Yogyakarta Tour Package: Exploring the Soul of Java
Considered as the soul of Java, Yogyakarta is where Javanese language, arts, and traditions is at its purest and brightest. As a cultural powerhouse that it is, Yogyakarta is in a continuous process of traversing modernist and traditional influences. For instance, it is still headed by a sultan, which intense kraton that bespeaks of illustrious history and traditional culture lies side by side with an urban amalgam of modern cybercafes, hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls. Modern structures around, Yogyakarta is still a venerable stronghold of batik, gamelan, and ritual. It is also home to the most important of Indonesia's archaeological sites. A fitting Yogyakarta tour package, featuring any of the following attractions, will elaborate why this Javanese locality is one of the most thought travel destination around the world.
The palace of the sultans of Yogyakarta, also known as Kraton, is considered as the cultural and political heart of this Javanese city. The kraton is technically a walled city within a city, home to about 25,000 residents, a thousand of which are under the employment of the sultan. The kraton is a self contained community with its own schools, mosques, markets, shops, batik and cottage industries, and even museums. The innermost groups of buildings are used as the dwelling place of the sultan. These buildings are actually the finest examples of Javanese architecture, featuring a series of luxurious halls accented by expansive courtyards and ornate pavilions. Here, culture and traditions are very much alive, with dignified elderlies in traditional Javanese dress attending the sultan's palace.
Kota Gede is renamed as Yogyakarta's hub of silver industry. It is actually a tranquil old town that was once a capital of the Mataram kingdom. The graveyard of Senopati, the founder of this kingdom way back in 1582, is located in a mosque toward the south of Kota Gede's central market. The tomb is considered sacred, and a dress code is strictly enforced for those who want to make a visit.
One of Indonesia's most renowned artists, Affandi lived in a structure that served both as a house and art studio about 6 kilometers east of the town center. This structure is now the Affandi Museum, which is home to a collection of intensive paintings that include, among others, Affandi's self portraits, along with some of the artist's personal items. Affandi's 1967 model Galant car is also on display.
Located just southwest of the kraton is the Taman Sari, a complex that was formerly used as a pleasure park consisting of palaces, pools, and water features intended for the sultan and his entourage. It was said to have been designed by a Danish architect, and was built as a secret pleasure retreat for the sultan. The original structures, however, were both damaged by Diponegoro's Java War and an earthquake in 1865. Only the pools have been restored, and the rest of the structures remain lingering in ruins.