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Imogiri Royal Cemetery in Yogyakarta

Imogiri Royal Cemetery is Yogyakarta’s tourism spot located in Imogiri, Bantul. Although at first it may sound weird to you because it’s not very common to make cemetery a tour destination, actually this place is quiet famous for people in Yogyakarta. This cemetery was built by a Mataram name King Sultan Mataram III Prabu Hanyokrokusumo in 1632 and was occupied by Mataram kings and their family. Although Mataram is a muslim kingdom, the cemetery has a touch of Hindu to it. The place itself is very mystical and some say that the construction of this place was from the advice of Sunan Kalijaga, the famous Islam messenger in Java.
The location of this cemetery is actually not really close to Yogyakarta. Therefore, you have to spare some of your time if you want to visit it. The admission price is not written but it is suggested that you give donation to help reserving this site. Another thing that you should know before entering the cemetery is that you have to wear Javanese traditional costume. For woman, the dress codes are long fabric, kemben or breast cloth, and no jewelry. For man, the dress codes are long fabric, peranakan cloth, and blangkon or male batik headdress. If you do not wish to wear the dress codes, you are not allowed to enter the area. In addition, the visitors should not use any footwear while in the cemetery.
Since it is a religious place, the only thing that you can do is sightseeing. However, it’s not at all boring as you can also hire a guide so you will know the historical background of the place. In the portal, you can see the blocks of red bricks that resemble Bentar Temple. As said before, the touch of Hindu is very visible in this place. Moreover, the design is the mixture of Islam and old Javanese cultures. On every side of the graves, you can see a place to put offerings and it is intended for the kings’ children and grandchildren to do a pilgrimage. It is also a part of Javanese culture to honor the ancestors.
The maintenance of this cemetery is done by abdi dalem or Keraton’s trusted servants and Sultan’s off springs. To enter the grave of Sultan Agung or the Great Sultan, there are three gates that you have to go through. However, you cannot get near the gravestone unless you have permission from Keraton. Because the requirements to enter Imogiri Royal Cemetery are very complicated, most of the time common people can only see the first gate and only the door keeper that can open the gate. If the Keraton family visits the place, you can see a glimpse of it from outside. Therefore, this place remains mysterious.
Although you cannot enter the grave, you can still enjoy the scenery around this cemetery. However, your tour guide will demand you to follow the regulations as this place is considered holy and it can give you bad luck if you break it.
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