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Written by Nathan Oswell

May 26th, 2018
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Yogyakarta is truly captivating! It won’t be wrong to say that this Javanese city of Indonesia is the country’s soul. It is Yogyakarta Special Region’s capital and was the Indonesian capital during the period between 1945 and 1949. According to the ancient Javanese inscriptions dating back to the 8th century, the Yogyakarta region was then known as Mataram and was Medang Kingdom’s capital. It is one particular place in Indonesia where the Javanese language is in its purest form. While getting around in the city, you’ll also notice the fact that it has managed to preserve the Javanese arts and traditions brilliantly over the years.

Mount Merapi and its legends

Mount Merapi, which means ‘Fire Mountain’ in the Javanese language, is greatly revered by the locals. It is located on the border of Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces and is Indonesia’s most active volcano. According to the Javanese legends, this volcanic mountain is home to the spirits of two mythical armourers called Empu Rama and EmpuPermadi. In order to appease the spirits and prevent the volcano from erupting, the locals make regular offerings. However, it is among the most preferred destinations in the country for hikers, as it offers them a challenging ascent.

Traditional Javanese dances

While watching a traditional Javanese dance performance, you'll be fascinated by the graceful, controlled, and refined movements of the dancers. Javanese dance forms are quite different from the Balinese or Sudanese dances in terms of poses and movements. They involve relatively slow movements and poses that are graceful and meditative. Wayang Wong, Bedhaya, and Srimpi are some of the traditional dance forms that were performed in the palaces of Surakarta and Yogyakarta dating back several centuries. They continue to mesmerise the audiences even today and are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

Charming ancient temples

During your time in Yogyakarta, you'll get to witness some awe-inspiring temples built in the ancient times. The most popular among them is the Borobudur Temple. It was built much before the large temple complex of Cambodia, the Angkor Wat. Built using about 2 million blocks of lava rock, it contains 504 statues of the Buddha and is a vast structure with a series of five bases. These bases are then succeeded by three terraces that represent the spiritual journey of the Buddha from the life of desire to his salvation or Nirvana. The temple of Prambanan is yet another magnificent temple complex dedicated to the Hindu deities Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.

The fascinating Batik

The fabrics with Batik designs are an inherent part of the lives of Yogyakarta's people. Batik is a process of applying melted wax to the cloth in order to prevent the dye from penetrating the fabric. Since this leaves blank areas in the dyed fabric, the process is repeated many times to create designs of multiple colours. This technique of creating beautiful patterns on the fabric is believed to have developed in India and then spread to various countries over the centuries, including Indonesia.

You’ll get to experience many other cultural delights while getting around in this wonderful city of Indonesia. So, book your next holiday to yogyakarta with Lowest2 and enjoy greater savings for your trip.