Parangtritis Beach and Ratu Kidul

Parangtritis Beach and Ratu Kidul

Parangtritis beach is a beach in the south of Java island on the Indian Ocean. Located around 30 km east of the city Yogyakarta the centre of Javanese culture. It takes around one hour of travel time by car, from Yogyakarta to reach the beach. The beach is a popular tourist spot for locals and foreigners.

Javanese myths tell Parangtritis beach is the home of Ratu Nyi Roro Kidul and her magical kingdom. She is the Queen of the South Ocean a legend says. Ratu Kidul has an important role in Javanese mythology and culture. For instance, a legend says that there is a spiritual axis. It’s an axis between the South Ocean, the home of Ratu Kidul, Yogyakarta and the volcano Mt Merapi. Even more, Yogyakarta’s Kraton is exactly in the centre of this axis.

Feel the spirit of Ratu Kidul, come close to her but don’t wear green. The black sand and the sound of huge breaking waves give the beach a mythical spirit.

Besides that, the beach has unpredictable strong breakers. The high waves are amazing to watch. The currents are extremely dangerous. Therefore, swimming is not possible. Ratu Kidul does not want it obviously. Moreover, the heavy rip current and the salty spray water from the breakers still enhance the impression indeed. Another legend says, that Ratu Kidul preferred green coloured clothes. My friends warned me to wear green clothes if I visit the beach.

Because of that Ratu Kidul will bring misfortune upon the wearer or will pull him into the ocean. In many places on Java’s south coast, celebrations are held to honour her yearly. The South Ocean and Ratu Kidul are favourite motifs for Indonesian painters.  During sunset, the black sand of the Parangtritis beach creates nice reflections in many beautiful variations of colours.

Mount Merapi
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Madura island in East Java