Parangtritis beach, Yogyakarta, Central Java. A beach as famous for its sunsets as it is for its direct link to Javanese Sultans, mythology and lore. On the surface, the Javanese (and the rest of Indonesians) may profess as followers of any of the major world’s faith, whether Moslem, Christian, Buddhist or Hindu, but just under the surface the old belief-system is very much alive. It is said that one Javanese Sultan – Panembahan Senopati, who established the powerful Mataram Kingdom (before the arrival of Islam in the 15th century) – was married to Nyai Roro Kidul – the Goddess of the South Seas.
And it is in Parangtritis Beach, some 27 km south of Yogyakarta where she dwells. To appease her so as to keep the cosmos in harmony and safe from natural disasters, ceremonies of special offerings are held on the beach. And also at the Yogyakarta Kraton (Palace), a ceremony called Satu Suro (first of the Suro Javanese month) is held to commemorate the start of new year according to the Javanese calendar.
Parangtritis is a popular weekend retreat for Yogyakartans. And everyone will be reminded not to wear a green bathing suit, as it’s a color that Nyai Roro Kidul disapproves, and anyone in green will be “swallowed” by the ocean. Some interesting local lore that adds to the allure of Parangtritis, also known as Beach of the Southern Coast.
So if your adventure calls for sand dunes, broad sandy beaches and rocky cliffs, and mystique of Queen of the South Seas “Nyai Roro Kidul’s” legend, Parangtritis beckons.