Daily Archives: 23.03.2014

The Buddhist Circuit India – In Search of Buddha and Nirvana



The Buddhist Circuit India – In Search of Buddha and Nirvana

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India is known world over for many things from Raj Mahals to Snake Charmers, from Sachin Tendulkar to Yoga but one thing, one export of this great sub-continent that has captured the imagination of the world has to be the great religion of Buddhism. Buddhism one of the most widely followed religious beliefs in the world was founded in this very land by the disciples of one of the greatest human beings ever to lay foot on the face of the earth – Siddhartha a.k.a Gautam Buddha. The teachings, the methods and the values that Gautam Buddha taught the world were preserved and spread by his earliest disciples some 2300 years ago. People from Sri Lanka till China from Japan till South Korea and in recent ages in Western countries as well have been enchanted by his teaching and way of life and it is to trace back the origins of this great human being that people come from all parts of the world to travel the Buddhist Circuit in India.

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Gautam Siddhartha was born in a moonlit night of 563 B.C in a small village at the periphery of North-eastern India in modern-day Nepal called Lumbini. He was a son of the King of Shakya Republic on the foothills of the Himalayas and was usually kept away from the harsh realities of life, as he grew up he got increasingly frustrated with the suffering in the world and decided to renounce all worldly pleasures and become an ascetic in search of true knowledge and enlightenment which shall help him take away the sufferings of people around him. He travelled all across the North-eastern region of India in present –day states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand in order to search for the greatest truth and it these sites that he traveled after becoming an ascetic till his death that comprise the Buddhist Circuit Tour. The Buddhist Circuit tour is one of the great tours that one can have in their life especially those who seek the truth and meaning of life, tracing the path of enlightenment through Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, Sravasti, Sankisa, Kaushambi and Kushinagar.

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The tour of the Buddhist Circuit is one of great joy, learning, self-searching and peace. It is a tour that gives you an insight into the life and times of the Great Lord Buddha and his journey towards attaining Nirvana. The circuit starts at a small village located just at the border of India and Nepal some 27 km away from the town of Sanauli in Uttar Pradesh called Lumbini which was the birth place of Lord Buddha, people come to this place to witness the origins of their lord and find the truth. There is a 2300 years old Ashokan Pillar here which marks the exact location of the Gautam’s birth, an old monastery in ruins and some statues of Lord Buddha’s mother. The village was lost to mankind for over two millenias before it was found again in 1980 and declared the Lord’s birthplace. Next up on the tour is the city of Kapilavastu which was the capital of the Shakya Republic of which Siddhartha Gautam was the prince; this ancient city is located just few kilometers away from Lumbini in Nepal. The site was excavated in the 1970s and is today just a kilometer from the town of Piprahwa. The ruins take you in the setting where Lord Buddha spent most of his childhood and a place from where he was inspired to find a means to end human suffering.

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From Nepal you come back to the holiest city in Buddhsit culture, the city of Bodh Gaya in the Indian state of Bihar which is the place where Siddhartha Gautam became from a prince to ‘the enlightened one’ Lord Buddha. It was here sitting under a Peepal tree called the ‘tree of awakening’ that Lord Buddha attained supreme knowledge of being. Here you can visit the very same Peepal tree and the famous Maha Bodhi Temple, which is one of the holiest sites in Buddhism housing a mammoth statue of Buddha. After attaining enlightenment Buddha traveled some 240 kilometers to the west to a great city of Ancient India known as Kashi, today’s Banaras, where in a place called Sarnath he delivered his first sermon to the world some 2500 years ago, this particular event in history is known as Dharmachakra Pravartan. Sarnath, located just 10 km outside the city of Banaras, is a great spiritual center of Buddhism and is a place of great importance for Buddhist around the world. This site of his first sermon is marked by an enormous structure known as the Dhamek Stupa, near that Emperor Ashoka erected a white stone pillar marking the beginning of Buddhism and there is also the Chaukhandi Stupa.

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As Lord Buddha traveled across Northern India to spread his message and knowledge he used to stop for sometime during the season of monsoon at a place called Shravasti, which was the capital of the Kingdom of Kosala and one of the biggest cities of the time. He used his time here to meditate and rest, the site holds within itself many ancient stupas, monasteries and beautiful temples dedicated to the Lord. Sankisa, in the next stop on the tour, and is famous as the place where Lord Buddha descended from heaven after giving a discourse to his mother, Emperor Ashoka marked this place with another Ashokan Pillar with an Elephant capital. And finally at the end of this enchanting tour comes the small eastern Uttar Pradesh hamlet of Kushinagar which is believed to be the resting place of Lord Buddha, the place where he took his last breath. The exact spot of his death is marked by a cremation stupa called Rambhar Stupa. This event of Lord Buddha’s death is known as Mahaparinirvana and is marked by a huge temple known as mahaparinirvana which houses a giant statue of the reclining Buddha which was excavated from the temple premises. The Buddhist Circuit tour is a mesmerizing journey through past and gives an understanding of peace, knowledge and a spiritual high.

Beauty Unparalleled: Beachy Head, England



Beauty Unparalleled: Beachy Head, England

Rising 162 meters high, straight out of the beautiful blue waters of the English Channel are the highest chalk sea cliffs of England. This impressive and imposing piece of chalk headland is close to the town of Eastbourne in the county of East Sussex, making it a perfect getaway from the loud and noisy city. It has an ideal location in the south of England which guarantees a good climate compared to the rest of the country. The area experiences some of the highest sunshine levels in all of England. The summers are cool while the winters remain mild, due to the influence of the maritime climate.

