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YOGYAKARTA CULTURE CITY

Tuesday, 03 April 2012

Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta (some people call it Jogjakarta, Jogja, or Yogya for short) is a city with outstanding historical and cultural heritage. 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. There is daily air service to Yogya from Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali as well as regular train service and easy accessibility by road. Yogyakarta is Indonesia in miniature. When visitors come to inhale the air of Yogyakarta, they feel like they have lived. Yogyakarta has been best described as a "Never Ending Asia", "Java's cultural heart", the "soul city of Java". One of the reasons of that fact is because Yogyakarta has numerous thousand-year-old temples as inheritances of the great ancient kingdoms, such as Borobudur temple (Buddhist temple), established in the ninth century by the dynasty of Syailendra; Prambanan temple (Hindu temple); and also a lot of interesting places where tourists can visit. More than the cultural heritages, Yogyakarta has beautiful natural panorama. This fascinating city has its surrounding jungles, rice fields, natural beaches to the south of Yogyakarta, and mountains lies in the heart of Indonesia's most important ancient empires. Here you can visit the impressive Sultan's Palace (the Kraton) under the watchful, but friendly eyes, of a hundred palace guards in their traditional and distinctive uniforms. You can tour its bustling markets and avenues and purchase arts and crafts created by Java's finest craftsmen and painters. The society lives in peace and has typical Javanese hospitality here. Tourists can try to go around the city by bike, pedicab (local people called becak), or horse cart; and you will find sincere smiles and warm greeting in every corner of the city. You can also visit gamelan, classical and contemporary Javanese dances, wayang kulit (leather puppet), theater and other expressions of traditional art will keep the visitor spellbound. Local craftsmen excel in arts such as batiks, silver and leather works. Yogyakarta is the only province in Indonesia that is still governed by that area's precolonial monarchy; The Sultan of Yogyakarta serves as the elected governor of the province. That makes Yogyakarta becomes Special Region (Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, DIY). The city itself has a special charm, which seldom fails to captivate the visitor. Tourists can feel an artistic atmosphere here. Malioboro, as the center of Yogyakarta, is overwhelmed by handicraft from all around the city. Street musicians always ready entertain the visitors of the lesehan food stalls.

Geography
Yogyakarta Special Region is located almost equidistant from Indonesia's two most important international gateways, about 600 km from Jakarta and 1000 km from Bali. Yogyakarta also has excellent transport connections by bus, train or plane to the rest of Java, Sumatra, Bali and Lombok. Yogyakarta's Adisucipto Airport receives both domestics and international flights.
Geographically, Yogyakarta Special Province is situated in the Southern part of Central Java and lies between 7 degree 33' and 8 degree 12', South altitude between 110 degree and 50' East longitude. The province of Yogyakarta has a total area of 3,185.80 km2. Yogyakarta has the second-smallest area of the provinces in Indonesia, after the Jakarta Capital Region.

Climate and Weather
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. These are only two seasons along the year, the wet or rainy seasons and dry monsoon. Usually the wet seasons begin at September and lasts about August. Generally there is no rainfalls from may to August and there fore the atmosphere feels hot and humid on the day and cool in the night and early morning. The monthly rain falling Yogyakarta varies between 3mm and 496mm in which those above 300mm take place during the month of January up to April. The heaviest rainfall usually occurs in February while the lowest commonly happens between May and October Average annually rainfall is about 1,900mm.

History
People have lived in Central Java and Yogyakarta area since immemorial time as over the centuries they have been attracted by the rich soil caused by the numerous volcanic eruptions. The earliest recorded history dares from the 9th century and was dominated by Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms that gave rise to the magnificent temples such as Prambanan, Ratu Boko, Kalasan, Sambisari and Borobudur found in this area. Yogyakarta itself dates back to the 18th century. In the early 18th century, Pakubuwono II ruled the Muslim Mataram Kingdom of the time. After he passed away, there was a conflict between his son and his brother, which was encouraged by the Dutch who were trying to colonize the region on a 'divide and rule' basis.
The Kingdom was divided into two regions namely Surakarta Hadiningrat kingdom under Sunan Pakubuwono III rule, and Nyayogyakarta Hadiningrat kingdom under Sultan Hamengku Buwono I rule. He was the founder of the present line of Sultans who still live in the Kraton and play important role in Javanese culture. The second kingdom was later called Yogyakarta, now better known as Yogyakarta.
After the independence of the Republic of Indonesia was proclaimed, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX and Sri Paku Alam VIII launched a statement that the Kasultanan and Kadipaten (the two royal regions), belonged to Republic of Indonesia as a part of the whole area of Indonesia Republic. Since then, it has been known as Yogyakarta Special Region and was given a provincial status in 1950 in recognition of its important role in it fighting for the independence.

