Dec 4, 2011

The Twin Trees of Keraton

The Twin Trees of Keraton
Two banyan trees are facing one another, creating a space between them like a magnificent gate. One look at them, none of us would have guessed that the trees aren’t as innocent as the appear to be. The trees located at Alun-alun Keraton, Yogyakarta, Central Java, Indonesia are, in fact, quite legendary. Known by the locals as the Twin banyan trees, there’s an eerie story behind them waiting to be told.

During the reign of Hamengkubuwono I, the king arranged a youong man to marry his daughter. The princess wasn’t interested in the man, so she set out to give hima challenge.Ih he’s determined to marry her, he should walk from north building of the Keraton right across to the south building through the middle of those banyan trees…….. with his eyes closed. However, the young man failed and the cunning princess was spared from the obligation of marrying the man she didn’t love. Hamengkubuwono I later announced that the man could complete the Banyan Trees challenge would have his daughter’s hand in marriage. It’s said that finally a pure-hearted gentleman from Siliwangi succeeded and the princess accepted him as her husband.

To this date, thousands of people have tried to walk through the Twin Banyan Tress. There’s a common belief that anyone who succeeds in this ancient challenge will have their wishes come true. Most of them who have tried to walk through those Twin Banyan trees met with failure. The claimed that no matter how hard they willed themselves to just walk straight up to the south building, somehow a few metres away from those trees, they always turned to different direction – seemingly unable to pass the invisible gate.
Yet, there are those who succeed in the challenge after all. Some believe only the pure-hearted person could succeed, some believe it’s just luck. Thanks to the urban legend, the site of the Twin Banyan Treeshas become a famous tourist destination in Yogyakarta. So, when you happen to visit Yogyakarta, you are welcomed to stop by the alun-alun Keraton and take up the challenge.
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