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Yogyakarta, or short Yogya is one of the two still excisting traditional royal cities of Central Jawa; the other is Solo. The city is in the centre of a wide belt of fertile ricefields, which are dominated in the north by the smouldering Gunung Merapi ('Mount Merapi'), and in the south is limited because of the rough Indian Ocean.

People living near Gunung Kidul are used to being called country bumpkins from the mountain - a reference to their perceived backwardness and lack of education. However, if we gaze far, far back into the past, we see that this reference is extremely inappropriate, as the ancestors of modern man lived in the Gunung Kidul area. Only those ignorant of history will consider the Gunung Kidul people in (...)

The 3,169 province of Yogyakarta counts 3,2 milion residents, on average more than one thousand per square kilometre. Yogya is among the most densely populated and most productive traditional agricultural areas in the world. The fact that low housing dominates, and most people still live in relatively small, selfsufficient village communities, this is even more remarkable. In the city itsel (...)

After the independence of Indonesia the ceremonies were strongly limited. Nevertheless the kraton still is the centre of extended rituals, which are dated from the traditional Jawanese calender. For the Jawanese they mean a prooves of higher power of the sultan and of influence of his court. Symbols of power The king got it's power because of the holy heirlooms, the (...)

Yogya shares it's fame at the centre of traditional royal Jawanese arts with the nearby city of Solo. Since the partition of Mataram (1755), subtile differences developed between both cultures. So points the term mataraman at the specific Yogyan style of dance, arts, theathre and clothing. On the whole Yogyan music and dances are big and powerfull, in contrary to the refined, closed style (...)

Different from many early rulers, which resigned from public live, or worked hard with industry and trade, the ruling Yogya family Hamengku Buwono has demanded a prominent place in the Indonesian society. It's serving thought to the people and interest in national welfare gave them - on more than only historical grounds - national respect. This is mostly because of the energic sultan, deceased Ham (...)

The kraton of Yogya was built between 1756 and 1790 by the founder of the city, sultan Hamengku Buwono I. It's a beautiful example of traditional Javanese royal architecture. As a royal residence, but most of all the centre of the principalty, the kraton was to be a miniature model of the Javanese universe. All elements - pavilions, courts, gates and trees - have a symbolic meaning. The thought be (...)

The over two kilometre long main road which runs from the kraton to the north, was part of the original design of the palace and was the lifely archery at which Yogyakarta grew. Too bad, the nowadays Jalan Malioboro has little similarity with the mystical lane which Hamengku Buwono I had in mind for his royal procession. His 'ritual path' became an overcrowded, densely populated race ci (...)

A well-looked-after historical legacy is hard to find in Indonesia. If, as a tourist, you are thinking of visiting the nation's important historical sites which are not only in good repair but have also become part of the contemporary life around them, Kotagede is a must. Formerly the capital of Mataram Kingdom, a great kingdom from the time Islam began to enter Java in the 16th century (...)

The crown prince of Yogya, the later Hamengku Buwono II, ordered the construction of a massive wall and a canal around the palace complex in 1785. It was constructed with sand andlimestont, and measured 5 x 4 metres. Stories go that the sultan could drive over it while inspecting. The remains of the wall still surround the old part of the city, which is still known as benteng, or (...)

The high cliffs of Java's southern coast go straight into the Indian Ocian, which is a true proove of the power of nature, with it's big waves and currents near the coast. This is the domain of Kajeng Ratu Kidul, the mighty Queen of the South Sea, which should be the wife as well as the protectional spirit of the rulers of the Javanese kingom of Mataram. Following the 19th centur (...)

Yogyakarta, as the cultural heart of Java, boasts a wide range of tourist attractions, including historical and archeological sites. However, the sheer number of attractions means that some of them are neglected, despite their obvious potential to draw tourists. One example is the hilly karst region of Surocolo in Seloharjo village, Bantul, some 24 kilometers south of the provincial ca (...)

If you happen to pass along Jl. Bintaran 16 in Yogyakarta, you are likely to see a beautifully preserved 100-year-old joglo hall connected to an equally impressive Javanese-colonial-era style house. The previously unsightly and dilapidated building is now noticeably brighter, with newly painted white walls and orange roofing tiles. The interior is clean and neat and the fragrance of fresh kantil f (...)

The news about a pair of black hawks (Ictinaetus malayensis) rearing a chick in a forest on the slope of Mount Merapi in Cangkringan, Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, finally reached Yayasan Kutilang Indonesia. Activists from a bird protection foundation in the city had every reason to rejoice because the young creature is a new member of a flock of rare raptors, raising hopes for the conser (...)

