The second article of Kotagede will highlight some of the most popular activities that are usually done by most visitors when dropping by at this particular old city.
What to do:
- Exploring the iconic cultural buildings
First stop on your journey back to history at Kotagede should be the Mataram Kings cemetery complex. Arriving at this site, you will be greeted with an artistic gate influenced by the old Hindu architectural style. You would also encounter the Abdi Dalem (the loyal servants of the Javanese monarchy) dressed in traditional Javanese clothing guarding the complex for 24/7. Visitors of this complex would be required to rent the traditional Javanese clothing before entering the cemetery area since this place is highly sacred among the locals. Another stop on your list should be the Kotagede traditional market that located ± 100m from the cemetery complex. This market has been operational since the ancient kingdoms era until now. The building and location of the market have been sustained to the way it was until now eventhough it has undergone some renovations. Only at this market that you could feel the same shopping experience as the ancient ancestors of the Javanese.
- Hunting for silver crafts and jewelleries
Kotagede is not only renowned for its historical values but also for its silver crafts and jewelleries. What makes the them really exceptional is how they are all handmade by the local artisan community. There have even been some well-known methods for making the silver goods discovered by the local artisans and passed down for generations. Therefore, you would see how each silver product possesses delicate detail of Javanese style carvings. You could purchase silver goods at small family-run shops or at big factory outlets where they will also show you the silver crafting process. If you are interested in handcrafting the silver yourself, there are a number of places offering some courses ranging from short until long term programs.
- Tasting the traditional culinaries
One of the popular traditional culinaries is sate karang Kotagede. It’s a sweet beef satay with three kinds of sauces to choose from, nutty sauce, soy sauce, or kocor sauce. This cuisine will be served together with a traditional beverage known as beras kencur (sweet rice drink). As for the popular culinary gift, don’t forget to buy some kipo (cake made from rice flour with sweetened grated coconut filling) for your beloved ones waiting back at home.