Once the capital of the mighty Mataram kingdom, whose descendants founded Yogyakarta, Kota Gede is today a charmingly historic suburb of Yogyakarta. Besides attractions such as the royal cemetery, ancient mosques, and traditional wooden houses, it’s home to a wealth of silversmiths, as well as the Monggo Belgian chocolate factory.The Basics
There is no admission charge for Kota Gede, although there are charges for specific attractions, such as the tombs. It’s easy to wander at will, soaking up the atmosphere in the markets and regal ruins. As it’s fiddly to reach by public transport from downtown and the attractions aren’t necessarily obvious, many visitors prefer to join a Kota Gede tour. A particularly atmospheric way to explore Kota Gede is on a rickshaw (becak), although cycling tours are also an option, while some Yogyakarta old town tours include a stop here as well.Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Atmospheric and charming, if a little run down, Kota Gede is a must for history buffs of all persuasions.
- Kota Gede is the epicenter of Yogyakarta’s silver industry and the best place in the city to shop for silver.
- Traditional Javanese costume is required to visit the tombs. While this can be rented on-site, women should be aware that the top is strapless and plan accordingly.
Kota Gede is around 6 kilometers (4 miles) from the Kraton. It’s on the Trans Jogja 3A bus route from Jalan Malioboro, as well as the 3B bus route, but many visitors prefer the ease of joining a tour that escorts them seamlessly from downtown attractions such as the Kraton and Taman Sari.When to Get There
If you intend to visit the Kota Gede royal tombs (not to be confused with the other royal cemetery, at Imogiri), visit on a Sunday, Monday, or Wednesday morning or Friday afternoon, outside Ramadan. Monggo chocolate factory tours run Mondays to Fridays and on Saturday mornings, while silversmiths close on Sundays.The Mataram Kingdom of Kota Gede
The Kingdom of Mataram (also known as the Mataram Sultanate to distinguish it from an earlier Hindu kingdom of the same name) dominated Javanese politics from the late 16th century until the early 18th century. Its founder, Panembahan Senopati, made Kota Gede its capital in 1582 and is buried in a tomb here.