Daily Archives: 06.02.2014

Beautiful beaches and warm Gulf waters of South Padre Island



Beautiful beaches and warm Gulf waters of South Padre Island

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The world’s longest barrier island is the Padre Island. It is listed as the second largest island (in area) in the United States. Situated on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, the island is very popular because of its stunning white sandy beaches. The island is 3 km wide and about 182 km long. It starts from the north from the city of Corpus Christi and ends in the south at the South Padre Island. A road connects the northern end of the island to another island named Mustang Island. And in the southern end the island is connected with Brazos Island. The whole island is quite lightly populated as the island part is somewhat away from the city area. The Padre Island National Seashore consists of the supreme part of the island. Since 1964, the Padre Island has been divided into two separate islands namely “North Padre Island” and “South Padre Island”.

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The South Padre Island is the southern part of Padre Island. The Island is a small town which is situated on the coasts of Texas and in close proximity with Mexico. The place was established in 1973 across Laguna Madre. Laguna Madre is a bay which separates the island from the Mainland. The western side of the South Padre Island is referred as the “Bay Side” by the local people and the East side as the “Gulf Side”. It is a spring hangout place for many young college going students. The tourists can reach the place not only by flight, bus and car but by boat also. Youngsters living in nearer places prefer to use boat. Both on Port Isabel and South Padre there are marinas. Two of them are Sea Ranch Marina and Anchor Marina Park. There is a chain of Padre Island. They are situated in Kenedy, Nueces, Cameron, Willacy and Kleberg countries.

The beaches of the South Padre Island are very famous. These beaches are huge and they stretch for miles. People can have the stunning view of the sea from the old lighthouse in Port Isabel which was built in 1852. The city is home to three museums and three airport facilities are provided from Dallas and Houston. The names of the three airports are Brownsville/South Padre Island Airport, Valley International Airport and McAllen Miller International Airport. The names of the flights offered by these airports are Southwest Airlines, American Express, United Express and Allegiant Air. As huge number of tourists visits this place frequently, a South Padre Island Visitors Center is provided for the help of the tourists. The center offers help about the activities and events going on recently. They even search sites for accommodation purposes for the tourists.

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The South Padre Island is popular for its water sports events. Kite-boarding or Kite-surfing is an adventurous sport that the place offers. The place even offers many other activities such as seashore recreation, boating and deep sea fishing. When it comes to water sports then dolphin cruise, parasailing, surfing, baying and wind surfing are the things. Some other recreational activities are tennis, bicycling, shelling and horseback riding on the beach of South Padre Island. A place called Laguna Madre Nature located on the north of the city is a enthusiastic place for crazy bird watchers and nature lovers. Air Padre Kite-boarding is a learning centre in the north region of the city. The centre offers rentals and lessons on wakeboarding, kite land-boarding, surfing, stand up paddling, kite-boarding and kayaking also.

For dolphin lovers there is a dolphin watch cruisers named Breakaway Cruises. There is a company known by the name ‘The Black Dragon Pirate Ship’ which provides a highly advanced pirate galleon. This pirate galleon is an exact replica of the 17th century pirate galleon. Moreover there are museums, four restaurants, Wal-mart, Movie Gallery, Souvenir shops, dolphin watches, the historic Port Isabel lighthouse and a marine biology center. Another centre named American Diving teaches you the art of diving and also provides certification in that course. The world’s tallest reverse bungee is available on the island. There are many massage therapy, day spa and healing centers also to reduce your stress.

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The city of South Padre Islands is quite famous as a shopping spot also. You will find hundreds of shops in this place. There are beach wear, kite-boarding accessories, surf accessories, sportswear, beach accessories, etc. Apart from the beach wear casual clothes were also available in many shops.  Casual t-shirts, foot wear, sunglasses and in fact board shorts are also available. You will find some places where materials for home decoration can be found. In such shops some tropical art paintings, wind chimes, beautiful wax candles, etc can be found. Use of tobacco and cigarettes is banned in some parts but still people can find various shops for that also. ‘Inkredible’ is a famous tattoo shop for tattoo lovers. Like other famous Islands this island also has some really tasty seafood and steaks which are available on the street shops as well as on big restaurants also. Spending the nights on campgrounds, marinas, condo rentals and especially on seaside cottages and drinking wines on the beach bars will be unforgettable. The Island is full of Life and fun. People who will visit this Island will surely have a lifetime adventurous experience.

