House of KRT Kusumabudaya, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

This traditional house was built by RL Sosrodigdaya II (palace official and also village chairman) and finished in 1860. After he died, the house was used by his son RL Sosrodigdaya III, later known as Rl Kawindrodigdaya for intern mutation and then promoted as KRT Kusumabudaya. The traditional Javanese style can be seen from the room plan, building material, pendopo in front of the house, and a well at the front yard and the roof shape is joglo and limas an at the main house. The yard is set with garden with fountain, 200 plant species and item collections.

NDalem Joyokusuman, Javanese Traditional House, See the Bed where Sultan was Born, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

nDalem Joyokusuman is part of Sultan Palace, Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat. The house is set with Javanese architecture and function. Currently, this house is used by Gusti Bendoro Pangeran Haryo (GBPH) Haji Jojokusumo and his family. He is one of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX with Kanjeng Raden Ayu Widyaningrum and also brother of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X. He is the Kawedanan Hageng Panitrapura and as Narpa Cundoko.

This building was established in 1916, stem from Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono VIII initiative. The first resident of this house was KRT Condrokusumo, the nephew of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono VII. Later occupied by Gusti Bendoro Haryo (GBPH) Bintoro, brother of Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX that became Narpo Cundoko Dalem. GBPH Bintoro ever in charged as Consulate General Republic Indonesia in Ontario and the first president of Lion Club Indonesia.

nDalem Joyokusuman has 7 rooms, separated by wall called as Cempuri. The seven rooms are pendopo, peringitan, senthing tengah (middle room), sentong tengen (right room), sentong kiwo (left room), gadri dan pawon (kitchen). This plan delineates that man is the main ruler of family and woman is the mother of the household. Both should form a conducive situation to create better generation.

PENDOPO is the front part of the house, used as place to accept guests. Currently, this part is utilized as Gadri Restaurant and accommodate other activities such as batik. There is a cage standing at Pendopo called Kurungan Tedak Siten used in traditional ceremony and old clock gift from Ngarso Dalem SDISKS Hamengkubuwono IX to KTAy Widyaningrum, mother of GBPH H Yojokusumo.

PERINGGITAN is the second room behind pendopo separated by a big door in the middle and 2 doors on left and right side. Peringgitan was used as living room. Inside peringgitan there is a big umbrella of Payung Kebesaran pangeran used in palace ceremony. There are also displayed gifts from Ngarso Dalem SDISKS Hamengkubuwono IX toward KRAy Widyaningrum

Sentong Tengah is middle room behind peringgitan, where traditionally placed pendaringan or pasareyan tengah, where equipments and accessories are placed, including loro bloyo statues, accecories of Javanese hair; a floral konde used in palace ceremonials. Here also displays Kiswah, gift from King Fath from Saudi Arabia. Senthong Tengah was where Tampa Kaya ritual after Panggih Ceremony in wedding procession held. Tampa Kaya is the symbol of the eagerness of husband to fulfill the needs of wife and family.

Sentong Tengen is a closed room located next to Sentong Tengah. This room was the bedroom of GBPH H Joyokusumo, where there is a big bed from the late KRT Condrokusumo, the nephew of Sultan Hamengku Buwono VII.

Sentong Kiwo is a closed room located on the lest of Senthong Tengah. This room was used as guest room. Currently, the room is used for museum with KRAy Widyaningrum bed, also the bed of Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX in display. The bed is furnished with two big pillows, two bolsters, two gembuk and two small pillows.

Gadri is a big room behind Senthong Tengah and separated by a big sliding door. This room is used as dining room for family and relatives and to welcome guests in Royal Dinner and Lunch for Gadri Resto. The rear of the room has small pendopo used to place gamelan of nDalem Joyokusuman.

Pawon is family kitchen. This room was important in Javanese house, as dining, drink were presented from here.

Sendangsono Catholic Pilgrimage Site: The Lourdes of Java, Yogyakarya, Indonesia

Sendangsono is located at Banjaroyo village, Kalibawang, Kulon Progo, Yogyakarta Indonesia. It is a site where pilgrimage visit Marry gave that is managed by St Marry Lourdes Parish in Promasan, northwest of Yogyakarta.