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The name ‘Beachy Head’ is said to be a distortion of a French word that translates to ‘beautiful headland’ the name quite resonates with the sheer beauty of the place. The chalk cliffs provide a brilliant view over the English Channel. The natural surroundings have a peaceful and calming effect over the mind and body. If you are a nature lover or are looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, this is the place to be.

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Flora and Fauna

When you visit the Beachy Head area, be sure to carry some binoculars and keep your eyes peeled for some of the most magnificent birds and animals. The region also has a varied collection of flora and fauna. The lack of development in the area has helped preserve the natural habitat of various mammals, birds and reptiles. These classic chalk cliffs are a home to a variety of herbs and plants. The diversity of this region entices birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts from all over.

Some of the common flora and fauna seen here are red fox, badgers, rabbits, Grey heron, green woodpecker, swallows, skylarks, etc. Plants such as hawthorns and honeysuckles are quite common in these regions. The Friston Forest has numerous nature trails where one can encounter these animals and birds.

Beachy Head

Things to do

Beachy head is not just famous for its stunning scenery and its undulating coastlines. The rugged cliffs gives it a mysterious and slightly dangerous aura. It has said to serve as a landmark for seafarers and fishermen. The area has also been a home to the small communities of East Dean (a village.)

Belle Tout lighthouse

The Belle Tout Light house

The lighthouse was first built in 1832 and since then has gone through several architectural changes. Today, after its many renovations it provides a stunning 360 degrees view of the breath taking Seven Sisters, the English Channel and of course the remarkable countryside. The lighthouse would make for a perfect romantic evening with your loved one.

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The Sheep center

If you love animals and would want to spend some time out in this happy little town with some, the sheep centre should definitely be on your list. The center allows you to feed the lambs, and enjoy a tractor ride, amongst many other activities. For the history geeks out there, you can learn more about the agricultural history over here.

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Hiking and walking

If your inner adventure lover wants to spend the day having fun and going hiking, there is no shortage of it here. Many biking and walking trails run around the Beachy Head. Stunning views, exotic birds, and historical landmarks will surprise you at every step of your way. Spending the entire day outside can be really rewarding as the natural beauty of the place will not fail to mesmerize you. Many different types of walks have been made available in and around the Friston Forest. In fact, there is also a Sherlock Holmes walk for the fans of Arthur Conan Doyle’s most beloved works!

East Dean village

The East Dean Village

A short walk inland from the Beachy head leads the way to the village of East Dean. Here you can find small shops, a few local inns and an authentic deli. You can spend the day at the calm and relaxing Berling beach which is barely a couple of miles from this tiny little village.

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Berling Gap Beach

Birling Gap has one of the most remarkable restaurants in the area. In the summer, many ice cream vans are also found in the area. You could sun bathe on the sandy shores of the beach or you could go in for a swim in the wild. Or when the surf is up, you could enjoy some brilliant surfing.

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Horse Riding and Cycling

Looking for something exciting to do? Take a short day trip to the South Downs Way for some horse-riding experience. You have a variety of paths from short and scenic to long and challenging routes to choose from. This path is also open for cyclists. You could hire a cycle and go mountain biking till the sun went down and enjoy spending time with your friends and family.

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Kids Corner

Many fun activities are offered at Birling gap for the young kids of all ages. Canoeing, rock pooling, fossil hunting and the infamous ghost walks are only the tip of the iceberg here. With so many activities, the little bundles of energy are kept entertained and happy. It makes for a great family day outside.

Baia do sancho beach, Fernando de noronha, Brazil



Baia do sancho beach, Fernando de noronha, Brazil

The largest country of south American region Brazil is famous for its attractive places and beautiful beaches like Fernando de Noronha, alter do chao, parapraia do toque and marau peninsula. The most beautiful is the Fernando de noronha, an active volcanic archipelago of 21 islands in the Atlantic ocean, located approximately 350 km off the coast of northeastern Brazil accessible in one and half hours by plane from the northeast coastal cities of natal and recife cities . The island only accessible by plan or boat from the northern cities of recife or natal. Fernando de Noronha is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a large part of the area is a National Marine Park. And it has the most wonderful beaches situated in Pernambuco. It is particularly famous for its extraordinary world famous beaches offering heavenly scenery of nature’s creation with crystal clear blue water area famous for swimming and snorkeling.

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this island has many wonderful beaches like  Praia do Sancho, which is reached through a crack in a rock wall,  Baía dos Porcos (Pig’s Bay), a place of astonishing beauty and great for swimming and Atalaia, a natural saltwater pool with abundant sea life. All have translucent waters, and because tourist numbers to the islands are strictly monitored, it is easy to spot turtles, octopuses, a plethora of fish and even sharks.

