WHEN Indonesia

Yogyakarta: Center of Indonesians Cultural and Spirituality

(By: Alice Andanar Pedracio)

The National Association of UNESCO Clubs in the Philippines (NAUCP) visited Yogyakarta during its WHEN Indonesia, April 2019. Headed by Chairman Dr. Serafin Arviola, together with its President Mr. Jonathan Guerrero, VP Internal Mr. Dan Soriano, VP External Mr. Jobe Paguio, Secretary Ms. Kate Hipolito, Treasurer Mr. Norman Mirabel, Auditor Ms. Alice Pedracio, PRO Visayas Ms. Cheradee Anne Cabanlit, PRO Mindanao Mr. Kenjave Parlero, Board Members Ms. Ludivina Dekit Borja, Ms.Noemi Cabbatu, Ms. Lovely Jane Molato and Mr. Ronel Villanueva. It aims not just to visit but also to document the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites along the stretch of the Indonesian largest archipelago along the Asia Pacific Region.

Yogyakarta (often called “Jogja”) is a city on the Indonesian island of Central Java known for its traditional arts and cultural heritage in which the famous Borobudur and Prambanan Temples can be found. Having been in these places reflected the high regards of the Indonesians to their faith and spirituality. The Borobudur monument combines the symbolic forms of the 72 stupas (a Buddhist commemorative mound usually containing holy relics), the temple mountain (based on Mount Meru of Hindu mythology), and the mandala (a mystic Buddhist symbol of the universe, combining the square as earth and the circle as heaven).

Another majestic view is the Prambanan temple. It is the largest Hindu temple of ancient Java, and the first building was completed in the mid-9th century. It is the largest and most beautiful Hindu temple complex in Indonesia, a masterpiece of Hindu culture built by the Mataram Kingdom, rulers of central Java has a lot of temples that venerate the Hindu deity and represents women’s power.

An ornate of the 18th-century royal complex, or kraton, encompasses the still-inhabited Sultan’s Palace. Within its complex which called kraton are numerous open-air pavilions that host classical Javanese dance shows and concerts of gamelan music, characterized by gongs, chimes and plucked string instruments. Inside this royal complex also showcases the women weaving and painting original “Batik” textile and century old collections of artifacts.

Another fascinating spot in Jogja is the Taman Sari Water Castle. Taman Sari, is the site of a former royal garden of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. It is located about 2 km south within the grounds of the Kraton, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Historically, it was the Sultan and his Royal Family’s recreation and leisure area. Built in the mid-18th century, the Taman Sari had multiple functions, such as a resting area, a workshop, a meditation area, a defense area, and a hiding place. Taman Sari consisted of four distinct areas: a large artificial lake with islands and pavilions located in the west, a bathing complex in the centre, a complex of pavilions and pools in the south, and a smaller lake in the east. Today only the central bathing complex is well preserved, while the other areas have been largely occupied by the Kampung Taman settlement. Since 1995, the Yogyakarta Palace Complex including Taman Sari has been listed as a tentative World Heritage Site.

Another attraction is Jalan Malioboro, a major shopping street in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. One of the main tourist attractions in the city of Yogyakarta, which later became an iconic place. Jalan Malioboro situated in the downtown which an icon and also the busiest business district in the area where local and foreign tourists usually went for shopping and souvenir items. The street is alive 24 hours a day which extends 1 km from North to South of Central Java with historical Dutch colonial-era architecture, new modern building architecture mixed in with the Chinese and contemporary commercial districts.

Wandering in Yogyakarta will be incomplete without experiencing the sensation of Progo rapids. Not only a beautiful scenery which we can enjoy but also the river is very much inviting to try water rafting at the Setopamoro Adventure Park. Twinning with an exciting rides with the Merapi Jeeps at the foot of the Merapi Volcano along its Mountain Range . Travelling was such exciting and very educating experiences in “Jogja.”(A3pr/2019)