Mataram (Kota Mataram) is the capital of the Province of West Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Barat). The city is situated within Lombok Barat Regency (Kabupaten Lombok Barat) and lies on the western side of the island of Lombok, Indonesia. It is also the largest city of the province, and has a population of around 362,243 (estimated in 2008).
In addition to serving as the provincial capital, Mataram has also become the center of government, education, commerce, industry and services. Three towns constitute the Mataram area; from west to east, these are Ampenan, Mataram, and Cakranegara. They are distinct towns, but run together. Broadly, Ampenan is an aging port city, Mataram is the governmental and office center for the province, and Cakranegara is the major commercial center on the island. There are six subdistricts of Mataram, namely Ampenan, Cakranegara, Mataram, Pejanggik, Selaparang, and Sekarbela. The Mataram district area contains 50 Kampungs (villages/neighbourhoods) and 297 (RT) kampung sub-sections. The city is served by the Selaparang Airport at Ampenan, by the Lembar Harbour seaport in the southwest and Labuhan Lombok ferry port on the east coast which provides connection to Poto Tano on Sumbawa. Mataram is located near west coast of Lombok, so it is very close to the island’s tourism centre of Senggigi beach, which is a short distance northward from Ampenan.
Mataram was previously a part of West Lombok district before the division of the region. The capital of West Lombok was moved to Gerung in the year 2000.
Mataram was also the seat of power for the king of Mataram (Seraja), which was sometimes controlled through neighboring Singaraja, Bali.