Dublin: The Town of Hurdled Ford



Dublin: The Town of Hurdled Ford

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Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is the favorite place for most of the international tourists. The popularity of Dublin can be seen from its tourists. The vivacity, nightlife and the tourists sightseeing are noteworthy. That’s why the place is among the list of very popular cities. Over two million people live in the Greater Dublin area as the size of the city is as large as a country. Maximum population lives in suburbs as the centre is moderately small and can be traversed by foot. In 841, when the city was founded people of Celtic tribes live there along with some Vikings. The king of England ruled the place in the 14th century and named the adjacent areas as ‘Pale’. Dublin experienced massive growth after 1649. The city grew over the centuries and became the 2nd largest city by the 17th century. This development in the 17th century was all because of the migration of many Protestant refugees from Europe to Dublin.

In 1800, an act of union was established among the two countries: Ireland and Great Britain. By then the Irish government was abolished. Ireland fought for its freedom for many years and finally in 1922 they won the war and got their freedom. One event that helped the Irish Government to gain its power again is the Easter rising in 1961. The event was listed among the most important historic events of Ireland. The city of Dublin is alienated by the River Liffey. The popular O’Connell Street lies on the north side of Liffey where there are many shopping streets. Two of them are Talbot Street and Henry Street. Many other Attractions are on the south side of Liffey; they include Trinity College, St.Patrick’s Cathedrals, St.Stephen’s Green, Christ Church and Grafton Street. Many other small street shops who offer great materials are there on the soutrh side.

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As the city is very large its postcode numbers are from Dublin 1 to Dublin 24. The places having lower postcode numbers are closer to the center of the city. All the even numbers belong to the south side shops and houses, while the remaining even numbers belong to the north side places. Although in the 20th century much of the supreme Georgian architecture was demolished but some notable amount still remains. They reminded the Irish about the British imperialism. The latter was replaced by the modernist office blocks. One of these is the St. Stephen’s Green which lies in Dublin 2. Dublin is known for its gentle environment. That is all because of the soothing effects of the Gulf Stream and the Atlantic Ocean. During winters the climate of Dublin is mild and snow is not a common thing there. Summon and chilly rains are the major source of precipitation in Dublin.

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During the peak summer season, many tourists visit Dublin. If you want to miss the crowd, show up early in the morning. The best place for epic book lovers is the ‘Chester Beatty Library’ in the Dublin Castle. The library has a huge collection of many manuscripts, early books and sacred texts. That’s a treat for the history lovers. Another treat for the eyes of the tourists is the ‘Christ Church Cathedral’ which is the oldest building of Dublin. The church was re-established in the 19th century. Watching the tomb which pre-dates the church is breathtaking. Another church which tourists like to visit is the largest church in Ireland, ‘Patrick’s Cathedral’. The ‘Dublin Castle’ is a historic place of Dublin which signifies the British rule in Ireland. An epic place dedicated to the lives of the famous Irish writers and the Irish Literature is the ‘Dublin Writers Museum’. ‘Dublin Zoo’ is the biggest zoo in Ireland which is located in Phoenix Park of Dublin. Be careful about the entry timings of the zoo. The famous heritage centre, Dublinia & the Vikings World, is located in the central Dublin near St. Michael’s Hill. There is a discount on the entry fee for the people of Christ Church Cathedral. Many exhibitions were being held regularly in this heritage centre.

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The most iconic building of Dublin is the General Post office (GPO) which is located in the O’Connell St Lower. The place has been the headquarters for 200 years. The building was designed from 1814 to 1818 in Neo Classical style by Francis Johnston. The leader of the Irish Rebels decided to took over the place in 1916. The interior of the whole place was massively destroyed because of the fires caused. The exterior of the place not that damaged. Restoration of the whole building took place in 1925 and the place was reopened in 1929. The most dynamic gallery of Ireland is the Green Red Gallery. The gallery is the home of many international art fairs. Many other great places of Dublin are the Project Arts Centre, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Jeanie Johnston Famine Ship Museum, Kilmainham Gaol, Merrion Square, National Botanic Gardens, National Gallery of Ireland, National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Phoenix Park and the Trinity College. All these places are must visit places of Dublin and there will be others places also for sure. In short there are unlimited places in Dublin to visit. If you don’t want to miss even a single place then the whole tour of Dublin would be endless.

