Yogyakarta, or Jogja, because it’s often lovingly called, is much more than just a house to royal temples and palaces. It is the stories and deep civilisation during its foundation that describe why people keep returning and finding reasons to remain. From history to unforgettable tourism adventures, discover the soul and heart of Java.
Special Region of Yogyakarta
Among the country’s 34 provinces, only two have been granted ‘special region’ standing: Aceh and Yogyakarta. For the latter on, it means recognition and certain autonomies continue to be supplied to the monarchy of Yogyakarta, despite being a part of the Republic of Indonesia. That leaves town planning, governance, and cultivation of culture in the hands of centuries-old tradition performed by the monarchy.
Therefore, in case you think Indonesia’s empires are of a remote past represented exclusively by temple ruins and history publications, a simple trip to Yogyakarta will show you wrong. As traditional festivals and occasions have been knitted into the fabric of daily lifestyles, you are going to see how the Yogyakarta sultanate is not merely alive and well — it’s prominent.
The Imperial Complex of Yogyakarta
Still today, the imperial palace of Yogyakarta stays at the core of traditional life. The placemarks the focal point of this Sultan’s entire territory, as it creates an imaginary line with Mount Merapi at its northwest, the Yogyakarta monument, along with the mystical South Sea. This palace remains home to the royal household, but portions of it are open for visitors. Different ceremonial rites are still performed within its walls, a few days, others based on the usual almanack. The architecture of this grand palace reflects deep symbols and philosophy of the Javanese in every little detail. Sometimes you will spot Abdi dalem, the loyal servants and caretaker into the kingdom, using their meticulously regulated manners and attire.
The Wonderful Temples of Yogyakarta
It is impossible to talk about Yogyakarta without mentioning the ancient imperial temples within or near its land. Regardless of the Yogyakarta sultanate being formally Muslim now, the area still testifies to the height of impact in Buddhism and Hinduism throughout its previous civilisations. Borobudur Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in the world, is unmissable evidence of the episode in history. The temple complex falls beneath the region of Central Java. However, Yogyakarta remains the most popular hub for temple-hopping in the area. Besides, Yogyakarta and Central Java were one under the Mataram empire, so the legacy tends to be somewhat similar.
Another noteworthy temple in Yogyakarta is the Prambanan Temple. Constructed in the 9th century, this temple honours the Hindu gods, but largely Shiva, the god of devastation. The complex features countless individual rock temples and shrines, with intricate stone carvings throughout them. For people who wish to watch history come alive, then remain until dusk to see the glorious Ramayana ballet completed from the temple lawn.
Guardian of Life-style
Preserving and nurturing their precious ancient culture is a pursuit taken quite seriously in Yogyakarta. Both the sultanate and the private industry tend to adhere to the customs and traditions that elevated them. From ethnic restaurants which incorporate heritage recipes, to some village of batik-makers, culture is secured on all fronts. By still carrying out the intricate ceremonies and rituals of traditional Java, and instructing into the centuries, the sultanate continues to function as a cradle of Javanese civilisation that was once dominant across the island.
Yogyakarta is a stronghold for culture and tradition. However, it manages to hit a balance between the traditional and contemporary. Throughout time, the monarchy has continued to demonstrate its readiness to adapt and adopt the best of both worlds. The traditional gudeg dish is now served in large fancy restaurants along with traditional warungs. Street art is available in many corners, perhaps alongside a home with elaborate classic wood carvings during its façade. And if your love of AC doesn’t allow you to shop at traditional markets, then there are always a selection of shopping malls and boutiques that sell the batik of your dreams.
Ready to start your getaway to Yogyakarta? Visit Wonderful Indonesia, and don’t miss out on the magic!