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The most popular beach is the Baia do Sancho, which is located on an island 215 miles northeast of the Brazilian mainland, is a bay of crystalline water and soft white sand surrounded by vegetation-covered 250 ft cliffs, considers as most expensive and most beautiful of some 2,100 beaches in Brazil. Sancho situated on the remote island of Fernando de Noronha,  is recently declared as world’s most beautiful beach. Paradise is the ideal word to describe this beach surrounded by cliffs in lush green vegetation, baia do sancho is one of the country’s most breathtaking beautiful beaches. There are two way to reach this paradise one is by land another is by sea.The one way to reach Sancho beach is by foot, several hundred meters down a dirt trail, down a rickety ladder through the rock wall, through a tight crevasse, down an even ricketier ladder and finally down  a few dozen uneven slippery sandy steps and The second option to reach this paradise is by sea, is through boat ride that part of Porto Beach. It is one of the best ways to be close to dolphins accompanying the boat and there are many islands along the way which are very attractive.

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Baia do sancho beach With forested mountains and hills protruding from the islands’ interior stands as perfect and stunning creature of nature. Baia do beach is beat known for its sun soaked sand surrounded by native vegetation and high rising cliffs, which makes the perfect nesting ground for birds. The sand on Baia do Sancho is white and the water is emerald green. the clear crystal water is ideal for diving and snorkeling and provides to snorkelers to observe exotic fish and even sea turtles. The waterfalls tumbling over lush green cliffs into turquoise water, where visitors can see dolphins and sea turtles. It has more than 200 hundred species of fish, five shark species, sea turtles and dolphins. The cliffs surrounding this beach make a perfect spot to view dolphins spinning and diving into the water. baia do Sancho is a  home to the largest concentration of tropical seabirds in the Western Atlantic and its Baia dos Golfinhos has more resident dolphins than anywhere else in the world. The splendid visibility of coral reef full of marine life and crystal clear water . As the water here is crystal clear, it is greatly suitable for scuba diving. From the top of the cliff you have to descend a series of steps to reach the beach.

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one of the selling points of the Baia do Sancho is its crystal clear water, . baia do Sancho, frenando de noronha, brazil, is famous for its green waters and white sands can be reached by boat or the “tricky stairs”. In February and June baia do Sancho comes alive with two most beautiful waterfalls cascading down from the cliffs. Craggy cliffs loom 230 feet over a perfectly shaped crescent of squishy-soft sand, trees carpet the cliff tops, giving refuge to sea birds and lava rocks form protected pools that shelter schools of Technicolor fish at either end of the blue green water.

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Brazil city famous for its many breathtaking beaches like baia do sancho, baia do porcos and praia do leao among which baía dos porcos and baía do sancho are two of the most highly rated diving destinations (link to diving section Fernando de Noronha ) in the country, and praia do leao is home to abundant sea-turtle spawning. Now the beauty of Sancho beach is well proved when it is declared as the world’s most famous and beautiful beaches.This beach is almost always deserted and living here is one of the best in the entire island. This can be the most favorite and unforgettable place for Nature lover. The adventurist and nature lovers can get the unforgettable experience the beauty of extraordinary place of the earth by visiting the baia do Sancho beach.

The Global City of Lisbon, Portugal



The Global City of Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon city is the wealthiest and the capital city of Portugal situated in the western Liberian peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the Tagus river. Lisbon one of the oldest cities in the world also called as global city because of its importance in finance, tourism, commerce, media, arts and entertainment.  Most of the headquarters of multinational companies situated in the Lisbon city. Europe’s most scenic and world’s most soulful city Lisbon surrounded by Atlantic beaches and fairy tale palaces is the Most visited and the most  livable city of the Europe.  like Vasco De Gama tomb, Belem tower, Gulbenkian museum’s art and gardens, Berardo museum’s Morden art, Oceanarium and surrounding parquet Das Naccoes’s architecture, ancient art museum.

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Lisbon’s two historical and world famous sites Belem tower, a symbol of maritime Lisbon situated at he mouth of Tejo river on a small island surround by water than monument of discovery, guarding the entrance of the city and Jeronimos monastery also listed in UNESCO world heritage.the other beautiful sites are the vasco de gama church built in 1500’s its cloisters are considered as among st the most beautiful in the world. The former royal residence st. george’s castle stands on the highest hill of Portugal providing beautiful view of the city is the most attractive center of visitors  from this you can have the bird’s eye view of the city in the company of roaming peacocks. Inside is a small archaeological museum and down the hills are a couple of terraces with perfect postcard view over alfama area.   The monument to Christ the king stands on the southern bank of the tagus river with open arms overlooking the whole city,it resembles the monument of rio de janeiro built after world war II Eduardo vii park, the second largest park in the city.

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There are many historical museums visitors can visit most famous are national museum of ancient art, national museum of costme and fashion, belem culture center, national coach museum contains the largest collection of royal coaches in the world and the Lisbon city museum. The major attraction of the city is its rich architectural museums, buildings, bridges and other monuments, the Museu calouste gulbenkian’s world class collection of Islamic, collections of ancient and modern art and oriental art is not to be missed it is  A nice assortment of Egyptian artifacts, along with paintings by masters such as Rembrandt, Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Cassat. The museum’s gardens are worth a visit in and of themselves, as a little oasis in the middle of downtown

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the other museums like Carmo convent with an ornate interior is a burial site of several members of royal family. Museum da marinha, one of the most important museum of the Europe which exhibit the oldest wooden figure of representing the archangel that accompanied vasco de gama in his voyage to India. coach museum world’s largest collection of coaches and royal vehicles. Museu do azulejo is one of the most important national museum collection of Portugal’s culture and history. Berardo museum having collection of works by Picasso and andy Warhol. Madre de dues convent museum unique in the world presenting ancient art ancient art museum.