The Land of Sexy Beaches – Miami



The Land of Sexy Beaches – Miami

This city of United States lies to the south east of the country in the state Florida. It occupies most of the land of Florida. Miami lies in the low latitude zone and thus has a savanna sub-tropical climate. It has warm and dry season from November to April and a wet, hot season during rest of the year. The second warmest ocean surf, after Honolulu, in the country (United States) occurs in Miami on an annual basis. People of Miami are found talking in either English or Spanish and prefer English mostly. And to go around and travel the city, use special tours. These sightseeing tours are done by both land and boat. The boat tour has a boat cruise which will take you to all the islands, beaches with an additional exploration of the skyline and Miami Port. While traveling through land, you will be able to see the major landmarks of the city and complete knowledge about the history and culture of Miami by stopping at various significant landmarks and traditional places such as the Freedom Tower, Venetian Pool, cigar making in Little Havana, etc.

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The major attraction of Miami is the Miami Beach. Tourists have a misconception that this beach is a part of Miami as it is infact a separate municipality. The beach lies to the east of Miami and Biscayne Bay on a barrier reef. The beaches of Miami are sunny and sandy. They have the heart and sound of a party place. The beach is spreads over the northern direction beside the coast of Florida. There a lot of resorts over the beach and many places and spots for spring break parties. There is Haulover Beach Park on the North Beach which tolerates topless sunbathing as a legal thing.

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Another major tourist place of Miami is Everglades Airboat Tour and Wild Life. Everglades are the tropical wetlands with a rich history and mesmerizing view. All the nature lovers and adventurous people must get to this place. It is the perfect combination of nature with adventure. The tour will be a 30 or 40 minute rides on an airboat and there will be professional guides to narrate the description of the place. There is a wild life show included in the tour where you can see a lot of wild and exotic animal species of Florida such as the American alligator, snakes, turtles, American crocodiles and fish, birds such as Bald Eagle, red Shouldered hawk, etc. This is the kind of place which you only saw in National Geographic channel. You must go to Star Island. Miami has this artificial island within the Miami Beach. The island has houses which have the perfect kind of architecture and are worth a visit. There is even a guard house on this island. Many celebrities have their houses on this island like Will Smith, P. Diddy, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, etc. It will cost you nothing to visit this island and this free sight-seeing is more than you think it is.

 

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There are many museums in Miami. One of them is Frost Art Museum which has a collection of American Photography from 1960’s and 1970’s, artifacts of pre-Columbian era (200-500 AD), Asian and African ancient bronzes, artworks and paintings of Caribbean and Latin American styles, etc. Another museum is Lowe Art Museum with has a lot of ancient pieces and antique sculptures, art, pottery, ceramics, etc. from the Renaissance period, Greco-Roman times, collected from Asia, Latin America, etc. Then there is Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in the southern Miami is an estate inspired by European architecture. Here it has a house that has all the antique styled furnishings surrounded by a garden occupying 10 acres of land.

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Miami Seaquarium in Miami is a very different kind of a place that you might have not seen ever. It is a giant aquarium which is a 10 minute ride from Miami downtown. It is a tropical island occupying 38 acres area and has marine life exhibits and marine shows. You get an exposure to the marine life and marine creatures, flora and fauna, etc. It is all very beautiful and very mesmerizing.

Miami city also has a zoo like every other city in every other country. But the special thing about Zoo Miami is that it is the oldest zoological park in the state of Florida and is the largest one in Florida. There are more than 12 hundred wild animals in this zoological garden. The animals are from various places of Asia, Africa and Australia. The variety of animals is more than any other zoo of the country. This is because of the climate of Miami that allows the survival and growth of diversity.

As per the area covered, the largest recreational urban park in whole Florida is in Miami which goes by the name Oleta River State Recreation Park. This place is super fun and you can do a lot of activities such as biking, swimming at the beach, enjoy like a picnic, playground sports and takes children to the kids’ park, etc. There are cabins with proper facilities, showers, air conditioned rest rooms, etc. You may even find some eagles and crabs also. But overall, this is good place to spend a whole day.

