Surakarta, the older of the two royal capitals of central Java, is more commonly known as Solo. Hotel, café or restaurant, everything here speaks of its heritage and culture at least in some small way. Tucked into this historical tapestry, located less than 15 minutes away from hotel Alila Solo is a unique museum. House of Danar Hadi complex is the residence of a prominent revolutionary against Dutch rule, now converted to a museum of Batik. The House of Danar Hadi Batik Museum has a collection of over 10,000 prices of rare batik, originating from all over Indonesia. Each piece of clothing has its own history and its own story, including 1,500 pieces of batik that can be dated to the 19th century. Making a repeated visit to the House of Danar Hadi Batik Museum seem like the first time is their internal mechanism of rotating the items on display every six months.

History of batik in general, from its origin to modern day use, as well as the history of batik in Indonesia, are all described in the House of Danar Hadi Batik Museum. Operating under the theme “Batik: The Influence of Time and Place”, narratives unfold through colours and motifs that are brought out by various pieces of batik hanging around the room. One would learn during a tour to this place, that each piece of batik clothing is unique, and there is much to be learnt from a single strand. The Kraton batik from the royal palace are soft and regal in design; Chinese batik tells of its heritage through symbolism, and those of Dutch origin are the world unto its own. In addition to different regions of batik origin, one can also learn the process of creating a batik material. From creating hand drawn tulip batik to printed cap batik, the House of Danar Hadi shows the full process behind designing these beautiful creations.

Shehera Fioni is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Catalina Forbes. Her content is based on many thrilling escapades offered to travellers across the world.