The Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
During our recent visit to Yogyakarta, one of the places we visited is The Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat. Kraton, also spelled Karaton or Keraton, is the Palace of Yogyakarta.
Kraton Jogja is a cultural heritage building in Yogyakarta. The palace has open buildings and rooms and is located in the middle of the 1.4 hectares space. The architecture of Kraton was designed by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I.
The open building area is Kraton is called Plataran, which is divided by a gate called Regol. Each Plataran holds a different typology based on the roof.
The Kraton is surrounded and enclosed by high walls, measuring 3 meters high and 4 meters thick. A part of the fort used to hide weapons and ammunition. There is also a small hole used to spy enemies.
Pagelaran is a designated place where Abdi Dalem meets the Sultan in ceremonies. The Sitihinggil Lor area is the place where the Sultan sits during ceremonies.
The most sacred places in Kraton are the two buildings called Gedhong Prabayeksa and Bangsal Kencana. While the highest office of the palace is Kedhaton. The most important and sacred ceremonies in Kraton are held at the Bangsal Kencana.
The sixth Plataran is called Kemandungan Kidul, which is also the oldest ward in Yogyakarta Palace.
History and Facts
Kraton Palace is a majestic complex that was ingeniously designed to resemble the Javanese cosmos. The Kraton was built with stylish intricate pavilions, with the link between the Gods, human and cosmic realms. Each piece in the palace holds a special figurative meaning linked to the Javanese worldview, which places significant importance on the Indian Ocean and Mount Merapi.
The Place of Yogyakarta was built so that its center faces north towards Mount Merapi, while it’s south to face the Indian Ocean, thought to be the residence of the Queen of the South Seas Kanjeng Ratu Loro Kidul and the spiritual companion of the Sultan.
The construction of Kraton began during Sultan Hamengku Buwono I’s era in 1755 to 1756, while other towers were expanded by the heir to the throne. The symbol of the palace is Praja Cihna, which holds a philosophical meaning. The Kraton also has colors red and gold, the former signifying courage and attention to value the truth while the latter depicts majestic splendor.
The Kraton’s front side features a green square called Alun-Alun Lor, and a collection of huge banyan trees at the center. The south square of the palace is situated directly opposite the north square.
Kraton was designed to be a royal residence and as a focal point of the entire Sultan kingdom. Traditionally, when a sultan dies, the cortege leaves through the southern gate before heading to the royal cemetery in Imogiri.
Today, the Kraton is still used as a Sultan’s home and other fundamental ceremonies and cultural events.
It is easy to get around the Kraton and the nearby sites, which includes the Alun-Alun Kidu, a renowned spot for festive evening ambiance. You can wander in the open square and take in the amusing atmosphere surrounding this renowned spot.
The nearby Hamengku Buwono IX museum is one of the fascinating highlights of the Kraton. The museum holds hundreds of collections of memorabilia and other significant pieces belonging to Sultan Hamengku Buwono X’s late father. Sultan Hamengku Buwono X also serves as the Governor of Yogyakarta. Also, there is a regalia museum, a painting museum, and a royal carriage museum. The royal carriages are usually used for a special occasion like the royal wedding ceremonies.
Facts about Kraton
Kraton was built in stages, starting in 1756 and completed in 1790.
Every year, Yogyakarta’s sultan offers his fingernail clippings to Mt. Merpati, the volcano god, while his hair is offered to the sea goddess.
The current sultan, Hamengkubuwong X, is the 10th sultan of Yogyakarta.
Sultan Hamengkubuwong is a law school graduate, and his name means “he who carries the universe on his lap” or “sustainer of the universe.”
The gatekeeper of Merapi is called Mbah Marijan, who dangerously sits on an active-volcano Mount Merapi.
Because of the precarious nature of his job, government officials, and also sultan Hamengku Buwono X have tried to urge Mbah Marijan to evacuate the place, but he refused
The gatekeeper, Mbah Marijan, is paid a dollar a month.
Despite sultans being allowed to practice polygamy, Hamengkubuwono X has just one wife.
How to get to Kraton Palace
The Kraton Palace is very revered by the locals. For this reason, the guest is advised to wear casual and decent outfits. No sunglasses, caps, miniskirts, and shorts. It is also not allowed to take photographs at the palace, as well as exhibition rooms such as Batik Museum.
Kraton is located at the center of Yogyakarta and is easy reaching it from the Tugu Railway Station. From the railway station, head over to Malioboro 1 shelter Bus, which is about 400 meters from Tugu Railway Station. Board Transjogja Bus Line 2A, this will take you right in front of the palace.
Apart from buses, you can also get to the Kraton by traditional cars like Andong, pedicab, or a horse carriage.
The entrance fee to Kraton is Rp.15 for both children and adults. There are two entrance gates to the palace. Tickets are sold at both gates, and visitors can buy using local and foreign currency.
To understand more about Kraton Palace, you should hire a local tour guide to help you. The tour guide price can be negotiated down, so don’t take the first quote. Alternatively, you can seek the help of the palace servants who are very warm and hospitable, and they will be more than happy to answer any question about the palace.
You will find several souvenirs shops lining up the street in front of the palace, where you can purchase paintings, keychain, masks, clothes, and batik.
The palace is opened to the public from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm, and closes at 11.00 am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat
Address: Jalan Rotowijayan Blok No. 1, Panembahan, Kraton, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, Indonesia
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