Friday, October 16, 2009
The Great Sphinx of Giza is a statue of a reclining lion with a human head that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile, near modern-day Cairo, in Egypt. It is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 73.5 m (241 ft) long, 6 m (20 ft) wide, and 20 m (65 ft) high. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient
Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early South Indian Hindu architecture, with key features such as the Jagati. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs and for the numerous devatas (guardian spirits) adorning its walls.
The modern name, Angkor Wat, means "City Temple": Angkor is a vernacular form of the word nokor which comes from the Sanskrit word nagara meaning capital. Wat is the Khmer word for temple. Prior to this time the temple was known as Preah Pisnulok, after the posthumous title of its founder, Suryavarman II.
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the United States' oldest national parks and is located in Arizona. Within the park lies the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, considered to be one of the major natural wonders of the world. The park covers 1,902 mi² (4927 km²) of unincorporated area in Coconino County and Mohave County.
Most visitors to the park come to the South Rim, arriving on Arizona State Route 64. The Highway enters the park through the South Entrance, near Tusayan, Arizona, and heads eastward, leaving the park through the East Entrance. All park accommodations are operated by the Xanterra corporation. Park headquarters are at Grand Canyon Village, a short distance from the South Entrance, being also the center of the most popular viewpoints. Some thirty miles of the South Rim are accessible by road. A much smaller venue for tourists is found on the North Rim, accessed by Arizona State Route 67. There is no road connection between the two within Arizona except via the Navajo Bridge, near Page, Arizona, entailing a five-hour drive. Otherwise, the two rims of the Canyon are connected via Las Vegas, Nevada, and the Hoover Dam.The rest of the Grand Canyon is extremely rugged and remote, although many places are accessible by pack trail and backcountry roads.
The area around the Grand Canyon became a national monument on January 11, 1908 and was designated national park on February 26, 1919. The creation of the park was an early success of the environmental conservation movement; its National Park status may have helped thwart proposals to dam the Colorado River within its boundaries. (Lack of this fame may have enabled Glen Canyon Dam to be built upriver, flooding Glen Canyon and creating Lake Powell.) UNESCO has declared it as a World Heritage Site.
The Grand Canyon itself, including its extensive system of tributary canyons, is valued for the combination of large size, depth, and the exposed layering of colorful rocks dating back to Precambrian times. It was created through the incision of the Colorado River and its tributaries after the Colorado Plateau was uplifted and the Colorado River system developed along its present path.
The Statue of Liberty (French: Statue de la Liberté), officially titled Liberty Enlightening the World (French: La Liberté Éclairant le Monde), dedicated on October 28, 1886, is a monument commemorating the centennial of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence, given to the United States by the people of France to represent the friendship between the two countries established during the American Revolution. It represents a woman wearing a stola, a radiant crown and sandals, trampling a broken chain, carrying a torch in her raised right hand and a tabula ansata tablet, where the date of the Declaration of Independence JULY IV MDCCLXXVI is inscribed, in her left arm. Standing on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, it welcomes visitors, immigrants, and returning Americans traveling by ship. Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi sculpted the statue. and obtained a U.S. patent for its structuare. Maurice Koechlin—chief engineer of Gustave Eiffel's engineering company and designer of the Eiffel Tower—engineered the internal structure. Eugène Viollet-le-Duc was responsible for the choice of copper in the statue's construction and adoption of the repoussé technique, where a malleable metal is hammered on the reverse side.
The statue is made of a sheathing of pure copper, hung on a framework of steel (originally puddled iron) with the exception of the flame of the torch, which is coated in gold leaf (originally made of copper and later altered to hold glass panes). It stands atop a rectangular stonework pedestal with a foundation in the shape of an irregular eleven-pointed star. The statue is 151 ft (46 m) tall, but with the pedestal and foundation, it is 305 ft (93 m) tall.
Worldwide, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable icons of the United States and was, from 1886 until the Jet Age, often one of the first glimpses of the United States for millions of immigrants after ocean voyages from Europe.
St. Peter's Basilica (Italian: San Pietro in Vaticano) is a major basilica in Vatican City, an enclave of Rome. St. Peter's was until recently the largest church ever built and it remains one of the holiest sites in Christendom. Contrary to what one might reasonably assume, St. Peter's is not a cathedral - that honor in Rome goes to St. John Lateran.
St. Peter's Basilica stands on the traditional site where Peter - the apostle who is considered the first pope - was crucified and buried. St. Peter's tomb is under the main altar and many other popes are buried in the basilica as well. Originally founded by Constantine in 324, St. Peter's Basilica was rebuilt in the 16th century by Renaissance masters including Bramante, Michelangelo and Bernini.
The tower stands at 324 m (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-story building. It was the tallest structure in the world from its completion until 1930, when it was eclipsed by the Chrysler Building in New York City. Not including broadcast antennas, it is the second-tallest structure in France, behind the Millau Viaduct, completed in 2004. And while the Eiffel Tower is a steel structure, and weighs approximately 10,000 tonnes, it actually has a relatively low density, weighing less than a cylinder of air occupying the same dimensions as the tower.
The tower has three levels for visitors. Tickets can be purchased to ascend either on stairs or lifts to the first and second levels. The walk to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. The third and highest level is only accessible by lift. Both the first and second levels feature restaurants.
The tower has become the most prominent symbol of both Paris and France. The tower is a featured part of the backdrop in literally scores of movies that take place in Paris. Its iconic status is so established that it even serves as a symbol for the entire nation of France, such as when it was used as the logo for the French bid to host the 1992 Summer Olympics.