Mount Godwin Austen – The highest peak of India



Mount Godwin Austen – The highest peak of India

K2 also known as Mount Godwin Austen is the second highest mountain peak after Mount Everest. From the great Trigonometric Survey its name has been derived as Thomas Montogomerie made the first survey of the Karakoram from Mount Haramukh to the south, and he sketched two of the most prominent peaks namely K1 and K2. Its elevation is around 8,611 metre or 28,251 feet. According to the policy of The Great Trigonometric Survey the mountain peaks has to be recognised by their local names. So, K1 was locally known as Masherbrum still then K2 didn’t occupy its local name, most probably due to its remote location. It is located on the border between northern Pakistan and China.

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It is also known as the mountain of savage due to extreme difficulty that the people encounter while climbing on this mountain peak. It would be well signified with the fact that it has got the second highest fatality rate among the eight thousanders. It is also claimed that, if four people have tried to reach on the top of it then one would have died trying it. It is even more fatal to climb it from the Chinese side so people generally try from the north Pakistan side which is comparably easier to climb from. Unlike Annapurna, which has got the highest fatality rate in climbing K2 has never been climbed during winters. The mountain was first surveyed by the Survey Team of Europe in 1856. The first serious attempt to climb K2 was undertaken by Oscar Eckenstein through the Northeast Ridge but they failed miserably.

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The failure was also attributed due to sickness, lack of physical training, personal conflicts and poor weather conditions. An Italian expedition finally succeeded in climbing to the summit of K2 through the Abruzzi Spur on 31 July 1954. The expedition was led by Ardito Desio and the two climbers who reached the summit were Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli. The most recent attempt was undertaken by two New Zealanders Marty Schemidst and his son Denali, on 28 July, 2013 but they died after an avalanche destroyed their camp completely. As there is almost one-third of the oxygen available at the summit of K2 as there is on sea level. It is covered with glaciers and snow covered mountains that rise from its base at about 15000 feet on the Godwin Austen Glacier, a tributary of the Baltoro Glacier. The mountain was first discovered and measured in 1856 by Col. T.G. Montgomerie of the Survey of India, and it its special symbol K2 is given to it because it was the second peak measured in the Karakoram Region. As K2 is much prone to frequent, extremely severe storms and harsh climatic conditions that make the already treacherous climbing conditions on its slopes even more challenging.

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Moreover, humans at such highly elevated places find seriously uncomfortable in functioning of their body system so, it is one of the world’s most difficult mountains to climb. It is located hundreds of miles to the north of Mount Everest. It is locally known by the name of “Chogo Ri,” which means “The Great Mountain. It is a rocky mountain which becomes an ocean of snow especially during winters. In 1987 it was concluded by a newspaper report that it might be higher than Mount Everest but soon after it was measured and the entire report was unaccepted as it was 778 feet shorter. For people who just love thrill and adventure without having the feeling of being stuck and those whose body permits them to climb at such a high elevation should try and have the taste of success by climbing on this mountain peak. It is seriously a highly admired and brave task. One must take proper trainer and the essential and required kit with him as even a little negligence can prove fatal. Till 2009 11 women have tried climbing K2 but four of them failed to do so. K2, having its share of epic ascents, is also a mountain of literature. Some of the best writing about the trials of mountaineering has come from gripping adventures on the Savage Mountain.

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Various books have been written on the adventures related to the mountain peak like the 1939 Tragedy which is a very famous book by Andrew J. Kaufman and another book known as Triumph and Tragedy by Jim Curran which describes briefly the epic adventure that climbers enthral into while ascending to this highly difficult mountain peak. The Godwin-Austen Glacier is close to K2  in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The glacier can be approached via the important Balti town of Skardu. K2 is notable for its local relief as well as its total height. For most of its climbing history, K2 was not usually climbed with bottled oxygen and altitude sickness is also a problem. When we ascend above eight thousand metres then it is considered to be the death zone. So, if one is really interested in taking on an adventurous tall then you can embark upon climbing upon this mountain peak.

The Devilish Mountain : Nanga Parbat



The Devilish Mountain : Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat, the westernmost Himalayas are ninth highest in the world and second highest in Pakistan. Well, the naked mountains are enveloped by the Indus River which ends in the plains. This was the geographical definition of the place. The scarier one says that is the most killer mountain of the world and is named as “Killer Mountain” or “Mountain of the Devil” as it contributes to the longest list of the human deaths and tragedies.