Lisbon is alsso attractive place for its longest bridges like Ponte vasco de gama longest bridge of the Europe than the most remarkable monument of 18th century aqueduto das aguas livresit contains largest stone arch in the worldParquet das nacoes Europe’s longest bridge contains wonderful waterfront promenade and 25 de abril bridge.

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Lisbon also have religious sites such as Estrela church with its large dome located on a hill, Santa justa elevator, church of sao roque, house of spikes covered with diamond shaped stones, there are many funiculars like glorial funicular, bica funicular and Parks and gardens such as  jarim zoologico , oceanarium world’s largest ocanarium famous for variety of fishes than the oldest garden of Europe ajuda botanical garden, Lisbon botanical garden also called hidden gem, created hundred year ago famous for some weird and wonderful bizarre grafted trees- the roots hang down like fingers a great place to take a picnic.

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Visitors can see the natural beauty the westernmost part of Lisbon is occupied by Monsanto forest park spreaded in 10 km2, one of the largest park in the Europe. than the visitors can also have experience of its traditional and modern architectral examples by visiting to  Alcantara, popular industrial area with lots of small factories and pubs, Sintra aristocratic hill town to the west of the city is a never land of fairy tale palaces, manicured floral garden and wild woodlands. Baixa or city center is the heart of the city and the Parquet das nacoes new district of the city

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for shopping visitors can visit to Chiado is a traditional shopping center and cultural area with several museums and theaters including the opera. Visitors can also participate in many world famous festivals of Lisbon like rock in rio one of the world’s largest pop rock festival, festival of the oceans, international documentary film festival and the Lisbon village festival. Lisbon is also famous for its royal education institutes like The university of Lisbon the largest university of Portugal Portugal catholic university.

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Beautiful unexpected views are found at every turn down its colorful, picturesque streets, and especially from strategically-placed viewpoints or terraces at the top of each hill. The city has an unpolished, seductive appearance; an effortless beauty with captivating details such as cobbled designs, tiled façades, and pastel-colored buildings blending together to give it a singular atmosphere now lost in so many other cities. In such a stunning place, it’s no wonder that many of the world’s great explorers questioned what other beauties lied beyond the horizon when they departed from here in the 15th century.  don’t miss the chance to see this global city.

Galapagos islands, South America



Galapagos islands, South America

Spread across the equator into the Pacific are a group of 18 main islands and 3 smaller islands that together are called Galapagos Islands. Part of the Ecuador province, it is located 926km to the west of the South America. The islands are located at Galapagos Triple Junction located atop the tectonic plates and some of these islands are almost millions of years old formed by the immense tectonic and volcanic activities. It was here at Galapagos that Charles Darwin, the famous naturalist and geologist studied and unshielded various laws that govern evolution. These islands get you close to nature with its immense resources rich in flora and fauna. Some of the rarest species on earth are endemic to these islands. Here you get to see birds, reptiles, flowers and plant species that are untouched by the outside world and roam fearlessly on these isolated islands. Some of the main islands are few of the fascinating tourist spots. If you are a nature lover and wish to see the endemic birds, reptiles and sea animals in the wild this is the place for you.

 

Baltra

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A small flat piece of land, with an area of just about 21 square kilometers Baltra is also known as South Seymour. Baltra has two airports which connects the Galapagos to Ecuador. After one gets out of the airport, you are ransported by bus to the cruise ships at Aeolian Bay or to Itabaca Canal, where ferry ply to Santa Cruz. Land iguanas are among the animals that have been successively re-introduced, after their extermination during World War II, and can be seen near Baltra airport.

 

Darwin Island (Culpepper Island)

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This island is named after the famous naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin. It is one of the mini- islands with an area of 1.1 square kilometers and a maximum altitude of 168 meters. Here one can find a number of flora and fauna species. Some exotic animals species include swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions, whales, marine turtles and red footed and Nazca boobies.

 

 Bartolome’(Bartholomew Islands)

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It is one of the volcanic islands. This and its neighboring island Sulivan Bay on Santiago(James) island are named after a close friend of Charles Darwin, Sir Bartholomew James Sulivan. The island homes Galapagos penguins, the only wild penguin species that live on the equator. The green turtle is another species that lives here.

 

Espenola

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It is one of the oldest islands, formed 3.5 million years ago. Also known as Hood Islands, it spreads to an area of 60 square kilometers. You get to see wide variety of species here including lava lizards, mocking bird, tortoise, and marine iguanas. It is also the only place where Waved Albatross nests. Gardner Bay is a site for snorkeling and swimming and also had a beautiful beach. Punta Suarez witnesses an active wildlife which include brightly colored marine iguanas, Española lava lizards, Hood mockingbirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Galápagos hawks and the waved albatross.

 

 

Santa Cruz

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Here you will find the town of Puerto Ayora, The famous Charles Darwin Research Station and the headquarters of Galapagos National Park. The research center and the National Park serve the purpose of a breeding center for tortoise to be later put into their natural habitat. The highlands of Santa Cruz have a wide variety of fauna and flora which include large tortoise, sea turtles, rays, small sharks. This area is called the Black Turtle Cove and is used as a mating area by the animals. These highlands are also famous for the lava tunnels. Cerro dragon’ is a place where one can easily spot an Iguana on a hunt.

