Mangkunegaran Palace: A Resistance Symbol to Arbitrariness

<—-Previous Story

Mangkunageran Palace.

Very sunny that afternoon. It was past five o’clock but the city’s sky was still shining. I was still sitting on a chair inside of Triwindu Market front gate and enjoying free dish of Jenang Suro*1. Solo was indeed welcoming the Islamic New Year which would come tomorrow, so Association of Triwindu Market Trader distributed this special food to all visitors.

Triwindu Market itself, in the past was called as Windujenar Market. An art and antique goods marketplace which was built by Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Adipati Arya (KGPAA) Mangkunegara VII*2  to commemorate twenty-four years of his reign. Therefore this market was located not far from the palace.

Because of that history, a visitation to Triwindu Market will never be perfect if you don’t visit the palace from the king who built this market. Even after all my survey trip in Solo City was over, I put Mangkunegaran Palace and Triwindu Market as destination packages which were highly recommended for all Marketing Conference participants to visit.

Not long after I finished in eating Jenang Suro which was sprinkled with Javanese typical Sambal Tumpang, I left Triwindu Market, passed through its wide front yard and looked back to very distinctive and classic market building before saying good-bye.

I slowly walked along Diponegoro Street sidewalk, heading north for three hundred and fifty meters to visit Mangkunegaran Palace. Walking at the end of T-junction, then I arrived across  of palace gate. Heavy traffic flow made me struggling to cross Ronggowarsito Street which implemented a one-way system and circled palace complex.

While in one corner of the T-junction, there was a view of visitor crowds to a hotel which was combined with a restaurant, called Omah Sinten Heritage. After I investigated, later I found out that this restaurant had indeed become one of favorite places for young people to office employees to hangout to welcoming national holidays on tomorrow.

Successfully crossing Ronggowarsito Street, I rushed towards palace gate through a path along a hundred and fifty meters with a very wide yard on either side of it. Before actually arriving at the gate, a building of Puro Mangkunegaran Museum greeted me on left side of the gate. The museum looked deserted and without guards, so I couldn’t be sure whether the museum was still accepting visitors to visit or not.

Puro Mangkunegaran Museum.
Palace gate.

Likewise with the palace high gate, its iron fence was tightly closed without guards. It clearly indicated that the palace didn’t receive guests that afternoon. The palace was indeed closed for visitors at exactly five o’clock in the afternoon.

I could only enjoy the elegance of Mangkunegaran Palace from a distance and stare around in awe. But I’ve never been disappointed, I was already very grateful to be able to visit it. This was the palace which is a symbol of the power of Solo City in the past

Mangkunegaran Palace also became a resistance symbol from an aristocrat against VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) power and local arbitrariness which was applied by Pakubuwono II as a supreme leader of Surakarta Sunanate. A fierce resistance which resulted in a brilliant victory from Raden Mas Said at that time.

My visitation at Mangkunegaran Palace had to be rushed to stop because I couldn’t do anything in front of its giant gate. I decided to finish this visitation and headed to next destination which was included in a long list of my survey.

Let’s get out of here!

*1: Jenang Suro is porridge which is made from rice which was cooked with various traditional herbs and spices such as coconut milk, lemongrass and bay leaves so that it tastes more savory than usual porridge. This porridge is a symbol of gratitude to God and is usually served to welcome 1 Muharram or Islamic New Year.

*2: Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Adipati Arya (KGPAA) Mangkunegara is a title for the ruler of Mangkunegaran region.

Next Story—->

Enjoying Sambal Tumpang at Triwindu Market

<—-Previous Story

Loro Blonyo statue symbolizes Goddess Sri and Raden Sardono who bring prosperity.

This morning I have visited the bustle of Gede Hardjonagoro Traditional Market. And this afternoon, I would go to visit a market again. The market was indeed the main attraction when visiting Solo City. There was a side of uniqueness in each market which was located in several corners of the city …

I was aghast and jumped from one of Amaris Hotel Sriwedari’s twin beds when Rahadian woke me up from a sleep which I never intended to. Soundly asleep for an hour, making my eyes so bright, free from the tangles which hit me during a location survey in Batik City.

It was half past five in the afternoon, Rahadian and I hurried down the lift and got into an online taxi which had been waiting for us from five minutes ago outside the lobby. Even though the location where I wanted to go to was not far from hotel, around one kilometer, I would never take the risk of failing to visit this destination.

Exit the hotel, drove along Honggowongso Street, continued to Mohammad Yamin Street and then turned a corner on Gatoto Subroto Street. Continuing to cut the city protocol road, the online taxi then stopped on one side of Diponegoro Street….I arrived.

Now I have stepped on Triwindu Market courtyard and I was diligently staring at market’s architecture from next to Loro Blonyo Statue, whose its right arm broke. There were “wayang*1” ornament adorning the market roof. I could read very clearly “Welcome to Triwindu Market, Center for Antiquities and Klitikan Sales”.

Formerly called Windujenar Market.
Triwindu Market courtyard.
Stall in out of market.

Even before entering it, I could see a armor suit of Surakarta Sunanate soldier which was displayed in one of stalls. Small statues neatly lined up on the floor. So I couldn’t wait to enter it soon.

I decided to start exploring market inside until I found a large collection of “wayang” masks, wide plates made from China typical ceramics, antique chandeliers, and even a cupboard which made from old teak as a display case to show every item being traded. Made the atmosphere in the market felt magical.

I bought some mini figurine collections as an order from a colleague who was also a fan of unique items. Then, I just enjoyed the art-filled objects along market corridors. No wonder if foreign collectors hunted a lot of antiques here.

I turned around before I finally found a small crowd around market door. Four middle-aged women were seen opening a food stall and putting up banner which reading “Jenang Suro”. Suro was a substitute for the name of Muharram Month in Solo City. So I could be sure, this activity had something to do with the Islamic New Year. I tried to get closer and one of them waved to me with a smile.

Market inside.
Market inside.

Come here, Sir!“, She said.

Wow, what is it, Mom?. Very busy “.

This was Jenang Suro, Sir. It’s just. To commemorate the First Suro”, She explained. My hunch was true, commemorated First Muharram.

Come on, Sir, eat it, this is made by all seller women here, you know. Definitely delicious“.

Jenang Suro for free.
Very delicious.

That afternoon I enjoyed hot porridge, sprinkled with “sambal tumpang*2” combined with soft black-eyed pea, kikil*3, omelette slices and tofu in a splash of delicious spices. In fact, I spent two plates so deliciously.

All the impressions I got, finally made me decide that Triwindu Market was worthy of being one of Marketing Conference destination later.


*1. Wayang is a traditional form of puppet theatre play originally found in the cultures of Java, Indonesia.

*2. Sambal Tumpang is spices which come from Central Java and East Java.

*3. Kikil is a popular street food in East Java especially Surabaya and surrounding areas.

Next Story—->