Yogyakarta – Land of Great Kings

Since I spend almost my whole life in this city, I know how tremendous history that has been inscribed by the Javanese in the past. The city has been flourished for thirteen centuries. At 15th century, Yogyakarta city began to look grown when it was the capital of Mataram Sultanate between 1575 and 1640.

Kotagede (now part of districts in Yogyakarta) was established as the capital of Mataram Sultanate. The palace of the founder of Mataram Sultanate, Panembahan Senopati established in scene of part of Alas Mentaok. During the reign of Sultan Agung Hanyokrokusumo (1613-1645), Sultanate Mataram reach its zenith as the greatest kingdom in Java, expanded its influence to Central Java, East Java and half of West Java. After a two times move its capital, (Palace of Pleret and Place of Kerta, both located in Bantul Regency), the capital of Mataram Sultanate moved to Kartasura.

During the reign of Pakubuwono II, a civil war broke out in Mataram Sultanate. The civil war was fought between Prince Mangkubumi and his elder brother, Sunan Pakubuwono II. The civil war started when Sunan Pakubuwono II agreed to cooperate with the VOC, ceded some of Mataram territory to the Dutch, and submitted to foreign powers. His younger brother, Prince Mangkubumi stood against the agreement due to concern that his people would become slaves under Dutch rule. Prince Mangkubumi defeated the Pakubuwono forces and declared sovereignty in the Kingdom of Yogyakarta occupying southern parts of the former Mataram Sultanate.

The Yogyakarta Sultanate was established as a result of the Treaty of Giyanti (Perjanjian Gianti) by Prince Mangkubumi, who later ascended the throne as Sultan Hamengkubuwono I. Officially, the creation of Yogyakarta Sultanate is dated at 7 October 1756 as a result of civil war among the princes of The Mataram Sultanate. This civil war marked the end of the Mataram Sultanate and resulted in the birth of the Yogyakarta Sultanate and the Surakarta Sunanate .

Now facing the globalization era Yogyakarta has been evolved to be a modern city. Hundred and more of college established in this city and make this city popular as student city in Indonesia. Because of it also Yogyakarta become a cyber city in Indonesia. But not forgetting of their history, Yogyakarta people always keep their history and make this region still being special region of Indonesia.

Official Logo of Yogyakarta Kingdom

Official Logo of Yogyakarta Kingdom

As mention on paragraph above, Yogyakarta now has 3 different palace building in 3 different place: Keraton Kasultanan Ngayogyakarta (divided into two area, new section and old section), Keraton Kotagede and Pesanggrahan Ambar Ketawang. Now we just can enjoy the Keraton Kasultanan Ngayogyakarta. Both of other two has collapsed.

It’s easy to find where’s the Keraton Ngayogyakarta lies. The palace lies in center of Yogyakarta city, at the end of famous malioboro street. From Malioboro street or area around Tirtodipuran and Sosrowijayan, where the backpacker area lie, visitor can  go with ‘becak’, tricycle vehicle, typically vehicle from Indonesia. It’s cheap if you can bargain it well. For 2-3 kilometers, it just spends about 5000 – 10.000 IDR.

Becak Yogya

Becak Yogya (courtesy: http://www.harianjogja.com)

At the beginning, Yogyakarta is a fraction of Mataram Empire. Nowadays, the palace is still used for king and his royal family. The main building lies in front of alun-alun utara (big square field as city center of yogyakarta). The king automatically became governor of Yogyakarta. In this main building the king helds all ceremony  such as official appointment ceremony, wedding ceremony or funeral.

Main Building of Keraton

Main Building of Keraton

Now, visitor have to pay entrance fee. 7500 for local, and 12.500 for international tourist.The ticket booth found in right side of the main building.

This palace proofs Javanese architectural excellence. The wood engraved with sophisticated detail in every part of pillars and roof. The ornament is different with Solo/Surakarta palace. When Solo Palace use many statue of human form, adapted from roman style, Yogyakarta only use various kind of flower and plants.

Joglo Style - Origin from Java Shape Architectture

Joglo Style – Origin from Java Shape Architecture

detailed engraving pillar of keraton

detailed engraving pillar of keraton

Try to look for the day when the kingdom was having a royal event. The event will held in the main building in the front building of keraton. You can see royal javanese dance or another attraction to record.

Sultan Yogyakarta Birthday (courtesy from www.sintesa.web.id)

Sultan Yogyakarta Birthday (courtesy from http://www.sintesa.web.id)

Abdi Dalem - Official Employer of Keraton

Abdi Dalem – Official Employer of Keraton

In front and back side of keraton (palace) lies two field called alun alun. These place are using for public area. In North Alun-Alun (front one), they have annually carnival event called ‘sekaten’. It celebrates the birth of Prophet Muhammad SAW. Many performances held in a month.

At the exact day of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad SAW, the palace will held a ceremony called ‘garebek sekaten’. Big giant cone covered with foodstuff will be taken as contest by the public. The complete sacral javanese music orchestra called gamelan Kyai Nogowilogo and Kyai Gunturmadu will displayed in the great mosque.

Garebek Sekaten (courtesy of www.jogja.kotamini.com)

Garebek Sekaten (courtesy of http://www.jogja.kotamini.com)

Gamelan, Music Orchestra from Java (courtesy: www.yogyakarta.panduanwisata.com)

Gamelan, Music Orchestra from Java (courtesy: http://www.yogyakarta.panduanwisata.com)

In west side of Yogyakarta palace, lies the old part palace. The building half collapse when the earthquake occured in Yogyakarta. Taman Sari means beautiful garden. This place used first king of Yogyakarta as a resting and bathing the for princess

Tamansari (from www.jogjawae.com)

Tamansari (from http://www.jogjawae.com)

Tamansari is one of my favourite place in Yogyakarta. A place full of peace where I can relax and enjoy a relic of the past of royal splendor of Yogyakarta.

Some part of this article taken from www.wikipedia.com
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