 

Genovesa Island

Genovesa

If you are a keen bird watcher this is the perfect place for you. Also called as tower island, it is a bird watching plateau with a plethora of beautiful bird species to watch out for. You can spot frigate birds and Swallow-tailed Gulls at the Darwin Bay. Other species include Red-footed boobies, noddy terns, lava gulls, tropic birds, doves, storm petrels and Darwin finches can also be seen. Because of the exotic bird species that the island homes it is nicknamed as the bird island.

 

Isabela Island

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Named in the honour of Queen Isabela, it is the largest island of Galapagos. It has got a surprising number of six volcanoes on an area of 4604 square kilometers. This island homes the only penguin species in the Northern Hemisphere in its natural habitat at Puerto Vilamil. The tourist locations include Wall of Tears, which is a 2 to 3 hours hike across the beach and lakes where you would find iguanas, flamingos, sea lions and giant tortoise. Taking a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water is a must for the hike. Snorkeling at the beaches of La Tintoreras offers an excellent view of the eagle rays and sea turtles. Concha de Perla is a a natural pool for snorkeling as well. You can play with the sea lions and have some good view under the sea.

Galapagos Islands bring you closer to nature. Its raw, full of wildlife and has around 29 endemic species. Explore the islands for yourself with each one of them having something different to offer and witness the wild come alive around you. Some of the good hotels you can find at Puerto Ayora and Puerto Villamil.  Angermeyer Waterfront Inn (Puerto Ayora), Iguana Crossing (Puerto Villami), Finch Bay Eco Hotel(Puerto Ayora), La Casa de Marita(Puerto Villami) are to name a few.

 

Best kept secrets of the seven sisters



Best kept secrets of the seven sisters

This is the story of seven sisters born to a mother who is so culturally diverse that people, who do not have a personal touch with her, wonder how she is still in one piece. From the crown she wears to the waters that washes her feet, Mother India is full of life. Enigmatic and beautiful, most of the Indian peninsula is well documented and written about. However, turn east and you will find yourself lost. The land where the first rays of the sun touches India is ironically the darkest spot in any tourism map. The land of unspoken beauty is also the land least frequented or visited by the average tourist and hence called “Paradise Unexplored”. Only the adventurous get a chunk of paradise. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura form the seven sisters. They cover 7% of India’s total land area and has 3.7% of India’s total population.

ASSAM

Bihu Dancers in Assam

Bihu Dancers in Assam

Roughly shaped like a bird with wings stretching along the length of the Brahmaputra River, Assam is the central state in the North-East Region of India and serves as the gateway to the rest of the Seven Sister States. Also called the land of Red Sea and blue hills, Assam is known for the successful effort in conserving one-horned rhinos and the golden langurs. The Kaziranga National Park is a major tourist attraction in Assam. It is a safe haven for the wild animals and tourists can view the animals in their natural habitats from a safe distance with trained officials who arrange the safaris. The nearest airport is in Rowriah (Jorhat Airport). Buses owned by Assam State Transport Corporation and private agencies between Guwahati, Tezpur, and Upper Assam stop at the main gate of Kaziranga on NH 37 at Kohora. Guided tours by elephant or Jeep are available. Visitors can come in their own vehicles if they are accompanied by guides. Hiking is prohibited in the park to avoid potential human-animal conflicts.  Of course, Assam is friendly to those who prefer sitting, relaxing and drinking tea rather than going on safaris. Dibrugarh is the place to go for the tea-lovers. It is also called the tea-capital of the world. The town is situated on the edge of the Brahmaputra River. Set amidst extensive tea estates, Dibrugarh offers tourists the opportunity to experience a life in a tea estate. The recent tea has started becoming popular, with travel companies such as Greener Pastures and Purvi Discovery offering tea tours.

ARUNACHAL PRADESH

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Known by many names like “land of the dawn-lit mountains” and “orchid state of India”, Arunachal Pradesh is the easternmost state of India. So yeah, the first rays of sun touches India here. Your day starts early here, so that gives you more time to go places. That is lucky because Arunachal Pradesh has some really beautiful things to show the world. Places to visit include Tawang, which is at an elevation of 3000m and has got a Buddhist monastery built in the city and Sela Lake near Bomdila with its bamboo bridges overhanging the river. Parshuram Kund in Lohit district which is believed to be the lake where Parshuram washed away his sins is another place the religious among you would want to visit. Of course, your adrenaline rush can be satiated by abundant scope for angling, boating, rafting, trekking and hiking. Rafting and trekking are common activities.

MANIPUR

The Highest Mud dam in India

The Highest Mud dam in India

With its capital settled in oval valley with being 720 mtrs above sea level, Manipur is perhaps the hishest historically sound state. With a brilliant history dating back to the 33 A.D., Manipur has made its way into the Indian subcontinent after independence. The sheer beauty of this particular sister has led to her being called the ‘Switzerland of India’. It is culturally very rich. Keibul Lamjao National Park, 48 km away from Imphal is an abode of, rare and endangered species of Brow Antlered deer and visitors get to see these creatures under the supervision of forest authorities. The mild and pleasant climate makes the place heavenly and it is said people who visit Manipur once visits her again. Also, once in Imphal, one would not want to miss Lake Loktal, which happens to be the largest fresh water lake in North-East India. It is like a veritable miniature inland sea. The Sendra Island in the middle of the lake is an ideal tourist attraction. The Sendra Tourist Home with an attached cafeteria is a place you wouldn’t want to miss. A special attraction in this area are the floating islands which people can view after hiring boats for a nominal fee.

