After our touchdown in the morning, our first stop is the Kraton Yogyakarta (the Royal Palace of Yogyakarta) or Keraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat. The royal palace was built for the first Sultan of Yogyakarta, Hamengkubuwono I, around 1755 to 1756. Although it was almost destroyed and looted by the British force in 1812 and several earthquakes later, the Kraton was rebuilt by Sultan Hamengkubuwono VIII (1880-1939).
Currently, the Royal highness Hamengkubuwono X (1946-present) and his family still resided in Kraton. The Sultan also has an office as the Governor of Yogyakarta there. Reminds me of the Jaipur Royal Palace in India.
The word Kraton comes from Ka + Ratu (queen or King in Javanese) + an = Kraton = a center place for religion, philosophy and culture.
The kraton was built by opening up the land (Javanese: babat alas), in the former Paberingan forest, located between Winongo river and Code river.
The kraton‘s front faced the ever temperament Mount Merapi at the North, and the back facing South at the Indian Ocean. It’s believed that the Indian Ocean is the palace of Kanjeng Ratu Loro Kidul, the Queen of the South Seas. In the Javanese cultural believes, she is also the Sultan’s ‘mystical’ consort.
From the South at the Indian Ocean, Krapyak Hunting House, the Kraton Yogyakarta, Tugu Yogyakarta (Yogyakarta monument) and up to the mount Merapi, an invisible straight sacred line; symbolizing the journey of a man/human from their origin/birth to their last destination/death/heaven (Javanese: sangkan paraning dumadi).
There are two entrances to the Kraton:
- From the North, stop at Alun-alun Lor (Lor Plaza) and enter through Tepas Kaprajuritan gate to the first section, bangsal Pagelaran & Sitihinggil. Entrance ticket + camera fee = Rp. 5000 + Rp. 2000 = Rp. 7000 (USD$0.50 – local price) and Rp. 12.500 for international visitors (USD$1).
The main building, bangsal Manguntur Tangkil in Sitihinggil complex in the center is where the Sultan seated for official ceremonies. Sitihinggil comes from the words siti (area) + hinggil (high) = higher plane for the Sultan’s seat.
Bangsal Manguntur Tangkir
On the side building, there is Bale Bang, where they stored photographs, Javanese music instruments like gamelan sekaten KK Guntur Madu and KK Naga Wilaga. Another building is Bale Angun-Angun, where they stored the KK Suro Angun-angun spear.
Regol Brojonolo gate only open for official ceremony and certain dates. Unfortunately, it was only open in special occasion, hence we need to go around and enter from the other gate.
2. Enter through Tepas Pariwisata gate for Sri Manganti dan Kedhaton sections. Entrance ticket + camera fee = Rp. 7500 + Rp. 1000 = Rp. 8500 (USD$0.61 – local price) and Rp. 15.000 for international visitors (USD$1.07).
Once we enter regol (gate) Srimanganti, the Srimanganti plaza has several main buildings. Our eyes go directly to the main building for its name sake, Bangsal Srimanganti. At the time, they held a wayang kulit (shadow puppet) performance. They have daily art show in different discipline everyday:
- Monday: Gamelan Music at 10.00 am
- Tuesday: Gamelan Music at 10.00 am
- Wednesday: Menak Puppet show at 10.00 am
- Thursday: Traditional (classic) Dance show at 10.00 am
- Friday: Sing a Traditional song (Macapat) at 9.00 am
- Saturday: Shadow Puppet (Wayang kulit) show at 9.30 am
- Sunday: Traditional (classic) Dance show at 9.30 am
Moving on, we explore around the courtyard and the buildings designed in traditional Javanese architecture but some have a little influence from western (Portuguese and Dutch) and Chinese designs. Some terms for example: Joglo is a building (bangsal) without walls. Building with walls is called Gedhong.
Regol (gate) Danapratopo. In front of the gate, two statues, Cinkorobolo and Bolobuto, stand guard.
Symbol of the Yogyakarta Sultanate called Praja Cihna. From top to bottom, the Crown or Songkok to symbolize the “knighthood character”. The ornaments that look like the sunflower left and right or Sumping, symbolizing “life”, and the leafs means “eminence”. The golden color symbolized “the Sultanate’s nobility”. The wings or Lar means “aspiration”. The shield symbolized “vigilant to defend the truth”. The writing “Ha + Ba” in Javanese letters, is the Sultan’s initials and his royal highness’ pledge in protecting the people. The Padma flower symbolized “the life and after life”. The spiraling plant symbolized continuous life.
Bangsal Mandhalasana at Kedhaton area.
Usually there are some musicians playing here to greet royal guests. Its design has a Spanish and western influence, particularly the western instruments on the glass.
Some of the buildings are not accessible to tourists as they are in use by the Sultan and his family or ufor government/ceremony. They also stored precious artifacts with cultural and religious usage. For example Gedhong Jene (for royal meetings), Gedhong Purworetna (Sultan’s office), Bangsal Manis, Gedhong Prabayeksa, Bansal Kencana etc.
Gedhong Danartapura (for storage).
Some old Javanese and Western cooking tools and cutlery. On the right first and second photo we can see water containers, Berkefeld water filter.