2006 Earthquake
The province of Yogyakarta bore the brunt of a 6.3-magnitude earthquake on 27 May 2006 which killed 5,782 people and left some 36,299 persons injured. More than 135,000 houses are damaged, and 600,000 people are homeless. The earthquake extensively damaged the local region of Bantul, and its surrounding hinterland. The most significant number of deaths occurred in this region.

Culture
As the former capital and the center of several kingdoms in the past, this region and its people are very rich in a variety of cultures. 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. Therefore, because of its culture richness and heritage, Yogyakarta has long been known as the cradle of Javanese culture.
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.
Yogyakarta has more than just culture though. It is a very lively city and a shopper's delight. The main road, Malioboro Street, is always crowded and famous for its night street food-culture and street vendors. Many tourist shops and cheap hotels are concentrated along this street or in the adjoining tourist area such as Prawirotaman and Sosrowijayan Street.

Prawirotaman
Prawirotaman is known as Kampong of Batik and Lodging, an area located about five kilometers from the center of Yogyakarta. This location can be the alternative for tourists in searching lodging. The unique lodgings with affordable prices are available in this area. Tourists can also find art shops, cafes, book shops, a traditional market, and a stone inscription that can be an alternative tour as well.
The history of Prawirotaman started at 19th century, when a servant of the kingdom named Prawirotomo was granted a piece of land by the Sultan of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat. He had three sons (the late Werdoyoprawiro, Suroprawiro, and Mangunprawiro). Prawirotomo together with his sons began to build and develop the land in batik business. And then could structure the area became a small village which was later named Kampong Prawirotaman. In pre-independence era, this kampong functioned as strugglers' concentration point. Then in 1960s, this village was a center of printed batik industry. Afterwards, in 1970s, the descendants of Prawirotomo clan switched their business to lodging services because at that time clothes made of printed batik began to slack. The descendants of Prawirotomo started to build guesthouses, hostels, cheap hotels, cafes, art shops and bookstores.
Most of the hotels (over 60 percent) are managed by the descendents of Werdoyoprawiro, Suroprawiro, and Mangunprawiro big families. At least 17 of some 30 hotels in Prawirotaman belong to children of the three brothers.
There are three areas in Prawirotaman: Prawirotaman I, II, and III. Prawirotaman I called as Prawirotaman is the most popular area. Beside of lodging, there are other facilities in this area such as travel agents, internet connection and telecommunication booth, cafe, restaurant and bookshop. There are also tables made of bamboo, batik cloth, cupboard made of whole log and antique things such as decoration lamp and old kris.
Prawirotaman II (in the south of Prawirotaman I area) is directly borders on a traditional market. Tourists can walk and sightseeing in the morning through the traditional market. Here, you can try the traditional snacks which are so delicious and unique.
Prawirotaman III (a little further to the south) mainly fuctions as a dwelling place of local people.
Here is the list of Hotel, Lodging (Wisma), Homestay, and Guest House:
Wisma Gajah, Hotel Airlangga, Hotel Putra Jaya, Prambanan Guest House, Hotel Sumaryo, Hotel Duta, Mas Gun Guest House, Perwita Sari Hotel, Hotel Prayogo III, Hotel Tilamas, Hotel Kirana, Hotel Sartika, Kampoeng Jawa Guest House, Metro Guest House, Cepuri Guest House, Agung Guest House, Mercury Guest House, Delta Homestay, Hotel Prayogo Baru, Wisma Kroto, Hotel Palupi, Hotel  Muria, Hotel Cristalit.
 
