A royal graveyard cresting a hilltop 20km south of Yogyakarta, Imogiri was first built by Sultan Agung in 1645 to serve as his own mausoleum. Since then it has become something of an A-list cemetery for royalty. There are three major courtyards: the central one contains the tombs of Sultan Agung and succeeding Mataram kings; and the other two are dedicated to the sultans of Solo and Yogyakarta.
Pilgrims from across Central Java journey to the tomb of Sultan Agung. To enter the tombs, which are traditionally accessed via a daunting 500 steps, Javanese court dress is obligatory, hired and wrapped at the entrance (2000Rp – and not washed after the previous overheated wearer). Shoes must be removed to enter the complex – punishing for those unused to walking on hot stones. Despite such minor challenges, this atmospheric spot is worth the climb, if only to witness others in earnest prayer.