Two Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace’s Plataran

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Who doesn’t know about the greatness of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace. This two and a half century old palace was still the largest kingdom in Java until today. Founded by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I as the embodiment of Giyanti Agreement on 1755.

Simultaneously with the stepping down of the sun from the highest peak, I began to leave Pasar Ngasem (Ngasem Market), together with my group along Taman Street to east. Apparently the tour guide intended to entering my group to Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace from south side.

Dokar/Andong right at the junction of Polowijan Street, Taman Street and Magangan Kulon Street.

Changing steps on Jalan Magangan Kulon, I finally entered the palace through Plataran Kemagangan (Kemagangan Courtyard). In this Plataran, there was only a Bangsal which looked clean and well-maintained, namely:

Bangsal Magangan

Bangsal Magangan in south of palace complex.
Bale Raos is a palace restaurant. Near of Bangsal Magangan.

I noticed a uniqueness around this Bangsal where people who passing through this area had to get off their motorcycle and pushed it. The absence of vehicle engine noise made the situation around Bangsal was quiet, cool and serene.

In the past, Bangsal Magangan functioned as a training ground for abdi dalem (courtiers). But now, this place was used for wayang kulit performances and several other activities. Including functioning as a kitchen to carry out a big celebration, for example Ngapem. Ngapem itself was a procession of making apem cakes which was carried out at the moment of the coronation or anniversary of king ascension at Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace.

Its existence was also very strategic to make this area accessible for tourists from south side of palace complex because it was quite close to Taman Sari and Pasar Ngasem.

After enjoying the silence of Bangsal Magangan, I continued to north and started to entering Plataran Kedhaton (Kedhaton Courtyard). Kedhaton is the main platform which has the highest hierarchical level because it is the center of palace complex. Some of the parts which I got on this plataran were:

Bangsal Manis

This building was used as an official royal banquet venue. European-style formal banquets were also commonly performed by the Sultan in this place. Now this place was used to clean the royal heirlooms during Suro month.

Bangsal Manis

In some parts of Bangsal, there was an interior decoration in the form of a dragon snake. “Dragon snakes are a typical animal from China, this shows that at that time Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace had cultural influences from China“, said a female tour guide who accompanied my group.

Bangsal Kencana

Bangsal Kencana.

Right next to Bangsal Manis is the embodiment of Bangsal Kencana. Raised on three floor steps, this Bangsal was a building used to hold important palace ceremonies. If Bangsal Manis relied on a combination of green and cream in its interior carvings, then Bangsal Kencana exhibited a combination of green and pink color.

Gedhong Patehan (Patehan Building)

Gedhong Patehan.

Gedhong Patehan was located adjacent to Gedhong Danartapura. This building was used by abdi dalem in making tea for the king. Non-alcoholic drinks for the king were also prepared in this building. If the king was entertaining guests from Europe who drank alcohol, another room called Gedhong Sarangbaya would be used.

Gedhong Danartapura which was used as the palace treasurer office.

If the Sultan wasn’t present or was on duty outside the city, the serving of tea was still done every day, i.e on six in the morning and eleven in the afternoon“, a tour guide said.

Gedhong Patehan wasn’t open to public, therefore I couldn’t visit this building inside. Five female courtiers would serve the tea. Gedhong Patehan was led by KRT Danukusumo, grandson of Hamengkubuwono VIII.

Unfortunately, this building wasn’t open to the public. Visitors could only catch a glimpse of activities in this building through an open door at the back of the building.

Gedhong Kaca

Gedhong Kaca.

The last part which I visited was a building with glass walls. This building was called Gedhong Kaca and was designated as Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX Museum.

Gedhong Kaca was the longest part which I visited. In the main hall, there was President Soekarno’s statement when he handed over the safety of Yogyakarta to Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX as the King of Yogyakarta and Yogyakarta was part of the Republic of Indonesia.

And in the mandate of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX coronation the sentence was also spoken:

Although I have received a true western education, but first I am and remain Javanese“.

I didn’t have enough time to visit the palace in its entirety. Hopefully one day I could come back to this place to do a deeper exploration.

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Pasar Ngasem: Agrotechnologist from Switzerland

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My imagination of past stretch around Pulo Kenanga has ended. My thinking wass wild enough to imagine the beauty of lake stretch which juts out to the north. The lake in the past looked deep when you look at its bottom which had become a stretch of residential architecture down there. I didn’t know why the lake dried up during its time, so that the bottom stretch of lake was used by people of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate as a new economic center, namely Pasar Ngasem (Ngasem Market).

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s go down to Pasar Ngasem. The market is more than two centuries old. We will learn the economic history of Sultanate there! ”, our tour guide started to lead the group down Pulo Kenanga. I immediately finished my last glance on each side of Pulo Kenanga. I moved down at the tail of tour group.

My steps headed north, not far, only around two hundred meters and in five minutes I arrived at Pasar Ngasem. Inside the market, the committee had provided a lunch menu in the form of boxed rice which were neatly arranged on a clean and roofed market hallway so as to reduce heat of the sun which was already at its peak.

Pasar Ngasem inside.

When the participants were busy picking up their boxed rice, I was still engrossed in walking around Pasar Ngasem Plaza which functions as a performance area. In the form of a semicircular concrete platform with a short podium surrounding it.

I watched a foreigner sitting on the podium and enjoying the situation. I purposely approached him to talking:

Me: “Hi, sir. Where are you come from?

He: “Hi… Hello. Switzerland

Me: “I’m Donny from Jakarta. How about Taman Sari. Is that good?

He: “Hi. I’m Armend. Yeaaa..It’s great. It just need a little touch more to make it more classic. Tapi disini panas juga (but it’s hot in here too)“.

Me: “Hahahah…. You can speak Bahasa Indonesia. This is a surprise

He: “Yes, Donny. Surely. I had worked in Cianjur for a year. I little learns

Me: “Yeaa, it’s certainly cooler there. Dibidang apa Anda bekerja? (What field do you work in?)

He: “Agrotechnology“.

Me: “Wow… Cool. Sendirian ke Jogja? (are you going alone to Jogja?

He: “I have a family… .That”, he pointed to his father, mother and younger sister on a side of market who were busy walking around.

The two of us ended up having a conversation that was so exciting until a voice from the end of plaza called me “Donny, let’s have lunch soon, we will leave the market“, shouted a group member reminding me. Finally I said goodbye to Armend and immediately joined the group to enjoy lunch.

Pasar Ngasem gate.

That afternoon there was very little selling activity in the market. Most of the items sold were daily necessities. Even though I know that this was the biggest bird market in Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate. But now the bird trader have been relocated to Pasar Satwa dan Tanaman Hias Yogyakarta (PASTY).

Now this market had played a key role in assisting the existence of Taman Sari cultural heritage. Half of Pasar Ngasem area had been transformed into an area of ​​arts and cultural performances and part of it was still used for traditional trade.

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