MEGHALAYA

View from Umiam Lake near Shillong

View from Umiam Lake near Shillong

The name literally means “abode of the clouds” in Sanskrit. And what else to name a place so beautiful, so high and so majestic that people actually thought gods lived here. This state receives more rainfall everyday than most places in Africa receive in a whole year. Cherrapunjee holds the world record for being the place with maximum rainfall. It is a land of exotic beauty, with mountains that are so high that clouds shy away to make way for the peak.

Shillong is another very famous hill station of India. It is usually a place to visit in every average Indian traveller’s bucket list. Visit this place between March to July and you will have experiences that you will love telling your grandchildren when you are too old for the mountains. Shillong also has India’s oldest golf courses.

Ecotourism and Adventure tourism are both very popular in Meghalaya. This is so because Meghalaya has India’s largest forest reserves. Rock climbing, trekking, hiking are all very popular in this region and will definitely satisfy that inner dragon in you which craves for excitement. The Mawphlang sacred forest, also known as “Law Lyngdoh,” is one of the most famous sacred forests. It’s located about 25 kilometres from Shillong and is a must visit for nature lovers. These forests have been protected since the ancient times and holds wisdom and grandeur on a different level.

MIZORAM

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Mizoram is called the land of rolling hills, rivers and lake. As many as 21 major hills or peaks rise across the length and breadth of the state. The dramatic landscape and pleasant climate makes Mizoram a very desirous place to be. Head to Aizwal, which appears to be set atop mountain peaks, and there you can enjoy shopping at bada bazaar. Or if you feel like touching the spiritual side of you, head to Solomon’s temple, which is a grand cathedral erected as a symbol of love of Jesus of Nazreth. Or you could just sit and do nothing other than look at the majestic mountains, so huge you will find yourself wondering why god made you so small.

Extremely proud of its history and heritage, the people of Mizoram boast of all the artefacts that once belonged to heroes of the old. The village Chawngtlai, which is a historical village of the state, has many of these artefacts. One such artefact is the Hmar Lungtat, which is a whetting stone of Hmar tribe dating back to 1700 AD. Other equally priceless artefacts also adorn the shelves of the museums in the historical village.

NAGALAND

Hornbill festival of Nagaland

Hornbill festival of Nagaland

Also called the “falcon capital of the world”, Nagaland is named so because it is the home of the Naga Tribes who got their names from the pierced noses they sport. People from Nagaland are extremely friendly and culturally diverse. The government of Nagaland is now promoting their traditional celebration of nature, where they dress up as hornbills and dance merrily. Traditional arts which include paintings, wood carvings, and sculptures are also on display during this happy time. Additional attractions include the Konyak fire eating demonstration, pork-fat eating competitions, the Hornbill Literature Festival , Hornbill Global Film Fest, North East India Drum Ensemble, Naga king chilli eating competition (you’ve got to try this one out).

Sadly, tourism in this state is badly affected due to the naxal problem. It is not exactly advisable to go there unless you either want to join forces for or against the naxals. The government of India is taking the necessary steps to remove the problems and hopefully soon, Nagaland will become the hub of cultural celebration that it is meant to be.

TRIPURA

The most secretive of the seven sisters, Tripura in Sanskrit means “three cities”. A calm state with beautiful scenic hamlets, Tripura is for the nature lovers who love calm and quite of rural retreat. Of course, the capital city is an attraction enough, but tourism in Tripura has not really attained the status of other states. Vastly unexplored, people miss out on much more than just mountains in this beautiful state.

A visit to the north-east India should definitely be on your “places-to-go-to-before-I-die” list. I am adding it to mine. See you somewhere in the mountains.

Visit the Foxconn city: Shenzhen, China



Visit the Foxconn city: Shenzhen, China

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There was a time when Shenzhen was nothing but just a fishing village with a population of thirty thousand. Now, when you arrive at Shenzhen, which is just across the border from Hong Kong, you will see a metropolis twice the size of Milan, record breaking skyscrapers, beautifully scenic capsule elevators and much more. Shenzhen is located in Southern China and can be easily accessed from the border of Hong Kong. It has six districts and the city centre is in Futian District. It has been quite a popular destination for business travelers and Chinese tourists because of city’s great attractions. Shenzhen was selected as the most livable city in China in a report released at the 2007 China City Forum in Beijing. Shenzhen was also named as third most beautiful city in China, after Beijing and Hong Kong, in a study by Institute for Urban Competitiveness.

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You can visit Shenzhen at any time of the year as it has a subtropical climate with long hot and humid summer from April to September. However some travelers enjoy this weather greatly, while some may find it comfortable in spending holidays here in a cooler climate.

How to get here?

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Shenzhen can be reached easily from the Hong Kong International Airport. You can fly directly to the Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport also. There are many countries; from where people don’t need visa to enter Hong Kong but to get to Shenzhen you are going to need a Chinese visa for sure. You can take a connecting ferry, bus or limousine service from the airport to Shenzhen.