The black sands all over the place is taken from the South Sea. Certain trees, Sawo kecik (Manilkara kauki; famili Sapotaceae) planted in the courtyard to bring good vibes and natural pleasing scents.
We see some Abdi Dalem or the Royal Court Retainers on duty. Sometimes they are praying under the tree or seated/standing to answer questions from visitors. Visitors can also take selfie if he’s available and we didn’t disturb his work/prayer.
Abdi Dalem is divided into two; the Civil servants, to take care of the Sultanate governance organization and the Kraton‘s soldiers. They were first established in 1755 by Sultan Hamengkubuwono I. The people who become Abdi Dalem also divided into two groups; those from the public who work full time, Abdi Dalem Punakawan Tepas, and those who come to work once every 10 days, Abdi Dalem Punakawan Caos.
Abdi Dalem Koprajan comes from military or government background who retired and want to dedicate their life for the Kraton.
It’s not easy to be Abdi Dalem. They are very strict in (toto kromo/sopan santun) well manner and well bred and properly dressed in Javanese. Their behavior must be the reflection of the Sultan’s nobility and honor, so they can be role models for the people. Abdi Dalem need 2 years of internship in the kraton and require to have credo Watak Satriya or noble character akin to a knight; Nyawiji (faith to the Lord Above), greget (dedicated), sengguh (confident) and ora mingkuh (brave against all odds).
There are some of the smaller buildings we can enter that housed photographs, furnitures and even clothing used by the royal families from the olden days in various ceremonies.
Old western toys for the little Prince.
Old canon left by the VOC in front of the Batik Museum
The Batik museum.
We can’t take photo inside of the museum since camera blitz might take effect on the old Batik fabric. The patterns in Batik Museum is also sacred and can only we worn by the royal family, thus it’s forbidden to be copied or replicate even.
Statue of Ganesha
Regol Gapura to Bangsal Kesatriyan section where the painting museums are. most of the Royal families paintings and family trees on display.
War strategy titled Supit Urang from Hamenkubuwono VIII era. The text is in Javanese though.
Family trees from various Sultans with gorgeous westernized designs. The more leafs and fruits the tree had; the more wive(s), close relatives and children the Sultan had.
The royal princes and would-be-Sultans. The paintings and photos are mostly from Hamengkubuwono IV to Hamengkubuwono X.
Photos of Hamengkubuwono X and his wife, Gusti Kangjeng Ratu (GKR) Hemas.
Lastly, we visit Hamengkubuwono IX museum. He was known for his honor and integrity throughout his life as the ninth Sultan in Yogyakarta and the second Vice President of Indonesia. His royal highness title in Javanese is Sampéyan Dalêm Ingkang Sinuwún Kanjêng Sultan Hamêngkubuwónó Sénópati Íng Alogó Ngabdurråkhman Sayidin Panåtågåmå Khålifatullåh Ingkang Kapíng Sångå (His Highness Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX, Commander-in-chief in war, Servant of the Most Gracious, Cleric and Caliph that Safeguards the Religion).
Hamengkubuwono IX painting.
His Royal Highness’ regalia.
The writing said “Tahta untuk rakyat” (the Throne is for the People).
He loved to cook and these are some of the utensils he used.
Uniform and medals of honor. He was a boy scout and established the foundation of learning leadership through becoming a scout.
The Glass Building in honor of Hamengkubuwono IX. The building is quite “new” and was built and inaugurated by his son, Sultan Hamengkubuwono X on 28 November 1992.
It’s intersting to see the Sultan’s life through the his belongings from when he was in school, when he lived in Netherland and when he return to fight for Indonesia’s independence and later the integration of the Yogyakarta Sultanate under Republic Indonesia.
His famous words are, “Even though I have tasted Western Education, I am still and will always be a Javanese.”
Next is DINNER in an interesting place, the House of Raminten.
- [Travel] Yogyakarta | On Arrival
- [Travel] Yogyakarta | Kraton Yogyakarta, Designed by Javanese Culture and Believes
- [Travel] Yogyakarta | the House of Raminten, Peculiar and Eclectic Style.
- [Travel] Yogyakarta | Prambanan, The Legend of the Cursed Princess and the Gods
- [Travel] Yogyakarta | Candi Ijo, City Overview from the Highest Temple in Yogyakarta
- [Travel] Yogyakarta | The Beauty Queen, Ratu Boko
- [Travel] Yogyakarta | Heavenly Sunrise from Punthuk Setumbu
- [Travel] Yogyakarta | Borobudur, Largest 3D Narrative of Buddha’s Journey to Enlightenment
- [Travel] Yogyakarta |Taman Sari, Leasure complex for the Sultan and His Concubines
- [Travel] Yogyakarta | The Two-Face of Jogjakarta Art – Tradition Meet Modern Art
- [Travel] Yogyakarta | Affandi, The Expressionist Painter and the Earliest Advertiser in Indonesia
- [Travel] Yogyakarta | Good Morning Pasar Legi Kotagede
- [Travel] Yogyakarta | The Last Resting Place for The Mataram Sultans at Kotagede
- [Travel] Yogyakarta | The Remnants of the Mataram Sultanate at Kota Gede
Source: Kraton Yogyakarta