PURO PAKUALAMAN


The magnificent, well preserved Pakualaman Palace or locally known as Puro Pakualaman, located 2 km east of the city main Post office at Sultan Agung street. This palace is belonged to Pakualaman principality (Kadipaten). Its story dated back to March 17, 1813 when Prince Notokusumo, the son of Sultan Hamengku Buwono I with Princess Srenggorowati was throned by the British Lieutenant Governor General Sir Thomas Raffles as Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Adipati Arya (K.G.P.A.A.) Paku Alam I. This brilliant Prince was coronated as 'Pangeran Merdiko' (Free Prince) on June 1812 as proposed by Sultan Hamengku Buwono II.

This principality was given its own territory, consisting of 4.000 cacah at Pajang, Bagelan, westward of Yogya and an area located between rivers Progo and Bogowonto, in Adikarto Region, western Yogya.

The 5,4238 ha palace compound reflects a strong center of Javanese culture. The architect of this Puro was K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam I himself, who was an expert in culture and literature.


Before entering the palace, one should cross the square, by passing :
The main 'Wiworo Kusumo' gate (1), here stands elegantly the Joglo style of Pakualaman mansion (the complete words are "Wiworo Kusumo Winayang Reko" means safety, justice and freedom). In the front part is a 'kuncungan' (canopy) then the front hall called Pendopo (2) or Bangsal Utomo 'Sewotomo' with its four main pillars in the center. These pillars are from special jati/teak wood from the village of Karang Asem, Paliyan, Gunung Kidul, south of Yogya. These jati woods are also used for the Ndalem (main house) as well as for the king's throne consists of two beautiful carved chairs and a large round table.


In the front corner of the Pendopo, slendro and pelog sets of gamelan (Javanese music instrument) by the name of Kyai Kebogiro (3) is being played for Uyon-uyon (symphony) at every Sunday Pon (one in every 35 days). The name of the Uyon-uyon is Murio Raras, meaning in search of harmonious life. On Monday and Thursday court dance training is practiced.


All pillars in the pendopo are beautifully carved and painted. Huge crystal lamps are hanging on the ceiling.

In the corner of the Pendopo is a room called 'Chinese Room' (4), where collections of Chinese antique wares are stored. In the left corner is the king's office, is called the 'Srikaya room' (5). The space between these two rooms nicely decorated and furnished matching with glorious circumstances at the palace.

Further inside in the large main house Dalem Ageng Proboyekso (6). The most important part of this building is the Pasren (7), complete with its accessories and two statues of Loro Blonyo (man and woman) stand in front of the Pasren room, and the Pusaka (heirlooms) room. This place symbolizing the holy and well prosperous life of Pakualaman principality.

In the left side is dressing room (8) and the right side is the bedroom (9). Flanked the dalem Proboyekso is Gondok Wetan (10) (east pavilions) and Gondok Kulon (11) (west pavilions), where some families live.

The Seworenggo hall (12) is in the back of the dalem. It's a waiting hall and a place for gathering. The heirlooms cleansing took place also in this hall.

Further north, there is the Maerakaca building (13) (glass walled building). It is a place of pleasure, the favorite site of the late K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam VII and his wife.

A Gandaria tree (14) stands right in the middle of the spacious backyard. It is a place for doing meditation. Separated by a wall fence, it was the back castle. In the old days was the office of Pakualaman army (15) (legionaries). There are two gates here, namely the west gate and the north gate (now it is closed). In this back section there are schools; a kindergarten and two Elementary Schools.

The museum (16)
Now, one should return to front yard in front of the pendopo. In the right side is the museum, where important things connected with the history of this palace are exhibited.


The first room displays among other :

  1. The family tree, showing K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam I, as the son of Sultan Hamengku Buwono I and the descendant of king Brawijaya V of Majapahit Kingdom, and his mother Princess Srenggorowati was also a descendant of King Brawijaya V.
  2. There are pictures of Sri Paku Alam II to VIII, some snapshots of the present king's activities.

  3. Political agreements with British and Dutch rulers to mark the establishment of Pakualaman Principality.
  4. The king attributes :
    • Umbrella Tlacap, symbolizing the great king - the ruler.
    • Rebab/violin by the name of Kyai Tandhasih, a gift from Sri Mangkunegoro VII, Symbolizing the beginning and end of life.

