Alun-alun Kidul

(updated on 1/13/2015)

The Flickering Palace's Backyard At Night

Jl. Alun-Alun Kidul Yogyakarta, Indonesia (see map)

At night, the Southern City Square located behind the King's Palace-is always full of people looking for affordable amusement. The flickering lamps of odong-odong driven around the square adds to the merry.

Javanese traditional architecture holds a principle known as Catur Gatra Tunggal (catur: Javanese for "four"; gatra: Javanese for "element"; tunggal: Javanese for "single/integrated"), which means "four elements in one single integrity". The principle is manifested in the architecture of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat King's Palace, which comprises a palace, a mosque, a city square, and a traditional market. Each of the place functions as the center of authority, prayer and worship, social activities, and economic activities respectively. Yogyakarta has two city squares one located in front of the palace, known as Alun-Alun Utara (alun-alun lor/Northern City Square), while the other one is located behind the palace and is known as Alun-Alun Selatan (alun-alun kidul/Southern City Square). The King's Palace is itself situated at a spot along the imaginary line connecting Mount Merapi, the King's Palace, and Parangtritis Beach.

The backyard of the king's palace is a place full of stories. Two of the folklores most identified with the Southern city square is its establishment; the city square was built to make the back side of the palace looks a lot like the front yard so that it doesn't stand backing the Southern Sea which is believed to be guarded by the Queen of the Southern Sea, who is said to have a mystical connection with the King of Mataram. The second story is the myth of walking pass the twin banyan trees planted on the city square, with eyes blindfolded. The game is known as masangin, which stands for "masuk dua beringin" (entering two banyan trees).

The rule of the game is very simple; we would only need to be blindfolded then walk straight about 20 m from the front of Sasono Hinggil (Javanese words, literally translated as Higher Place/Ground) and pass through between the ringin kurung (two banyan trees planted on the center of the city square). That's all. But as you come to see, it is not as easy as it seems. Many people have tried to walk straight, but in fact they happened to take the wrong direction, turning their path far from the destination. Certainly, walking with eyes blindfolded is far harder than with eyes open and objects visible. In broader understanding, the game reflects a message that we have to work hard and keep our heart pure to achieve our destination.

Masangin originated from a ritual known as topo bisu (silent asceticism) mubeng beteng (around the fort) on 1 Suro eve, which would be completed by walking pass the ringin kurung. It is believed that the two banyan trees hold a mythical rajah (traditional tattoo) which functions to keep the King's Palace off any perils. It is also believed that only those having pure hearts and not bearing evil intentions can walk pass the banyan trees. To try the game, we can rent a blindfold for Rp 5,000. Apart from the myth, the game has been the Southern city square's icon which gives financial benefits for the sellers around the city square.

There are many other things we can do in the Southern city square. Formerly used by the kingdom's army to work out, the place has now transformed into a public space flocked by visitors; people of all communities and ages are gathering here. In the evening, started at about 5 pm, parents take their children to play around, running all the way chasing the flying bubbles from liquid soap blown by the sellers, or shouting loudly as if calling out the various kites above the sky. Quite at the pavement, numerous sellers are getting ready and spreading out their mats. Later at night, the atmosphere starts to change; the young children have gone home, and it's time for the teenagers to spend their night over at the city square. The darker the night, the higher the crowd. Tandem bicycles and lighted odong-odong become the favorite objects. We can drive around the city square on tandem bicycle for Rp 15,000, or by renting odong-odong for Rp 30,000 which can accommodate up to six persons. While doing sport by riding on the bicycle or odong-odong, we can also feel another sensation while riding on it cross the crowded street.

Tired of playing, we can then take a break and sit relaxed on the mats while ordering snacks. We suggest you order roasted corns in various flavor options along with wedang ronde which offers the taste of warm ginger. Need more? Just order toasted bread and wedang bajigur. Wedang ronde and bajigur, popular beverages in Yogyakarta, are just perfect to enjoy around the area which formerly had been the heart of Mataram Kingdom. The Southern city square is not a quiet place where you can find tranquility, but its cheerful aura will definitely amuse you. If you come around at the second week in month, you will be able to watch a shadow puppet performance held at Sasono Hinggil Dwi Abad. However, you will need to get all prepared since the show is held all night long. Wanna give it a try?

Help Travelers, Write Review on Alun-alun Kidul

Write a review on Alun-alun Kidul to help other travelers. Reviews will be read by thousands of visitors every day. The content of review is the sole responsibility of the sender.