Sendangsono can be accessed 15 minutes from highway from Jalan Raya Wates by passing a narrow road heading west. Though the read is relatively narrow and winding, but it is in good condition.

Entering the pilgrimage site covering 1 hectare, pilgrims will pass a big cross that started from church situated at the lower part of Sendangsono. This cross route is about 1 km to the last stop located on a sendang (spring). This place has been visited by pilgrims from all over Indonesia, and the peak season in on May and October. Pilgrims took water from the sendang that is believed to have healing virtue.

According to a source, Sendangsono is the last stop or resting place of pedestrian from Borobudur, Magelang to Boro (Kulon Progo) or the opposite. It said that this place is visited by people because of the spring  that appears from between sono trees orAngsana or sonokembang (Pterocarpus indicus). The tranquil and quietness of the location is used by Buddhist to purify and meditate. According to legend, Sendangsono is occupied by Dewi Lantamsari and her one and only son, Den Baguse Samija. It can be concluded that the spiritualistic of the place has been formed since before the catholic rome church established.

Sendangsono existence is cohorent to the role of Father Van Lith SJ, a Dutch clergy lived in Java Island. In December 1904, Father Van Lith baptized 171 locals with water from the spring including Father Barnabas as the first  catechumens. Twenty five years later on December 8th 1929, Sendangsono was officially opened as pilgrimage site by Father JB Prennthaler SJ. Marry statue was given by queen of Spain moved by people together from down Sentolo village. In 1945, Indonesia Young Catholic pilgrimaged to Lourdes, and they carried the stone where Marry showed to be placed under the statue of Marry at Sendangsono as a relics that Sendangsono is called as Gua Maria Lourdes Sendangsono.

It was built gradually since 1974, only by relying on the donation of congregation. Humanist and Clergy, YB Mangunwijaya gave the architectural touchs. The construction concept of Sendangsono complex has Javanese nuance and environmentally friendly. The material utilized derived from nature. In 1991, the complex was awarded as the best architecture from Indonesia Architect Association, for special building category.

Masjid Syuhada, The Great Mosque to Commemorate Moslem Struggle to Gain Independence, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Masjid Syuhada is located at Jalan I Dewa Nyoman Oka No.13 Kotabaru, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. This mosque is witness of moslem struggle to gain Independence. This mosque keeps candrasengkala and as well as the commemoration of Indonesia Independence Proclamation that it is delineated in important buildings such as 17 steps of stairs, 8 side pillar shape on its gate and four lower cupolas and 5 upper cupolas (17 -08-45 or 17 August 1945, Indonesia Independence Day)

The building has 3 floors, the lower floor is used as learning room that is equipped with 20 windows that is expected to be reminder of 20 natures of God, Allah. At the second floor is used as prayer room for women, where there are two pillars, that support the building delineate 2 faiths of human. While at the third floor, is the main prayer room, for Friday prayer at the priest (imam) room (mihrab), there are five ventilation that represent 5 pillars of Islam.

In August 17th 1950, the Mecca direction was set on ground, currently a building stands there. On 23 September 1950 or 11 Dzulhijah 1369, on Aidul Adha, Sri SUltan HB IX as Republic Indonesia Defence minister, officially initiated the construction of the mosque.  Two years later on 20 September 1952, the whole building was finished and it was officially opened in Islam New Year, 1 Muharam 1372.

The mosque erection was intended to fulfill the necessity of Moslem generally and especially to give honor to the struggle of Yogyakarta moslem that support the community, nationa and RI.  And the mosque is also a monument to commemorate heroes died in defensing Indonesia Independence.

The mosque is a blend of various architectural style. It has Persian, Indian and Indonesian style. The round dome in the middle is the main dome, surrounded by small domes on its corner. It has 3 floors that gives the opportunity to the moslem community to hold various activities.

