Unveiling the Mysteries of Ratu Boko: Yogyakarta’s Ancient Wonder

Ratu Boko is an ancient archaeological site on a hilltop near Yogyakarta, Indonesia. With its intriguing ruins, panoramic views, and cultural significance, Ratu Boko offers visitors a captivating journey through history and heritage. Perched high above the surrounding landscape, Ratu Boko is believed to have been a royal palace complex dating back to the 8th century. Built during the era of the Mataram Kingdom, the site served as a fortified residence for the rulers of Java. This site was crucial to the region’s political and cultural life.

One of the highlights of Ratu Boko is its stunning sunset point. The visitors can witness the sun setting over the horizon in a blaze of colours. The panoramic views from this vantage point are breathtaking. It offers a memorable experience for those seeking to capture the beauty of Yogyakarta’s landscapes.

In addition to its archaeological significance, Ratu Boko is steeped in legend and mythology. According to Javanese folklore, the site is named after Ratu Boko, a mythical king who ruled the area with wisdom and benevolence. The stories surrounding Ratu Boko add an air of mystery and enchantment to the site, attracting visitors from far and wide. As one of the must-visit places in Yogyakarta, Ratu Boko offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. It is ideal to explore the ancient ruins, admire the sunset, or ponder the legends of the past. Ratu Boko promises an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

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Ratu Boko Yogyakarta

Address Jl. Raya Piyungan – Prambanan No.2, Gatak, Bokoharjo, Prambanan Distric, Sleman Regency, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 5572
Phone (0293) 788266
Managed by PT. Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan dan Ratu Boko
Opening Hour Sunday-Monday: 07.00-18.00
Highlights
  • Ancient Ruins
  • Panoramic Views
  • Sunset Point
  • Cultural Performances
  • Legends and Mythology
  • Scenic Walks

ABOUT RATU BOKO YOGYAKARTA

General Information

Ratu Boko, also known as Kraton Ratu Boko, is an ancient palace complex approximately 18 kilometres east of Yogyakarta. Believed to have been built during the 8th century, Ratu Boko served as a royal retreat and administrative centre during the reign of the Mataram Kingdom. Today, the site is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a testament to Java’s ancient civilizations’ architectural and artistic achievements.

Ratu Boko, nestled on a scenic hilltop overlooking the lush landscapes of Yogyakarta, is a captivating archaeological site shrouded in intrigue and legend. With its sprawling ruins, majestic temples, and panoramic views, Ratu Boko offers visitors a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of ancient Java and a chance to unravel the mysteries of the past.

History

The Ratu Boko site is not a temple but rather the remains of a kingdom. Ratu Boko Temple is often referred to as Ratu Boko Palace. Kraton Boko is named after Ratu Boko, Lara Jonggrang’s father, and the site was once his palace. The Buddhist Syailendra dynasty most likely erected the Ratu Boko site in the eighth century. But after that, the Mataram Hindu monarchs took over the location. The change in ‘owner’ influenced the Kraton Boko building’s Hindu and Buddhist designs and shapes.

At the Ratu Boko site, an inscription dated 792 AD was found, called the Abhayagiriwihara Inscription. The contents of this inscription underlie the assumption that Rakai Panangkaran had built the Ratu Boko Palace. The Abhayagiriwihara inscription is written using pranagari letters, one of the characteristics of Buddhist inscriptions. The inscription states that King Tejapurnama Panangkarana, who was considered Rakai Panangkaran, ordered the construction of Abhayagiriwihara. The same name is also mentioned in the Kalasan Inscription (779 AD), the Mantyasih Inscription (907 AD), and the Wanua Tengah III Inscription (908 AD).

According to experts, the word Abhaya means without happiness or peace. At the same time, Giri means mountain or hill. Thus, Abhayagiriwihara means a monastery built on a peaceful hill. During the reign of Rakai Walaing Pu Kombayoni, namely 898-908, Abhayagiri Wihara changed its name to Kraton Walaing.

Ratu Boko Palace, which occupies quite a large area of land, consists of several buildings. Most of them are now just ruins.

Highlights

Explore the enchanting highlights of Ratu Boko:

  1. Ancient Ruins: Explore the intriguing archaeological ruins of Ratu Boko, including the remnants of the royal palace complex, gates, walls, and stone structures dating back to the 8th century.
  2. Panoramic Views: Take in breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape from Ratu Boko’s hilltop location. Witness the beauty of Yogyakarta’s landscapes, including lush greenery, rolling hills, and distant mountains.
  3. Sunset Point: Experience the magical sunset views from Ratu Boko’s designated sunset point. Watch as the sun dips below the horizon, casting a warm glow over the ancient ruins and surrounding scenery.
  4. Cultural Performances: Attend traditional Javanese cultural performances at Ratu Boko, including gamelan music, Wayang Kulit (shadow puppet) shows, and traditional dance performances. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Yogyakarta.
  5. Legends and Mythology: Learn about the legends and mythology surrounding Ratu Boko, including stories of the mythical king after whom the site is named. Explore the mystical aspects of Ratu Boko’s history and lore.
  6. Scenic Walks: Enjoy leisurely walks around the expansive grounds of Ratu Boko, taking in the serene atmosphere and ancient surroundings. Discover hidden corners, archaeological features, and scenic viewpoints along the way.
  7. Photography Opportunities: Capture stunning photographs of the ancient ruins, panoramic vistas, and sunset views at Ratu Boko. The site offers plenty of photo-worthy moments for photography enthusiasts and Instagrammers alike.

MAP of Ratu Boko Yogyakarta