Accommodation and food

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Shenzhen has quite a range of star rated accommodation along with hotels and resorts that can be booked directly, online or through travel agents. In Five star hotels, most famous is Sunshine Hotel in Luohu District, which has almost 378 guest rooms with internet facilities, bathrooms, international long distance phone, 24 hour room services, mini bars, mini spa and delicious food. You can choose between Zense Hotel, Shenzhen Perthden or Shanshui Trends hotel for 4 stars. There is famous Melbourne’s Home hostel, if u need a cheap but family style hostel service. There are Hi Inn Luohu Port and Ideal Inn which offer excellent services with superior facilities.

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If you are a food freak who loves to try new dishes all the time then all Chinese regional dishes can be easily found here. You can easily find Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Indonesian and Western food also as there are thousands of snack bars, eateries, stalls and restaurants in Shenzhen. You would like to try the Nan’ao Abalone which is nutritious, tender and crisp and off course, the Shajing Fresh Oyster which is the most famous specialty in Shenzhen. If you want to try the seafood, then go to the Leyuan Road seafood street of the seaside seafood street at Yantian District. The hottest night market at Luohu District is Xiangxi Village Food Street. The delicious food and authentic cuisines from all regions in China are collected at his street.

The Attractions

Window of the World

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Shenzhen Window of the World is located in Guangdong Province and covers an area of thousands of square metres. It is a fantastic replica park with vivid replicas of world’s wonders, historical heritages and famous scenic sites. It carries forward the theme of world culture, setting the world famous landscape, folk customs and dances in the park. It is worth a visit.

Mission Golf Hills Club

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Mission Hills is China’s highest rated golf and leisure resort. It is also the world’s largest golf club according to the Guinness World Records. It covers 20 square kilometer of complex featuring twelve 18-hole resorts and championship courses designed by golf’s greatest legends and architects. It hosts many tournaments including World cup of Golf and the Asian Amateur Championship.

Happy Valley Theme Park

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Happy Valley is one of the best sightseeing, entertainment and visitor participation spot in Shenzhen. It is a theme park occupying an area of 350,000 square kilometers. The park contains nine major subject areas including Spanish Square, Magic castle, Mt. Adventure, Gold Mine Town, Shangri-la Wood, Sunshine Beach, Typhoon Bay, Happy Time and Maya Water Park. It is hell of a fun.

Soviet Aircraft Carrier Minsk

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Soviet Aircraft Carrier is a theme park situated on the shore of Sha Tau Kok. It is quite unique as it is one of only two theme parks in the world to be based on a real aircraft carrier, the other being in Tianjin. It covers an area of 30,000 square metres. The well known Soviet MiG-23 aircraft fighter and Mi-24 military helicopters are on display on the first deck, while on the second deck, the crew’s living area has been rebuilt to give visitors a glimpse of the conditions of naval life.

Wutong Mountain

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Wutong Mountain is the highest mountain in Shenzhen, standing on the mountainside of Brave man Slope, with its peak at 944 metres above sea level. It has become the first choice of local hike because it is located close to the Shenzhen downtown area. After reaching the top you will find yourself surrounded with the unrestrained and far ranging scenes and green mountain ranges.

Tai Lam Chung Reservoir

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The Tai Lam Chung Reservoir is located in the Tai Lam Country Park. IT is the first reservoir built in Hong Kong after the Second World War. You can go out there and check out some really catchy green views.

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While all of your friends are off joining the crowds in Guilin and Beijing, you need only to hop across the Hong Kong border to experience one of China’s most interesting and underrated cities.

Visit the City of Smiles: Taipei, Taiwan



Visit the City of Smiles: Taipei, Taiwan

taiwan32 Taipei, Taiwan.

Taiwan, officially known as Republic of China, is known for steep mountains, lush forests and crowded cities off course. Beautiful coastal scenes are part of Taiwan’s great natural assets. When it comes to crowded city and most visited place in Taiwan, then its capital Taipei tops the list. Taipei is Taiwan’s largest city, located on the northern tip of the island, not far from Japan and the Philippines. It is the center for politics, economics, culture and education while playing a key role in finance, media and telecommunications. Having a population of more than 3 million people, it is most populous city in Taiwan. Taipei also has the 5th tallest building in the world, Taipei 101, which was built in 2004.

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Taipei city has a warm humid temperate climate with hot summers and no dry season. The warm season lasts from June to September and Cold season lasts from December to March. The temperature hovers between max 31 degree to min 13 degree. Late October to January is the best time to visit Taipei, when the weather is comfortably cool and clear.

How to get here?

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Taoyuan International Airport is just around 45 minutes south of Taipei and receives most international flights. The most economical way to get to Taipei from Taoyuan airport is by bus. Once you are in Taipei, you can catch a cab to your hotel. The airport is also very close to the High Speed Rail (HSR) station. The HSR will stop at the Taipei main station, where you can connect with the MRT Metro.

Accommodation and Food

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Best place to stay in Taipei is near Taipei Main station as there are a lot of shopping hubs and food corners around it. You can travel to other parts of Taipei, even other parts of Taiwan Island from one centralized location. The various trains and bus services are just minute’s walk away. There are five star hotels like Hotel Quote, Palais de Chine Hotel, Gloria Prince and four stars like AT Boutique Hotel, Fortune Hiya Hotel, Brother Hotel and many more. You can find affordable and classy rooms at the Mango53 Inn, Walker’s hostel, Travel Talk Taipei.

