I. Karaton Surakarta Hadiningrat Internal Organization


II. Art and Cultural Activities

  1. Javanese Court Dance
    The regular dance exercises:

    1. Sundays : 9.00 a.m. – 11.00 a.m. for beginners
      1.30 p.m. – 04.00 p.m. for senior students
      Wednesdays : 02.00 p.m. – 04.00 p.m.
      Saturdays : 02.00 p.m. – 04.00 p.m.
      In the hall of Marakata

      For more information, see Javanese Traditional dance-Classical Court Dance – Karaton of Surakarta.

    2. Ketawang Dance Training
      Ketawang is the most sacred dance in Karaton, held in: Tuesdays Kliwon (once in 35 days). During the day, in the Hall of Sasono Sewoko.
      Several days before the coronation anniversary, an intensive training is conducted. In October, 22 - 29, 2000 at 08.00 p.m.

      See Who’s Who G.R.Ay. Koes Moertiyah Wirobhumi.

  2. Javanese Gamelan Music
    • Mondays (First Monday of the month) in Bangsal Marakata at 11.30 a.m. transmitted by RRI (Radio Republic of Indonesia)
    • Wednesdays in Bangsal Paningrat at 12.00 (noon)
    • Thursdays in Bangsal Paningrat at 12.00 (noon)
    • Saturdays in Siti Hinggil at 04.00 p.m. – The playing of Munggang Gamelan
    • Eve of Tuesday Legi – Bangsal Marakata, Evening, transmitted by RRI
    • Fridays Kliwon (each 35 days) (eve of Friday Kliwon) Gamelan of Islamic spirit At Bangsal Marakata at 08.00 p.m.

    See, Karaton Gamelan

  3. Lecture on Javanese Culture
    For the court family

  4. Course of Javanese Master of Ceremony / Pambiworo
    Mondays and Saturdays in Bangsal Marcukunda at 07.00 p.m.

  5. Wayang Leather Puppetry
    Course for Dalang (Puppet Master)
    Fridays : 07.00 p.m. – 09.00 p.m.
    Sundays : 07.00 p.m. – 09.00 p.m.
    In Balai Agung (North Square), should be reorganized

Daily Activities

First Mondays, of every month in Bangsal Marakata Gamelan Music Performance at 11.30 a.m.
Course of Javanese Master of Ceremony in Bangsal Marakata, at 07.00 p.m.

Eve of Tuesday Legi
Bangsal Marakata, Evening, transmitted by RRI - Gamelan Music.

Tuesdays Kliwon
Every 35 days, the "Anggoro Kasih" day.
10.00 a.m. – Pendapa Langenkatong Wayang Kulit cleaning
12.00 a.m. /noon – Sasono Sewoko Training of Bedaya Ketawang
14.00 p.m. – Heirlooms’ offering

12.00 – noon Gamelan music In Bangsal Paningrat

12.00 a.m. – noon Gamelan Music in Bangsal Paningrat
02.00 p.m. – 04.00 p.m. Javanese Court Dance Training – Sasono Sewoko

Eve of Friday Kliwon
every 35 days, Gamelan music with Islamic spirit at Bangsal Marakata

02.00 p.m. – 04.00 p.m. Court Dance Training in the hall of Sasono Sewoko
04.00 p.m. Munggang Gamelan Music in Siti Hinggil
07.00 p.m. Course of Javanese Master of Ceremony in Bangsal Marakata

02.00 p.m. – 04.00 p.m. Court Dance Training in the hall of Sasono Sewoko

Open daily 08.30 a.m. – 02.00 p.m.
Sundays 08.00 a.m. – 03.00 p.m.
Fridays closed


Cultural/Ritual Ceremonies

  1. 1st of Suro, Javanese month - April 6, 2000.
    In April 5, 2000 the eve of 1st Suro, heirloom procession, starting at midninght, about 3 hours of walk, surrounding the Beteng – Palace outer wall.
  2. The 2nd of Ruwah, Javanese month The Commemoration of the coronation day of ISKS Pakoe Boewono XII. In hall of Sasono Sewoko, a court audience. Bedaya Ketawang dance is performed in front of the King. This 2000 year, is the 57th coronation day shall be in Tuesday, October 31, 2000
  3. The birthday of ISKS Pakoe Boewono XII
    • Javanese : Tuesday Legi, 21 Ramadhan 1855
    • International : April 14, 1925
    • Performance : Slametan, Praying & macapat (Javanese poetry reading) all night performance of leather puppet show.

  4. Other Rituals
    See Ritual of life’s cycle and other

    1. Ruwatan of Karaton Surakarta
    2. The Ceremony of the Royal Slametan or Rajawedha Maesa Lawung/Buffalo Lancing in Karaton Surakarta, July 28, 2000 and Krendowahana.
    3. Garebeg, January 8, March 16 & December 28, 2000.
    4. Cleaning of - Jamasan - K. Nyai Setomi, March 14, 2000.


III. Tourist Promotion

Welcome to Karaton Surakarta

The renovated Pagelaran painted in predominantly ocean blue color was ready for the big event in Karaton Surakarta, the 55th Anniversary of King Pakoe Boewono XII coronation in November 22, 1998.



To mark this event, a Bengawan Solo Fair’98, was held from November 7 to 23, 98.

The Programme included:

  • Traditional evening market in the North Square
  • Art and cultural festival in Karaton
  • Art exhibition in Pagelaran
    The Peak was the celebration of coronation in Sunday, 10.00 p.m. of November 22, 1998 at Sasono Sewoko, Karaton.
  • Followed by a grand Parade in November 23, 1998

At the grand parade, on Monday, November 23, 1998. The King Pakoe Boewono XII, sat on the grand royal carriage 'Garuda Kencana' - The golden Eagle, followed by 8 other royal carriages carrying the Princes and Princesses - the sons and the daughters of the King Pakoe Boewono XII. The name of the carriages are: Retno Pambagyo, Kumolo Retno, Siswondo, Retno Juwito, Retno Puspoko, Retno Kumenyar, Maraseba, Raja Peni.

