Travel destinations: Jogjakarta, Java

“Travel destinations: Jogjakarta, Java” Teks by Wawies – Wisnu Wisdantio was published in since 2009 before the Helium Publishing sites shutting down in 2014.

The sultan Hamengkubuwono might never have thought if the Jogjakarta city that he had built in 1755 would become one of many of the most beautiful cities in Indonesia. Currently, the Jogjakarta city is so famous because of the value of cultural diversity within it. Jogjakarta is the capital of the Yogyakarta province, which is the cultural centers of Javanese kingdom. Similar to the city of Surakarta, which is the twin city of Jogjakarta that located about 60 kilometers to the east. Both of the cities have been always crowded by various performing arts and traditional ceremonies.

Centering in the royal palace called the Sultanate of Jogjakarta, the area within the palace-fortress walls that usually called the Jero Benteng district contains various tourism destinations, which attracted every tourist who came to Jogjakarta. The Taman Sari that was a royal park and the inn for the King and his relatives. Buildings of the princes and nobles residences that most of them were built in the 18th century called Dalem Mangkubumen, Dalem Suryoputran, and Dalem Pakuningratan.

The Jogjakarta city also contains several of museums and art galleries. The Affandi museum is a gallery at the Adi Sucipto Street, which stores the artworks of Affandi, the famous painter from Indonesia. The Kekayon museum is a puppet museum that holds the various collection of the Indonesian Wayang puppetry. Not only that, there is also a museum called the Batik Museum, which store many collections of the Batik Tulis in various patterns and motifs, including the Batik Tulis that was made in 1880.

The people of Jogjakarta are very proud of their traditional culture. It reflected in every important event in their daily lives that still marked by a various ceremony. Not just weddings, but also the birth and funeral ceremony. However, the main ceremony is the Suro festival and the Sekaten ceremony.

Suro CeremonyThe Suro festival is a series of the Javanese New Year celebration in the first month on the Javanese calendar, called the month of Suro. Within this ceremony, the Javanese people perform a local tradition called Lelaku Topo Bisu, which is walking around the palace-fortress without speaking to each other and without footwear that conducted in the middle of the night. Besides that, the other ceremony that also conducted is the Jamasan Pusaka ceremony. Within this ceremony, the Royal servant that usually called the Abdi Dalem washes the Royal Heirlooms, such as royal carriages, weapons, and family Heirloom.

The Sekaten festival is a religious ceremony that held annually on 5th until 12th within the third month of the Javanese calendar, called the month of Mulud. The uniqueness of this ceremony, there are two pairs of Javanese Gamelan orchestra that only played in the Sekaten ceremony, called the Kyai Gunturmadu and the Kyai Nogowilogo. The top of this festival is the Grebeg Muludan ceremony, which is the Sultan will make offering called the Gunungan that made from glutinous rice, food, fruits, and vegetables. In this procession, the Gunungan will be distributed to the people as a manifestation of the royal family gratitude to the God who protects the kingdom and provide prosperity to all the people in Jogjakarta. Until now, most of the Javanese people still use the Javanese calendar system to determining the traditional ceremony performing day. When it compared with the Gregorian calendar, the Javanese calendar that based on the movement of the Moon has 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar.

On the outskirts of the Jogjakarta city also could be found several favorite tourist destinations. Located about 10 kilometers on the south-east side, the old city that is the remnant of the Mataram civilization called the Kotagede district. This district is the center of the handmade silver manufacture in Jogjakarta. One of them is the Ansor Silver, silver handicrafts manufacturer founded in 1956. In addition, there is the Suhardjo Harto Silver that usually called HS Silver. Uniquely, many galleries within the area also offer workshops and courses to teach the visitors to make their own silver handicraft.

Another unique district within the Jogjakarta city is the Kampung Nitiprayan. It located in about three kilometers on the east side of the palace. This district is holding many local tourist attractions, which are all performed by local residents. Such as the Karawitan musical orchestra, The Gejog Lesung musical orchestra and The Ketoprak performance art. Experiencing the diversity of local culture in the Nitiprayan village seemed like be on the art village on the several countries, such as the Song Zhuang district in Beijing, or on the Bussana Vecchia district in northern Italy.

Feeling the local cuisine at Jogjakarta has always been an interesting experience for anyone. One of these cuisines called the Gudeg that made from jackfruit. This food is mostly found within the palace-fortress area, on the street of Wijilan. There are many local snacks that also delicious, such as the Yangko that made from bean flour and Kipo that made from glutinous rice filled with grated coconut and brown sugar. In addition, there is a local snack that so famous at Jogjakarta, called the Bakpia Pathok that is similar to the traditional cake of the people in China, called the Mooncake.

Nowadays, exploring the Jogjakarta city is very easy to do. There are some cheap transportation modes within this beautiful city. One of them is a shuttle bus called the Trans Jogja that only cost about 3.000 Rupiah, which is equivalent to $0.3 for every trip. Not only that, one transportation mode that is currently popular with tourists is riding a bicycle around the city with a guide map called the Green Map. The map is prepared by volunteers of Jogjakarta Green Map Community, which promote nature, culture and social development in every corner of the city of Jogjakarta.