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Beyond Bali - Yogyakarta

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Borobudur Temple Central Java Indonesia

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Places of Interest in Yogyakarta and Surroundings

Borobudur Temple
42 kilometers from Yogyakarta, this 1,200 year old Buddist temple, although being renovated, is still a great piece of art and architectural display, and above all the largest and the most famous temple in the world. Waicak ceremony is held at Borobudur temple and Mendut temple in Magelang regency. This is a religious ceremony held every year by Buddhist followers to celebrate the birthday and death of Budha Gautama. The Buddhist followers from other countries take a part in this religious ceremony. The climax of this ceremony is when the full moon comes up and people pray together. It usually takes place in May.

Pawon Temple
This tiny temple, about two km east of Borobudur, is similar in design and decoration to Mendut. It is not a stupa, but resembles most Central Javanese temples, with its broad base, central body and pyramidal roof. Pot-bellied dwarfs pouring riches over the entrance to this temple suggest that it was dedicated to Kuvera, the Buddist god of fortune.

The Bird Market (Pasar Burung Ngasem)
Besides a house, a keris (dagger), a wife and a horse, a perkutut (turtle dove) is very much cherished for its mellow cooing, which makes it one of the five items the old Javanese hold up as a symbol of prestige A Javanese man should have these five possessions to show his success in society. A slight variety in the tone and pitch of its voice make quite a difference in price, while a real "champion" would easily reach the value of brand new motor car.
The price of possessing of a lovely singing turtle dove would be an acceptable reason for the passionate attachment of the owner to his pampered pet. No wonder despite the hard day life, there is money for the Yogyanese to spare for birds. There are singing contests organized annually and much care is given to this branch of hobby.
Although turtle doves predominate, other kinds of bird are sold at Ngasem Market. Ornithologists may find a variety of tropical birds available, and the interesting and beautiful bird cages displayed on the wayside near the market place is a fascinating sight. Business is from 9am to 4pm.

Jalan Malioboro
Despite the growing appeal of the new shopping street Jalan Urip Sumoharjo, with its up dated commercial trapping, the vibrant life of the city is still centered along Malioboro and Ahmad Yani street, extending from the railway tracks to the public square facing the Sultan's Palace. The shops that hem this thoroughfare are packed ceiling to floor with colorful articles. Merchandise spread on mats and trestles lined the covered-foot-ways, where itinerant hawkers, street vendors and quacks vie for your attention. The incredible array of goods and the fair prices draw in the teeming thousands who seek bargains or just come to see, to compare, to be part of the swirling current of people, noise, color and atmosphere. This street is packed with an intense life, but that's just what makes scenes interesting for a kaleidoscopic view of the city. The shops open from 9am to 2pm and 6pm to 9pm including Sundays. There are dozens of cozy restaurants with reasonable prices and serving wide selections of dishes as early as 10am through 10pm. After shop closing hours the footways are occupied by eating stalls serving local specialties like nasi gudeg, sate, bakso, martabak, etc. Which make Malioboro and Ahmad Yani a nice place to hang-out in the evening and start your sightseeing in the morning.

Dieng Plateau
The oldest Hindu Pendawa Temple, Color lake, Mirror lake.
Speaking about tourist attractions at Wonosobo and Banjarnegara regencies, there is a point of interest that you have to take note of namely "Dieng Plateau". Dieng Plateau lies right across at the border between Wonosobo regency and Banjarnegara regency. Banjarnegara regency occupies the largest part of the plateau, yet the easier access to reach the plateau is from Wonosobo town. This is the largest high land in Java that lies at 2,093 meters above sea level with the average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius.
It's only one hour drive from Wonosobo to reach here at a distance of 26 kilometer. Many public vehicle are available at Wonosobo to go to Dieng Plateau. In the plateau you can visit various kinds of tourist attractions such as group of "Pandawa" Hindu temple, lakes, active craters, the well of Serayu River, cave, etc. hotels are available there for overnight stay.

Mendut Temple
The Mendut temple is another km east, back towards Muntilan. It may be small and insignificant compared with its mighty neighbor, Borobudur, but this temple is the most outstanding statue of any temple in Java can still be seen in its proper place - a magnificent three meter high figure of Buddha, flanked by the Budhisattravas Lokesvara on the left and Vairapana on the right. The Buddha is also notable for his posture, for instead of the usual lotus position he sits Western style, with both feet on the ground.
The Mendut temple, known as the temple in the bamboo grove, was discovered in 1836 and attempts to restore it were made by the Dutch between 1897 and 1904. Although parts of the roof and entrance remain unfinished, it is nevertheless a fine temple and the gracefully carved relief panels on its outer walls are among the finest and largest examples of Hindu-Javanese art.

Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace
The palace court with its grand and elegant Javanese architecture lies in the center of the city between the Winongo and Code Rivers. The palace grounds, courtyards and buildings stretch from north to south, in line with Mount Merapi. One passes through the palace meeting hall, the Pagelaran, where formal meetings of palace officials are held, to the manguntur Tangkil hall where the Sultan holds audience. The palace today retains the atmosphere of a bygone era through the installations of life-size wedding and palace meeting dioramas, traditional Javanese gamelan orchestras, antiques and heirlooms which adorn the royal buildings.

