Java (Indonesian, Javanese, and Sundanese: Jawa) is an island of Indonesia and the site of its capital city, Jakarta. Once the centre of powerful Hindu kingdoms and the core of the colonial Dutch East Indies, Java now plays a dominant role in the economic and political life of Indonesia. With a population of 124 million, it is the most populous island in the world; it is also one of the most densely populated regions on Earth.
Formed mostly as the result of volcanic events, Java is the 13th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island of Indonesia. A chain of volcanic mountains form an east-west spine along the island. It has three main languages, and most residents are bilingual, with Indonesian as their second language. While the majority of Javanese are Muslim, Java has a diverse mixture of religious beliefs and cultures.
Java as part of Indonesia is rich in art and culture which are intertwined with religion and age-old traditions from the time of early migrants with Western thoughts brought by Portuguese traders and Dutch colonists. You will discover the famous dance dramas of Java derived from Hindu mythology :the Ramayana and Mahabharata Hindu epics. Other important performances are the "Wayang kulit" (leather puppets), "Wayang Golek" (wooden puppets) and the Folk Dances.
The flora of Java ranges from the tiny orchid to the giant "Rafflesia" plant which has a bloom almost a metre (3.2 feet) in diameter; the largest flower in the world, as well as many other species of plant life which can be seen at the Bogor Botanical Gardens.
Geopolitically, the island is divided into five states:
Special Region of Jakarta
The Special Region of Yogyakarta
The Province of West Java
The Province of Central Java
The Province of East Java
Generally speaking, the three major cultures of Java are the Sundanese culture of West Java, the Central Javanese culture, and the Eastern Javanese culture. In the southwestern part of Central Java, usually named the Banyumasan region, a cultural mingling occurred; bringing together Javanese culture and Sundanese culture to create the Banyumasan culture.
Java is a very attractive destination : the high, mountainous ridge extending along the entire lenth of the centre of island, high volcanic peaks (Mt. Bromo, Mt.Merapi, Mt. Semeru, Mt. Ijen), the mysticism of Borobodur and Prambana and the stepped rice fields... Java Island has an extraordinary and fascinating culture and lifestyle.