Map of Alun-alun Kidul

Jl. Alun-Alun Kidul Yogyakarta, Indonesia (see map)

GPS Coordinate: -7.81186111111111, 110.363222222222

Places Nearby

  • A: Warung Handayani (0.1 km)

    Jalan Gading 2 (Selatan Alun-alun Kidul), Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: +62 813 9274 7998

  • B: Rumah Kami Langenarjan (0.3 km)

    Jalan Langenarjan Lor No. 20, Langenarjan, Keraton, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: +62 812 2800 2205, (0274) 371 440, +62 857 4798 2481

  • C: Griya Langen (0.3 km)

    Jl. Langenastran Kidul 28 Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: +62 812 8444 7545, +62 878 8068 3880, +62 813 287 8996

  • D: Omah Prapti (0.3 km)

    Jalan Gamelan 10, Panembahan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: +62 811 918 363, PIN BB 597F9BA6

  • E: Rumah Kami Guest House (0.4 km)

    Jalan Gamelan Kidul No. 20, Panembahan, Keraton, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: +62 812 2800 2205, (0274) 371 440, +62 857 4798 2481

  • F: Alam Holiday Tour & Travel (0.4 km)

    Taman KT 1/356, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: +62 812 270 4607, +62 818 0277 2885

  • G: Waroeng Spesial Sambal Jokteng Timur (0.4 km)

    Jalan MT Haryono 5, Mantrijeron, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 688 0505

  • H: Gudeg Yu Djum Jokteng Timur (0.4 km)

    Jalan Mayjen Sutoyo 60, Mantrijeron, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 372 555

  • I: Bale Raos (0.4 km)

    Jl. Magangan Kulon 1, Yogyakarta 55131, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 415 550

  • J: Andalan Pratama (0.4 km)

    Jalan Taman KT 1/357 Kraton, Patehan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 782 3451, +62 812 2719 7747

  • K: Hotel Puspita (0.5 km)

    Jl. Mayjend Sutoyo 64 Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 371 065, +62 813 2811 4432

  • L: Syariah Family Villa (0.5 km)

    Awana Town House Unit 19 & 21 Jl.Mayjend Sutoyo No.52, Mantrijeron, Yogyakarta
    Phone: +62 815 7900 992, +62 838 4001 0161, PIN BB: 282FC4DF

  • M: Kedai Kanjeng Mami (0.5 km)

    Jalan D. I. Panjaitan, Mantrijeron,Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  • N: Roti Van Java (0.5 km)

    Jalan Parangtritis no.2, Mantrijeron, Jogja, Indonesia
    Phone: +62 878 1506 6730

  • O: Taman Sari (0.5 km)

    Jl. Taman, Kraton, Yogyakarta 55133, Indonesia

  • P: Fortuna Guest House (0.6 km)

    Jl. Pugeran Timur 22 Yogyakarta (south of Sultan Palace), Indonesia
    Phone: +62 817 940 0215, (0274) 415 928, +62 811 292 522, Pin BB: 57E3AC8C

  • Q: Almond Bakery, Cake & Ice Cream (0.6 km)

    Jalan Mayjen Sutoyo 91, Mantrijeron, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 379 310

  • R: Halte MT Haryono 2 (0.6 km)

    Jl. Letnan Jenderal MT Haryono, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  • S: Yogyakarta Palace (kraton) (0.6 km)

    Jl. Rotowijayan 1, Yogyakarta 55133, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 373 721

  • T: Villa Bougenville (0.6 km)

    Jalan Ngadinegaran MJ III/No.92 Mantrijeron, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 378 817, +62 878 3858 5656

  • U: Pondok Ijo Guest House (0.6 km)

    Jalan Ngadinegaran MJ III/92 Mantrijeron, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 378 817, +62 878 3858 5656

Show all

See & Do Around Here

  • Taman Sari (0.5 km)

    Jl. Taman, Kraton, Yogyakarta 55133, Indonesia

  • Yogyakarta Palace (kraton) (0.6 km)

    Jl. Rotowijayan 1, Yogyakarta 55133, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 373 721

  • Museum Kereta Keraton Yogyakarta (0.7 km)

    Kompleks Keraton Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  • Ramayana Ballet Purawisata (0.8 km)

    Jl. Brigjen Katamso, Yogyakarta 55152 Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 375 705, 380 643

  • Kauman Village (0.9 km)

  • Sonobudoyo Museum (1 km)

    Jl. Trikora 6, Yogyakarta 55122, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 385 664

  • Museum Perjuangan Yogyakarta (1.1 km)

    Jl. Kolonel Sugiono 24, Mergangsan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 387 576

  • Prawirotaman (1.2 km)

  • Loji (1.2 km)

  • Serangan Village (1.3 km)

    Serangan, Notoprajan, Ngampilan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  • Taman Pintar Science Park (1.3 km)

