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The Heritage of Solo

Solo is not that far from Yogyakarta City that's why I decided to give it a visit during my stay in Yogyakarta. My first stop in Solo was Kraton Surakarta.

My roommate and I first visited kraton before we headed to the outskirts to see the temples. Honestly, I was not all that interested in kraton but I just joined my roommate because I randomly asked him if he wanted to go to Solo since I heard him mention to someone in the room that he was going there. We were supposed to go there with another friend I made in the hostel, but she was too tired to go anywhere that day.

Kraton Surakarta was the seat of power in Surakarta from the 1700s till the 1940s. The Sunanate of Surakarta lost his power after the proclamation of independence. The Sunanate of Surakarta closely collaborated with the Dutch East Indies during the Dutch Empire in Indonesia. Kraton Surakarta was much like Kraton Yogyakarta albeit smaller in size. There were a lot of relics of the former kingdom inside this kraton. There is a 15,000 IDR entrance fee to enter Kraton Surakarta.

Batik at the Heart of Solo

I wanted to revisit Solo because I wanted to check out the Batik Museum. I took another train to Solo and went straight to Danar Hadi Batik Museum. Once I got to Danar Hadi Museum, I paid the 25,000 IDR entrance fee that included the guide. Taking pictures inside the museum was not allowed so I just listened to the guide talk about the history of one of the biggest producers and distributors of batik in Indonesia, Danar Hadi.

Batik is deeply rooted in Indonesia's history. Royals wore it just as the regular folk did, the difference was in the design used on the fabric. As the years went by the lines blurred between the designs used by the royals and the common folk. Foreigners have also taken their own spin on the design used on batik.

After touring the museum, I was taken to the factory and discovered how batik was made. The first step was the laying out of the design on a fabric.

The intricate designs were either stamped or handmade.

The fabric is later dipped in ink and waxed. The making of batik can take one day to one whole year depending on the design used. I didn't not know that batik took a long time to make. The effort put into batik shows the artistry made into this seemingly simple piece of fabric, but the design has its own history and story to tell.

How to get to Danar Hadi Batik Museum

Take the train to Solo for 20,000 IDR or 10,000 IDR (aircon and non-aircon) one-way. You can either walk to the museum or hire a becak for 10,000 IDR one-way.

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