This palace is previously called Abhayagiri Vihara. It is a monastery on a peaceful hill and one of the most luxurious buildings built in the 8th century during the reign of Rakai Panangkaran. The palace was built to help the people find seclusion and focus on the spiritual life. You will get a wonderful view of Prambanan temple with the Merapi Mountain in the background as well as the view of Yogyakarta city, with the incredible feeling of serenity.
• Ullen Sentalu Museum
Ullen Sentalu is a museum of Javanese culture and art located in Kaliurang highland. The area offers great natural surroundings with lots of trees. When you visit the museum, you can see displays of relics and artifacts from Javanese royal houses and kraton. The museum is unique since its buildings are dug into the ground and made of volcanic stones. The design is impressive, the exhibits are displayed in a nice way and the guides will take you to a friendly tour ending with a traditional drink served in the museum’s restaurant. If you want to take something nice with you, you can visit the art and souvenir store and choose what you like.
Arts & Culture
If you are a jazz lover, then this is great news for you: Go to Jazz Mben Senen and spend your Monday nights enjoying a live jazz performance in the front yard of Bentara Budaya. The event is free and offers a graceful music performance for everybody. However, if you want to donate, a donation box is also available. The audiences are also welcome to participate. So, have fun, relax and forget the week’s routine listening to your favorite music.
If you wish to hear something new, you should experience Gamelan Show. Gamelan is a type of music created by mixing voices of kenong, saron, kendang, gambang, gong and other musical instruments from Java. The music is soft and moderate and shows the life harmony of people in Java. It expresses the harmony of both physical and spiritual lives and it will certainly make you feel relaxed and calm.
Wayang Kulit Show, or a shadow puppet show, is another experience you shouldn’t miss. It is a masterpiece of performance arts in Java. It has been there for more than five centuries. The performances present the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata and help you understand Javanese people’s life philosophy. The puppeteers are considered as the best entertainers in the world because they play all night, changing the voice, intonation, producing humor and even singing. To make a good atmosphere, musicians playing gamelan assist the show and the female singers “sinden” sing Javanese songs.
Ballet lovers must not forget to visit the open stage and seeing Ramayana Ballet, an amazing visualization and a dance-drama of the legendary Javanese epos Ramayana. It brings together Javanese music, dance and drama on one stage, so you can emerge in the story, enjoying the typical Javanese dance and Gamelan music. Ramayana ballet is such a wonderful art performance that you can’t compare to anything else. You simply must admire it. Ramayana ballet is performed in Purawisata Yogyakarta and in the complex of Prambanan temple.
Magnificent Yogyakarta’s nature is welcoming for those who love the beautiful countryside and fresh air. Visit the green mountains of Menoreh, enjoy the wonderful view of the lake and experience the sunset above the pine trees. Don’t miss famous Sermo Reservoir, which is like an oasis and sanctuary in the middle of the colorful limestone mountains.
Of course, there are plenty of other gorgeous areas in Yogyakarta that are also waiting for you to explore them. Enjoying the intact beauties and traditions of this area can be a never ending adventure if you are interested enough, and that’s where the true power of this unique travelers’ paradise lies.