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Naming Schemes

The name of this mountain “Nanga Parvat” is derived from the Sanskrit word “nagna” which means bare or naked and “parvat” means mountain ranges in Hindi. The local people use the word “Diamir” which is again extracted from the three faces of the mountain Diamir, Rakhikot and Rupal. Also, to mount on this is not an easy task, it has the long deadlist which clearly specifies that why it has been awarded the name such as the “killer Mountain” by the Germans or the “Mountain of the Devils” by the shepas (the local community).

The records of the killer mountain were made when it took 16 human lives at once where 7 were climbers and 9 were the high porters. This activity made the Pakistani Government realise the fear of losing their climbers and they imported the law of restricting the area of that region that attracts the mountaineers and it almost outlawed half of the foreign climbers.

Blueprint of the Mountain

The mountain is divided into three faces, as mentioned above, with this whole crumple located in only southwest and northeast regions, where this Southwest portion is known as Mazeno Wall, and is further divided into many auxiliary peaks. The northwest part of the mountain is more cumbersome, which is enveloped by Indus and is further divided into Rakhikot and Diamir. The third face of the mountain known as Rupal is located on the southeast part of the mountain and this face also includes a mesmerising freezing chilling Lake Latbo, named on the seasonal shepherds of the place.

Climatic Effects

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Nanga Parbat is the most immense and dramatic peak and hence is notoriously knotty to climb. This became even more complicated with the seasonal effects. Like K2 mountain peak, this peak has ever been climbed in winter and hence it is well said that Nanga Parbat is still to be discovered in winters. Many mountaineers have tried but have only contributed to the death list. Unexpected and wobbly glaciers have killed many mountaineers but the list was high lightened when a German team attempted and almost seven climbers and fifteen porters of the team were killed during the climb due to numerous storms and hazardous avalanches. The effect of the torrential rains and gnawing winds is such that it has been counted in world’s most dangerous peaks.

Climbing History

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It started in 1895 when Albert F. Mummery climbed almost 7,000 m of West face i.e. Diamir of the parbat but was killed in the journey. Later it came under the focal point of the Himalayan Germans since Mount Everest was preoccupied by the Britishers. Germans were initially spotted with Kanchenjunga but they experienced that these are more difficult than Everest which shifted their focus to K2 and they finally discovered that this was the most difficult reducing their consideration that they can even climb its base. And this was the total reason for Germans to be prime interested in Nanga Parbat.

How it was formed?

Everyone has history and the story that how it was made and hence this Parvat has also gone through the same process. This Parbat was formed about 400,000 years ago by the collision of the volcanic plates of Asia and India but the present scenario reported by the Geological Department of  Peshawar Universities in collaboration with some US and European universities says that there are no such volcano eruptions and left outs beneath it. But, it consists some sulphur deposits along with some other mineral ores. Due to these reasons, this mountain is still in its growing phase and has listed its name in world’s most growing mountain.

The mountain was first taken into consideration in 1852 when Rudolf Schlagintweit brothers painted the canvas of this killer mountain. They basically portrayed the experience of their climbing as they were German climbers. It is said that the killing or devilish appearance of this Parbat came into existence when one of these brothers were murder and this applies as a curse to this place.

Attacks related?

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Everything has some bad things related to it and the attacks add this ghastly experience to it. The very famous Taliban attack on June 23, 2013 in which almost 10 foreign climbers were killed by the extremist militant adds the hapless moment in its history. The report says that the attacks happened at 1 AM and was basically initiated by the local Taliban tribes.

In this way many attacks are related to this Parbat but the Government and local expeditions say that the situation is now under control and the region has always been very peaceful and they are trying their best to make it like that.

Siena Cathedral – The Peak Of Magnificence



Siena Cathedral – The Peak Of Magnificence

Siena Cathedral is a medieval age church situated in Siena, located 40 miles south of Florence, Italy . Siena is a city in Italy which is known for its black and white colour buildings. It was a part of Roman Catholic  marian church and now to Santa Maria Assunta . The Cathedral was designed and built between  1215 – 1263 on the old Cathedral site. It consist of a Latin cross , a dome and a bell tower.  Greenish Black and white marble was used both inside and outside with red marble on the façade in the Cathedral. Black and white are the symbolic colour of Siena. There is also a lantern at the top  of cathedral which was added by  Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

