Friday, December 9, 2016

Jogjakarta | Center of Javanese Culture

Yogya or Jogja?
Has the question pop-up in your mind before?

City of 1001 names I would say, am sure you’ve heard of many referring it as Yogya, Jogja, Jogjakarta, Ngayogyakarta and Djokdja. Which one is the right one?

How Yogyakarta name first existed is unknown of, whether it is a contraction of the name Ngayogyakarto was never verified. Having said that, the name Yogyakarta is being used officially ever since Indonesia independence and this was stressed even more when Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX used the name Yogyakarta when he announced that his kingdom is part of the Indonesian Republic.

Now, famously knowned as a Center of Education (Kota Pelajar) and Center of Javanese Culture, showcasing classical Javanese fine art and culture such as batik, ballet, drama, music, poetry, and puppet shows. Jogja was also the Indonesian capital during the Indonesian National Revolution.

Candi or temple is one of the attractions that made Jogja famous to the eyes of UNESO hunters, travellers and holiday makers. Amongst the popular candis are :

Candi Borobudur - The world's largest Buddhist temple
Candi Prambanan - The most Beautiful Hindu temple in the world
Candi Kalasan - The oldest Buddhist relics in Yogyakarta
Kraton Ratu Boko -  Impressive in a peaceful hill

3 candis that a travellers here must visit is Candi Borobudur, Candi Prambanan and Kraton Ratu Boko.

Candi Borobudur - The world's largest Buddhist temple
This #UNESCO site is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple that is situated 40 km northwest of Yogyakarta. Borobudur was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1991. It has also won multiple international awards and in 2012, #Borobudur was recorded as the world's largest Buddhist archaeological site in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Aside from the 9 platforms that raised majestically envaloped by nature, it also consist of 504 Buddha statues making it the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world todate.

The best time to visit Borobudur is at dawn and capture the beautiful sunrise.

Candi Prambanan - The most Beautiful Hindu temple in the world
#UNESCO Heritage Site's Prambanan Temple complex is dedicated to the three great Hindu divinities (Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma) and is said to be the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia, and one of the biggest in Southeast #Asia.

My first trip here was in 2007, a year after Jogjakarta earthquake. I could see that debris and carvings from the temple scattered all over the ground and some of the places were being closed for visitors for safety reason.

Journey from this 19th century temple to Jogjakarta city is approximately 20mins/17km.

Kraton Ratu Boko -  Impressive in a peaceful hill

"Stork King" basically what Ratu Boko stands for; an archaeological siteif the legendary king mentioned in Loro Jonggrang folklore. This unique site is located some 190m above the sea level and there is a small pavilion at the top of this site of which one will be able to see a panoramic view of the Prambanan Temple to the north with Mount Merapi in the background and villages in the area.

It is also said to be the only Hindu and Buddhist Mixed-architectural Archeological site, and the stone basements of pendopo hall (where the wooden building stood) was apparently a man-made water tank or a bathing place.

It is said that one can enjoy the most magnificent sunset in Jogja, here at Kraton Ratu Bako.

Picture courtesy of Abbaz :

Candi Mendut - The oldest of the three temples inclusive of Borobudur

Just 3 km east of Borobudur Temple is Candi Mendut; this 9th century AD temple is the oldest of the three temples including Pawon and Borobudur. It was built and finished during the reign of King Indra of Sailendra dynasty and named it Venuvana which means "bamboo forest".

3 carved large stone statues is located in the main chamber, a 3 metres tall statue of Dhyani Buddha Vairocana, on the left is statue of Boddhisatva Avalokitesvara and on the at the right is Boddhisatva Vajrapani. Where else, the outer walls of the temple is adorned with bas-reliefs of Boddhisattvas (Buddhist divinities).

Of course there are many more temples that one should visit when in Jogja, hence my advice to you is to spend between 3-7 days in Jogja alone. Aside from temple exploring, you can also do cafe hopping and culture rediscovering.

You can never be bored of Jogja - Center of Javanese Culture.

Semarang-Jogjakarta Fam Trip is in collaboration with Tourism Indonesia and all its sponsors with #MATTA as Fam Trip coordinator.

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