Daily Archives: 02.02.2014

The Exquisite Lady Liberty of USA: Freedom Personified



The Exquisite Lady Liberty of USA: Freedom Personified

The STATUE OF LIBERTY is a sculpture situated  on Liberty Island of New York Harbor, in Manhattan, New York City U.S.A. It was designed by ‘Frédéric Auguste Barthold’ and dedicated on 28 October 1886, as a gift from France to America. It is a symbol of friendship between the people of France and America. Today, the Statue of Liberty remains an  enduring symbol of freedom along with democracy, and also as one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks.The French people were responsible for building statue and its assembly, where the Americans build the pedestal on which it would stand–and a symbol of the friendship between their people.

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This statue was built  after the American civil war and declaration of independence in 1876.To raise the fund for the statue, Bartholdi’s  massive creation, titled “Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World,” . The statue depicting a women holding a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) on which the date of the American Declaration of Independence, 4th July , 1776  is inscribed.A broken chain lies on the feet of statue denoting freedom.The statue is  151 feet 1 inch (46 meters) tall where the height from the ground to torch is 93 meters.
Bartholdi the designer of the statue of liberty was an architect as well as a major of militia.   who fight for the French kingdom in Franco-prussian war in which he lost his  home province of Alsace land to Prussia , he visited America with letters of introduction signed by Laboulaye. Arriving at the new york harbour Bartholdi saw Bedloe’s Island as a site for the statue.  He was very pleased to know that the harbour came in American province, and he asked about his dream project to many influenced person there.  Bartholdi visited President Ulysses S. Grant and he assured him that it would not be difficult to obtain the site for the statue.
The statue was built in France by Bartholdi and at the same time fund raising of fund  taking place in America for pedestal, including contests, benefits and exhibitions . Until 1885 work on pedestal was affected by lack of fund. Joseph Pulitze a leading newspaperman at that time used his newspaper to raise fund and by his influence more than 120,000 peoples donated .  The pedestal  Designed by the American architect Richard Morris Hunt.  The statue’s pedestal was constructed in the courtyard of Fort Wood,which was a fortress built for a war and located on Bedloe’s Island, off  Manhattan in Upper New York.
Bartholdi asked for Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, designer of Paris’ Eiffel Tower to create the skeleton on   which the skin of cooper is placed.Bartholdi completed his work in 1885 and the statue was disassembled , loaded in more than 200 boxes  and shipped to new york. Over next 4 month workers worked hard in assembling the statue and setting it on the pedestal.  In 1892, the U.S. government established a federal immigration station on Ellis Island, located near Bedloe’s Island in New York Bay to record and control the tourist from all over the world. Between 1892 and 1954, 12 million tourist were tracked on Ellis Island for receiving permission to enter the United States.

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From 1900-till date, more than 5000-10,000 people came to see and enjoy at this very place every day.   peoples wandering near new york bay get a great welcome from the statue of liberty.. it is a welcoming symbol of freedom and democracy,   for all those people coming  to America for a new and better life.   The statue was maintained by the United States Lighthouse Board till 1901 and then by the War Department.  After 1933 it has been maintained by the National Park Service. The statue was closed for renovation and maintenance for some time in 1938. In the early 1980s, the statue copper skin was affected a lot by sunlight , water, wind, dust which creates  green color, known as Verdigri  and require a restoration of its affected parts. While the statue was closed from 1984 to 1986,   the torch and affected parts of the  structure were reconstructed. In 2001 after September 11 attacks, it was closed to ensure safety and security;   the pedestal reopened in 2004 and the statue in 2009, with limits on the number of tourists were allowed to ascend to the crown and they must register themselves for this.   The pedestal and some base part were closed for a year to construct secondary staircase and other safety system.
Public access to the balcony region of the torch has been banned for safety reasons since 1916.In 1956  Bedloe’s Island was renamed as liberty  island.

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The sculpture of Liberty quickly became a well-liked icon, featured in millions of posters, pictures, motion photos, and books. O. Henry story relates a fantastic speech communication between “Mrs. Liberty” and another statue; it patterned in 1918 Liberty Loan posters. throughout the Nineteen Forties and Fifties, pulp fantasy magazines featured woman Liberty enclosed by ruins or by the sediments of the ages. It’s been in dozens of motion photos, like the 1942 Sir Alfred Hitchcock motion-picture show Saboteur, that featured a climactic confrontation at the sculpture. Within the 1989 film Ghostbusters two, the ghostbusters use charged slime to bring the sculpture of Liberty to life so as to assist defeat the evil Vigo. Submerged within the sand, the sculpture provided the apocalyptic revelation at the top of Planet of the Apes. It absolutely was the topic of a 1978 University of Wisconsin-Madison prank within which woman Liberty seemed to be standing submerged in an exceedingly native lake. It’s appeared on big apple and New Jersey license plates.