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The history of the church is very heroic and dramatic. At the present location of cathedral  there was a 9th centuary  church with bishop palace . In 1196 the Cathedral, give charge to  the Opera di Santa Maria  to  construct a new cathedral. Works were started with the north – south section  and the main part of cathedral was planned to construct later. The records say there was transport of white and black marbles from 1226 onwards. In 1259-1260 vaults and the transept were constructed. In 1259 Manuello di Ranieri and his son Parri made some wooden choir stalls, which were replaced by cathedral about 100 years later and have  disappeared now . A record says in 1264, Rosso  Padellaio was paid to construct the copper sphere on top of the dome .In 1939, a construction on the main body was planned to start .It has double the size of old structure due to addition of new Nave and two aisles perpendicular to the existing nave. The construction was begun in the supervision  of Giovanni di Agostino,  known as a sculptor. In 1348 Construction was halted by the Black Death. Basic errors in the construction were already clear by then, however, and the work was never resumed. The  remains of this extension, the outer wall can now be seen to the south of the Duomo . The floor of the uncompleted nave now used as a parking purpose  and museum, and yet unfinished, the remains shows  the power of  Sienese , ambition, and artistic achievement.

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Inside the cathedral the pictorial view  of the black and white marble pattern  on the walls and columns  give a wonderful view. Black and white colours are at the coat of arms  of the officers  of Siena. The horizontal moulding all around the nave and the presbytery( a reserved section) contains 172 plaster busts of popes  from the 15th and 16th centuries . The first one is St. Peter and Last one is  Lucius III. The extrados of the round arches below this frame shows the busts of 36 emperors. The vaulted ceiling is decorated in blue with golden stars, replacing darkening on the ceiling.

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In 1288 , the stained-glass round window in the choir was made to the designs of Duccio. It is one of the oldest remaining examples of Italian stained glass. The  stained-glass window in the façade dates from 1549 and denotes the Last Supper. It is design of Pastorino de’ Pastorini.

The presbytery keeps save all the beautiful wooden choir stalls, present between 1363–1397 and extended in the 16th century. Actually  there were more than 90 choir stalls, placed in double rows. The cathedral’s treasured  pieces of art including The Feast of Herod by Donatello, and works of Bernini and the young Michelangelo converted it into an extraordinary museum of Italian sculpture.The communication between St. Ansanus and St. Margaret, a work of Gothic painting by Simone Martini and Lippo Memmi, brighten a side pedestal  of the church until 1799, when it was transferred to the Uff izi of Florence. The funeral monument was erected between 1317 and 1318 by the Sienese sculptor Tino di Camaino of cardinal Riccardo Petroni ( a juris consult of Pope Boniface VIII). Tino  succeeded his father as the master builder of the Siena cathedral. The marble memorial in the left transept is the oldest example of 14th-century funeral architecture. It is composed of a highly decorated sarcophagus, held above on the shoulders of four statues. In the pavement, in front of this monument, there is a bronze tombstone of Bishop Giovanni di Bartolomeo Pecci( bishop of Grosseto), designed and made by Donatello in 1427. Looking at a angle from the end of the tomb, gives a view of a three-dimensionality. It was  located in front of the high pedestal and transferred to the present location in 1506.In the left transept the Chapel of saint John the Baptist is situated. At the back of this chapel, lies  the bronze statue of St. John the Baptist by Donatello.  In this chapel the most impressive are the eight frescoes by Pinturicchio, instructed  by Alberto Aringhieri, and painted between 1504 and 1505. Repainting of the two was done in 17th century and the third was completely removed in 1868. Thus the Siena Cathedral is one  the most beautiful place in Italy holding  its natural beauty and welcoming a lot of tourist every day.

The Indian Scotland- Coorg, Karnataka



The Indian Scotland- Coorg, Karnataka

A picturesque hill station in Karnataka, popular for its coffee plantations, Coorg is popularly known as the Scotland of India.The scenic beauty of Coorg more than lives up to its reputation. Madikeri is the capital city in Coorg, which was established in 17th century. Its history includes the rule of many kingdoms and dynasties including Gangas, Cholas, Hoysalas, invasion by Mysore Sultans. The place is not just blessed and beautiful in its natural wealth, it has an equally varied historical lineage as well.

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For Nature Lovers

Coorg, the largest producer of coffee in India, is also known for producing cardamom, cocoa and Oranges. The forests around the place are full of Sandal, Teak and Rosewood. There are several wildlife sanctuaries in the area including Nagarhole National Park which are popular tourist locations. Elephants, tiger, leopards, cheetah and crocodiles are among the wildlife that can be easily spotted in these sanctuaries. Along with the endless greens of the forests, and the magnificent waterfalls, one can also find streams and valleys within these sanctuaries. The flora and fauna along with the topography play a major part in making Coorg a breathtaking hill station.

