Yogyakarta, Java Island (Indonesia)
Yogyakarta is located on the south coast of central Java. Translated from Indonesian, the name of the city is translated as “a city that should flourish.” Yogyakarta is surrounded by rice fields, sandy beaches are located on the coast in its southern part, and Mount Merapi is visible in the north. Its height is 2900 m above sea level. This is the most active volcano in Indonesia, this is also clear from its name, which translates as “fiery mountain”. Merapi erupts almost every 7 years.
According to Topb2bwebsites, the center of Yogyakarta is the Palace of the Sultan “Kraton”. The first buildings were built in 1757, and the construction of the fortress wall continued until 1785. The palace is protected by walls, with a total length of 1.5 km. In it you can see the personal chambers of the Sultan and his family members, a repository of royal valuables and a rich throne room. To the south, 2 km from the Palace, stands the “Castle on the Water” (Water Castle) Taman Sari. This complex was built in 1758 by Portuguese architects for the rest of the Sultan and his family members. Inside it was an artificial lake, near which there was a tower, from which the Sultan could watch the bathing concubines. Under the castle, many underground passages and secret rooms were discovered. There is a legend that the Sultan ordered the execution of architects so that they would not tell anyone about the halls and tunnels hidden from the eyes of visitors. Now only ruins remain of the entire cosplex, with the exception of a few restored buildings.
To the north of the Kraton Palace is the Alun-alun Utata square. From here begins the main street of Yogyakarta – Malioborough, named after the Duke of Marlborough. For 2 km along it and on the neighboring streets there are numerous shops, most of which offer products of local craftsmen, especially shops selling the famous Indonesian painted fabric – batik. To the northwest of the square is the Sawana Budai Museum of Javanese Culture, which was founded in 1935. Here you can see the traditional weapons, leather goods, puppets and masks of the Javanese theater, as well as the instruments of the Indonesian gamelan orchestra.
South of Yogyakarta there are sandy beaches. The most popular beaches are Glagah, Samas, Parangtritis and Krakal. They are surrounded by green hills that descend directly to the sea. Swimming in this area of the coast is not recommended due to strong waves and winds. But here you can just walk on foot or on horseback. In the vicinity of Parangtritis Beach, which is 27 km from Yogyakarta, there are a lot of interesting places worth visiting, for example, the Gumbirovati Hill, which offers a beautiful view of the ocean. Langs Cave is located 3 km from the beach.. Inside it, underground springs formed several small lakes where you can swim. The waters of these lakes are cool and rich in calcium, which relieves fatigue well. It is believed that this is a great place for meditation. Also located near Parangtritis are the dunes of Gumuk. These are the only sand dunes in Southeast Asia, a rare occurrence in the arid tropical zone. Analogues are found only in Saudi Arabia and the Gobi Desert in China. Here you can see dunes of various forms – dunes and longitudinal dunes. Be sure to visit the Parangwedang hot springs. They are rich in sodium, magnesium and chlorine.
The environs of Yogyakarta are world famous for their religious buildings, the most popular of which are the Hindu temple complex Lara Jonggrang in Prambanan village and the Buddhist stupa Borobudur.
The Hindu temple complex Lara Jonggrang is located in the village of Prambanan, 17 km northeast of Yogyakarta.. It was built in the 9th century. It is based on three main temples, which are dedicated to the gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The largest of them is the Shiva temple, its height is 47 meters. Inside it, you can visit four halls, in each of which there are statues of Shiva, his wife, son and teacher. The walls of the temple are painted with paintings from Indian epics. In front of the Shiva temple, from May to October, under the full moon, performances of the ballet “Ramayana” are held. Plaosan Temple is located 1 km north of it. It consists of 2 temples, which are also called twin temples. They are surrounded by stone walls.
Buddhist stupa Borobudur is located 43 km northwest of the city. The temple dates from the 8th century. The name of the temple is translated as “many Buddhas”. It is believed that while building Borobudur, the masters tried to reproduce the sacred Mount Meru from Buddhist teachings. The temple is made of volcanic tuff and has a height of 34 m. The complex consists of several terraces and resembles a stepped pyramid in shape. The first six terraces are made in the form of a square, the next two are in the form of a circle, and on the top there is a large statue of the Buddha, which faces west. Around the main statue are stone stupas with small Buddha figures inside. In total, there are about 504 Buddha statues here. Each terrace of the complex symbolizes one of the stages of human life and each is painted with reliefs with stories from the epic Ramayana. To understand the meaning of human existence, it is necessary to walk along the terraces clockwise, starting from the entrance to the temple. It is believed that, having risen from the lower steps to the highest point, you will rise from the earthly world to the spiritual world.