A week in Yogyakarta is really very helpful to refresh mybrain from all pause saturation job.
Well, although I did not study here but at least I was lived and work here. so, Yogyakarta is a city of memories and my favorite cities among the cities that I have ever flown.
one thing I’ve never done in Yogya is I’ve never been to the places of history. hahaha, very embarrassing indeed .. but that’s the reality. So, this week I was traveling to places I have never visited. I want to share with you all. the places that I visited this whole week.
Prambanan temple is extraordinarily beautiful building constructed in the tenth century during the reigns of two kings namely Rakai Pikatan and Rakai Balitung. Soaring up to 47 meters (5 meters higher than Borobudur temple), the foundation of this temple has fulfilled the desire of the founder to show Hindu triumph in Java Island. This temple is located 17 kilometers from the city center, among an area that now functions as beautiful park.
There is a legend that Javanese people always tell about this temple. As the story tells, there was a man named Bandung Bondowoso who loved Roro Jonggrang. To refuse his love, Jonggrang asked Bondowoso to make her a temple with 1,000 statues only in one-night time. The request was nearly fulfilled when Jonggrang asked the villagers to pound rice and to set a fire in order to look like morning had broken. Feeling to be cheated, Bondowoso who only completed 999 statues cursed Jonggrang to be the thousandth statue.
Prambanan temple has three main temples in the primary yard, namely Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva temples. Those three temples are symbols of Trimurti in Hindu belief. All of them face to the east. Each main temple has accompanying temple facing to the west, namely Nandini for Shiva, Angsa for Brahma, and Garuda for Vishnu. Besides, there are 2 flank temples, 4 kelir temples and 4 corner temples. In the second area, there are 224 temples.
Entering Shiva temple, the highest temple and is located in the middle, you will find four rooms. One main room contains Shiva statue, while the other three rooms contain the statues of Durga (Shiva’s wife), Agastya (Shiva’s teacher), and Ganesha (Shiva’s son). Durga statue is said to be the statue of Roro Jonggrang in the above legend.
In Vishnu temple, to the north of Shiva temple, you will find only one room with Vishnu statue in it. In Brahma temple, to the south of Shiva temple, you find only room as well with Brahma statue in it.
Quite attractive accompanying temple is Garuda temple that is located close to Vishnu temple. This temple keeps a story of half-bird human being named Garuda. Garuda is a mystical bird in Hindu mythology. The figure is of golden body, white face, red wings, with the beak and wings similar to eagle’s. It is assumed that the figure is Hindu adaptation of Bennu (means ‘rises’ or ‘shines’) that is associated with the god of the Sun or Re in Old Egypt mythology or Phoenix in Old Greek mythology. Garuda succeeded in saving his mother from the curse of Aruna (Garuda’s handicapped brother) by stealing Tirta Amerta (the sacred water of the gods).
Its ability to save her mother made many people admire it to the present time and it is used for various purposes. Indonesia uses the bird as the symbol of the country. Other country using the same symbol is Thailand, with the same reason but different form adaptation and appearance. In Thailand, Garuda is known as Krut or Pha Krut.
Prambanan also has panels of relief describing the story of Ramayana. Experts say that the relief is similar to the story of Ramayana that is told orally from generation to generation. Another interesting relief is Kalpataru tree that – in Hindu – the tree is considered tree of life, eternity and environment harmony. In Prambanan, relief of Kalpataru tree is described as flanking a lion. The presence of this tree makes experts consider that Javanese society in the ninth century had wisdom to manage its environment.
Just like Garuda, Kalpataru tree is also used for various purposes. In Indonesia, Kalpataru is used as the logo of Indonesian Environment Institution. Some intellectuals in Bali even develop “Tri Hita Karana” concept for environment conservation by seeing Kalpataru relief in this temple. This tree of life is also seen in the gunungan (the puppet used as an opening of traditional puppet show or wayang kulit). This proves that relief panels in Prambanan have been widely known throughout the world.
