Geographic Details of Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta Special Region (Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, DIY) is officially one of Indonesia’s 32 provinces. It is located in the center of the island of Java, bordered on the south by the Indian Ocean, and to the north by a chain of volcanoes of which meeting Merapi, some 27 kms away, can be seen as a dramatic background to the city skyline. Yogyakarta Special Region is geographically located almost equidistant from Indonesia’s two most important international gateways, about 600 kms from Jakarta and 1000 kms from Bali. Yogyakarta also has excellent transport connections by bus, train or plane to the rest of Java, Sumatera, Bali & Lombok. Yogyakarta’s Adisucipto Airport is in the process of changing its status in order to receive not only domestics flights from Bali and Jakarta, but also direct charter and scheduled flights from other countries.
Climate and Weather in Yogyakarta
The average daily temperature range between 26 degree and 28 degree Celsius with its minimum 18 degree C and maximum 35 degree C respectively. Average humidity is 74% with its minimum of 65% and maximum 84% respectively. The Yogyakarta Special Region lies approximately 7 South of the equator line and is bathed in tropical; sunshine along the year. Having a tropic climate the daily atmosphere feels a little bit hot and humid. These are only two seasons along the year, the wet or rainy seasons and dry monsoon. Usually the wet seasons begin at September and lasts about August. Generally there is no rainfalls from may to August and there fore the atmosphere feels hot and humid on the day and cool in the night and early morning. The monthly rain falling Yogyakarta varies between 3mm and 496mm in which those above 300mm take place during the month of January up to April. The heaviest rainfall usually occurs in February while the lowest commonly happens between May and October Average annually rainfall is about 1,900mm.
The History of Yogyakarta
People have lived in Central Java and the Yogyakarta area since time immemorial as over the centuries they have been attracted by the rich soil caused by the numerous volcanic eruptions. Earliest recorded history dares from the 9th century and was dominated by Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms that gave rise to the magnificent temples such as Prambanan, Ratu Boko, Kalasan, Sambisari and Borobudur found in this area. Yogyakarta itself dates back to the 18th century. In the early 18th century, the Muslim Mataram Kingdom of the time was ruled by Pakubuwono II. After he 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 divided into two regions namely Surakarta Hadiningrat kingdom under the rule of Sunan Pakubuwono III, and Nyayogyakarta Hadiningrat kingdom under the rule of Sultan Hamengku Buwono I. He was the founder of the present line of Sultans who still live in the Kraton and play important role in Javanese culture. The second kingdom was later called Yogyakarta, now better known as Yogyakarta. After the independence of the Republic of Indonesia was proclaimed, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX and Sri Paku Alam VIII launched a statement that the Kasultanan and Kadipaten (the two royal regions), belonged to the Republic of Indonesia as a part of the whole area of the Indonesia Republic. Since then, it has been known as Yogyakarta Special Region and was given provincial status in 1950 in recognition of its important role in the fight for independence.
Culture of Yogyakarta
As the former capital and the center of several kingdoms in the past, Yogyakarta and its people are very rich in its cultural heritage. Civilization, art and culture had developed respectively in the era of the ancient Mataram Kingdom (17th – 18th century), and the Sultanate Ngayogyakarto from the mid of 18th century up to today. It should be noted that the cultural heritage from the past includes the magnificent temples, the ruins of palaces and monasteries, the various kind of traditions, cultural events, traditional folk and performing arts, architecture and other traditional activities. It is important to note that this is all part of the living culture of Yogyakarta and color of daily activities of live and behavior of the local inhabitants, particularly the Javanese community with its traditional way of life and customs. Therefore, because of its culture richness and heritage, Yogyakarta has long been known as the cradle of Javanese culture.