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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A Project at Loji Gandrung Front Yard.

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Loji Gandrung

Have you ever visited Merdeka Palace? Or visit DKI Jakarta City Hall? Yes, these two important places in Jakarta often offer visiting tours.

So, what about Solo City?

Yups, Solo City also has a similar tour. A place which has become attention center for this tourism type is Loji Gandrung, An official residence of Solo’s Mayor which is located on south side of Slamet Riyadi Street.

The night went on, it was almost nine o’clock in evening when I finished in designing a Marketing Conference teaser. Luckily, I got help from a design staff in Jakarta. I have also sent that teaser to Whatsapp number and email of all prospective Marketing Conference participants.

Now, I thought again about next destination. My task this time was to choose several destinations along Jaladara Tourist Train line which be rented by event comittee to get around Solo City on second day of Marketing Conference. So in remaining time, before it got too late, I would survey at least three tourist attractions which were located nearby each other.

I immediately ordered a taxi online, then drove to downtown. I moved south for five kilometers from Manahan area to Laweyan area.

Loji Gandrung, Sir!”, I asked online taxi driver.

Wow, it had closed, Sir

Oh, it’s okay, Sir. I just want to find information there”.

Oh well, Sir. Loji Gandrung is indeed popular in Solo City, Sir. In the past, President Soekarno often stayed at Loji Gandrung when he visited Solo”.

Wow, it’s cool, Sir“, I started to be stunned by a story from that young driver.

Our conversation topic progressed to several things, until driver hit brake just across Loji Gandrung gate.

Loji Gandrung gate.

Without hesitation, I entered the gate. It seemed that renovation was underway at Loji Gandrung front yard. I just saw the top end of a bronze statue whics was tightly covered by a row of project boards. My arrival made a security out of his post and swiftly directed his steps towards me.

What do you need, Sir?. Sorry this is a city government building. It’s forbidden to carelessly enter the yard”, he admonished.

Oh sorry, sir. I just want to find information

What information, Sir?”

Sir, we will rent Jaladara Train and intend to make this place as a tourist destination on train route. Can I know the procedure, so that I along with event participants can visit this historic place, sir?”

Wow, the licensing is a little tight, Sir because it’s being renovated. But you may submit a formal application and is addressed to Head of Household Department. Hopefully on the event date, you can be allowed to enter”.

Oh good, Sir. I hope so“.

I looked around. This Loji Gandrung building had a very classic architecture. There was a blend of European and Javanese architecture. Thick European walls were covered with a typical Javanese roof. The front and back yard of the building was wide with several trees.

I realized that what was in front of me was a government building and I couldn’t stay long in that place. I must immediately go and empathize to security by did’t disturbed the comfort of that place.

Before I stepped out of Loji Gandrung yard. I was still intrigued by project mystery around front yard. Finally, I ventured to ask to securiry.

“Sir, whose statue is blocked by this project board?”

“Oh, that’s a statue of General Gatot Subroto, Sir”.

I said thank to secutiry because he had accepted me well even though he only talked for no more than fifteen minutes.

Why should it be General Gatot Subroto statue?……..

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