If you see the relief in detail, you will see many birds on them; they are real birds as we can see on the earth right now. Relief panels of such birds are so natural that biologists can identify their genus. One of them is the relief of the Yellow-Crest Parrot (Cacatua sulphurea) that cites unanswered question. The reason is that the bird only exists in Masakambing Island, an island in the middle of Java Sea. Then, did the bird exist in Yogyakarta? No body has succeeded in revealing the mystery.
You can discover many more things in Prambanan. You can see relief of Wiracarita Ramayana based on oral tradition. If you feel tired of enjoying the relief, you can take a rest in the beautiful garden in the complex. Since 18 September 2006, you can enter zone 1 area of Prambanan temple. The damage caused by the earthquake on 27 May 2006 is being reconstructed.
After visiting Prambanan temple, you should not rush to your hotel, because close to the beautiful Hindu temple, you can also see other interesting temples. Moving 1 kilometer northwards, you will find Plaosan Temple; a temple constructed by Rakai Pikatan for her wife, Pramudyawardani. The architect of the temple that is located in Bugisan village of Prambanan sub-district is combination of Hindu and Buddha.
Plaosan complex is divided into 2 groups, namely the North Plaosan Temple and the South Plaosan Temple. Both of the temples have square terrace that is encircled by wall, a pillbox for meditation at the west part and dome on other side. Because of that similarity, the appearance of both temples are the same when they are seen from distant so that Plaosan temple is also called the twin temples.
The North Plaosan Temple has middle courtyard encircled by wall with the entrance at the west side. In the middle of the courtyard, there is a hall as wide as 21.62 m x 19 m. At the eastern part of the hall, there are 3 altars, namely north, east and south altars. The pictures of Amitbha, Ratnasambhava, Vairochana, and Aksobya are at the east altar. Samantabadhara statue and Ksitigarba figure is at the north altar, while Manjusri picture is at the west alter.
The South Plaosan temple also has a hall at the center that is encircled by 8 small temples that is divided into 2 ranks and each rank consists of 4 temples. There also pictures of Tathagata Amitbha, Vajrapani with vajra attribute at the utpala and Pranjaparamita who was considered “the mother of all Buddha”. Some other pictures can still be found but not at their original places. Manujri figure that according to a Dutch scientist named Krom is significant can also be seen.
Part of this bas relief has unique picture of man and woman. There is a man described as sitting cross-legged with worshipping hands and a figure of a man with vara mudra and vse at his leg encircled by six smaller men. A woman is described as standing with vara mudra hands, while there are book, pallet, and vase around her. Krom explains that figures of those man and woman are descriptions of supporting patron from two monasteries.
The entire complex of Plaosan temple has 116 ancillary domes and 50 ancillary temples. Ancillary domes can be seen on each side of the main temple, as can smaller ancillary temples. Walking northwards, you can see open building called Mandapa. Two inscriptions can also be found; they are the inscription on gold coin at the north of the main temple and an inscription written on a stone in the first line of the ancillary temples.
One of the characteristics of Plaosan temple is the smooth surface of the terrace. Krom explains that such a terrace is different from other temples of the same time. To his opinion, it is related to the function of a temple by that time that is predicted to keep canonical texts owned by Buddhist monks. Other prediction by Dutch scientists, if the number of monks in that area is small then the terrace might be used as a place for Buddhists to pray.
If you go around the temple complex, you will notice that the complex of Plaosan temple is wide. That can also be noticed from long fence stretching 460 meters from north to south and 290 meters from west to east. There is also moat inside stretching as long as 440 meters from north to south and 270 meters from west to east. The moat can be seen by walking eastwards through the middle part of this historical building.
The sun was beating down as thousands of people crowded along Malioboro street. They did not just stand on the sidewalk but they ran over up to the road. The atmosphere was so noisy and hectic. Bubbling laughter, screaming car horns, the strains of gamelan cassette, up to shouting traders selling food and toys for children blended into one. After waiting for hours, finally, the expected carnival troupe appeared. Started by Bregada Prajurit Lombok Abang, royal carriage convoy began to walk slowly. All squeezing wanted to see the couple of GKR Bendara and KPH Yudhanegara who continuosly waved and spreaded a friendly smile.
