Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ambarketawang, The First Palace of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Kingdom

I visited this one of historical sites in Yogyakarta at 27 October 2006. Fortunately, this site is not far from my home, say about 3 km. This ruin of palace is located in Padukuhan Tlogo, Ambarketawang, about 6 Km of southwest from the city of Yogyakarta. This Palace was established by Sultan Hamengkubuwono I. He used in this site as temporary palace, while he was building the new Mataram Palace (present Kraton mataram Yogyakarta).

This is the remnant of Ambarketawang Palace, consist of ruins of Pendopo, wall, and Padusan (old well and bathroom), also Kestalan (horse barn).Through an excavation in 1981 there are two findings i.e. monumental findings (fence, archway, ground plan of the buildings I and II, urung-urung and gunungan) and non-monumental findings (pieces of foreign ceramics, pieces of local ceramics, and fragments of metals) as recorded on the study result of Provincial Office of Education and Culture DIY, Geology Park and Historical Remnants of Ambarketawang, 1981.

To the east of the wall, there is a big stone encircled with iron fence. The big stone was pas of a limestone hill existing in the area. The story tells that it was the existence of the limestone hill deciding the location of the palace construction. Now, the hill has disappeared since much of the limestone was utilized to build houses.To the right of the big stone, there is a stage as big as the stone, which is not part of the pesanggrahan. The stage was used in one of the offering ceremonies, namely the slaughtering of bekakak (the mannequin of bridal couple). This ceremony is held in commemoration of the many people who were killed while collecting the limestone and now it is done once a year after the date of 20 of Javanese month Sapar.

Generally, the procession of the offering ceremony is done until the front part of pesanggrahan Ambarketawang. Various art performances such as leather puppet, macapat, gamelan and so on are held there. Tarsono told that the offering ceremony that is often called as Saparan is still crowded by visitors both from nearby areas and from distant villages.If we come to visit pesanggrahan Ambarketawang when Saparan ceremony is held, the enchantment of the first area of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat kingdom will be complete. However, if you do not have time to visit on the day, you can still enjoy its history anytime. At least, you can enjoy the enchantment of the area of this pesanggrahan. No expenses are imposed to enter this area.
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