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Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta, stretched out from the base of the active Merapi volcano to the vast

Indian Ocean, is one of Indonesia’s 33 provinces and an important centre of

Javanese culture. Yogyakarta is often referred to as the gateway to Central Java

because of its ideal geographical location; it is easily accessible by road, and

there are regular air and train services.

Yogyakarta

During the 16th and 17th centuries, Yogyakarta was the seat of the grand

Javanese Mataram Empire and even today this city has an enchanting effect on

its visitors. It is celebrated for its classical and contemporary Javanese dances,

traditional Wayang puppetry and music. Apart from a rich and long-established

culture, Yogyakarta is also a sparkling city and a true shopper’s delight. It is also

the only major city where the traditional Becak or rickshaw-style transport is in

use.

Yogyakarta’s main attraction is the Sultan’s Palace or Kraton. This enormous

complex of crumbling structures was built in the 18th century and is actually a

walled city within the city, with luxurious pavilions in which the current Sultan

still resides.

Sultan Palace Yogyakarta

History

Founded in 1755, Yogyakarta was the capital of the Mataram Kingdom when

Dutch explorers turned up and granted the Yogyakarta kings by title Sultan of

the Yogyakarta territory. It was also the scene of Indonesia’s most successful

rebellions against the Dutch: Prince Diponegoro instigated a holy war against

colonial rule from 1825 to 1830 and Yogyakarta also operated as the capital of

the newly independent republic after World War II when the Dutch reoccupied

Jakarta.

Bank Indonesia Yogyakarta

People have always been attracted to the Yogyakarta region because of its rich

soil resulting the numerous volcanic eruptions. The earliest recorded history

dates back to the 9th century and is dominated by Hindu and Buddhist

kingdoms. These monarchies gave rise to the marvellous temples of Prambanan,

Ratu Boko, Kalasan, Sambisari and Borobodur. In the early 18th century,

Pakubuwono II ruled the Mataram kingdom.

Prambanan

 

As a result of a conflict between his

son and his brother after his death, the kingdom was divided into the Surakarta

Hadiningrat Kingdom under Sultan Pakubuwono III, and the Nyayogyakarta

Hadiningrat Kingdom under Sultan Hamengku Buwono I. This last one was the

founder of the present line of sultans who still reside in the Kraton and play an

important role in today’s Javanese culture. It was this second kingdom that was

later named Yogyakarta.

Geography

Because of its central location, Yogyakarta is perfectly positioned for the

economic network in Java as well as a gateway to Indonesia’s main tourist

destinations: Jakarta and West Java westward, Central Java northward and East

Java and Bali eastward.

Climate and weather

Situated approximately seven degrees south of the equator, Yogyakarta has a

tropical monsoon climate, with a short dry period and a long wet season. Usually,

there is no rainfall from May to August and therefore, the atmosphere feels hot

and humid during the day and cool during the night and early morning. The

monthly rainfall varies from 3mm to 496mm, with those above 300mm

occurring between January and April. It is essential to note that it does not rain

all day and most downpours come in the late afternoon with dry but humid

weather during the day.

Population

Most of Yogyakarta’s inhabitants are Javanese whose language originates from

ancient Sanskrit. Due to the numerous educational centres, Yogyakarta is

considered to be Indonesia’s academic city and many of its citizens are students

from other Indonesian provinces.

people Yogyakarta

Culture

As the former capital and centre of several kingdoms, the Yogyakarta region and

its inhabitants have a rich cultural background. The civilization, art and culture

have developed really well in the Ancient Mataram Kingdom (8th – 10th

century), the second Mataram Kingdom (17th – 18th century) and the

Ngayogyokarto Sultanate from the mid 18th century up until today. As a result of

its abundant traditions, Yogyakarta has long been known as the cradle of

Javanese culture.

Borobudur is the world’s largest Buddhist temple and unique in structure and

carvings compared to similar temples in Asia. During Waisak day, thousands of

Buddhists do their pilgrimage in Borobudur.

Borobudur

Prambanan is a definite must-see for anyone who visits the Yogyakarta area.

While Borobodur is shaped like a flattened pyramid, Prambanan is characterized

by its typical tall and pointed Hindu architecture. This impressive 9th century

temple is one of the largest Hindu temples in Southeast Asia and there is no

doubt you will be dazzled when you see the looming yet mesmerizing temple for

the first time.

The historic neighbourhood of Kotagede located six kilometres to the Southeast

of Yogyakarta, is home to the remains of Mataram Sultanate’s first capital and

includes a palace (Kraton), a market (Pasar), a mosque (Masjid) and a square

(Alun-Alun). These four elements indicate the presence of a strong bond among

the government, economy, religion and community.

Mount Nglanggeran

Mount Nglanggeran is an ancient volcano believed to be active many millions of

years ago and has a western and an eastern peak with a caldera in the middle.

Nowadays it is a giant boulder and serves as an area of conservation, education

and sustainable development. It has been qualified as a geopark (International

Earth Park) and is waiting to be officially designated as Indonesia’s first geopark.

Nglanggeran Yogyakarta

Parangtritis Beach sand dunes

The Parangtritis sand dunes were shaped during thousands of years of natural

process. Its sand is believed to be volcanic material erupted by Mount Merapi

and flowed to the Opak and Progo estuaries in the South Sea. Strong currents

took these materials to the shore where they dried in the tropical sun. Since

Parangitritis beach is bordered by limestone hills, this sand could not pass the

hills and fell in front of them. The wind caused the sand to become uniquely

shaped sand dunes, where one can enjoy the special scenery or try exhilarating

sand boarding.

Sandboarding Parangitritis beach

 

Trips

Borobudur Cycling to Prambanan

Merapi biking to Prambanan Temple

Gunung Nglanggeran Trekking

Rock Climbing Siung beach

Caving in Goa Senen

Merapi Yogyakarta tour 2D/1N

Merapi Yogyakarta tour

Gununing Kidul Adventure