Thursday, October 16, 2014

Yogyakarta City Tour

This is a continuation of our Borobudur day trip (previous post), and also includes the rest of our stay in Yogyakarta (also Jogja, Jogjakarta), this city is the capital of Yogyakarta Special Region in Java, Indonesia. It is renowned as a centre of classical Javanese fine art and culture such as batik, ballet, drama, music, poetry, and puppet shows.  

After our Borubudur sight seeing, we headed to Sendang Sono.  It is known as The Lourdes of Indonesia.

An entrance with stone wall on both sides will lead you to the vast pilgrimage complex where you will find small chapels, the path of Jesus Sacrification, the Cave of Maria, shelters, and kiosks selling praying goods. Cool weather will greet you upon entering the complex thanks to many growing trees there.

Sendang Sono was named by its location. Sendang means water spring and Sono means the sono or sonokeling tree, denoting that the spring is located under the sono tree. Since we are Catholics, we had a short prayer at this spot.

Heavy rain started to fall as we left Sendang Sono,  so we didnt proceed to our original plan to see Merapi Volcano, instead we had our lunch stop at Sudanese resto - PringSewu.
There were several interesting sites in Yogyakarta City,

Due to heavy traffic, we arrive night time in Yogyakarta City and checkin at EDU Hostel (Yogyakarta).  This was the  most affordable accomodation in Yogyakarta, a private room costs only 50 SGD for a room which can accommodate 4 adults.

After checkin at EDU Hostel, went for dinner along Malioboro to try their local delicacy - Gudeg 

Gudeg is a traditional food from Yogyakarta and Central Java, Indonesia. Gudeg is made from young unripe jack fruit (Javanese: gori, Indonesian: nangka muda) boiled for several hours with palm sugar, and coconut milk. Additional spices include garlic, shallot, candlenut, coriander seed, galangal, bay leaves, and teak leaves, the latter giving a reddish brown color to the dish.  It is often described as "green jack fruit sweet stew".

At mid evening I had a stroll at Alun Alun - carnival, which sells some native sweets, which is one of my favorite Indonesian snack: Martabak Manis!

The following morning, before going out, we had complimentary breakfast at EDU Hotel it is included at their room rate of 12.5 sgd per pax. This is really a great accomodation for budget conscious travelers.

Roof top of EDU Hotel:

This our 3rd and last day in Yogyakarta, we toured around the city.  Since it was a rainy morning, so our original itinerary was slightly adjusted.

First stop was Kraton or Keraton, it is the Javanese word for a royal palace. Its name is derived from ka-ratu-an which means the residence of ratu.

Ratu is the traditional honorific title to refer the "ruler" (king or queen). In Java, the palace of a prince is called puro or dalem. The general word to designate a palace is istana, as in Indonesian and Malay.

Rain pour was still heavy so we decided to skip the Taman Sari (Water Castle), and instead we drop by a souvenir shop before we head for our lunch.  

The batik making is an intricate art:

Wayang Kulit, or leather puppet making, is also an interesting and colorful site.

We had lunch at Omah Dhuwur, (Jl. Mondorakan 252 Kotagede), the place was indeed beautiful and food are delicious.

After lunch, we visited the Ganjuran Jesus Sacred Heart Church, as its complete name, which is located around 20 kilometers from Yogyakarta.

Javanese nuance is seen at the altar, sancristi (where instruments for mass celebration are kept), doopvont (water containter for baptizing) and chatevummenen (the place of the teacher of Catholic religion).

Visiting this church, we were surprise by the architecture.  From outside, it doesn't really look like a traditional Catholic church.

Walking around the church, you will realize that this building was designed by integrating European, Hindu, and Javanese styles. European style is seen from the shape of the building forming a cross from above view, while Javanese style is seen from the roof forming tajug that is supported by four teakwood pillars, symbolizing four Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The complex of Ganjuran church was built in 1924 with the initiative of two Dutch relatives, namely Joseph Smutzer and Julius Smutzer. This church is one of the buildings built by the two relatives since they managed Gondang Lipura Sugar Factory in the area in 1912. 

The statues inside were also not the typical features.


The statues of Jesus and Mary who is carrying Her son are depicted in Javanese clothes.

One can take holy water from the left side of the temple. After taking water, you can sit cross-legged in front of the temple and say the prayer. Some pilgrims take the water and put it in a bottle then take it home after they pray for it.

Even while raining, there are pilgrims who are strong with their faith.

From Islam, to Hindu, to Buddhist, and even Catholic faiths ~ this is how modern Indonesia is now, as an open country with different religions coexisting and harmoniously respecting each others culture. It is indeed a Wonderful Indonesia!

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