Gudeg, Tasty Jackfruit Menu from Jogja, Indonesia

People will answer spontaneously the specific food of Yogyakarta is gudeg. Gudeg can be found on every corner of Jogja, and Jalan Wijilan is the center of gudeg in Yogyakarta.

In Wijilan there are many gudeg stalls with various prices and tastes. Other than  Gudeg, Jalan Wijilan also provides special food or snacks from Yogyakarta.

Gudeg in Wijilan is interesting as gudeg stalls make good presentation of gudeg using earthen wares container that makes visitors interested, the earthenware also makes the taste of gudeg more delicious and unique.

Gudeg is made of young jackfruit that is boiled with spices, coconut milk, and the container to boil is based with young teak tree leafs. To make the taste more delicious, and perfect gudeg color, jackfruit is boiled for one night. The teak leaves will make the gudeg color more interesting. The sauce is made of young coconut spiced with spices and turmeric. The sauce is poured one or two spoons only, on a ready to eat gudeg with fried shallot. Gudeg taste is sweet, and is eaten when the rice when it is warm with boiled egg, chicken, tofu, tempe, and kerupuk. For drink, various kind of drinks are suitable such as hot tea, hot orange, iced tea, iced orange squash, or mineral water.

Puro Pakualaman, Palace of Yogyakarta Adipati (Prime Minister), Indonesia

Puro Pakualaman is a historical building and inherent to the erection of Kasultanan Yogyakarta Hadiningrat.Puro Pakualaman is a adipati palace where Paku Alam generation dwell. This palace was built in the 19th century, located at Jalan Sultan Agung, 2 km east of Sultan palace. According to the function as Adipati palace, Puro Pakualaman was where Adipati Keraton Yogyakarta, entitles as Paku Alam, resided.Adipati is official position same as prime minister.

When entering the palace fence, visitors should pass a square that currently is occupied with footstalls. This square was part of the palace signed by an old banyan tree on one of its side. After than visitor will enter a Wiworo Kusumo gate where from there visitors can see a joglo building. The front part of the Joglo building is called as Wiwiro Kusumo Winayang Reko means security, justice, freedom and used to welcome guests in non-formal atmosphere. Pendopo Bangsal Utomo Sewotomo, located in the middle of Joglo building with 4 teak engraved pillars.

One of the corner of pendopo is equipped with gamelan Kyai Kebogiro. This gamelan is played every Minggu Pon (Javanese Calendar) one in 35 days. On the other part of Pendopo , there is a room called China Room, as this is where antiquities from China kept. The last room at Pendopo is Srikaya room, the working room of Adipati.

Behind the pendopo, stands Dalem Ageng Proboyekso. Dalem is term that refers to main room of the palace. This building is separated into few rooms , namely library, wardrobe room on the left, bedroom on the right, gandok wetan, gandok kulon. Gandok wetan and Gandok Kulon are where the sultan family lived. Sewonggo is a room on the back of Dalem Ageng Proboyekso, used as waiting room and meeting room for adipati and his family. Further behind, there is a recreation room for adipati family made of glass, called as Maerakaca room. At the backyard of the palace, there is a building for knights established to guard the back fortress that had two gates. Other interesting place to enjoy in Puro Pakualaman is Dalem Ageng Prabayeksa where there are 3 exhibition rooms. The first room exhibits the pedigree of Paku Alam, photos, treaty documents, palace symbols,and books. The second room displays various of old weapons, while the last room exhibits horse carriage, Kyai Manik Kumolo and Kyai Roro Kumenyar.
Mosque of Pakualaman was built in the 19th century, erected by Paku Alam II. Visitors can read books at pavilion Purworetno, the library of the palace. This library has many classics Javanese books collections written by Paku Alam III ‘Serat Dharma Wirayat’
Puro Pakualaman Complex opens every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday from 09.30 to 13.00.