There are 138 pyramids discovered in Egypt as of 2008. Most were built as tombs for the country's Pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods.
The earliest known Egyptian pyramid is the Pyramid of Djoser which was built during the third dynasty. This pyramid and its surrounding complex were designed by the architect Imhotep, and are generally considered to be the world's oldest monumental structures constructed of dressed masonry.
The best known Egyptian pyramids are those found at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo. Several of the Giza pyramids are counted among the largest structures ever built.
The Pyramid of Khufu at Giza is the largest Egyptian pyramid. It is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence
There are three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid. The lowest chamber is cut into the bedrock upon which the pyramid was built and was unfinished. The so-calledQueen's Chamber and King's Chamber are higher up within the pyramid structure. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the main part of a complex setting of buildings that included two mortuary temples in honor of Khufu (one close to the pyramid and one near the Nile), three smaller pyramids for Khufu's wives, an even smaller "satellite" pyramid, a raised causeway connecting the two temples, and small mastaba tombs surrounding the pyramid for nobles.
The Taj Mahal (also "the Taj") is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was cited as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage."
While the white domed marble mausoleum is its most familiar component, the Taj Mahal is actually an integrated complex of structures. Building began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, and employed thousands of artisans and craftsmen.. The construction of the Taj Mahal was entrusted to a board of architects under imperial supervision including Abd ul-Karim Ma'mur Khan, Makramat Khan, and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. Lahauri is generally considered to be the principal designer
Thursday, October 15, 2009
1. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, also known as the Hanging Gardens of Semiramis, near present-day Al Hillah, Babil in Iraq, are considered to be one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. They were built by the Chaldean king Nebuchadnezzar II around 600 BC. He is reported to have constructed the gardens to please his sick wife, Amytis of Media, who longed for the trees and fragrant plants of her homeland Persia.The gardens were destroyed by several earthquakes after the 2nd century BC.
2. The lush Hanging Gardens are extensively documented by Greek historians such as Strabo and Diodorus Siculus. Through the ages, the location may have been confused with gardens that existed at Nimrud, since tablets from there clearly show gardens. Writings on these tablets describe the possible use of something similar to an Archimedes screw as a process of raising the water to the required height. Nebuchadnezzar II also used massive slabs of stone, which was unheard of in Babylon, to prevent the water from eroding the ground.
A major center of the Indus Valley Civilization was Harappa whose ruins lie 35-km southwest of Sahiwal (about 250 km from Lahore). This was the first of Indus Valley Civilization sites to be discovered.
Situated besides an earlier course of the Ravi River, Harappa was discovered in 1920-21. The area of Harappa is bigger than Moenjodaro but much to the remains above ground were ravaged by brick-hunters using the material as blast when the railway tracks between Lahore and Multan were laid. However, several cemeteries, which escaped the attention of vandals, have been excavated to reveal the richness and sophistication of its culture.
Like Moenjodaro the excavations have revealed a series of cities, stacked one upon another. The site, with its citadel and great granary, seems similar in many ways to Moenjodaro and like its southern sister-city appear to have thrived around 2000 to 1700 B.C. with an economy based largely on agriculture and trade. The Harappan society seems to have been egalitarian, pursuing a rather simple way of life. The cemeteries discovered at Harappa confirm that the Indus Valley people buried their dead, many of them wearing finger rings, necklaces of steatite beads, anklets of paste beads, earnings and shell bangles. Copper mirrors, antimony rods, shell spoons and vessels and urns of various shapes and size lay in the graves. Some of the female skeletons had anklets of tiny beads and girdles studded with semi-precious stones.
Excavations have recalled evidence of some pre-Harappan material, which shows strong affinity, with some Kot Diji finds. On display at the Museum is excavated material, including terracotta toys, gamesman, and jewelry, animal figurines, bronze utensils statuettes etc. Harappa and Moenjodaro are two places which form the focal point of tourist attraction. So if you are in Pakistan do'nt miss these historical journeys. You'll be facinated by the displays and exotic archeological finds!
Dudiptsar is another beautiful lake encircled by snow clad peaks. The word "dudi" means white and "sar" means lake. This name has been given to the lake because of the white color of snow at surrounding peaks. In summer the water of lake reflects like a mirror. Its not easy to visit this lake as there is tough hike. Its gonna take you four to six hours for this lake after tough hiking and trekking.
It can be reached by a difficult trek from Saiful Mulook Lake. If one chooses to walk it takes more than 8 hours for both going and coming back to the lake Saif ul Muluk. Horses can also be hired from the Lake Saif ul Muluk along with a guide person who will take you to the Ansoo Lake. Another trek to reach Ansoo Lake is from Mahandri, which is 40 km below Naran, but this is a less treaded route and the difficulties are unknown. The name "Ansoo" comes from its tear-like shape (the Urdu word Ansoo means teardrop). The lake is said to have been discovered in 1993 by Pakistan Air Force pilots who were flying low above the area. Earlier, the lake was not even known to the locals.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
LAKE SAIFUL MULUK It is situated at a distance of 10 km from Naran at an altitude of 3500 m. It provides an excellent view of the 5290 m high Malika Parbat (Queen of the Mountains). The lake and its surroundings have a touch of unreal about them and are breathtakingly lovely. There is a charming legend about a prince called Saiful Muluk who fell in love with a fairy of the lake. The lake is named after the prince. The best way to reach the lake is to walk but you may also take a pony or a jeep.