The Establishment of Surakarta, a Translation from the "Babad Gianti"
The eighteenth century witnessed many momentous events in Central Java: wars, the establishment of new courts, the divi sion of the kingdom, and the consolidation of the Dutch posi tion, to mention but a few. Raden Ngabehi Jasadipura, the great court poet of Surakarta, personally witnessed many of these events and recorded them for posterity. Among his numerous writings is the massive Babad Gianti , published in twenty-one volumes of Javanese script. The section of the Babad Gianti translated
... Gianti translated here1 deals with the events of the 1740's leading to the establishment of the new kraton at Surakarta. The Kartasura kraton, established over sixty years before, had been taken during the "Chinese" war, first by the rebel forces of Sunan Kuning (Mas Garendi) in June of 1742, and then by Tjakraningrat IV of West Madura six months later. These events led to the decision to abandon the old court and to establish a new residence for the Susuhunan, Pakubuwana II.2 The Dutch records available in published form are insuf ficient to make a full comparison with Jasadipura's story as given here. It is clear, however, that just as the Babad Gianti suggests, there was indeed some discussion about the proper location for the new kraton, and Sala was chosen only after other sites had been considered.3 4 But the East India records do not support the view that Sala was chosen over the objections of the Dutch commandant Van Hohendorff. * * Rather 1. The present translation is taken from the edition published by H. Buning, Jogjakarta, 1922, I, pp. 7-15. 2. For a more complete description of these events, see H. J. de Graaf, Geschiedenis van Indonesie ('s-Gravenhage, 1949), pp. 253ff.; or J. K. J. de Jonge and M. L. van Deventer (eds.), De Opkomst van het Nederlandsch Gezag in Oost-Indie (16 v . ; 's-Gravenhage, 1862-1909), lx, pp. lxxxv ff.