From the 1000s to the 1200s, a Hindu kingdom descending from the original Mataram ruled from Kediri, and was followed by the Singhasari kingdom. After 1292, the great Majapahit kingdom ruled from Trowulan west of Surabaya.
Madura is home of the Cakraningrat princes who were part of the power intrigues of the 1600s and 1700s. Madura has language and traditions that are distinct from Java.
Surabaya, a port city since at least the 1300s, is today one of the largest cities of Indonesia. In 1945, Indonesians fought a fierce battle here against British soldiers who had been commanded to return Indonesia to Dutch rule.
Pasuruan was an important Islamic city already in the 1500s. Tuban was another large port city in the 1500s.
Malang was a center for rebels against the Dutch East India Company and their princely allies in the 1700s.
Banyuwangi is the main city of easternmost Java, the "Eastern Salient". This area, including the kingdom of Balambangan, remained Hindu longer than the rest of Java.
Blitar is known for being the birthplace of Sukarno.