Plengkung (Gates) of Sultan Palace, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Plengkung is gate in Javanese. According to history, Sultan palace had five gates on its fortress;

  1. 1. Plengkung Tarunosuro is locted on the east of north alun-alun and now is known as Plengkung Wijilan as it is located at Wijilan region.
  2. Plengkung Madyasura is located on the ast of Sultan palace. This plengkung is closed on 23 June 1812, and later this gate is called as Plengkung Buntet (closed). Then Sultan Hamengkubuwono VIII reigned the gate was rebuilt with common gate.
  3. Plengkung Nirbaya is located next to the south alun-alun and now known as plengkung Gading. Plengkung Nirbaya is the south-end of the palace. From here Sri Sultan HB I entered the palace when he and his family moved from Kedhaton Ambar Ketawang. This gate traditionally is used as exit route of long procession of Sultan funerary to Imogiri Cemetery. For this reason this gate was used only by incumbent Sultan.
  4. Plengkung Jaganaya is located on the west, and known as Plengkung Taman Sari as the location is nearby Taman Sari.
  5. Plengklung Jagasura  is located on the north  and known as Plengkung gerjen.

Alun-Alun Selatan (South Square), Yogyakarta,Indonesia

Alun-alun Selatan is the south square of Sultan Palace. This square is also named as Pengkeran. Penkeran derives from pengker a refine word (krama) of mburi means rear or behind. It is named so as the location of the square is behind the palace. This square is encircled by square wall with 5 gates, one at the south , 2 at the east and 2 at the west. Between the gates at the western wall there is ngGajahan, a cage for Sultan’s elephant. Around the square is overgrown with mango tree, mangifera sp, and kweni (Mangivera odoranta). And two pairs of banyan trees; one pair in the middle called as Supit Urang (shrimp claws), and one pair on the left and right side of gate that is called as wok, derives from brewok (beard). From the south gate there is a passage called as Gading that connects to Plengkung Nirbaya.

This square was used as the place for palace knights preparing garebeg. And it was utilized as the place for abdi dalem to meet Sultan on 23,25,27 and 29 of ramadhan (fasting month). Since period of Sri Sultan HB VIII, the later mentioned utilization was stopped. There is popular game takes place at this alun-alun called masangin. Masangin is a game of entering between the banyan trees in the middle of the square with eyes blindfolded. It seems simple, but mostly they fail as they always turn to other directions somehow.

Sumur Gumuling: Under Ground Mosque with Deep Philosophies, Jogja, Indonesia

Not every people know that Sumur Gumuling is located on the same complex of Taman sari, that actually was an underground mosque used in the glorious day of Keraton Yogyakarta.It is easy to reach Sumur Gumuling from west and east gate. Those gates are the end of Sumur Gumuling. The west gate is currently only collapse, while the east is still in good condition and can be passed.

Sumur Gumuling was a mosque with deep architecture philosophies. The main gate is only one to enter and exit, the philosophy is that human is created by God and human will return to God. The real sumur (well) is located in the middle of the building and on the upper part there are stairs to the second floor. There are 5 stairs, as manifestation of 5 pillars of Islam. Four of the stairs toward the middle form a small plain and other stair connects to the second floor. The later mentioned stair represents that if people are ‘able’ then they can fulfill the 5th pillar of Islam, Pilgrimage to Mecca.At the second floor there are four windows that represent wind directions.

Sumur Gumuling Exclusive Photos

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Kembang Kuning & Peneleh Cemetery, Dutch Cemeteries in Surabaya, East Java Indonesia

There are approximately 5000 graves in Kembang Kuning Cemetery, Surabaya. This is where Dutch soldiers died. Those soldiers convert various of religion, from Christian, Buddhist, Jewish and Islam. The blocks are set according to the dead’s religion. According to the caretaker ARM Soekarjono, there was only one Jewish soldier buried there signed by stars.