That scene was seen as the party of Kirab Pawiwahan Ageng of Sultan Hamengku Buwono X’s youngest daughter from Yogyakarta Palace headed to Bangsal Kepatihan. Thousands of people crammed filling Malioboro Street that stretches from north to south. In Sanskrit, Malioboro means flower bouquets because in the ancient times when the Palace held an event, a mile-long road would be filled with flower bouquets. Although time passed and the era has changed, Malioboro position as the main street where a variety of carnival and celebration being held has never changed. Until now Malioboro, Vredeburg Fort, and Zero Point remain a venue for a variety of carnival starting from the event of Jogja Java Carnival, Chinese Cultural Week, Yogyakarta Arts Festival, Carnival Malioboro, and many others.
Besides being a trading center, the road which is part of the imaginary axis that connects Parangtritis Beach, Panggung Krapyak, Yogyakarta Palace, Tugu, and Mount Merapi was once a nest as well as perfoming stage by Malioboro artists lead by Umbu Landu Paranggi. From them also, the culture of sitting on the sidewalk was popularized that eventually rooted and is identical to Malioboro. Enjoying a romantic dinner in the sitting stalls while listening to other street artist singing the song “Yogyakarta” from Kla Project will be an experience that is marked in heart. Malioboro is a series of history, stories and memories that are intertwined in the minds of every person who ever visited. The charm of this road had never faded by time. The exoticism of Malioboro continues glowing until now and inspires many people, and forces them to keep coming back to Yogyakarta. As beginning sentence in Melodia poem created by Umbu Landu Paranggi “Love that makes me feel at home occasionally lasts”, memories and love of many people towards Malioboro that makes this road continues persisting until now.
Beringharjo market becomes part of Malioboro that is worth visiting. This market has been center of economy activity since years ago and its existence has philosophical meaning. The market that had been renovated several times symbolizes stages of human life that is busily engaged in its economy fulfillment. Furthermore, Beringharjo is also one of the ‘four in one’ poles (consisting of South Square, Sultan Palace, North Square, and Beringharjo market) symbolizing economy functions.
The area where current Beringharjo market lies used to be forest of banyan trees. Soon after the foundation of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Kingdom, i.e. in 1758, the area was used as a place for economy transaction by the people of Yogayarkta and its vicinities. Only hundreds years later, namely in 1925, the transaction place had a permanent building. The name ‘Beringharjo’ was given by Hamengku Buwono IX, meaning that the place where banyan tree (bering) used to grow is expected to bring welfare (harjo). Now, tourists define this place as an enjoyable shopping place.
If you want to buy batik, Beringharjo is the best place because of its complete collections; ranging from batik cloth to batik clothes made of both cotton and silk materials, with the prices ranging from tens thousands to a million. Collection of batik cloth is available in west and north parts of the market, while batik clothes collection is available almost everywhere in the west part of this market. In addition to batik clothes, the west part of the market also offers traditional clothes: surjan, blangkon, and sarong both woven and batik printed ones. Sandals and bags sold at reasonable prices are available around the escalator of the west part of the market.
Stepping upstairs to the second floor, you will smell the aroma of Javanese herbs. Herbs such as turmeric that is usually blended with tamarind to produce special drink and temulawak to make bitter drink for medication purpose are sold here. Spices such as ginger (to make ronde drink or merely to be baked, boiled and mixed with crystal sugar) and cinnamon (to enrich the flavors of such drinks as ginger drink, coffee, tea and sometimes to substitute chocolate in cappuccino).
This is also the right market to hunt antiques. The center of antique goods is in east part of the third floor. There, you can get old typewriter, helmet made in 1960s with the front part of which is mica as high as one’s nose and some other items. On the same floor, you can get used items of good quality if you want. Various kinds of good quality used imported goods such as shoes, bag, and even clothes are sold at much cheaper prices compared to the original prices. Of course, carefulness in choosing is needed.
