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  General Information | Geographic | Region | Climate | People | Culture

The government of the Republic of Indonesia consists of 27 provinces. Some of them have a status as the Special Region. Those are the Capital Special Region of Jakarta as a capital of the country, the Special Region of Aceh and the Special Region of Yogyakarta. What is now called Special Region of Yogyakarta has come into being continuing the administrations existing
far back before the Republic of Indonesia was born as an independent country. During the era of Dutch occupation there are two principalities in this region namely the Kasultanan Yogyakarta (Yogyakarta Sultanate) and the Kadipaten Pakualaman (Pakualaman Regency).

The Dutch Colonial Government in the past respected and referred to the authorities of those two principalities in carrying out their autonomous self government, arranged under a political contract. When the Indonesian independence was proclaimed the ruler of both principalities, the Sultan of Yogyakarta and Prince of Regent of Pakualaman declared a statement that Yogyakarta Sultanate and Pakualaman Regency became part of the Republic of Indonesia. Those two regions were unified to form the Special Region of Yogyakarta and the Sultan of Yogyakarta to be the Governor and the Prince of Regent of Pakualaman as the vice-governor, both were responsible for the president of the Republic of Indonesia. The special Region of Yogyakarta was formally formed after the independence war ended and legalized with the Aug 3, 1950.

In carrying out the local government administration it considers three principle those are decentralization, deconcentration and the assistance task. The provincial Government carries out the responsibilities and authorities of the Central Government, on other hand
carries out its autonomous responsibilities and authorities. The Regional Government consists of the Head of the Region and the Legislative Assembly of the Region. Such construction guarantees good cooperation between the Head of Region and the Legislative Assembly of Region in order to achieve a sound regional government administration. The Head of the Special Region of Yogyakarta has got responsibility as the Head of the Territory and titled as a Governor.

The first Governor was the late HRH. Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX, Sultan of Yogyakarta and continued by HRH. Paku Alam VIII as the Acting Governor up to at present. Unlike the other Heads of the Region Level in Indonesia the Governor of the Special Region of Yogyakarta have got privilege or special status of not being bound to the period of position nor the requirements and way of appointment. However in carrying out their duties they have got the same authorities and responsibilities.

The remains of Shivaite Hinduism civilization is the ruins of an eldest Shivaite Hinduism Temple in Dieng Plateau with its height more than 2000 meters above of the sea level and lies about 125 kilometers northwest of Yogyakarta. The Cailendra Dynasty continued to rule over Mataram Kingdom for more than a Century with the religion
that were adhered is Mahayana Buddhism. Towards the middle of the 8th Century the Buddhist Ceilendra Dynasty brought the Central Java under their influence but without completely subjugating the Shivaite Hindu Sanjaya Dynasty. In the era of Cailendra Dynasty the civilization was in a good progress. The amazing fact is that more than one religion as well as religious sects could get along well with each other and a variety of societies live side by side in harmony.

Shiva and Buddha seem indeed to have been regarded by their adherents as manifestations of one and the same spiritual being. Both Shivaite Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism were practiced but there were essentially court religions and only very slowly did their influence seep down into village life. The period of intensive Hindu-Buddhist influences in Central and East Java extended from 8th - 15th Century. The massive Borobudur monument (40 kilometers northwest Yogyakarta) and the magnificent Prambanan Temple Complex (18 kilometers east of Yogyakarta) was constructed during the period of 8th - 9th Century AD by both dynasties.

It is interesting to note that those temple surroundings of Prambanan Temple complex belongs to the sacred place of two religious Hinduism and Buddhism. During the 10th Century the capital of Mataram Kingdom shifted from Central Java to East Java. Late in the 13th Century the Majapahit Kingdom was founded which was centered
in East Java. The capital of the Kingdom lies nearby Mojokerto and the ruins of the palace has been found within Trowulan district area The Majapahit Kingdom reached the golden age of its power and glory under the powerful leadership of its Prime Minister Gadjah Mada, during the 14th Century. In this era the territory of Majapahit realm extended over Central and East Java, Madura, Bali, Sumatra, Singapore and even to parts of Asia. The trade has grown rapidly and a quite number of foreign traders came and established footholds on the harbor cities and trade centers within this realm.

Those traders, particularly Arab and Indians mostly Moslem beside of merchandise they also brought Islam as a new religion and gradually began spreading in Java and other islands of the Indonesian archipelago. In the late of 15th Century due to the civil war and aristocratic elite conflicts in along term Majapahit became weaker and disappeared early in the 16th Century. After the fall of Majapahit, the era of Moslem began with the emergence of the Demak Kingdom. The Kingdom established control over Central Java. The Moslem religion at that time had been accepted by the aristocrat and a large section of the population in Central Java.

Demak Kingdom as the first Islamic realm was continued by Pajang and finally the Mataram Kingdom. Mataram was founded by Sutawijaya, known as Panembahan Senopati, in the late 16th Century, precisely in 1586 AD. This realm lies in the Southern part of Central Java with its capital near Yogyakarta. The greatest Monarch was
Sultan Agung who reigned from 1613 - 1645. In this era the Mataram Kingdom reached the golden age of its power and at one time was powerful enough to threaten the Dutch militarily in Batavia. Sultan Agung ordered the army to chase away the Dutch from Java in 1628 and 1629 because some of reasons his struggle failed. During the glorious era of Sultan Agung, the Mataram territory extended considerably throughout Central Java, East Java, Kalimantan Island and part of West Java. After Sultan Agung passed away in 1645, Mataram gradually lost its power and was under pressured of the Dutch. In the Mataram Kingdom, as elsewhere, the Dutch cleverly applied the principle of "devide et empera". In this case the Dutch always became the third party and tried to take advantages the disputes. In the middle of 18th Century, the Mataram Kingdom was under controlled by the Dutch's military support to keep order his kingdom

A small enclave within the Sultanate of Yogyakarta was declared as a self-governing principality and took the name of Kadipaten Pakualaman. Prince Notokusumo, a brother of Sultan, had been crowned as the first ruler the title has used was KGPAA Paku Alam I. Since 1816 the former Mataram Kingdom was thus split up into four self governing principalities, these are Kasultanan Yogyakarta, Kasultanan Surakarta, Kadipaten Mangkunegaran, and Kadipaten Pakualaman. During 1942 -1945 Java was under controlled of the Javanese regime and they also aided unwittingly the Sultan of Yogyakarta in his effort to transform the feudal state he had inherited. In showing their favor to the Indonesian people, the Japanese released the national leaders who had been exiled by the Dutch. The national leaders began organizing the country for eventual independence.

On August 17, 1945 Sukarno and Hatta on behalf of the Indonesian people proclaimed the Independence of the Republic of Indonesia. The Sultan of Yogyakarta was one of the first Indonesian leaders to rally to the cause of the Republic and offered his support to the national leaders. Soon became clear that they would not be able to hold Jakarta. In 1946 Yogyakarta became the capital city of the Indonesia Republic. Therefore this city became known as the capital of the revolution. Because it was the center of the revolutionary, Yogyakarta is still regarded as having a special place in the history of Indonesia. In recognition of the loyalty and support given by Sultan of Yogyakarta of succeed the struggle of independence, Yogyakarta was made a Special Region within the Indonesian Republic with a provincial status and the Sultan was positioned as the Governor of the province. It is indeed the only former principality to have received this privilege.

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