Oct 23, 2010

Yogya day 1 Picture Journal

This was our plane to Yogyakarta from the Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal. It was raining though when we had to board the flight and everyone was given umbrellas to shelter temporarily.

My niece, Jamie Zaleha and me. We consider ourselves twins 20 years removed as we share the same birthday and mostly the same characteristics and sensitivity.

Richard /Rijal and me in front of the Prambanan. He was a good friend and helped us out a lot there as well as showed us some of the sights of Yogya.

A beautiful picture at the entrance of one of the candis of Prambanan.

This is the Ratu Boko kraton. It is simply amazing how people long ago build such beautiful monuments or temples and such... anyone can tell me how they do that without the modern day machines and all? Better still, the legend behind it is even more fascinating....

(The popular legend of Lara Jonggrang is what connects the site of the Ratu Boko Palace, the origin of the Durga statue in northern cell/chamber of the main shrine, and the origin of the Sewu temple complex nearby. The legend tells of the story about Prince Bandung Bondowoso who fell in love with Princess Lara Jonggrang, the daughter of King Boko. But the princess rejected his proposal of marriage because Bandung Bondowoso had killed King Boko and ruled her kingdom.
Bandung Bondowoso insisted on the union, and finally Lara Jonggrang was forced to agree for a union in marriage, but she posed one impossible condition: Bandung must build her a thousand temples in only one night. The Prince entered into meditation and conjured up a multitude of spirits (demons) from the earth. Helped by supernatural beings, he succeeded in building 999 temples.
When the prince was about to complete the condition, the princess woke her palace maids and ordered the women of the village to begin pounding rice and set a fire in the east of the temple, attempting to make the prince and the spirits believe that the sun was about to rise. As the cocks began to crow, fooled by the light and the sounds of morning time, the supernatural helpers fled back into the ground.
The prince was furious about the trick and in revenge he cursed Lara Jonggrang to stone. She became the last and the most beautiful of the thousand statues. According to the traditions, the unfinished thousandth temple created by the demons become the Sewu temple compounds nearby (Sewu means "thousands" in Javanese), and the Princess is the image of Durga in the north cell of the Shiva temple at Prambanan, which is still known as Lara Jonggrang or Slender Virgin.)

A picture at the Parangtritis beach.
(Parangtritis beach - where the Indian Ocean pounds against rugged, windswept shores, located about 27 km. from Yogyakarta. This is not the setting for your usual kind of beach holiday. Gone are the gently swaying palms and white sands - they are replaced with black volcanic sands and a sparse tumultuous environment of tossing seas and jagged rocks. The spirituality and vitality of Parangtritis is immediately apparent. This is no ordinary beach, it is the realm of ghosts and goddesses - it is the realm of queen Ratu Kidul or Nyai Loro Kidul.

Nyai Loro Kidul has many different names, which reflect the diverse stories of her origin in a lot of sagas, legends, myths and traditional folklore. Other names include Ratu Laut Selatan ("Queen of the South Sea," meaning the Indian Ocean) and Gusti Kangjeng Ratu Kidul. Many Javanese believe it is important to use various honorifics when referring to her, such as Nyai, Kangjeng, and Gusti. People who invoke her also call her Eyang (grandmother). In mermaid form she is referred to as Nyai Blorong. The Javanese word loro literally means two - 2 and merged into the name of the myth about the Spirit-Queen born as a beautiful girl/maiden. (Wiki)

Nyai Loro Kidul is often illustrated as a mermaid with a tail as well the lower part of the body of a snake. The mythical creatures are claimed to take the soul of any who are wished for.

Sometimes Nyai Loro Kidul literally can be spoken of as a "naga", a mythical snake. This idea may have been derived from some myths concerning a princess of Pajajaran who suffered from leprosy. The skin disease mentioned in most of the myths about Nyai Loro Kidul might possibly refer to the shedding of a snake's skin.

Legends of Ratu Kidul and her tragic, demise abound. According to one account she was the great aunt of Raden Joko Suruh, an orphaned prince of the Pajajaran kingdom. It is said that she appeared to him as a hermit and instructed him to establish the Majapahit Empire in east Java. Many generations later, a descendant of Joko Suruh, came to the shores of Parangtritis to meditate in preparation for a great battle with the kingdoms of the north. He was visited by Ratu Kidul who took him to her underwater kingdom where he studied the arts of war and love. After three days he emerged at Parangkusumo. To this day, she is said to be in communion with each of the sultans of this line to aid them when they come and pray for her assistance. Parangkusumo also remains a place of great spiritual significance and constantly attracts pilgrims who leave offerings and pray for Ratu Kidul's help. Another regular visitor is the sultan himself. At his coronation ceremony in 1989, a sudden gust of fragrant wind was noted not only by the sultan but by many others in attendance. It is believed that this wind signified the spiritual presence of Ratu Kidul.

Ratu Kidul's favourite color is a special shade of pale yellow-green known asgadung melati. Local folklore warns visitors not to wear the colour green, or the Queen will entice the wearer into the ocean to drown. And that is why you will rarely see anyone wearing green near the beach. If you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, Ratu Kidul or her one of her ministers, may just claim you as another subject in her underwater court. Each year the treacherous waters here take a few more lives, each year Ratu Kidul's watery court grows a little larger, and those who survive go on whispering the legends of the ghostly queen.)

Dinner at Via Via along Jl Prawitoman.. we had the most delicious tasting dessert.. Grilled Honey Banana with Vanilla Ice Cream... Yum... to die for...


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