If Jakarta is Java’s financial and industrial powerhouse, Yogyakarta is its soul. Central to the island’s artistic and intellectual heritage, Yogyakarta (pronounced ‘Jogjakarta’ and called Yogya or Jogja for short), is where the Javanese language is at its purest, Java’s arts at their brightest and its traditions at their most visible.
Fiercely independent and protective of its customs, and still headed by its sultan, whose kraton remains the hub of traditional life, contemporary Yogya is nevertheless a huge urban centre (the entire metropolitan area is home to over 3.3 million) complete with cybercafes, malls and traffic jams, even as it remains a stronghold of batik, gamelan and ritual.
Put it all together and you have Indonesia’s most liveable and lovable city, with countless hotels offering the best value in Java across all price ranges. Its restaurants are tasty and there are cultural attractions everywhere you look within the city and on the outskirts, where you’ll find Indonesia’s most important archaeological sites, Borobudur and Prambanan. (Source: Lonely Planet).
Short History of Yogyakarta
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.
Whilst steeped in rich tradition and history, Yogyakarta, lovingly known as Jogja, continues to remain young. Yogyakarta is known as “town of university”, 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.
Universitas Gadjah Mada
Universitas Gadjah Mada is a public research university located in Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Officially founded on 19 December 1949,three years after its first lecture was given on 13 March 1946, it is the oldest and largest institution of higher education in Indonesia. Comprising 18 faculties and 27 research centers, UGM offers 68 undergraduate, 23 diploma, 104 master and specialist, and 43 doctorate study programs, ranging from the Social Sciences to Engineering.
The university has enrolled approximately 55,000 students, 1,187 foreign students, and has 2,500 faculty members. UGM maintains a campus of 360 acres (150 ha), with facilities that include a stadium, a hospital, and a fitness center.