YOGYAKARTA - JOGJAKARTA
Yogyakarta Special Region (Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, DIY) is
officially one of Indonesia's 32 provinces. Yogyakarta is one
of the foremost cultural centers of Java. This region is located
at the foot of the active Merapi volcano, Yogyakarta was in the
16th and 17th centuries the seat of the mighty Javanese empire
of Mataram from which present day Yogyakarta has the best inherited
of traditions. The city itself has a special charm, which seldom
fails to captivate the visitor.
This province is one of the most densely populated areas of Indonesia.
The city came into being in 1755, after the Mataram division into
the Sultanates of Yogyakarta and Surakarta (Solo). Gamelan, classical
and contemporary Javanese dances, wayang kulit (leather puppet),
theater and other expressions of traditional art will keep the
visitor spellbound. Local craftsmen excel in arts such batiks,
silver and leather works. Next to the traditional, contemporary
art has found fertile soil in Yogya's culture oriented society.
ASRI, the Academy of Fine Arts is the center of arts and Yogyakarta
itself has given its name to an important school of modern painting
in Indonesia, perhaps best personified by the famed Indonesian
impressionist, the late Affandi.
Yogyakarta is often called the main gateway to the Central Java
as where it is geographically located. It stretches from Mount
Merapi to the Indian Ocean. There is daily air service to Yogya
from Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali as well as regular train service
and easy accessibility by road. Yogyakarta is commonly considered
as the modern cultural of Central Java. Although some may prefer
Solo as a good runner up, Yogyakarta remains the clear front-runner
for traditional dance, Wayang (traditional puppetry) and music.
Yogyakarta has more than just culture though. It is a very lively
city and a shopper's delight. The main road, Malioboro Street,
is always crowded and famous for its night street food-culture
and street vendors. Many tourist shops and cheap hotels are concentrated
along this street or in the adjoining tourist area such Sosrowijayan
The key attraction of Yogyakarta is 'Kraton' (the Sultan's Palace).
The Sultan's palace is the centre of Yogya's traditional life
and despite the advance of modernity; it still emanates the spirit
of refinement, which has been the hallmark of Yogya's art for
centuries. This vast complex of decaying buildings was built in
the 18th century, and is actually a walled city within the city
with luxurious pavilions and in which the current Sultan still
resides. Yogyakarta is also the only major city, which still has
traditional 'Becak' (rickshaw-style) transport.
Yogyakarta Special Region is geographically located almost equidistant
from Indonesia's two most important international gateways, about
600 km from Jakarta and 1000 km from Bali. Yogyakarta also has
excellent transport connections by bus, train or plane to the
rest of Java, Sumatra, Bali and Lombok. Yogyakarta's Adisucipto
Airport is in the process of changing its status in order to receive
not only domestics' flights from Bali and Jakarta, but also direct
charter and scheduled flights from other countries.
Geographically, Yogyakarta Special Province is situated in the
Southern part of Central Java and lies between 7 degree 33' and
8 degree 12', South altitude between 110 degree and 50' East longitude.
Some regencies of central Java Province surround the administrative
boundaries of this region:
Southern East: Wonogiri Regency
Eastern: Klaten Regency
Northwestern: Magelang Regency
Western: Purworejo Regency
The Indonesian Ocean borders the Southern part of Yogyakarta.
The borderline of the seashore stretches from West to East of
which the length is around 100 km, started from Congot Beach in
Kulon Progo Regency and ended at Sadeng Beach in Gunung Kidul
Because of its location, Yogyakarta is strategically positioned
for the economic activity network in Java as well as for the tourist
destination area. The special region of Yogyakarta lies midway
on the axis of several main tourist destination areas, Jakarta
and West Java westward, Central Java northward, East Java and
Bali eastward. It is linked by regular rail, road and air services
to other parts of Indonesian archipelago.
Climate and Weather in Yogyakarta
The average daily temperature range between 26 degree and 28 degree
Celsius with its minimum 18 degree C and maximum 35 degree C respectively.
Average humidity is 74% with its minimum of 65% and maximum 84%
respectively. The Yogyakarta Special Region lays approximately
7 South of the equator line and is bathed in tropical; sunshine
along the year. This region has a tropic climate the daily atmosphere
feels a little bit hot and humid. These are only two seasons along
the year, the wet or rainy seasons and dry monsoon. Usually the
wet seasons begin at September and lasts about August. Generally
there is no rainfalls from may to August and there fore the atmosphere
feels hot and humid on the day and cool in the night and early
morning. The monthly rain falling Yogyakarta varies between 3mm
and 496mm in which those above 300mm take place during the month
of January up to April. The heaviest rainfall usually occurs in
February while the lowest commonly happens between May and October
Average annually rainfall is about 1,900mm.
Populations of Yogyakarta
Based on 2000, the total population of Yogyakarta special Region
amounted to 3.311.812. Yogyakarta Municipality that has 461,800
inhabitants spread over 32,50 kilometers or the average population
density is thus over 14,200 persons per square kilometer. The
least densely populated districts is in Gunung Kidul regency which
has 720.643 inhabitants and cover 1,485 square kilometers or the
density rate is 485 persons per square kilometer. Since a very
long time ago the Provincial territory of Yogyakarta Special Region
and its surrounding has been decently populated.
The majority residents of Yogyakarta Special Region are Javanese
whose language derives from ancient Sanskrit. However, as Yogyakarta
is considered to be "Indonesia's academic city" due
to the numerous centers for higher learning, many of the inhabitants
are student who come from all over Indonesia to study.
Culture of Yogyakarta
The culture Yogyakarta province with its status as a special region
lies in the Southern part of Central Java, in the heartland of
Javanese culture. As the former capital and the center of several
kingdoms in the past, this region and its people are very rich
in a variety of cultures. It is widely known from to historical
records that the civilization, art and culture had developed well
in the center of those kingdoms respectively in the Ancient Mataram
Kingdom (8th - 10th Century) era, the second Mataram Kingdom (17th
- 18th Century) and Sultanate Ngayogyokarto from the mid of 18th
Century up today.
It should be noted that the cultural heritage from the past includes
the magnificent temples, the ruins of palaces and monasteries,
the various kind of traditions, cultural events, traditional folk
and performing arts, architecture and other traditional activities.
It is important to note that this is all part of the living culture
of Yogyakarta, color of daily activities of live and the local
inhabitants behavior, particularly the Javanese community with
its traditional way of life and customs. Therefore, because of
its culture richness and heritage, Yogyakarta has long been known
as the cradle of Javanese culture.
The other legendary name for Yogyakarta City, among the elders
as well as the youth generation that is the City of Art and Culture.
Traditional and modern exhibition are held almost every day and
night about the art of theater, pantomime, music, classic and
contemporary dances, poems, etc. Those are flow in the heart of
the city. Even more, there are abundant of cultural ceremony,
such as Sekaten, Gunungan, Labuhan, Malioboro Fair, etc, which
make the city has high value of tradition, art, and culture.