    The throne attributes :
    • Two sets of chairs and one round table.
    • One sets of Cepuri (cups for betel leaves), used to welcome guests by offering betel leaves and its ingredients.
    • Two pieces of Kecohan (jug for saliva spitting betel chewing), means a king should keep his promise and friendship is based upon mutual respect.
    • Umbrella "bhavad', symbolizing the king as the center of power and wisdom.
    • Umbrella 'Tunggul naga', the three - tiered - umbrella, symbolizing the perfect life of king to protect his people with knowledge, wisdom and justice.
    • The spears of Trisula, Jebeng and Cis Trisula : the philosophical culture of a state should be :
      The people are having good conduct, polite and soft-spoken, the king rules justly and wisely. A warrior should not only be brave in battlefield, but should know also a good war strategy. The dragon design of the spear means prosperity and welfare with power to resist black magic.
    • The second room display among other:
      Old weapons during Dutch colonial time, keris and spears, swords, court-dresses, etc.
    • The third room exhibits Pakualaman court carriages, such as Kyai Manik Kumolo, a gift from Thomas Raffles. Kyai Roro Kumenyar, a gift from Sri Paku Buwono X, etc. The museum is opened to public on Tuesday and Thursday from 09.00 t0 12.00 am.
    • The mosque (17)
      It was built during the reign of Sri Paku Alam II, as shown by the stone inscriptions in Javanese and Arabic.
    • The Purworetno Building (18).
      A beautiful pavillion, located in the right side of the pendopo, it is a gift from Sri Paku Buwono X of Surakarta to his son in law, Sri Paku Alam VII. Sri Paku Buwono X stayed here when he visited Yogyakarta.

    • The Library (19)
      To the west of Pendopo is the court library with precious collection of Javanese classical books including the popular book, Serat Dharma Wirayat' a masterpiece of Sri Paku Alam III. The library is opened to public on Monday and Thursday, from 09.00 to 12.00 am.
The Traditional Events
The Puro held regularly the important traditional events, such as;
  • The Garebeg Ceremony.
    Click here to see the article of Garebeg Procession!
  • Offering Ceremony on Glagah Beach, West of Yogya.
  • Heirlooms/pusaka cleansing in the Javanese month of Suro.
  • The birthday of Sri Paku Alam VIII on the 29th of Javanese Maulud.
  • The joint exhibition of Karaton's ancient heirlooms in Karaton of Yogyakarta, at every Sekaten Fairs.
    Except those above regular events, the Puro sometime performs other events, such as;
    • Rajawedha (king's offering) to the South Sea, Merapi Mountain, Lawu Mountain, Pangrango Mountain (west Java).
    • Javanese Traditional fashion shows, etc.

K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX

The Puro Pakualaman remains faithful to the holy ancestor's culture, tradition, and way of life and thinking of Mataram Kingdom. Although there are four kingdoms in Yogya and Solo nowadays, but they have one same root - Mataram.
The philosophical principles govern the Puro is the philosophy of Sastro Gending (sastro means knowledge, gending is gamelan's melody) created by Sultan Agung Hanyokrokusumo. In short, Sastro Gending teaches people to conduct properly, has to walk in the right path. It is the basic law of life and state, the great tradition that protects people in its way to carry out the essence of life.

Arjuna Wiwaha
The wayang (leather puppet) story of Arjuna Wiwaha is very popular also in Puro Pakualaman, as it contains the philosophical lesson of Pasopati (Arjuna, after doing a strong meditation received a sacred powerful arrow heirloom - the Pasopati, from God Guru). With this arrow, he could kill the ogre giant king, Niwatakawaca (nir : none, watak : behavior or mind, kawaca : could be read). Symbolically it means 'there is no human mind which could not be read by pasopati. A leader should posses the ability of Pasopati to build a good in orderly society.

The present leader of Puro Pakualaman is the 90 (ninety) years old K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam VIII, fighter of the Indonesia independence, holder of several medals of merit. At the same time, he is the Acting Governor of Yogyakarta Special Region.

Arts, Cultures, Rituals and Other Information of Puro Pakualaman

The Coronation of K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX

(Suryo S. Negoro)


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