Water Castle
Just west of the kraton, are the ruins, pools, arches and underground passages of the former pleasure gardens, the Water Castle. Built in 1758 by Sultan Hamengkubuwono I, the central courtyard with the nymph-baths has been restored. The Water Castle is located in the old part of the city within walking distance from the Bird Market. A number of batik workshops line the avenue leading to the pleasure garden's entrance.

Imogiri, the official cemetery of the royal descendents from Yogyakarta and Surakarta, is about 17 kms southeast of Yogyakarta and easily accessible by bus or car. The tombs lie within three main courtyards perched on a hilltop. Entry into the smaller courtyards housing the tombs of the princes is allowed only by visitors wearing traditional Javanese dress, which can be hired on the spot for a modest fee. (Monday 09.00-12.00 and Friday 13.00-16.00) The cemetery is closed during the Moslem month of Ramadhan.

Prambanan Temple
This magnificent Hindu temple derives it name from the village where it is located, seventeen kilometres east of Yogyakarta. Locally known as the Loro Jonggrang Temple, or the Temple of the Slender Virgin, it is the most magnificent and beautiful Hindu temple in Indonesia. Prambanan is believed to have been built by King Balitung Maha Sambu in the middle of the ninth century. Its parapets are adorned with bas-relief depicting the famous Ramayana story. It has eight shrines; the three main ones are dedicated to Shiva, Visnhu and Brahma. The main temple of Shiva rises to a height of 130 feet and houses the magnificent statue of Shiva's consort, Durga. The Ramayana ballet is performed on an open-air stage during the full moon in the months from May to October.

Kalasan Temple
This unique Buddhist temple is located some 16km. east of Yogyakarta, on the south side of the main road between Yogyakarta and Solo. It was built in honor of the marriage between king Pancapana of the Sanjaya Dynasty and a princess of the Cailendra Dynasty, Dyah Pramudya Wardhani. It is elaborately ornate, with finely carved relief's preserved with "vajralepa" from the sap of a local tree.

Sari Temple
600m. northeast of the Kalasan temple sits the slender and beautiful Sari Temple, formerly a Buddhist sanctuary (Vihara) where Buddhist priests used to live, meditate and teach their followers.

The Struggle for Independence Museum
Located on Jalan Colonel Sugiyono in Yogya, The museum features relief's depicting the history of the struggle for independence and a collection of historic articles from that time.

Yogya Kembali Monument
At Yogyakarta's northern ring road is the Monumen Yogya Kembali, established to commemorate Yogyakarta as the capital of the Republic of Indonesia in 1949. The monument has three floors. The first floor holds a museum, a library, an auditorium and cafeteria. On the second floor are 10 dioramas depicting the highlights of the struggle to recapture Yogyakarta from the occupation of the Dutch Armed Forces. On the balustrade are 40 relief's  depicting the history of the Indonesian people's struggle for independence.

Museum Sonobudoyo
This museum, founded in November 1935 and designed by the Dutch architect Kersten, is built in the traditional Javanese style of architecture. On exhibit are weapons, leather and wooden puppets of wayang theatre, masks, statues, textiles, curios and old Javanese gamelan instruments. The museum is situated on the northern side of the city's main square in front of the Sultan's Palace. Open everyday except Mondays.

Kota Gede, a picturesque town about five kilometers southeast of Yogyakarta, was once the seat of the mighty Mataram empire Since the 1930s. Kotagede has become famous as the center of the Yogya silverwork industry. Kotagede is easily reached by four wheeled horse drawn cart, taxi, bus, or car. There are a number of workshops where visitors are welcome to watch the famous silversmiths at work.

Affandi Museum
Set in a lush garden off the main road between the airport and the city stands the Affandi Museum. Affandi was Indonesia’s foremost impressionist painter who built a private museum for his own paintings and of those of his daughter Kartika.

Southwest of Yogyakarta lies the village of Kasongan, known throughout Indonesia for its artistic pottery and earthenware.

Batik Tritis Beach
Situated on the eastern outskirts of the city, the Batik Research Center has an interesting permanent exhibition of batiks in classic and modern designs. Both the hand-drawn and hand-stamped batik processes can be seen here.

Parang Tritis Beach
A popular seaside resort 27 kms south of Yogyakarta on the Indian Ocean, Parang Tritis  is famous in Javanese mythology as the home of the goddess of the South Seas, who was married to Panembahan Senopati, founder of the Mataram Kingdom. Every year the sultans of Yogyakarta make special offerings to her in a beach side ceremony called “Labuhan”.

A pleasant escape from the city, this resort on the slopes of Mt. Merapi is surrounded by enchanting countryside. The “Telogo Muncar” waterfall and charming bungalows for rent make this a perfect place to get a way from it all while travelling.

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