Previously, we’ve explored the Taman Sari bathing complex. Today, we’ll be exploring Sumur Gumuling, a defunt mosque which used to house underwater tunnels.
You see, the whole Taman Sari area was part of an artificial lake called “Segaran”. The buildings in the complex were connected by underwater tunels. The royal family members would be transported by small boats to go to the buildings.
Sumur Gumuling is a circular building which can be accessed through one of the water tunnels. It is circular in shape, with arched holes on all four (upper level) and all eight (lower level) wind directions.
On the center of the building is a raised platform with four staircases ascending from the lower level, and one staircase to connect the raised platform with the upper level. A lot of people shoot photos on the raised platform, so expect it to be packed especially on peak hours and peak season).
The building was used as a mosque, so you will find a small niche/opening on the wall that was used as a mihrab (it indicated the direction of kiblah).
Sumur Gumuling can be reached by passing through gangs of local residents’ houses, which were particularly interesting because of the batik mural paintings on its walls. You can also purchase artworks or take up painting lessons with the locals. We’ll discuss about this street on the next post!
To us, the whole Taman Sari complex was mesmerizing, especially with the fact that it doesn’t resemble anything European (a style San is familiar with, having travelled extensively through Europe and having had art history classes in college).
Write to us in the comments if you want to visit this place or leave us your impression if you’ve visited 😀
Trivia: look up Nyai Roro Kidul to understand more about the Yogyakarta sultanate. Rumors say that there is a tunnel in Sumur Gumuling leading to her palace, exclusively known to the inner circle of the sultanate, incuding the Sultan himself.