It was 1 p.m. in Boyong hamlet, Hargobinangun village, Pakem subdistrict, Sleman, at the foot of Mount Merapi. The sun shone very brightly, while the heat was at its peak. Sunarto, 63, a Boyong villager, paused for a while from digging sand in his yard with a shovel. Taking a deep breath, he wiped the sweat from his wrinkled face before sitting next to his shovel on the ground. "I'm for (...)

As early as the beginning of next year, Yogyakarta could have a volcanology museum in Hargobinangun village, Pakem, just a few kilometers away from the famous Kaliurang hill station on the slopes of Mt. Merapi, one of the world's most active volcanoes. Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Purnomo Yusgiantoro officially kicked off construction work on the museum last month during a modest cerem (...)

Candi Kalasan (also known as Candi Kalibening) is an 8th century Buddhist temple located 13 km east of the Yogyakarta on the way to Prambanan temple, right on south side of main road 'Jalan Solo' between Yogyakarta and Surakarta, Indonesia. History According to Kalasan inscription dated 778 AD, pranagari script written in sanskrit, the temple was erected by the (...)

Candi Plaosan, also known as Plaosan Complex, is one of the Buddhist temples located in Bugisan village, Prambanan district, Central Java, Indonesia. It is easily accessible from Yogyakarta by Surakarta road. Candi Plaosan covers an area of 2,000 square meters with an elevation of 148 meters above sea level. The Dengok River is located nearby, about 200 meters away. Candi Plaosan is surrounded by (...)

Candi Sewu is an 8th-century Buddhist temple located 800 meters north of Prambanan in Central Java. Candi Sewu is actually the second largest Buddhist Temple in Central Java after Borobudur. Candi Sewu predates "Loro Jonggrang". Although originally only around 257 temples are present, the name in Javanese translates to 'a thousand temples,' which originated from popular local folklore; The Legend (...)

The densely populated area surrounding Yogya is recognised by an impressive natural environment: smouldering vulcanoes, mighty limestone cliffs and a savage breakers. Gunung Merapi, the 'Fire-spitting Mountain' north of Yogya is Java's most active volcano. It's a high-rising colossus, which frequently spits out ash and smoke. The nightly climb is intense and dangerous, but at the end it is (...)

Kaliurang An ideal place to escape the tremendous heat of the plateau, is the mountain village of Kaliurang, located higher in the mountains, 24 kilometers north of the city of Yogyakarta, or about half an hour by car. At an altitude of about 900 metres on the southern side of the Merapi, it's remarkably cool. When the weather is clear, hard to predict any way, the view is (...)

Kota Gede, sticking to Yogyakarta at the southeastern edge, was founded in 1575 by Panembahan Senopati. It grew into a centre of trade and labour and was the capital of the principalty of Mataram, until sultan Agung moved to Kerta in 1614. Kota Gede is a maze of small streets and alleys with small silver shops and mouldy green houses with mozaic floors, once belonging to wealthy Arabic and Dutch t (...)

Imogiri (also Imagiri) is a royal graveyard complex in Yogyakarta, south-central Java, Indonesia, as well as a modern village located near the graveyard in Bantul regency. Imogiri is a traditional resting place for the royalty of central Java, including many rulers of the Sultanate of Mataram and of the current houses of Surakarta and Yogyakarta. The name Imagiri is derived from Sanskrit Himagiri, (...)

The notched rock formations and the fierce seas meet eachother on the black beach of Parangtritis, 28 kilometers south of Yogyakarta. It's slamming waves, salty sea winds, humid nights and continuously changing black sand dunes make Parangtritis into a place of myths, mystics and meditation. Everywhere, beaches, lakes, paths, caves and burial sites tell their own stories. Watching over the fierce (...)

The biggest challenge in this part of Jawa is the heavy climb to the top of Gunung Merapi. An adventurous mind, a good condition and good health are important for this tour. The Merapi belongs to the most active volcanoes in the world. It is guarded by six institutes, which warn the population in the area whenever there is need to. An eruption in 1006 partially covered the Borobudur. The er (...)

A trip to the deserted beaches of Baron, Kukup and Krakal, sixty kilometres southeast of Yogya, not only offers a fresh ocean wind, but also the wilderness of the Southern Mountains, or Gunung Kidul. The road to Baron lingers through one of the most dry and poor areas of central Jawa. The friendly green sawah's have been replaced by bald limestone rock formations (...)

Whether it is the evening of Selasa Kliwon (a Tuesday Kliwon according to the Javanese calendar) or Jumat Kliwon (a Friday Kliwon following the same calendar), both evening are used to hold rituals on the beaches of Cepuri and Parangkusumo in the province of Yogyakarta on the island of Java. Both days are seen as days that should be honored, according to old traditions. These days ar (...)

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