Pasuruan is an old harbor city. In the period of Airlangga, Pasuruan is known as Paravan. In the past, this region was a very busy as it had a very strategic location and used as transit harbor and trade ,market inter islands. Royals and rich traders settled in Pasuruan for trading reason. That created diversity of ethnics in Pasuruan and they lived in peace.
In the past Pasuruan was called as Gembong, that was reigned by kings in East Java that adhered Hindu. In the early of 16th Century, the king of Gamda (Pasuruan) was pate Supetak, known as the founder of Pasuruan Regency. According to Java chronicle, Sultan Trenggono of Demak that conquered Pasuruan in 1545. Since then, Pasuruan became important Islam power in East Java. Later broke war with Blambangan which still adhered Hindu-Buddha. In 1601, Blambangan capital was seized Pasuruan. In 1617-1645 Pasuruan was reigned by Tumenggung from Kapulungan, Ki Gede Kapoeloengan entitled Kiai Gede Dermoyudho I. Pasuruan attacked by Kertosuro and Kiai Gede Kapoeloengan escaped to Surabaya and died there, then buried in Bibis cemetery in Surabaya. The next king was the son of Kiai Gede Dermoyodo II, entitled as Kiai Gede Dermoyudho II (1645-1657).
In 1657, Kiai Gede Dermoyudho II was attached by Mas Pekik from Surabaya, he died and buried in Kampung Dermoyudho, Kelurahan Purworejo, Pasuruan. Mas Pekik ruled with title Kiai Dermoyudho III until he passed away in 1671 and replaced by his son, Kiai Onggojoyo from Surabaya (1671-1686).Kiai Onggojoyo gave his authority to Untung Suropati a slave that fought against Dutch and killed Captain Tack when he was in Mataram. To avoid Dutch suspicion, in February 8th 1686, Pangeran Nerangkusuma who was blessed by Amangkurat i to order Untung Suropati to depart to Pasuruan and became an adipati and ruled over Pasuruan and proximity. Untung Suropati reigned in Pasuruan entitled as Raden Adipati Wironegoro. For 20 years he fought against Dutch but he ran his governance well and gave his people spirit to revive.
Dutch kept trying to silence Suropati, but failed. Dutch then co-op with Kiai Onggowijoyo to assault Untung Suropati. Untung Suropati was badly wounded and died in 1706. His grave is not known until today, but a cave known as the place where he hid was found in Mancilan, Pasuruan. After his death, his son, Rakhmad, replaced him and continued his father struggle and he finally died in battle field. in 1707. Onggojoyo or Dermoyudho IV became the adipati of pasuruan in 1707. The adipati was changed overtime and in 1743, pasuruan was ruled by Raden Ario Wironeoro, and his patih was Kiai Ngabai Wongsonegoro. Dutch succeeded to persuade Kiai Ngabai Wongsonegoro to revolt Raden Ario Wironegoro. Raden Ario escaped to Malang. Since then Pasuruan was entirely controlled by Dutch and Dutch deemed Pasuruan as an important harbor and promoted as capital of residency for the following regions: Malang, Probolinggo, Lumajang, Bangil District.
For his service, Kiai Ngabai Wongsonegoro was promoted as Pasuruan regent and entitled as Tumenggung Nitinegoro. Kiai Ngabai Wongsonegoro was rewarded with a princess from Kanjeng Susuhunan Pakubuwono II’s concubine, from Kertosuro, Raden Ayu Berie, the descendant of Sunan Ampel from Surabaya. When she was rewarded, she was pregnant and the baby grew up as a man, Raden Groedo. When Kiai Ngabai Wongsonegoro died, raden Groedo was only 11 years old and replaced him to be Pasuruan Regent and entitled as Kiai Adipati Nitiadiningrat according to resolution in 27 July 1751. He ruled for 48 years until 8 Novemberr 1799, and known as a good adipati, loyal to his family but also smart to make Dutch happy. He built Masjid Agung Al Anwar with Kiai Hasan Sanusi (Mbah Slagah). IN 28 October 1800, Raden Beji Notokoesoemo replaced his father as regent according to Besluit of 28 February 1800, as Tumenggung Nitiadiningrat II. In 1809, he was replaced by his son Raden Pandjie Brongtokusumo as Raden Adipati Nitiadiningrat III who died in 30 January 1883 and buried in the rear of Masjid Al Anwar. He was replaced by Raden Tumenggung Ario Nitiadiningrat IV who died in 20 July 1887. Kiai Nitiadiningrat I until IV were known as Mbah Surga Surgi by Pasuruan locals.
Since Kiai Dermoyudho I period until Pasuruan residency formed in 1 January 1901, government had been established. Kotapraja or Gemeente or municipality of Pasuruan was formed according to Staatblat 1918 No. 320 as Stads Gemeente van Pasoeroean, in 20 June 1918. Since August 14 August 1950 Pasuruan Municipality was appointed as autonony region consisted of village in one district. On 21 December 1982, Pasuruan Municipality was expanded into 3 districts with 19 sub-districts and 15 villages. On 12 January 2002, according to the change of village status, village changed as sub-district according to Peraturan Daerah No. 10 Year 2002, that Pasuruan was divided into 34 sub-districts. According to UU No 22 year 1999 about region autonomy, municipality to City of Sasuruan.