Despite the official spelling, the name is usually pronounced and not uncommonly written — JOGJAKARTA or just JOGJA (JOGH – JAH). YOGYAKARTA, also JOGTA or JOGJAKARTA is a city and a capital Yogyakarta Special Region in Java, Indonesia. The city is named after the Indian city of AYODHYA from the Ramayana Epic. YOGYA means “suitable, fit, proper” and KARTA means “prosperous, flourishing” (i.e. “a city that is fit to prosper” ). The Dutch name of the city is DJOHJAKARTA.
The area of the city of Yogyakarta is 32.5sq.km. While the city spreads in all directions from the KRATON (the Sultan’s Palace), the core of the modern city is to the north, centred around Dutch colonial-era buildings and the commercial district, JALAN MALIOBORO, with rows of pavement vendors and nearby markets and malls, is the primary shopping street for tourists in the city, while JALAN SOLO, further north, is a shopping district more frequented by locals. At the southern end of Malioboro, on the east side is a large local market of BERINGHARJO, not far from Fort VREDEBURG, a restored Dutch Fort.
At Yogyakarta’s centre is the Kraton and surrounding it is a densely populated residential neighbourhood that occupies land that was formerly the Sultan’s sole domain. Evidence of this former use remains in the form of old walls and the ruined TAMAN SARI, built in 1758 as a pleasure garden. No longer used by the Sultan, the garden has been largely abandoned. For a time, it was used for housing by the Palace employees and descendants. Reconstruction efforts began in 2004 and an effort to renew the neighbourhood around the Kraton has begun. The site is a developing tourist attraction.
Nearby to the city of Yogyakarta is Mount MERAPI. The northern outskirts of the city run up to the southern slopes of the mountain in Sleman Regency (Indonesian language : KABUPATEN ). GUNUNG MERAPI (literally “mountain of fire” in Indonesian / Javanese ) is an active strato-volcano located on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It is the most active volcano in Indonesia and has erupted regularly since 1548. The south of Merapi is KALIURANG Park.
Because of its proximity to the BOROBUDUR and PRAMBANAN Temples, and because of the Javanese Court Kraton, Yogyakarta has become an important tourist destination in Indonesia.
Nine rock sites have been declared as Geo-heritage Sites : (1) ECOCENE LIMESTONE at Gamping in Sleman. (2) PILLOW LAVA at Berbah in Sleman. (3) Prehistoric volcanic sediment at CANDI IJO in Sleman. (4) PRAMBANAN in Sleman. (5) Sand Dunes at PARANGTRITIS in Bantul (6) KISKENDO Cave and a former manganese mining site at KLERIPAN in Kulon Progo. (7) NGLANGGERANG prehistoric volcano in Gunung Kidul (8) WEDIOMBO – SIUNG Beach (9) A bioturbation site at KALINGALANG near Wonosari.
(4) WAYANG KULIT, a traditional Javanese leather puppetry used for shadow plays.
(6) GAMELAN Music, including the local Gamelan Yogyakarta which was developed in the courts.
To the east of the town, is the large Air Force Museum ( MUSEUM PUSAT DIRGANTARA MANDALA ) with 36 aircrafts in the building and 6 aircrafts displayed outdoors. As Indonesia was for a period in the Soviet sphere of influence, this Museum contains a number of vintage Russian aircraft not widely available for inspection in the NATO sphere of influence. There is also an assortment of Japanese, American and British aircraft. There is also another museum —— Jogja National Museum.