propose that the widows of these soldiers can be empowered in the military service.

Benteng Inong Balee became the center of logistical support for the sea of ​​the Sultanate of Aceh as well as one of the strategic points of Aceh’s military defense from the threat of enemy attacks from the direction of the Malacca Strait. Its position is on a hill, making Inong Balee’s troops have a broad range of views, which stretches from the western end of the Krueng Raya Bay to the far East coast of Aceh Besar.

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For photography enthusiasts, Benteng Inong Balee and Bukit Soeharto provide the right vehicle for conducting natural and landscape photography experiments. From the top of this hill, the view of the Port of Malahayati surrounded by the Krueng Raya bay looks beautiful in the distance.

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