A Day in Mumbai India- Everything you can Do



A Day in Mumbai India- Everything you can Do

gateway of india

Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra. A Global City (importance in the economic system) and Fashion and Film hub (as the home of Bollywood) it is one of the most cosmopolitan of all Indian cities. Mumbai is known for its night life and its rich cultural heritage.

Even a single day spent in exploring Mumbai will turn out to be an enriching experience, there is so much to inhale and absorb. From the fast pacing city life, to the soft lull of sea waves, from historical to contemporary architecture, the exclusive boutiques to the local bazaars, the caves and forts to the galleries and museums, this commercial and the cultural hub of India has something to offer to everyone.

Mumbai derives its name from the name of goddess Mumbadevi. As the very name suggests you can give a holy slant to your day in Mumbai. And not just temples, the city boasts of an incredible religious blend, rich in myths and legends. Mumba Devi temple, believed to be built in 1675, is located in Bhuleshwar . Other temples include Mahalakshmi temple, Walkeshwar temple, Swaminarayan mandir . Built in 1801 Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir is another important site. Located in Prabhadevi, it is one of the richest temples in Mumbai, and is also frequented by movie stars and politicians thus staying regularly in news.

Other religious sites have an equal presence in Mumbai. Afghan Church, a 19th century building, is located in Colaba area. The Gothic arches and stained glass windows make this heritage structure a place worth visiting. Mount Mary Church in Bandra has a long and fascinating history which could be traced back to 16th century. The Blessed Virgin Mary, as the devotees and pilgrims believe, holds miraculous powers. St. Michael’s Church, in Mahim built in 1534 also happens to be among one of the oldest Portuguese buildings in Mumbai.

haji ali dargah

Haji Ali Dargah, in Worli, is a world renowned site, and dates back to 15th century. Architecturally it has Indo-Islamic influences, the minarets and marble pillars, mirror work, the sculpted entrance and the rich folklore and legends associated with this Dargah of Sayed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, makes it a must visit place.

If your interests and passions veer more towards historical and archaeological heritage of any place, then Mumbai offers you a plethora of places to visit from the pre colonial as well as colonial era. Bombay High Court building dates back to 1860s and incorporates the styles of Gothic Revival. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, popularly known as Victoria Terminus is a landmark monument.  Built in 1887, this UNESCO world heritage site, boasts of Victorian, Italianate, Gothic as well as Mughal influences. Today it serves as the headquarters for Central Railways.

victoria terminus

Elephanta Island in the Mumbai Harbour houses the Elephanta Caves, another UNESCO world heritage site. Lore about these caves is traced back to Mahabharata and the Pandavas. Their history and styles are traced to varied eras. The caves have many sculptures depicting various myths, for instance there is a panel depicting Nataraja doing the tandava.

elephanta caves

Gateway of India is perhaps the most recognizable landmark of Mumbai. It was finished in 1924, and has served as the ceremonial entrance to India for Viceroys and the Governors during British Rule. The architecture has Roman, Hindu and Muslim influences. The place is frequented by tourists and is extremely photogenic. Next to this is the famous Taj Mahal Palace, a hotel that is an architectural delight, and was made 21 years before the Gateway of India.

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Worli fort was built by the British in 17th century to watch out for enemy ships. Today it affords a spectacular view of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link and Mumbai bay. The Kanheri caves are some 2000 years old and a protected archaeological site located within the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The National Park itself offers varied experiences like Safaris, Walking trails and an impressive range of flora and fauna.

Mumbai is also very famous for its beaches, Juhu Beach, Chowpatty, Marine Drive are all immensely popular tourist attractions. Marine Drive at night also referred to as Queen’s Necklace , standing on the beaches and feeling the wind and waves, the endless blue of the seas makes a trip to these places worthwhile.

marine drive

For those who want to sample the more contemporary offerings of the city, there are museums and theatres galore- Nehru planetarium, National Gallery of Modern Art, Prince of Wales Museum to name a few. They are a heaven for artists and art lovers. Essel world is India’s largest amusement park, and is equipped to entertain not just kids but people of all ages. The place adds fun quotient to your day. Plays, musical performances are organized on a regular basis in places like the National Centre for Performing arts, and Prithvi Theatre.

The food lovers could give their taste buds a treat in this city known for its street food- pav bhaji, vada pav, bhel puri. Or you could visit the innumerable restaurants and sample the exclusive dishes and seafood on their menu. You can also add a visit to the Leopold Café in the Colaba area to your day. Built in 1871, it also features in the well known novel Shantaram. Along with your coffee you can also drink in its rich history.

