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Yogyakarta, The Cultural Heritage of Indonesia

Yogyakarta also Jogjakarta or Jogja is the capital city of Special Region of Yogyakarta in Indonesia, on the island of Java. As the only Indonesian royal city still ruled by a monarchy, Yogyakarta is regarded as an important centre for classical Javanese fine arts and culture such as ballet, batik textiles, drama, literature, music, poetry, silversmithing, visual arts, and wayang puppetry.

Yogyakarta was the seat of power that produced the magnificent temples of Borobudur and Prambanan in the 8th and 9th century and the new powerful Mataram kingdom of the 16th and 17th century.


Borobudur Temple

A thousand years ago, the area was the heart of the Ancient Mataram Kingdom—a prosperous, advanced civilization. It was this kingdom who built the Borobudur Temple, the world's largest Buddhist temple, 300 years before Cambodia's Angkor Wat was built. Borobudur Temple is situated in Magelang, about 40 km from Jogja's downtown.


Prambanan Temple

Prambanan Temple was built in the 9th century. Soaring 47 meters in height and adorned with enchanting ornaments, the Hindu temple complex boasts a one-of-a-kind beauty. Prambanan Temple is situated in the eastern end of Yogyakarta.



The street is the centre of Yogyakarta's largest tourist district surrounded with many hotels, restaurants, and shops nearby. Sidewalks on both sides of the street are crowded with small stalls selling a variety of goods. In the evening several open-air street side restaurants, called lesehan, operate along the street. This is the street of the artists. Street musicians, painters, and other artists exhibit their creations on this road. Less obvious to the tourist, but more for the local population, side streets, lanes and structures that lead on to Malioboro are as important as the street itself.


Cultural Center of Indonesia


Batik is the national treasure based on Javanese word of “amba” and “titik”, meaning to write the dots. It is an art of decorating fabric using wax and dyeing process. Yogyakarta has a signature batik pattern that are usually made with a bright white basic. Some of the motifs are namely The Parang Kusumo, Kawung and Truntum, each was created with the special philosophy behind its every dots.


Wayang Puppet

Wayang is also an amazing art heritage known from Yogyakarta. There are the Wayang Kulit or leather puppet, played on a shadow puppet show by the dalang or puppet master through a screen lit by lights. Wayang Orang is the life-size performances depicting the same philosophical messages from ancient stories and is presented by men and women in elaborate traditional costume.



Gamelan is the music created by integrating voices of gong, kenong and other Javanese music instruments. Soft music that reflects the life harmony of Javanese people will soon greet and calm the soul down once someone is listening to it.

Gamelan that grows in Yogyakarta is Javanese gamelan, one form of gamelan that is different from Balinese gamelan or Sundanese gamelan. Javanese gamelan has softer and slower tones.

The Javanese view of life that is expressed in its gamelan music is the harmony of physical and spiritual lives, harmony in talking as well as behaving in order not to create explosive expression and to realize people tolerance.


Get Around

Once you arrive, there are a number of ways you can explore Yogyakarta. Walking is a great way to take in the sights and meet the locals though it can get hot by the middle of the day. Strolling the heart of the city and find the many attraction located nearby the Malioboro area.

Embrace the local mode of transport and try a becak, traditional three wheeled pedal powered cart.

Traditional horse-drawn carts known as Andong can be found in the tourist areas of Yogyakarta. These are a relaxed and romantic way to take in the sights.  

If you know how to ride a motorbike you can hire one in the city. Taxis are available and can be arranged through your hotel. Buses are the major form of public transportation here, however, their hours of operation and capacity can be limited.

Try to enjoy some part in the rural side with a bicycle ride, and discover beautiful corners that can inspire you to fall more in love with the special charm of Yogyakarta!


Source:,,, unsplash, pixabay, pexels

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