Sosrowijayan
Sosrowijayan is a tourist kampong where the place is in the heart of Yogyakarta. The location is about 200 meters southwards from Tugu railway station. Sosrowijayan is the connector between Malioboro Street and Dagen Street. Many of pedicab drivers (becak: Yogyakarta’s traditional transportation) usually will greet and assist tourists to get lodgings or take a mini tour along Malioboro Street. They will carry you to go to Pathok to get bakpia (Yogyakarta’s special snack).
When you arrive at Sosrowijayan area, you will see Aziatic Hotel, an old building which was built during the Dutch colonization. Tourists can see a lot of things in Sosrowijayan, such as restaurants, moneychanger, internet connection, tellecommunication booth, bookshops, batik studio, and of course lodgings. You can get English novels with affordable prices even cheaper one in the bookshops here. Tourists who interested in batik are able to make your own batik by take a course in the batik studio. Kampong Sosrowijayan has hospitable atmosphere, you will find sincere smiles and warm greeting in every corner of the kampong. The lodgings here are blend to the houses of the local people. If you want to stay in more a private lodging, you can choose hotels alongside Sosrowijayan Street, certainly the price are a bit higher than the lodgings inside the alley. Meanwhile, when you feel hungry, you can try to eat light snack in angkringan (a small warong under an orange tent). You are able to enjoy tea, ginger beverage, or the other delicious menus at very cheap prices while you have chit-chatted with friends.
Yogyakarta is a place where will make you relax and find a lot of enjoyable in every single days with affordable even cheap price. Just visit and proof it by yourself.

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Train Route
Bandung - Jakarta Jakarta - Bandung
Bandung - Madiun Madiun - Bandung
Bandung - Solo Solo - Bandung
Bandung - Surabaya Surabaya - Bandung
Bandung - Yogyakarta Yogyakarta - Bandung
Banyuwangi - Surabaya Surabaya - Banyuwangi
Cirebon - Jakarta Jakarta - Cirebon
Cirebon - Madiun Madiun - Cirebon
Cirebon - Yogyakarta Yogyakarta - Cirebon
Jakarta - Bandung Bandung - Jakarta
Jakarta - Cirebon Cirebon - Jakarta
Jakarta - Madiun Madiun - Jakarta
Jakarta - Malang Malang - Jakarta
Jakarta - Purwokerto Purwokerto - Jakarta
Jakarta - Semarang Semarang - Jakarta
Jakarta - Solo Solo - Jakarta
Jakarta - Surabaya Surabaya - Jakarta
Jakarta - Yogyakarta Yogyakarta - Jakarta
Jember - Surabaya Surabaya - Jember
Madiun - Bandung Bandung - Madiun
Madiun - Cirebon Cirebon - Madiun
Madiun - Jakarta Jakarta - Madiun
Madiun - Malang Malang - Madiun
Madiun - Purwokerto Purwokerto - Madiun
Madiun - Solo Solo - Madiun
Madiun - Surabaya Surabaya - Madiun
Madiun - Yogyakarta Yogyakarta - Madiun
Malang - Jakarta Jakarta - Malang
Malang - Madiun Madiun - Malang
Malang - Purwokerto Purwokerto - Malang
Malang - Yogyakarta Yogyakarta - Malang
Purwokerto - Jakarta Jakarta - Purwokerto
Purwokerto - Madiun Madiun - Purwokerto
Purwokerto - Malang Malang - Purwokerto
Purwokerto - Solo Solo - Purwokerto
Purwokerto - Surabaya Surabaya - Purwokerto
Purwokerto - Yogyakarta Yogyakarta - Purwokerto
Semarang - Jakarta Jakarta - Semarang
Semarang - Surabaya Surabaya - Semarang
Solo - Bandung Bandung - Solo
Solo - Jakarta Jakarta - Solo
Solo - Madiun Madiun - Solo
Solo - Purwokerto Purwokerto - Solo
Solo - Surabaya Surabaya - Solo
Surabaya - Bandung Bandung - Surabaya
Surabaya - Banyuwangi Banyuwangi - Surabaya
Surabaya - Jakarta Jakarta - Surabaya
Surabaya - Jember Jember - Surabaya
Surabaya - Madiun Madiun - Surabaya
Surabaya - Purwokerto Purwokerto - Surabaya
Surabaya - Semarang Semarang - Surabaya
Surabaya - Solo Solo - Surabaya
Surabaya - Yogyakarta Yogyakarta - Surabaya
Yogyakarta - Bandung Bandung - Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta - Cirebon Cirebon - Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta - Jakarta Jakarta - Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta - Madiun Madiun - Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta - Malang Malang - Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta - Purwokerto Purwokerto - Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta - Surabaya Surabaya - Yogyakarta


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