After completing your going around in the market, it is time for you to explore the area around the market with not less interesting offers. The area at the north of the market that used to be popular as Chinese Kampong is the most popular place. You can find oldies cassettes of musicians in 1950s that are rarely found in other places at the most expensive price of 50,000 Rupiah. Besides, there are Buddha effigies in different poses costing 250,000 Rupiah. For collectors of old money, they can get the ones from various countries, even the ones utilized in 1930s.
To quench your thirst, special cold drink of Yogyakarta, namely cendol ice, is the right choice. This cold drink from Yogyakarta has richer flavor than the ones from Banjarnegara and Bandung. The contents are not only cendol (jelly-like substance made from glutinous rice but also cam cau (jelly-like substance made from cam cau leaves). Other drinks you can try are young coconut ice with palm sugar and the drink made from turmeric-tamarind and rice-great galingale mixtures. The price of the drink is cheap, namely 1,000 to 2,000 Rupiah.
Even though the market is closed at 05:00p.m, the dynamics of the merchants does not stop by that time. In front of the market, there are still many food sellers offering many kinds of special food. Martabak with various fillers, the sweet terang bulan mixed with chocolate and peanut, and the delicious klepon filled with palm sugar are sold every evening. At around 06:00p.m. until late at night, there is usually gudeg seller who also offers special cuisines of cow skin and variant of stir-fried vegetables with chili. While having your meals, you can listen to Javanese traditional music or have a talk with the seller who will address you friendly. It is just complete!
Parangtritis is located 27 km south of Yogyakarta and easily accessible by public transportation that operate up to 17:00pm as well as private vehicles. The afternoon before sunset is the best time to visit this most popular beach in Yogyakarta. But if you arrive sooner, it will not hurt for going up to Tebing Gembirawati (Gembirawati cliffs) behind this beach. From there, we can see the whole area of Parangtritis Beach, southern sea, up to the horizon.
Psst, YogYES will tell a secret. Not many people know that on the east side of this clifft, hidden temple ruins. Unlike the other temples located in a mountainous area, Gembirawati Temple is only a few hundred meters from the edge of Parangtritis Beach. To reach this temple, we can pass road uphill near the Hotel Queen of the South and then go down the path to the west for approximately 100 meters. Faintly roar of the ferocious waves of the southern sea could be heard from this temple.
Parangtritis Beach is very closely related to the legend of Ratu Kidul (Queen of South). Many Javanese people believe that Parangtritis Beach is the gate of Ratu Kidul’s magical kingdom who controls the southern sea. Hotel Queen of the South is a luxurious resort that is named according to this the legend. Unfortunately the resort is now rarely, whereas it used to have a view that could make us breathless.
A Romantic Sunset in Parangtritis
When the sun is leaning to the west and the weather is sunny, it is time for having fun. Although visitors are prohibited from swimming, Parangtritis Beach is not lack of the means for having fun. On the beach there is ATVs (All-terrain Vehicle) rental, the tariff is around Rp. 50.000 to 100.000 per half hour. Enter its gear and then release the clutch while pulling the gas. Brrooom, four-wheeled all-terrain motorcycle will be raced bringing you across the sand beach dune.
Well, ATVs may only be suitable for those who are more adventurous. Another option is the carriage. Walking along the sand surface that is smoothly swept by the wave with two-wheeled horse-drawn carriage is no less enjoyable. The carriage will bring us to the end of the east coast of Parangtritis Beach where the cluster of rocks that is so beautiful , so it is often used as the spot of a pre-wedding photo shoot. The dim twilight and golden shade of the sun on the water surface more raise a romantic atmosphere.
Parangtritis Beach also offers the excitement for those who travel with family. Kite-flying with your child is also enjoyable. The strong sea breeze is very helpful to make a kite flying high, even if you’ve never played a kite.
Still reluctant for going home even though the sun had set? Soon, some roasted corn sellers will hold a mat on the beach where we can hang out there until late at night. Still do not want to go home? Do not worry, in Parangtritis Beach, there are tens of inns and accommodations available at an affordable price.
Well, thats all folk,,,
time to go home… hehehe. 😉