Yogyakarta would be unimpressive
enough if you are not passing through the Sultan Palace of Yogyakarta
Hadiningrat that is In Javanese, it is called as Kraton Ngayogyakarta
Hadiningrat. The place, is where the king of
Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono lives.
The position of Kraton Yogyakarta is between a Tugu monument as the north limit
and Panggung Krapyak as the south limit. On the east side, there is a River Code
and on the west side, there is River Winongo. This Sultan palace is also
located at the center position between the
For the Javanese people, the palace is believed as the center of life which
consists of religious, cultural, political, etc.
Etymologically, Kraton or Keraton or Karaton is derived from the word: ka +
ratu + an = kraton or also popular with kadaton (ke + datu + an = kedaton), a
place for datu-datu/ratu-ratu or the kings/queens. In Indonesian, it is called
as istana, therefore kraton is a palace, however a palace is not always kraton.
Kraton is a palace that has a religious meaning, philosophy meaning and
cultural meaning as well.
The place, more than 250 years ago used to be a top soil area on Garjitawati,
next to Beringin and Umbul Pachetokan, that later a place named Ayodya was
established there. The establishment of the palace was based on the Treaty of
Giyanti (1755) that divided the
into Kasunan Surakarta and Kasultanan Yogyakarta. As the treaty gave Pangeran
Mangkubumi the area of
he built his palace afterward. Officially, Sultan moved to this 14.000 m2
October 7, 1756
This Javanese architecture was gracefully located in the center of
The architect was Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono I himself that built the palace
the north to the west. When he was a young boy, according to Dr.F.Pigeund and
Dr.L.Adam on a Javanese magazine in 1940, Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono I had a
nickname "de bouwmeester van zijn broer Sunan P.B II" or ‘an
architech of Sri Sunan Paku Buwono II’ brother.
The Palace was built in 1265 or 1682 according to the Javanese calendar. There
were two dragons tied each other in front of gate which means the year of the
Palace was built, 1682. In Java script "Dwi naga rasa tunggal" means
Dwi=2, naga=8, rasa=6, tunggal=I, read from behind =1682. The green color was
symbol of hope.
Outside of the gate, there were also two dragons that ready to defend
themselves. In Java script "Dwi naga rasa wani", means: Dwi=2,
naga=8, rasa=6, wani=1 ->1682. The red color symbolized courage. The field
outside of the gate was used to practice by soldier of the Palace.
The building showed that the
the Palace, the
were on one axis, the imaginary line that was believed as a sacred phenomenon.
In the past, Sri Sultan used to meditate at a place of the axis before leading
a meeting or giving orders to his men.
The path from the Palace to the Tugu monument represented the road of life that
was full of temptations. Beringharjo market represented women temptation, while
Kepatihan building indicated the allure of power. In summary, Tugu monument
symbolized lingga (male sex organ) and Krapyak symbolized yoni (female sex
organ), meanwhile kraton represented the physical blend of the Tugu and Krapyak.
is the detail of the Kraton Yogyakarta from the South to the North:
In the past years, Krapyak was a raised brick-stage used by the Sultan to
watch his families and soldiers while hunting deers. Krapyak is located
nearby small village, Mijen (from the word wiji means seed) that
symbolized life, soul of human beings.
- The trees of Asem and
Leading to the northward, a straight street where on left and right sides,
trees of asem (means sengsem or adorable) and tanjung (means disanjung or
cared) grew beautifully. Those symbolized a good path of childhood that
adored and cared by the parents.
- The Gate/Plengkung
This was the gate (Plengkung) that represented the child had become a
teenager and adorable.
Square (Alun-alun Selatan)
There were two waringin (banyan) trees named WOK, the short form of BEWOK
means beard. In the middle of the south square, there were two other
waringin trees named Supit Urang, meaning chopsticks of a shrimp,
surrounded by fence in the form of archer's bow, symbolizing the sacred
part of human body. So it had to be protected (in the fence). The fence's
bow form was characteristic of a girl and boy.
In the left and right side of Siti Hinggil there were bathrooms. The Siti
Hinggil surrounded by a street named Pamengkang, showing the positon when
someone was sitting or lying with separated legs.
- Siti Hinggil (superior
It was surrounded by gayam trees, symbolizing the youngsters feeling in
love, safe and happy. In the middle of Siti Hinggil (a large open veranda),
there was a Selo Gilang (a square elevated stone), where the Sultan sat when
receiving visitors from relatives or subordinates. In that case,
describing a wedding-chair where the young couples sat side by side.
The trees planted here were: Mangga Cempora, mangga is Javanese language
for please; cempora describes mix. Soka: imagining pleasure. Both trees
had plenty of red and white colors (symbolizing woman and man sperm). All
these were symbols of a marriage of young adult couple, in a safe, pleasant
and lovable atmosphere, they should make love to produce human beings.
- Kemandungan (from the
word kandung: pregnant)
There are four trees here:
Gadungmlati, arrive in Kemagangan.
