Guide to Indonesia  
  West Java  
  Central Java  
  East Java  
  West Sumatera  
  North Sumatera  

Central Java has an incredible history. Hindu and Buddhist empires flourished in luxuriant plains and created the most impressive monument to Mahayan Buddhise complex of Prambanan, and the oldest Hindu temples in Java on the Dieng Plateu.

The fist Islamic kingdom in Java was established in 1511 in Demak about forty kilometers from the provincial capital of Semarang. One of the provinces? greatest Islamic structures is the Grand Mosque of Demak, which is said to have been built in a single night by one of the nine early leaders of Islam in Java. Symbolic of the way the new faith was introduced, the mosque displays a curious combination of Islamic and Hindu architectural influences and is still revered and worshipped by Javanese pilgrims.

Semarang is the capital city of Central Java, situated on Java?s northern coast. Semarang?s most famous sight is Gedung Batu Temple, the busiest and most famous klenteng or Chinese temple in Java. Candi Hill will show amazing views of the city, the port, the lowlands and green paddy fields, as well as the mountains. On the other
parts of the city, near harbor, can be found some interesting old buildings of the Dutch colonial era and the Dutch East Indies Company. The city offers evening performances of Wayang drama played by live actors, actresses and dancers at Ngesti Pandowo Theatre.  


Cirebon is known as ?Kota Batik? or Batik City. It produces the finest and most highly prized batik around. A couple of eccentric palaces, holy graves, old mosques, Chinese Temples and busy local markets and, of course, batik factories are some interesting places in the city.

One of the palaces, the Kraton Kasepuhan, in fact, is a fine example of Hindu-Javanese architecture and the Mesdjid Agung or Grand Mosque dates back to the fifteenth century making it as one of Java?s oldest mosque.

Batik factories welcome visitors to witness at fist hand the delicate skills of batik artists. Visitors also can find leather goods, silverware, bone ornaments, pottery, antique jewelry and paintings.


Jepara, wood carving city, situated on the Northeast of Semarang. It is surrounded by white sand beaches and famous for its wood carving industry. An ancient Portuguese Fort can be found to the east of Jepara.


Demak has the oldest mosque of Cenral Java, which is said to have built in a single night by one of the nine early leaders of Islam in Java.


A pleasant city with a lively character, Solo is also called ?the City That Never Sleeps?,  vendors of all kinds and small food-stalls remain open 24 hours. Home of two royal houses with centuries of power and influence over the city, Solo today remains distinctly Central Javanese with and elegance all its own. Solo is one of the major batik producers in Java.  It is also a hub of old Javanese culture and art.


Not far from Solo is the Sukuh Temple decorated with wayang stone carvings of Hindu origin, and the only erotic temple in Java. The stepped pyramid is like the ones in South America of the Maya culture.


Located about 40 km east of Solo, this recreational resort offers fresh weather, scenic views, swimming pools, bungalow style hotels and restaurants. It lies on the slopes of MT. Lawu, at an elevation of 1300 m above sea level. Other features include nearby temple, a national park and the 40 m high waterfall of Grojogan Sewu.


Kesunan Palace was the royal residence of King Pakubuwono in the 17th century. It  has art gallery exhibiting royal heirlooms, antiques and other invaluable objects in a genuine royal Javanese atmosphere.


Another Palace built in 1757, with typical Javanese architecture consisting of ?Pendopo? (an open front hall to receive guests), ?Pringgitan? (a porch to hold leather puppet shadow play) and private apartments. Two sets of the 17th century Javanese gamelan instruments are exhibited and played every Wednesday in the Pendopo. The palace also exhibits complete collection of masks, wayang orang costumes, leather and wooden puppets, religious articles and jewelry.


The name ?Borobudur? is believed to have been derived from the Sanskrit words ?Vihara Buddha Urh?, (Buddhist Monastery on the Hill) The Borobudur Temple was build in the eight century by the Cailendra Dynasty and is located at Magelang 90km, southeast of Semarang or 42 km northwest of Yogyakarta. One of the world?s most famous temples, it stand majestically on a hill overlooking lush green fields and distant hills. It rises in seven terraces, each smaller than the one below it. The top is the Great Stupa, standing 40 meters above the ground. The whole structure is in the form of a lotus, the sacred flower of Buddha.

Other temples found in Central Java are Bandungan and Gedong Songo Temple and Mendut Temple.


Four hours from Semarang is the Dieng Plateau, the site of some of the oldest Hindu temples in Java. These 50 foot high monuments stand on a crater floor amidst sulphurous fumes.


Borobudur, borobudur, Borobudur
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