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Tamansari, the Heritage of Prince Mangkubumi in Yogyakarta

When you’re having a trip to Yogyakarta and looking for something fancy and classy, maybe Tamansari will be your perfect choice. The fact that it used to be the palace where the princesses of Keraton did their daily bathe routine gives it a pretty touch of architecture. Tamansari was built by Prince Mangkubumi or Sultan Hamengku Buwono I to honor the merit of his wives in the time of war. The place itself is located only 500metres away in the South of Keraton. It is surrounded by a man-made lake called Segaran and in the past was scented with natural flowers. 

          Because it is very near Keraton, you will not have any trouble finding it. It’s within walking distance so you can walk or, if too lazy to do so, use becak. You just have to pay IDR5000,- for this  traditional vehicle. The admission fee to enter this palace is also very cheap. For local tourist, you just have to pay IDR3000,- (less than 50cents) and for foreign tourist, the fee is IDR7000,- (less than a dollar). With a price this cheap, you will experience an old touch of Yogyakarta that you will cherish forever. However, the palace is only open from 9 AM to 3.30 PM so you have to make sure not to come too early or too late. The plus side is, it’s open all week so you will have plenty of time to come visit. Also, you may use the help of tour guide for only IDR20,000,- (about 2.5 dollars).

          When you reach the portal of the palace, you will see a stage where the dances performed for Sultan was held. Surrounding it is the place where the musicians played their instruments to complement the dance. Nearby, you will see an area where the bathing routine took place. In the past, this place was strictly closed for people other than Sultan and his family. There, you can see a unit of bathing pools with cream-colored walls adjacent to it. The area itself is divided into three pools; Umbul Kawitan (pool for Sultan’s children), Umbul Pamuncar (pool for Sultan’s mistresses), and Umbul Panguras (Pool for Sultan).

          Besides the pools, Tamansari also has a three-story tower where Sultan kept his valuable possessions. There, you can see a beautiful and ornamented caldron that used to be the mirror for Sultan’s wives. To use it, the caldron had to be filled with clear water and the princesses had to wait until the water was no longer rippled to see their reflection. To reach the second floor, there are stairs made of teak to add the sense of luxury to this place. On the top of the tower, you can see the whole palace and imagining that Sultan used to stand there observing his princesses bathe is mesmerizing. Not far from the tower, you then can see the place where Sultan used to meditate and plan his war strategies to preserve Keraton Yogyakarta. Another place that you should see when visiting Tamansari is Gedung Kenongo. It’s the building where Sultan and his family had their meal. It’s also the highest building in the area so you can enjoy the sunset from there. 

All these amazing features are what make Tamansari a place you shouldn’t miss when you are in Yogyakarta. So, bring your camera and capture the moment of experiencing the old Yogyakarta.
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