Yogyakarta Special Region (Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, DIY) is one of the foremost cultural centers in Indonesia. The city has a special charm, influence from the 16th and 17th centuries the mighty Javanese empire of Mataram from which present day Yogyakarta has the best inherited of traditions. Yogyakarta is often called the main gateway to the Central Java as where it is geographically located. It stretches from Mount Merapi to the Indian Ocean.
Because of its location, Yogyakarta is strategically positioned for the economic activity network in Java as well as for the tourist destination area. The special region of Yogyakarta lies midway on the axis of several main tourist destination areas, Jakarta and West Java westward, Central Java northward, East Java and Bali eastward.
Climate and Weather in Yogyakarta
The average daily temperature range between 26 degree and 28 degree Celsius with its minimum 18 degree C and maximum 35 degree C respectively. Average humidity is 74% with its minimum of 65% and maximum 84% respectively. The Yogyakarta Special Region lays approximately 7 South of the equator line and is bathed in tropical; sunshine along the year. This region has a tropic climate the daily atmosphere feels a little bit hot and humid.
Culture of Yogyakarta
The culture Yogyakarta province with its status as a special region lies in the Southern part of Central Java, in the heartland of Javanese culture. It is widely known from to historical records that the civilization, art and culture had developed well in the center of those kingdoms respectively in the Ancient Mataram Kingdom (8th – 10th Century) era, the second Mataram Kingdom (17th – 18th Century) and Sultanate Ngayogyokarto from the mid of 18th Century up today.
It should be noted that the cultural heritage from the past includes the magnificent temples, the ruins of palaces and monasteries, the various kind of traditions, cultural events, traditional folk and performing arts, architecture and other traditional activities. It is important to note that this is all part of the living culture of Yogyakarta, color of daily activities of live and the local inhabitants behavior, particularly the Javanese community with its traditional way of life and customs.
The other legendary name for Yogyakarta City, among the elders as well as the youth generation that is the City of Art and Culture. Traditional and modern exhibition are held almost every day and night about the art of theater, pantomime, music, classic and contemporary dances, poems, etc. Those are flow in the heart of the city. Even more, there are abundant of cultural ceremony, such as Sekaten, Gunungan, Labuhan, Malioboro Fair, etc, which make the city has high value of tradition, art, and culture.
Taman Sari – Palace in Yogyakarta
Just southwest of the kraton is this complex, which once served as a splendid pleasure park of palaces, pools and waterways for the sultan and his entourage. It’s said that the sultan had the Portuguese architect of this elaborate retreat executed, to keep his hidden pleasure rooms secret.
Built between 1758 and 1765, the complex was damaged first by Diponegoro’s Java War, and an earthquake in 1865 helped finish the job.
While much of what you see today lies in ruins, the bathing pools have been restored, and the tunnels and underground mosque are quite special. The site is now largely residential with a community of 2000-plus locals residing in its souk-like streets – a wonderful area to get lost in.
Kraton – Palace in Yogyakarta
The cultural and political heart of this fascinating city is the huge palace of the sultans of Yogya, the kraton.
Effectively a walled city, this unique compound is home to around 25,000 people, and has its own market; shops, batik and silver cottage industries; schools; and mosques. Around 1000 of its residents are employed by the sultan. Alas, the treasures here are poorly displayed, so don’t expect much information to put the palace, its buildings or contents in context.
A large part of the kraton is used as a museum and holds an extensive collection, including gifts from European monarchs, gilt copies of the sacred pusaka (heirlooms of the royal family) and gamelan instruments. One of the most interesting rooms contains the royal family tree, old photographs of grand mass weddings and portraits of the former sultans of Yogya.
Borobudur Temple – An architectural masterpiece of 9th century
Borobudur temple is the most magnificent Buddhist monument and the largest stupa complex in the world that is recognized by UNESCO. Borobudur Temple as a whole becomes a masterpiece gallery of stone carvers. Borobudur not only has a very high artistic value, a great work as the evidence of human civilization in the past is also loaded with philosophical values.
Enjoying the splendor of Borobudur Temple is no enough just walking down the aisle and climbing into the top of the temple. One thing to look out for is to see Borobudur Sunrise and Borobudur Sunset over the temple. The splash of morning sunlight hitting the stupas and the statue of Buddha makes the grandeur and splendor of the temple being more felt. While standing on the top of the temple at twilight within a row of stupas and watching the sun slowly began to shade will create a calm and peaceful feeling.
Prambanan Temple – The most beautiful Hindu temple in the world
Prambanan is the masterpiece of Hindu culture of the tenth century. The slim building soaring up to 47 meters makes its beautiful architecture incomparable.
Prambanan temple is extraordinarily beautiful building constructed in the tenth century. 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. You can discover many more things in Prambanan
Jomblang is one of hundreds of cave complex in Gunungkidul that becomes well known because of its uniqueness. Located on the range of karst hills in the southern coastal spread along Gombong, Central Java up to karst area in Sewu Mountain, Pacitan, West Java, this vertical cave has collapse doline. It was constructed from a geological process when the land and its vegetation vanished into the bowel of the earth thousand years ago.
This is an adventure to the deep part of the earth. In the bowl of Jomblang cave we could really see the green view of fertile and dense vegetation. Various kinds of moss, fern, bush, and big trees densely grew. A forest with different vegetation from the land above it was usually called ancient forest. Since the geological process of the land happening in the past, those vegetations were continuously growing up to now.
Hiking Mount Merapi
Enjoying sunrise at the country’s most active volcano, while directly seeing Merapi’s whirling caldera-it’s a must-have experience in life.
Mount Merapi, which is situated within a straight line which also connects the Palace of Yogyakarta and the Indian Ocean, holds an important role in Javanese society. The three places are believed to be a cosmologic trinity; all of them are closely connected to each others. Merapi is believed to symbolize fire, Indian Ocean to symbolize water, while the Palace is the balance between the two.
Ullen Sentalu Museum
The Ullen Sentalu Museum is a private museum on art and Javanese culture. It is situated in Kaliurang, Yogyakarta. Established in 1994, the museum belongs to four of the central kingdoms of Java: two kingdoms in Yogyakarta and the other two in Surakarta. It displays a wide range of paintings, artifacts and relics from royal houses and palaces (kraton) of Yogyakarta, Surakarta, Pakualam and Mangkunegaran.
Affandi museum is all part of Affandi’s life as a painting maestro. At the bank of Gajah Wong River, Affandi used to live, work, and transform his knowledge and now he lives in his eternal home there.