Tag Archives: museum

Museum Ullen Sentalu, Yogyakarta

Celebrating my 35th birthday,  I come to Ullen Sentalu Museum at Kaliurang, some 40 minutes drive from Yogyakarta’s downtown. I want to immerse myself in the history of Yogyakarta, as the last functional Sultanate in Indonesia.

Ullen Sentalu Musem was owned and operated by private organization. The provide guided tour through the museum, included in the admission fee, in Bahasa Indonesia and English. I find that guided tour is a must here. The collection in Ullen Sentalu does not have any text to describe the paintings or letters, and the guide fill in this missing part much better than written text.

We started from a basement room with paintings as huge as the whole wall. One of the picture shows the Sultan, watching two female dancers dancing in front of him. “The Sultan is the guardian of culture”, our guide said. “They must create a new dance during their tenure to maintain the culture”.

Moving further to another room, we are shown some picture and photos from the past, while our guide explain about the history. Started with a family tree of Mataram Kingdom, the predecessor of Yogyakarta and Surakarta Kingdom. The Giyanti Treaty in 1755 split Mataram Kingdom into Yogyakarta and Surakarta, thus marking the birth o Sultanate of Yogyakarta.

The tour then fast forward to the childhood of Sultan Hamenkubuwono IX. He is the Sultan who see Indonesia through the independence, integrate Yogyakarta into the country, and help the young Indonesian Goverment during the struggle, as far as hosting the Capital of Indonesia. The display shows Hamengkubuwono IX, also known as Bobby, when he was studying in Europe.

From the basement display room, we moved up to outdoor corridor to another room, hosting the poem collection of Tineke. TIneke is western name of Gusti Raden Ajeng Koes Sapariyam, Daughter of Surakarta’s Sultan. I must say that I would like to stay a little while in this room to read through the poet, which was written by TIneke’s friends and family from overseas to cheer her up after her love was forbidden by her family.

There are another room which display various batik motif of Yogyakarta. Each motif has a different meaning. There are one motif called Goromulok, which will help you to realize your dream. Another motif is called Sidomukti, to help you find your spouse and get married. And on the opossite end is Truntung, worn for the broken heart. Is the objective to let people know that when you are wearing Batik Truntung, it means that you just broke up and single?

We have a short break and served with a drink called Jamu Ratu Mas Drank. We use the break to take some pictures at the nearby courtyard, or our son, and family picture.

On the final room of the museum, shows the exhibit of Nyi Roro Kidul, the supranatural queen of the South Beach in Javanese legend. A painting shoes 9 women dancing on a ritual for the Supranatural Queen. “During the ritual, a lot of supranatural things will happen. The light might went off and on. THe tenth dancer might show up, which is the Queen herself. Whatever happen, they need to keep dancing for the ritual”, our guide explain.

We finish our tour today with a coffee at Beukenhoff European Restaurant, which is located at the exit of the Museum. It is decorated in European colonial style, with a terrace overlooking the courtyard inside Ullen Sentalu Museum. On the calm evening with the cool mountain air, we immerse our thought into the history of Yogyakarta that we just heard

The Forgotten Volcano Museum of Lake Batur, Kintamani

We found out of the Batur Volcano Museum from an Indonesian travel mailing list. “I have passed it for several time, yet never know that there are a museum right at the corner of Kintamani”, I told Grace. Indeed, if you are unassuming traveler driving from Ubud to Kintamani, the complex at the corner of the final turn of Kintamani looks more than just ordinary building, or market, instead of museum.

We stopped by on our way back from Kintamani to Ubud. The Batur Volcano Museum main building is located to the north of the complex. The complex is yet to be finished, with the main building planned subject to fund availability. Being a research facility in Indonesia, extremely limited fund has somehow become a norm. The museum can’t hope too much from the entrance fee with the low number of visitor.

In the situation of limited fund, Batur Volcano Museum looks extremely clean to any standard. We were greeted by 2 reception. After paying our entrance fee of Rp. 10.000 (Slightly more thanUS$ 1), we walked inside. We met one of the staff, which gladly took us around as we explore the 1st floor. “The exhibit room is in 1st and 2nd floor. And don’t forget to go to the 3rd floor. It has telescopes for a view of Lake Batur”, his advice to us.

The current Mount and Lake Batur occupying the caldera of ancient Mount Batur

The first floor has a lot of interactive display that unfortunately no longer works. There are models of Lake Batur, together with the Volcano peaks. “It is too humid. The models won’t last long even after we fix it”, our guide staff told us. To compensate for the broken model, some computers provide an interactive way for those who want to learn more about history of the lake and about volcanic eruption.

The big interactive world map and map of Indonesia that fill one of the wall is pretty cool, and among the exhibit that still works. The map, has a small light, which is controlled by a console in front of each map. The button in the console is marked with name of the volcano. When you push the button, the light of the mountain will lit up. The world map even have several categories of volcano which will trigger several mountain under the category.

Grace looking at the Volcano Map

The rest of the wall is filled with the story of Mount Batur, the eruption, and the village surrounding the lake. A massive volcanic eruption blast the mountain in the prehistoric time. Soon, a new peak emerge, and another massive blast forms the lake and the current 2 active peaks. Mount Batur still from time to time become active to a lesser degree.

Aside from the models, Batur Volcano Museum also features various volcano rocks. Most of the rocks come from Mount Batur, and Mount Agung nearby, although there are some few who come from other part of Indonesia and the world. On the 2nd floor, it is explained that the volcano rock is carved into statue, something that Balinese are fond of.

We ended our journey at the telescope on the 3rd floor. This floor is part of the research station that is also monitoring the volcanic activity of Mount Batur. The telescope view to Lake Batur and the volcanic part of the mountain. We can see smoke coming from the shoulder of Mount Batur, clearly showing that the mountain is still active. Time will tell if Mount Batur will ever show its might once again.

Lake Batur Viewed from Batur Volcano Museum

More photos of the museum can be found here