    Jl. Panembahan Senopati 1-3, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 583 713, 583 631

  • Benteng Vredeburg (1.3 km)

    Jl. Jend. A. Yani No 6, Yogyakarta 55224, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 586 934, 510 996

  • Museum Anak Kolong Tangga (1.4 km)

    Jl. Sriwedari 1, Yogyakarta (Lantai 2 Gedung Taman Budaya Yogyakarta), Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 523 512

  • Beringharjo (1.5 km)

    Jl. Pabringan 1, Yogyakarta 55122, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 515 871, 561 510

  • Museum Biologi UGM (1.5 km)

    Jl. Sultan Agung 22, Mergangsan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 376 740

  • Bioskop Permata (1.6 km)

    Jl. Sultan Agung, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  • Bintaran (1.6 km)

  • Yogyakarta Animal and Ornament Plant Market (PASTY) (1.7 km)

    Jl. Bantul Km 1/141, Dongkelan, Yogyakarta
    Phone. (0274) 413 474

  • Sasmitaloka Museum (1.7 km)

    Jl. Bintaran Wetan 3, Yogyakarta 55111, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 376 663

  • Jogja National Museum (JNM) (1.7 km)

    Jl. Prof. Ki Amri Yahya No. 1 Gampingan, Wirobrajan, Yogyakarta 55181, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 586 105

  • Pecinan (chinatown) (1.8 km)

  • Puro Pakualaman (1.8 km)

    Jl. Sultan Agung, Kompleks Puro Pakualaman, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  • Panggung Krapyak (1.8 km)

    Jl. DI Panjaitan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  • Museum Dewantara Kirti Griya (1.9 km)

    Jl. Taman Siswa 31, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 389 208

  • Sosrokusuman (2.1 km)

  • Malioboro (2.1 km)

    Jl. Malioboro, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  • Kampung Seni Nitiprayan (2.2 km)

    Ngestiharjo, Kasihan, Bantul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  • Sosrowijayan (2.3 km)

  • Museum Batik Yogyakarta (2.4 km)

    Jl. Dr. Sutomo 13A, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 562 338

  • De Mata Trick Eye Museum (2.7 km)

    XT Square, Jl. Veteran, Pandeyan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 380 809

  • Yogyakarta De Arca Statue Museum (2.7 km)

    XT Square, Jl. Veteran, Pandeyan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 380 809

  • Sasana Wiratama (3.1 km)

    Jl HOS Cokroaminoto TR III/430, Yogyakarta 55244, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 622 668

  • Museum Sandi (3.1 km)

    Jl. Faridan M. Noto No. 21, Kotabaru, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 55 6921

  • Kotabaru (3.1 km)

  • Tugu Jogja (3.2 km)

  • Warungboto (3.3 km)

    Jl. Veteran, Warungboto, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  • Museum Pusat TNI AD \'Dharma Wiratama\' (3.5 km)

    Jl. Jendral Sudirman 75, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 561 417

  • Museum R.S. Mata \'Dr. Yap\' (3.7 km)

    Jl. Cik Di Tiro 5, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 547 447

  • Gembira Loka Zoo (3.9 km)

    Jl Kebun Raya 2, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 373 861

  • Padepokan Seni Bagong Kussudiarja (YBK) (4 km)

    Kembaran RT 04/RW 21, Tamantirto, Kasihan, Bantul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 414 404

  • Kotagede (4.4 km)

  • Kasongan (4.5 km)

    Desa Kasongan, Bantul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  • Museum Pergerakan Wanita (4.6 km)

    Jl. Laksda Adisucipto 88, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 587 818

  • Situs Watugilang (4.6 km)

    Gilang, Baturetno, Banguntapan, Bantul, Indonesia

  • Affandi Museum (4.9 km)

    Jl. Laksda Adisucipto 167, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 562 593

  • Kekayon Museum (5.5 km)

    Jalan Raya Jogja-Wonosari km 7, Bantul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  • Galaxy Water Park (5.6 km)

    Jl. Wonosari km.6 Kalangan, Baturetno, Banguntapan, Bantul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 454 4700

  • Gua Siluman (5.7 km)

    Wonocatur, Banguntapan, Bantul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  • Situs Mantup (5.9 km)

    Mantup, Baturetno, Banguntapan, Bantul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  • Balong Waterpark (6.3 km)

    Jalan Pleret Km 1,5 Balong, Potorono, Banguntapan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
    Phone: (0274) 443 5645

  • Museum TNI AU Dirgantara Mandala (6.4 km)

    Kompleks Landasan Udara Adisucipto, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Show all

Note: all distance are calculated over the air.