Marathon Shadow Puppet Show

Attraction The Palace of Yogyakarta Yogyakarta Indonesia Published on: 21-03-2016

3 hours
08:00 PM - 05:00 AM
08:30 PM
11:30 PM
Second-time visit
0.00 USD

Marathon Shadow Puppet Show is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
A marathon shadow puppet show takes place at Sri Sultan’s Palace every second Saturday. This open-air theatre hosts shadow puppet plays from the evening until the next morning.

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Why Marathon Shadow Puppet Show is special ?

Marathon shadow puppet (Wawang Kulit) is one of the famous wayang in Indonesia. These puppets are made from cow or buffalo leather. The Wayang Kulit show is so well-known in Central Java and Yogyakarta regions. The stories are usually from the Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabarata, or Islamic hero Amir Hamza. It is called the shadow puppets because the performance use the shadow cast on a screen made of white cotton and lamp.

The performances are an amazing concoction of dancing shadows in visual delight, with Javanese gamelan orchestra, dreamy solo notes sung by a Javanese pesinden singer, and the hyper-dramatic narration by the dalang puppeteer. But the puppets themselves are remarkable works of art.


What to explore at Marathon Shadow Puppet Show?

When you spend the night in Yogyakarta while enjoying a puppet show, it will feel vivid. The melodious rhythm of the gamelan in harmony with the voice of the female singers will not let you fall asleep. The story presented by the dalang as the puppeteer as well as the storyteller will bring you into being one of the characters in the story. You will soon learn the greatness of Javanese culture in the past.

A puppet show is done by the puppeteer who is also the storyteller who is possibly considered the best entertainer in the world. All the night, he plays all the characters of the leather puppets forming human characters made from buffalo skin decorated with motif as the product of leather carving. He has to change the voice character, switch the intonation, produce humor and even sing. In order to make the atmosphere vivid, the storyteller is assisted by musicians who play gamelan - the traditional Javanese music instruments - and the female singers called sinden who sing Javanese songs.

A marathon shadow puppet show takes place at Sri Sultan’s Palace every second Saturday. This open-air theatre hosts shadow puppet plays from the evening until the next morning. The audience is free to sit anywhere at all, even backstage to watch the puppeteers at work.


How to get to Marathon Shadow Puppet Show?

You can reach Kraton Yogyakarta by train from Maguwo station to Stasiun Yogyakarta, Kraton Yogyakarta is 2.2km from Stasiun Yogyakarta. You can also take bus route 1A from the airport to Kraton Yogyakarta, it costs IDR3,000 for a ticket.

Selling points

  • Shadow puppets - a fascinating way to spend an evening
  • Amazing and high-quality cultural experience
  • A great overview on culture of Java
  • Exquisite and intricate puppets
  • The Masterpiece of Javanese Performance Arts
5 Days 4 Nights in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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5.0 days
111.53 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
14 places




The Palace of Yogyakarta Yogyakarta Indonesia

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Tips for you

  • A marathon Shadow Puppet Show is performed on the second Saturday night of every month only.
  • The show is free, but you have to pay for the entrance fee to Kraton, which is IDR 12.500.
    Ticket and Pricing
  • It's hard to catch a local bus or an andong very late at night. You should tell the driver in advance to take you home after watching the show.
  • Drinks and snacks are served at the surrounding stalls, you can pick whatever you want and enjoy the show.
    Things nearby
  • It's difficult for foreigners to understand the story because the puppeteer speaks Javanese only. You should enjoy the show with a tour guide and he will translate for you.
    Things to do

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