Leopold cafe

If you are a shopaholic, and judge a place by its markets and shopping experience, Mumbai won’t disappoint you. From high-end shops and exclusive boutiques in Bandra, to the street shops, you can shop your heart out as your wallet dictates. Some of the most popular markets are the Colaba Causeway, Linking Road, and the Chor Baazar. These markets have their own fascinating histories and the shops display why Mumbai is a fashion capital.

Mumbai offers diverse and incredible locations for any person to visit and experience, and if “to travel is to live”, then even a single day in Mumbai will equate to a memorable life.

Rapa Nui and the Story of the Easter Islands



Rapa Nui and the Story of the Easter Islands

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Far away in the middle of the Pacific Ocean lies an island, where silent stone people rise up from the ground; remnants of Rapa Nui– a civilization that has been long gone. It is one of the most isolated inhabited islands on planet Earth, and historians throughout the ages have failed to answer the simple question- “Where did the Rapa Nui come from?”

That the Rapa Nui were exceptionally skilled seafarers and possessed great architectural ingenuity is evident. They managed to navigate a fleet of canoes to this tiny speck of an island 2300 miles off the coast of Chile and established a society with its distinct cultural and architectural overtones sometime between AD 800 to 1200. It is believed that the Island of Rapa Nui was richly endowed with palm trees which provided the natives with wood, reeds and leaves for various purposes. But following indiscriminate deforestation the Rapa Nui themselves wrecked the ecosystem of their island. The rich volcanic soil of the island was exposed to the forces of erosion and the natives fell victim to an environmental catastrophe of their own making.

On Easter Sunday, 1722 an European exploration vehicle arrived on the island, and ever since the island has been known as Easter Islands to the modern world. In the 19th century Peruvian Slave ships often made stops on the island. However, the island of the Rapa Nui still enjoys relative isolation. Majority of the present population is still composed of descendants of the original settlers and they have kept the old culture alive.

 

Moai and the Bird Man

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The most striking part about the Easter Islands is the huge number of stone heads or Moai that the Rapa Nui built. Nobody has yet been able to discover how the primitive people managed to implement such advanced techniques to sculpt the figurines and move them to different parts of the island. As many as 900 moai statues lie dotting the island today in various stages of completion and decay.

Historians believe that the Moai were constructed primarily for religious purposes. They might have been built to commemorate ancestors or respect influential Rapa Nui. It is believed that the native shad concentrated most of their industriousness to the pursuit of religion and arts through the Rapa Nui, since they were isolated in an island in the middle of nowhere.

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In the village of Orongo were found 150 statues of a deity with the body of a man and the head of a bird. Probably, the deity was a central motif of some religious cult- who were in search of a way to explore the world beyond the horizons of their island.

 

Easter Islands Today

Today visitors flock the aster islands in search of the Moai and Ahu (rectangular platforms where the moai were mounted). However the Moai and Ahu are protected by law and visitors should not touch or disfigure the specimens. It is an extremely disrespectful gesture to walk on the Ahu.  One can see column of silent stone figurines in the Rano Raraku Valley, where in lies the stone quarry from where the moai on the island were built. In the stone quarry one can still see various statues in stages of topple and carving. One can trek around the lips of the Rano Raraku crater to enjoy one of the most breathtaking and dramatic scenes in the world.

All the residents of the Easter Island live in the ton of Hanga Roa, which is about an hour’s drive away from the archaeological sites of the island. The village of Orongo has been restored and sits in a spectacular backdrop amidst the Rana Kao volcano and a steep cliff. The Bird man is perhaps waiting to take flight. The Rana Kao is a volcanic cinder cone filled up with fresh rainwater.

 

Other Tourist Attractions

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Easter Islands also have various activities to offer the adventure lover. With its beautiful beaches, one can effectively relax in the serene environment. There are a number of hiking and trekking trails, and the Chile Government has put together various adventure sports options like diving and surfing in an effort to promote tourism. Scuba Diving and Snorkelling are also popular. The Easter Islands have been declared to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There are two white sand beaches – Anakena and Ovahe. Anakena is a great location for off shore surfing. The charm of Ovahe lies in the beauty of the cliffs it is surrounded by. Sometimes it so happens that all the sand of the Ovahe is washed away by the great Sea waves, and gradually returned again in the next few days. The last such reported phenomenon took place in 2012.

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The Easter Islands also have an extensive cave system strewn about the island with small and hidden entrances. They can be quite dangerous and the adventurous spirit must access them with caution. While on the island one can avail a show of the traditional Kari Kari dance on the main street.

Undoubtedly, the island of the Rapa Nui is one of the most otherworldly experiences on earth. Time stands still here. History comes to life. Memories of a generation long gone stay alive.