Discover Tamansari Water Castle - Yogyakarta
In 1765, Hamengku Buwono I, the sultan of the grand kingdom of Yogyakarta built a Tamansari, or a perfumed garden. The grounds span over 12,600 acres and include a variety of gardens, including water gardens, pools, artificial likes and over fifty-nine buildings. And though the beautiful Tamansari has suffered from natural disasters, neglect, and the consequences of urban progress, the garden remains a survivor of classic Javanese architecture of landscape design. If you're looking for an ancient wonder in a modernized world, Trip Guru recommends a visit to the Tamansari Water Castle.
Upon entering the Tamansari, it is a testament of immense beauty and pleasure, with many artificial lakes, bathing pools and gardens full of lush, fruitful trees. As of this writing, the current entrance of the Tamansari Water Castle is actually the back door of the castle, as the main entrance proved difficult to reach. Walk alongside the compound and feast your eyes on small pavilions, which were used in the olden days by musicians. You can also see a pool where, once upon a time, young women would swim and play about, while the Sultan observed them and chose one that he liked for an evening or two. If he chose a woman, she would become part of his royal court.
One of the best things about exploring the large Water Castle, aside from seeing the beautiful architecture and tools left behind by an ancient and indulgent era, is a variety of secret tunnels and passageways. There may even be remnants of an underground mosque, for the Sultan’s and his family's use for prayer and meditation. After spending awhile underground, you may find that one of the tunnels leads to a dock where sultans once used to sail to a hillside, far from conflict—with the blue sky above you, adding to the serene, majestic atmosphere.
To get to this beautiful place from Yogyakarta City, you can take a rental car and head south on Jl. Jagalan towards Jl. Jayeng Prawiran. You will know you're going the right way when you pass by Radio Retjo Buntung PT (on the left) then take Jl. Brigjen Katasmo to Jl. Mantrigawen Lor in Keparakan. Finally, continue onto Jl. Matrigawen Lor until you get to the Tamansari Water Castle. It’s open from Monday to Sunday, 9:00am to 1:00pm.