Taman Sari (Water Castle), Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Taman Sari is known as Fragrance Garden or Water Castle or Pleasure Garden, located in Yogyakarta /Jogja. Covered 10 hectares with 57 buildings, bathing pool, hanging bridge, water canals, artificial lake and islet, and underwater tunnel. The garden was used from 1765 to 1812 that initially stretched from the southwest of Kedhaton complex to Magangan in the southeast. Nowadays, only the southwest of Kedhaton that is left.

Tamansari was built on the former palace, Pesanggrahan Garjitawati, that was built by Susuhan Paku Buwono II as a transit area for horse cart before leaving to Imogiri. The Taman Sari project leader was Tumenggung Mangundipuro. The cost was borne by Madiun mayor, Tumenggung Prawirosentiko, and his people. That is why Madiun region was free of tax. In the middle of the project, Pangeran Notokusumo took over the project after Tumenggung Mangundipuro resigned. Though officially this building was built as garden, but few parts indicated that Taman Sari was the last defense fortress if enemy attacked. It said that the architect was a Portuguese, known as Demang Tegis.

Taman Sari complex at least was divided into 4 parts. The artificial lake located at the west, building located at the south of the artificial lake, Umbul Binangun is one of the building in this part. And then Ledok Sari Cemetery and Garjitawati Pool as the third part. The last part is on the east of the first and second part and all the way to the east to the southeast of Magangan.

Taman Sari is 0.5 km away from Sultan Palace. As the architect is a Portugese, in a glimpse the building has European Architecture, but Javanese symbols were preserved as well and even the Javanese character is more dominant. Taman sari was not only a garden but also pool, canal, and special rooms and a big pool if the canal opened.

There is a sacred section of the building, where sultan and his family meditate,, beside bathing place section and other section called Pulau Kenanga that consists of Pulau Cemeti, Sumur Gemuling and underground tunnel. Pulau Kenanga is a high building utilized as a resting place and as well an observation tower, this building is the only visible building if the canal opened. It said that if observed from above, the building will look like a lotus floating on a huge pool. Sumur Gemuling is a circular building in the shape of well where there are chambers that were utilized as prayer room.

Taman Sari Exclusive Photos

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People  say that the tunnels in this area were functioned as secret passage that connects Taman Sari to Palace, a legend even said that they connect the palace to the south coast for Sultanto meet Nyai Roro Kidul as the wive of Jogja Sultans. The tunnels were the bunkers and defense for sultan and his family if any assault happened.