- Pelem becomes
gelem, that is the wish comes from both side.
- Kepel becomes
kempel, unite mentally and physically.
- Jambu Dersono,
dersono describing to be loved by other people.
- Cengkir Gading, a
small yellowish coconut tree. The coconut used in the ceremony when a
mother is seven month pregnant.
- In the left and right
side at this yard, there is street aiming to go out side, this is
imagining the negative influences which could occur during the growth of
the baby in his mother womb.
The road is narrow in the beginning and then becomes wider and brighter.
That means the baby is safely born, growing to be a man facing his future
life. There are kitchen in this premise, named gebulen and sekullangen,
describing that for the child's growth there are available food. The street
on the left and right side of the premises are reflecting, the negative
factors which could influence the child life. The child must be educated
properly, to the right paths, to the north, to the Kraton, where the
Sultan lives doing his duties. In Kraton he could attain his goals of
life, therefore he has to work diligently, with good and correct manner,
faithful not to break the rules. He must also always remember and serve to
In Karaton, one has to follow the steps taken by the Sultan or Sri Sultan
(the title is usually called by Yogyanese) before and after the ceremony
of Grebeg in the north of Siti Hinggil (organized three times in a year,
explaination of Grebeg follows in other articles). Sri Sultan steps out
from Sri Manganti gate, facing the bangsal (hall) Ponconiti, ponco means
five senses; niti means to inspect. The yard is called Kamandungan
(collect), planted with trees of Tanjung, Kepel (unite), Cengkir Gading -
yellow coconut (the holy color of God). It means that Sri Sultan has to
concentrate his five senses and mind because he is going to worship the
Bangsal Kencono (Golden
It describes the unity of human beings and God.
The Pavilion Praba Yeksa
Praba means light, bright; Yeksa means big. In this pavilion there is
lamp which is always burning. According to ancient belief, the travel to
eternal life is following a light.
Gedong Kuning (yellow
It symbolizes the home of the peaceful spirits in heaven.
Meaning "We must always remember where we come from".
The Gate of Donopratopo
It means "A good man always gives something to others voluntarily and
he is able to erase lust".
Sri Manganti Hall
This is depicting two angels are ready to show him the way as in accordance
Means "You must know what is right and wrong. Don't think anymore of
anything in this earth, your wife and family, you are leaving them".
Regol (gate) Brojonolo(brojo means weapon; nala means heart) and sees a stone wall.
"Renteng mentog baturana" (renteng means worry; baturana means
stone divider) which describes that Sri Sultan should not be worried to
implement adjust government. There is a tree - Jambu Tlampok Arum (Arum
means fragrant), meaning "Speak always nicely, so your name will be
famous all over the world".
Means a seat in heaven could also mean begin. That is imagining
"clear your thoughts and begin to pray". The place have to
be arranged by two subordinates by names of Wignya (clever), and Derma
(destiny), symbolizing “You should be clever to sit in your throne as you
are destined to represent God Almighty to rule your people".
Bangsal (hall) Manguntur
It is a high place to worship God. The Bangsal Manguntur Tangkil is located
inside the Bangsal Witono, this is describing that inside the body there
is soul or life spirit. Sri Sultan is ready to meditate (samadi) the
gamelan (Javanese musical instruments) by the name Kyai Monggang is played
slowly and rhythmically following his breathing in meditation. The
meditator has to arrange his breathing and concentrate solemnly by closing
the nine holes of his body.
Tarub Ageng (great,
glory) and Pagelaran
In the old days it was a place for the Patih (king's chief-minister) and
other subordinates to wait before meeting Sri Sultan for audience. Gelar
here means bright. That's describing that anybody who is meditating,
submitting his/her life totally to the hands of God is in a great and
bright path, as a gift from God.
Alun-alun Utara (the
With the two waringin trees are a comparison with someone's experience in
samadi. He/she is feeling calmly and happily, as if he/she is a twin,
microcosmos unite macrocosmos. He /she has to go on with the samadi,
Go further to the North, there
- Beringharjo Market
Symbolizes temptations and obstacles during samadi, in the market there
are plenty of delicious foods, jewels, luxurious things, beautiful women
and handsome men.
The office of the patih, the sultan's chief-officer. It's a place where
power is executed; rank, promotion of officers are decided and finance is
Pillar, symbolizing the acceptance of samadi. If the meditator could reach
tugu safely, he could reject the temptations of usual world desire and
lust (such as material wealth, high ranking position, delicious foods and
drinks, a lust toward opposite sex and more over he/she always does good
and correct thinking and conducts). By God blessing, the meditator could
attain his goal in samadi, the Javanese says: in a position of
"Manunggaling kawulo Gusti", manunggal means unity; kawulo means
servant, human beings; Gusti means God. Thus, manunggaling kawulo Gusti
means "The spiritual unity of the man and God, the creature and
creator". Everything could be happened by the wish of God Almighty.