Thursday, March 8, 2012


Tugu Monument

Situated on the crossroad at the northern end of Jalan Mangkubumi, the Tugu Monument was built on the order of Sultan Hamengku Buwono I in 1755 to mark the founding of the city of Yogyakarta. Originally 25 metres high, it collapsed during the earthquake of 1867 and was rebuilt 20 years latter. The height of present monument is less the half of the original one.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Jalan Malioboro

Malioboro is the most famous street in Yogyakarta. In runs north-south from the main railway station towards the Kraton.Derived from the word Marlborough, the name of the street traces it’s origins back to the brief period of British rule at the beginning of the nineteenth century. In the daytime the street is lined with colourful market stalls selling all kinds of local handicrafts.

Here is possible to have rubber stamp made in a few hours, or purchase an oil to promote hair growth made from an extract of crushed scorpions. Competing with the street sellers are modern, glass fronted shops stocked with fashion goods, electronics gadgets, cassette tapes and quality batik. At night Malioboro transforms itself into what my be the world’s longest restaurant.

A continuous row of food stalls extends down both sides of the street, offering traditional delicacies like fried chicken or pigeon , and course nasi gudeg, until into the early hours of the morning. Entertainment is provided by a variety of artists and street musicians, who help make every evening on Malioboro one of constant celebration.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Bird Market (Pasar Ngasem)

The Bird Market is located near the ruins of Tamansari. Rows of brightly coloured cages a large variety of birds from all over Indonesia, as well as rabbits, kittens, guinea pigs and the accasional fruit bat. Many people come here to find rare songbirds, which are entered into competition and command very high prices. Visitors may be surprised to see some of the caged bird set high up on poles. The reason for this is that the birds are said to sing better in this position.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Masjid Agung (The Great Mosque)

Lying on the western side of the northern Alun-alun is the Great Mosque. The building was designed by the court architect Wiryokusumo on order of Sultan Hamengku Buwono I and completed on 29th May 1773. Two plaques, inscribed in Arabic and Javanese, are displayed on the walls of the Mosque and mark the date of it’s completion.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Built in 1758 as a recreation area for Yogyakarta’s royal family, the ‘Water Castle’ Tamansari lies a little to the south west of the Kraton. Although mostly in ruins, brought about by time, neglect and an earthquake in 1867, Tamansari is still an interesting place to see. Visitor can walk through a maze of underground passageways leading down to dark and mysterious rooms, long since deserted. Two large bathing pools apparently used by princesses from the palace, are still visible but no longer in use.

Tamansari once had to long to tunnels, one of which was connected to the Kraton , the other surfacing some distance outside the city, some say as far away as Parangtririts. This second one was built as an escape route in the event of danger. Today many batik artist live long Tamansari’s narrow pathways.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Yogyakarta Places of Interest

The Sultan’s Palace

Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, the Sultan’s Palace, is located at the southern eng of Jalan Ahmad Yani. The Kraton is the heart of city of Yogya and covers an area of one square kilometer surrounded by a wall. It is in a sense a city within the city, housing some 25,000 residents, many of them artisans producing traditional craft likes batik cloth, silver wares, wayang puppets and masks. Construction of the complex began in 1755, following the devision of the kingdom of Mataram, and continued for nearly forty years. The innermost group of buildings, known as Proboyekso, is still the private resident of the reigning Sultan and his family. Here are kept many ancient pusaka or scared heirlooms. The reception hall, Bangsal Kencana, is a beautiful structure displaying exquisitely carved teak pillars and painted rafters. It was completed in in 1792. A small museum exhibition some of the palace treasures, including gifts from European monarchs. Outside, in the Sri Manganti courtyard, two pendopo , traditional Javanese open sided building , countain four sets of gamelan instruments dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries. Also on view are gilded palanquins and sedan chairs, as well as an ancient bedug , the drum used to call Muslims to prayer.

On the northern and southern sides of the main palace buildings are large grassy areas known as Alun alun . In the middle of each stand two banyan trees, which are said to ‘guard’ the Kraton. Today, much of kraton is open to public and on Sundays visitors have the opportunity to watch classical dance rehearsals there.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Yogyakarta & Central Java

The island of Java is the fifth largest in Indonesia after Kalimantan, Sumatra, West Irian and Sulawesi. Roughly the size of England, it supports a population of about eight million. Representing more than half of the nation’s total. A third of the inhabitants live the narrow, middle section of the provinces of Central Java, with it’s capital at Semarang, and the Special Region of Yogyakarta.

This is the home of the true Javanese, as opposed to the Sundanese who inhabit the western part of the island and have their own language and customs. Most people are engaged in agriculture and live away from the city centres. More than sixty percent of the land is used for intensive wet rice cultivation dry hillside farming and plantation corps, while a further twenty percent accounts for forested areas of mostly teak and pine. The landscape is one of great variety and natural beauty. Inland, smouldering volcanic peaks sweep upwards to height of more than 3000 metres, from where numerous river flow down through rich and fertile plaints of the sea. Only in the north east of Central Java and on Yogyakarta’s southern coast is the soil less productive. Here, arid and inhospitable limestone ranges are unsuitable for agriculture and consequently support relatively small populations.