There were 35 horses to draw these royal carriages. 9 brigades of various royal soldiers of Karaton Surakarta Hadiningrat were escorting the royal family in this parade, namely: Tamtama, Sorogeni, Prawiro Anom, Jayeng Astra, Doropati, Baki, Panyutro, Ampyak-ampyak and the music corps.

The same Kind of parade shall be organized every five year.

The participants' interest in Bengawan Solo Fair '98 was too big, so that Pagelaran and North Square of Karaton can not accommodate anymore space. In this regard some sites in Puro Mangkunagaran (the second Palace of Solo) and Taman Budaya Surakarta (TBS) - Cultural Center were used to make this event more spectacular.

This event was supported by ASITA (Tourist Bureaus’ Association, PHRI (Hotel Association) and Garuda – National carrier flag and Silk Air of Singapore.

The executive committee’s address is :

Pagelaran Karaton Surakarta
Phone +62-271–41868
Fax. +62-271–48560

Everybody in Solo knows, where the Karaton Solo is. It holds a strategic location in the middle of the city. Its antique contruction should remind people of something worthy in the past, but in fact it still does exist at present. With the completion of renovation due to fierce fire in 1985, the Karaton is ready to satisfy visitor’s wishes to be a reputable showcase of a high valuable Javanese culture.

A special foundation by the name of Pawiyatan Budaya Karaton Surakarta with address: Kamandungan Karaton Surakarta,

phone +62-271-41243 & +62-271-54286
Solo 57114, Indonesia.

Is well prepared to anticipate cultural activities of the palace. The same doctrine prevails for preservation and creative development of the classical cultural heritage. In the front yard of Pagelaran and in the North Square, there are many buses and vans transporting domestic and foreign tourists.

The renovated Pagelaran is attractive A small cozy pavillion in the entrance right corner of Pagelaran is used as a shop window displaying nice souvenirs. There is a special offer of photo. A visitor should turn to be a ‘genuine Solonese - Priyayi-Solo or aristocrat of Solo’ after being dressed traditionally. There are trained guides available to escort the tourists to the ‘non-restricted area’ of the palace.

Interesting objects/Museum

  1. After entering Kamandungan gate, on the right side is Bangsal/hall Marakata, a place where court promotion and reward are given, in the other site is Bangsal Marcukundo, which should be avoided in the old days, it was a courthouse to give punishment

  2. Sri Manganti is a guest’s waiting room to make audience to the King. There is a ‘Kapanewon’ office of the abdi-dalem – court employees doing registration and protocol.

  3. In the large yard of the complex, there are:
    Sasono Sewoko – a hall where the King receives obedience from his family, subordinates and employees.

    Sasono Hondrowino – large magnificent hall where royal guests are treated with grandeur.


In the East of Sasono Sewoko, there is a building for Adipati Anom (Junior Viceroy) in the old days. It was built during the reign of Sri Pakoe Boewono V. The princes lived here. King Pakoe Boewono XII has set up a Palace Art Gallery & Museum in this same building, where some items of interest are displayed such as:

Keris of various sizes and shapes, wooden masks for classical Javanese dance, ceremonial objects, bronze works, an antique decoration of the King’s yacht called Kyai Rajamala and other curiosities.

There is a room for shadow puppet display and a room showing the ritual of Javanese royal wedding. There is a coachhouse which contains a collection of antique carriages, including the newly refurbished coach, a gift from the Dutch Queen, Wilhelmina.

Other significant buildings/places of the karaton are:

Parasedyo or Pringgitan where Wayang leather puppet is sometimes performed.

Dalem Ageng (great house) Probosuyoso, where the middle room Krobongan/Patenan is there – A special room used for a newly wed couple. In front of the room stands a set of wooden statues by the name of Loro Blonyo, symbolizing prosperity.

Kamar Pusoko (Heirlooms chamber)
Is located also in this Dalem Ageng next to Krobongan.

Is the living quarter of the princesses and King’s wives.

The Library
Karaton Surakarta has a lot of collection of books. Some are genuine masterpieces written by the famous court Pujangga/Poets – including by the famous Ronggowarsito, Yosodipuro etc. Do not forget that King Pakoe Boewono IV was himself a famous poet with his book Wulang Reh and King Pakoe Boewono V is the writer of philosophical Centini.

The ancestors of Surakarta court families are buried in present day Yogyakarta. The cemetery of Panembahan Senopati, the first ruler of Mataram Kingdom II is in Kotagede, about 6 Km East of Yogya.
The graveyard of Sultan Agung and his descendants, the Kings and court families of Surakarta and Yogyakarta is in Imogiri, about 10 Km South of Yogyakarta.


IV. Social Engagement

The court families of Karaton Surakarta and their lineage honor highly the King Pakoe Boewono XII, as the leader of Karaton Surakarta Hadiningrat. In Surakarta, the present Sunan, is also treated and respected by the society as a traditional leader.

In some important traditional events, he is the No. 1 man. For instant during 1st of Suro heirlooms procession, Garebeg ceremonies and other court rituals. The Sunan Pakoe Boewono XII, as well as his families are frequently requested by the society to participate in certain events. It is a clear proof that he is needed by the people of Surakarta.

Joglosemar Online is grateful to G.R.Ay. Koes Moertiyah and K.R.M.H. Satrio Hadinegoro for the interview.

(Suryo S. Negoro)

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