Yogyakarta is the place where people speak the purest Javanese language; it is the place where Javanese culture and the arts are represented in the brightest way and where the country’s customs are most evident. It is the soul of Java.
Yogyakarta is the capital city of Yogyakarta Special Region in Java, Indonesia. It is famous for its fine art and culture as well as a center of education (Kota Pelajar).
The city got its name after Ayodhya, the Indian city from the Ramayana epic poem.
People in Yogyakarta are very proud of their customs and they give their best to protect them. That’s why it represents the place where the old and modern ways of life meet. Nowadays Sultan still rules Yogya and his kraton is the heart and soul of traditional life. Nevertheless, it is also a great urban center full of traffic jams, shopping malls and cyber cafes.
People of Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta is one of the most heterogeneous Indonesian cities with native Javanese making the most of the population. Since it offers a great number of universities and schools, as well as lower prices, Yogyakarta has attracted a lot of students from different parts of Indonesia. That’s why today many other ethnic groups live in Yogyakarta. A large Chinese Indonesian ethnic group is settled in and around Chinatown.
Yogyakarta attracts numerous foreigners and it has become one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Indonesia. Today, a significant number of foreigners reside in the city. They are mostly foreign students who have come there to learn the language or to study Javanese culture.
What to See?
You have probably heard that Yogyakarta is a distinctive combination of history, culture, tradition and natural wonders that make this city worth visiting, so we’ll introduce some of the most spectacular sights.
Yogyakarta offers various attractions and popular masterpieces worth exploring.
Kraton represents a cultural heart of this charming city. It is the enormous palace of the sultans of Yogyakarta – it is a well-fenced city, which is home to a great number of people; it has its own shops, market, batik and silver cottage industries, mosques and of course, schools. About 1000 people who live here are employed by the sultan. Kraton is definitely one of the best examples of Javanese palace architecture. It offers a series of big, luxurious halls and large pavilions and courtyards. A great part of the kraton is used as a museum as well. While in there, you can admire an extensive collection, such as gifts from European monarchs, gilt copies of the sacred pusaka and popular gamelan instruments. In many fascinating rooms, you can find the royal family tree, old photographs of outstanding mass weddings and portraits of the past sultans of Yogya.
• Candi Prambanan Temple
This temple is the world’s most beautiful Hindu temple. It is an amazing building showing the 9th-century Hindu culture during the reigns of Rakai Balitung and Rakai Pikatan kings and is dedicated to the Trimurti expressing Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Being 47 meters high it has fulfilled its purpose, to show the triumph of Hinduism on the Java Island. You will definitely enjoy visiting the temple which is located in a beautiful park.
• Borobudur Temple
This building is one of the greatest Buddhist monuments. It is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist Temple ornamented with 504 Buddha statues and a great number of bas-reliefs which actually tell the story. When you visit the temple you should get a very good guide who would tell you the story of Buddha’s life and teachings as you stroll around. The temple itself is a pyramid-like structure with steep stairs climbing to the top. But you will never regret doing that when you experience the unbelievable view of the countryside and mountains surrounding the area. Don’t miss the sunrise here. It makes a unique and wonderful spiritual experience.