This cemetery, which is one of 7 official Dutch war cemeteries in Indonesia maintained by the Netherlands Oorlogsgravenstichting, is open for all public. Visitors can have access 7 days a week from 0800 until 1700. The gate of the cemetery is normally locked but visitors are requested to ring the bell and access will be provided. If visitors would like to visit the cemetery in a bigger group (more than 10 people), want to take professional pictures or want to make an official movie or video, or want to publish an article or webblog, they are requested to contact the office of the Oorlogsgravenstichting in Jakarta first.
For more information you can call them on 021-7207983 or email at :

A Joglo building is built to accomodate visitors or relatives visiting their ancestor. Brochure about the cemetery is provided in English and Dutch. Showing that there is no retribution or corruption in this area, there is NO TIP sign on the Joglo building.

Not only Dutch soldiers, here also buried the civilians that were perished in Japanese Camps along the Japanese Occupations from 1942 to 1945. In the cemetery, there is Karel Doorman Memorial that commemorates Java sea Battle in February27th  1942. Names of 915 sailors who died in the battle are carved on the memorial.


Though the condition of this cemetery is not as well as people imagine, Peneleh Cemetery is the oldest modern cemetery in the world. The site plan is set in blocks, and it has record about the bodies, family tree, even the standard crematorium facility had been built since the cemetery established. This Cemetery is established in 1814, with official name as De Begraaflaats Peneleh Soerabaja located at Jalan Makam Peneleh Surabaya. It was built much later after Kebon Jahe Cemetery in Jakarta in 28 September 1795. But Peneleh is the oldest modern cemetery among the others in numerous countries, such as Fort Cannin Park (1926) in Singapore, Le Chaise Cemerety od paris, Gore Hill Cemetery (1868) in Sydney, Arlington National Cemetery in 1864, Mont Auburn Cemeteryof Cambridge in 1831 that was said to be the oldest modern cemetery in the world. Among those other old cemeteries, the condition is the worst.
The condition of Peneleh concerned the Netherlands after 2006 when a legatee wrote an article entitled ‘De geiten en de doden wonen samen’ (means ‘Being Dead with Living Goats’) in NRC Handlesbald. The cemetery caretaker said that the relatives of the dead moved the dead to other cemeteries.
Peneleh Cemetery is the resting place of numerous important people that contribute to the development of Surabaya, Indonesia and even the world. There is tomb of Alfred Emile Rambaldo who was born in Rembang, Pasuruan East Java, the inscription of his tomb says ‘He was the pioneer of air travel, He found and developed air transportation device between 1908 and 1911 using a motorized air balloon’. His initial career was Navy Soldier and shifted his interest in technology. He resided in Surabaya and later built motorized air balloons, beside also developed meteorology observation and aerial photograph. This guy died when flying air balloon in Blora, Central Java, in a very young age, 31. For his service a statue of him erected at Kroesenpark (currently Taman Apsari). The statue has been replaced with the first of East Java governor , Governor Suryo.
The former Governor General Pieter Merkus was also buried here. His legatee, Rob van de Ven Renandel, stated in Monsun magazine on 10 April 1999, that Merkus was moved from Bogor Palace to Simpang Huis Palace (Now Gedung Grahadi) in Surabaya after he got ill.
Martinus van den Elsen a Jesuit priest, Neubronner van der Tuuk commander of Indochina war, Ibrahim Simon Heels the architect of Porong Bridge, and PJN de Perez the Supreme Court Deputy were also buried there.
Peneleh Cemetery formerly covered 5.4 Hectares, and situated far from Surabaya city. The cemetery was located hidden across Kalimas River and in the midst of Peneleh and Lawang Seketeng village farms. There was no bridge and road that the cemetery was isolated as it was flanked by Kalimas River and Pengirikan River. The cemetery is 100 meters from the bank of Kalimas river, the entrance gate faced Kalimas River and the gate is neo classic style. The only entrance to the cemetery is via river, the only transportation route. On the end of Peneleh Cemetery (currently fruit market), there was a port for dead body. The body then transported to cemetery using horse carriage, and the number of horses showed the social status of the dead. In that very time, there was a bronze bell on an iron pillar at the port. The bell is rung when the body arrived so mourners could prepare.

Peneleh Exclusive Photos

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Text and Photo by Dwi