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The place is a paradise for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Coorg provides great opportunities for bird watchers. According to the facts and figures, Indian sub continent accounts for over 2060 species of birds. 25% of this population can be relegated to Coorg alone. Nagarhole, Abbey falls are among several suitable locations for spotting the numerous species of birds found here. In fact Coorg boasts of some species that have this place as their origin, for instance Malabar Trogons, Great Black woodpeckers to name a few.

Some 30 km from Madikeri is Nisargadhama, a biological park. The place has peacocks, deer, and rabbits and even provides elephant rides. Here, the river Kaveri splits, forming an island of sandal, teak trees and thick bamboo groves. This island, a beautiful specimen, is connected to the main land with the help of a hanging bridge made of rope. It is one among the many popular picnic sites in and around Coorg, owing to its natural splendor and beauty.

The city and its surrounding areas are littered with several waterfalls. These cascading sources of water have their own historical significance in addition to providing a visual delight for all and sundry. Some of these falls include names such as the Chelavara falls, Irpu falls, Abbey falls. Abbey Falls cascades over rocks and goes some 70ft down. It could be reached through a path that goes through coffee and cardamom plantation, making it a sensory treat.

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Irpu waterfalls have a mythological background. Lakshmana Tirtha river flows nearby, and the story, as it is  told in Indian epic Ramayana goes that the water fall was created by Lakshmana shooting an arrow to quench the thirst of Rama’ army.

For Religious Travelers

The Lakshmana Tirth River is not the only place that has religious meaning and importance associated with it. Talakauveri, considered as the origination point of river Kaveri, is situated in Brahmagiri hills. The tank or Kund near the temple is considered by the pilgrims as containing holy water. Another popular sacred site is the Omkareshwar temple, dedicated to the deity Shiva. This temple is dated to be some 200 years old, and its architecture is unique in the sense that it employs Islamic and Gothic styles.

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Hindu religion is not the only presence in this area. Its mixed cultural heritage becomes evident by the fact that Coorg has the second largest Tibetan settlement in India. The Tibetan Gold temple houses one of the most famous Buddha Vihar- the Namdrolling Monastery. The temple contains gold coated figure of Buddha, and other prominent figures in Buddhism.

For Adventure Enthusiasts

The numerous terrains in Coorg are lined by lush greenery, wilderness and gurgling streams and falls. These terrains provide amazing trekking options for novices as well as experienced trekkers. The journey of these winding trails provides sensational panoramic views, as well as a sense of peace and tranquility. The hills, the endless fields of green, the aromatic coffee plantations all successfully add to this effect.

The various trekking trails include Brahmagiri, Kotebetta (this hill looks like a fort), Nishani Betta, Tadiyandamol, and Kakkabe trek to name a few. All these trails have overflowing abundance of natural beauty. The surrounding wilderness is the habitat of several wildlife animals. Some of the trekking trails that are less popular with tourists still boast of untouched natural landscapes. These places where the hilltops seem to be touching the clouds are also conducive to those in search of peace and a place that is as far removed from the constant fast pacing city life as possible.

Coorg, Karnataka

The Nishani Betta trail provides one such experience. It becomes more memorable as the trail is lined with sporadic springs; the streams of fresh water and the trail that often goes through beautiful coffee plantations attest to the scenic beauty of Coorg.  The Kakkabe trek is famous for its nature walk as well as honey. Nalnad Palace and Padi Igguthappa temple are some tourist locations that can be visited while on this trail.

Coorg is also full of potentials for other adventure seekers as well. In Kushalanagara, a place near Coorg, Quad biking facilities are available for those interested in adventure sports.  Coorg also offers white water rafting facilities, mostly during June to September. The rains at this time create stretches of raging white waters. River Barapole is the most popular in this regard. Rafting facility here is available in a 3 km stretch. The five rapids are named as the Morning Coffee, The Grasshopper, The Ramba Samba, the Wicked Witch, and the Big Bang.

white water rafting

The spectacular landscapes of Coorg,  the hills, forests and streams, the captivating coffee plantations and smell of the coffee beans, the beauty and quiet, sense of resting in nature’s lap, these all combine to make a visit to Coorg an unforgettable affair.