Welcome to Yogyakarta!
Yogyakarta (English: /ˌjɒɡjəˈkɑrtə/ or /ˌjoʊɡjəˈkɑrtə/; often also called Yogya, Jogja, Jogjakarta) is known as Neverending Asia for its endless attractions and appeal. As one of Indonesia’s 32 provinces, this city is one of the foremost cultural centers of Indonesia. Yogyakarta at present is a place where tradition and modern dynamics are going on together continuously. In this city, there is a palace which has hundreds of loyal servants to run the tradition, but there is also University of Gadjah Mada that is one of the leading universities in South East Asia. Some of its residents live in a strong agrarian culture. In the other side, there are also students who live with pop life-style. Traditional markets and handicraft centers are numerous in the city where some of them located by the malls which are no less hectic.
Yogyakarta is a city of history. Yogyakarta itself dates back to the 18th century when the Muslim Mataram Kingdom was ruled by Paku Buwono II. At that time, Yogyakarta was the center of ancient Mataram Kingdom which was prosperous and high civilized. This kingdom built Borobudur Temple which was the biggest Buddhist temple in the world, 300 years before Angkor Wat in Cambodia. After Paku Buwono II passed away, there was a conflict between his son and his brother which was encouraged by the Dutch who were trying to colonize the region on a ‘divide and rule’ basis. The kingdom was eventually divided into two regions namely Surakarta Hadiningrat kingdom (under the rule of Sunan Pakubuwono III), and Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat kingdom (under the rule of Sultan Hamengku Buwono I). The second kingdom was later called Yogyakarta, now better known as Yogya.
After the independence of the Republic of Indonesia was proclaimed, Yogyakarta Special Region and was given provincial status in 1950 in recognition of its important role in the fight for Independence. The area is now a self governing district answerable directly to Jakarta and not to the governor of Central Java.
University Town in Indonesia
Whilst steeped in rich tradition and history, Yogyakarta, lovingly known as Jogja, continues to remain young. This is university town, where students from all over Indonesia from different ethnic backgrounds flock to pursue knowledge and wisdom. For this reason, Yogya is both very Javanese and at the same time a melting pot of different Indonesian cultures.
The Dish: Nasi Gudeng, a Yogyakarta specialty
Gudeg is a traditional food from Yogyakarta and Central Java, Indonesia. Gudeg is made from young Nangka (jack fruit, called gori) boiled for several hours with palm sugar, and coconut milk. Additional spices include garlic, shallot, candlenut, coriander seed, galangal, bay leaves, and teak leaves, the latter giving a reddish brown color to the dish. It is also called Green Jack Fruit Sweet Stew.
Gudeg is served with white rice, chicken, hard-boiled egg, tofu and/or tempeh, a stew made of crisp beef skins (sambel goreng krecek), and areh gurih (coconut milk dressing) that give special sensation when you eat it.
There are several types of gudeg; dry, wet, Yogyakarta style, Solo style and East-Javanese style. Dry gudeg has only a bit of coconut milk and thus has little sauce. Wet gudeg includes more coconut milk. The most common gudeg comes from Yogyakarta, and is usually sweeter, drier and reddish in color because of the addition of teak leaves. Solo gudeg from the city of Surakarta and is more watery and soupy with lots of coconut milk and whitish in color because teak leaves are generally not added. The East-Javanese style of gudeg has a spicier and hotter taste compared to the Yogyakarta-style gudeg (which is sweeter).
Gudeg is traditionally associated with Yogyakarta, and Yogyakarta is sometimes nicknamed “Kota Gudeg” (City of Gudeg).
Yogyakarta features a tropical monsoon climate. The city features a lengthy wet season running from October until June and a short dry season that only covers the months of July, August and September. The city averages roughly 2200 mm of precipitation annually. Yogyakarta experiences particularly heavy rainfall from November through April. Temperatures remain relatively constant throughout the course of the year, with average high temperatures at around 30 degrees Celsius and average lows at around 22 degrees Celsius.