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You can try some different dishes offered in the night markets at Shillin, Ximending and Gongguan districts. Beef Noodle Soup is most famous dish in Taipei, having unique flavor with no herbs and spices. You need to spend just 50-70 New Taiwan Dollars to savor this dish. In Shillin Night market, all kinds of street foods are available and you could try the famous grilled squid here. Hakka dishes here are rich and hearty, usually salty and vinegary and often involve pork. You can also find many mainland Chinese cuisines here, such as Fujianese, Canonese and Suchuan and a great selection of Vegetarian restaurants.

The Attractions

Taipei 101

 taipei101_01    Taipei-101-Building-in-Taiwan

There was a time when Taipei 101 was world’s tallest building with its 509 m height. Now Burj Khalifa tops the list. It is located in the East of Taipei. The tower consists of 101 stories above the ground. The top floor is at 439 m. Taipei 101’s construction started in 1999 and finished in 2004 costing about 1.7 billion US dollars. This building is a joy to watch.

National Palace Museum

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National Palace Museum was officially opened on October 10, 1925 allowing members of the public and future generations to enter the Palace to admire this cultural inheritance. The museum holds collection of cultural artifacts of Chinese art. It has vast collection of treasures in painting, calligraphy, statuary, bronzes, laquerware, ceramics, jade and religious objects.

Taipei Zoo

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The Taipei Zoo is the largest city zoo in Asia. The Zoo is located in Wunshan District and has combined area of 165 hectares with 90 hectares being open to the public. It has 12 outdoor animal areas and 10 indoor areas. It is really a lovely space with beautiful gardens, plenty of fun, interesting animals and lots of space for kids to run and have fun while parents stroll through the wide, stroller friendly paths.

Longshan Temple

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The most well known temple in Taiwan, the Mengjia Longshan Temple was built in 1738. It is one of the largest and oldest temples in Taiwan and guess what, entrance is free but donations to maintain the upkeep of the temple are accepted. Since the construction of the temple, Taipei residents have continuously renovated and improved the temple and the surrounding grounds.

Chinese Culture and Movie Center

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Chinese Culture and Movie Center is a former movie studio and tourist attraction located in the Shilin District. It is owned by the Republic of China Central Motion Pictures Company. In its early period, it functioned as a film and TV drama filming location and studio. However it indefinitely closed in 2008 but it is still open for the tourists.

Museum of Drinking Water

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The Taipei Museum of Drinking Water is worth visiting for two reasons. Firstly, it is a quite close to the city and secondly, it tells the story of an important part of the city’s development. It is probably one of the most beautiful architectural remains of the Japanese colonial times in Taiwan. It was built in 1908 and resembles a Baroque styled palace. The museum can be reached by rapid transit train.

Taipei has enough going for it to make any traveler’s bucket list. Visually stunning Taipei is a shutter bug’s paradise.

The Charming Cities of Belgium: Brussels, Antwerp and Bruges



The Charming Cities of Belgium: Brussels, Antwerp and Bruges

Famously known as the ‘Cockpit of Europe’ because of witnessing numerous battles between the many powers of Europe, Belgium is rich in history and culture. This beautiful country is often considered as the unofficial capital of the European Union as it has a history of hosting the Institution of the European Union at its European Quarters.

Belgium also has an astonishing number of cities for occupying such a small region. It is divided into three main regions on linguistic grounds. The northern Dutch speaking part of the country is known as Flanders. Brussels is the capital of the country which is also a bilingual region. The southern region that is predominantly French speaking is known as Wallonia. The high rate of urbanization has given birth to some very beautiful and exciting cities that one must visit. These charming cities will take your breath away with their ambiance, architecture and richness.

Brussels city

Brussels

The capital city of Belgium is rich in art, architecture and gastronomy. This wonderful city is located in the central part of Belgium and is surrounded by the Flanders region in the North and the Wallonia region in the South. Though the climate tends to be quite cool and damp, the city is a major tourist attraction. The architecture in Brussels is quite varied. It spans from medieval structures and churches to the postmodern structures of today.

Brussels

The Grand Place is one of the most famous medieval structures of Brussels. UNESCO designated it as a world heritage centre in 1988. It is situated in the heart of Brussels, and is an important landmark for tourists. The town hall in the old centre with its Gothic architecture is a remarkable sight. The Royal Palace of Laeken is another enchanting and important landmark.

atomium

The Atomium is a stunning postmodern structure in Brussels. Built in 1958, this 20th century wonder represents a model of an iron crystal. Standing tall at a height of 102 meters, this structure features nine stainless steel spheres connected by tubes. The top most sphere showcases a panoramic view of the beautiful Brussels.

Some other wonderful attractions of Brussels include the ‘Manneken Pis,’ and The Cinquantenaire Park. Brussels also houses many marvelous museums such as the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, The Comic Museum, and Museum of the Army.

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Brussels is also well known for its scrumptious waffles, delicious chocolates, fries and of course the various types of beer. There are approximately 1,800 restaurants to choose from in Brussels. The Belgian cuisine is known as one of the most mouth-watering in all of Europe by the connoisseurs, so make sure to get a taste of this city when you’re there.

Antwerp

Antwerp

Belgium’s second largest city has a lot to offer to tourists. This amazing city is known for its diamonds, fashion, its beautiful port, and the wonderful architectures of the Gothic Cathedral and the Antwerp Railway station.

Antwerp Cathedral

Located along the banks of the Scheldt River, Antwerp boasts of having the second largest port of Europe. Close to the port is the imposing Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady. This beautiful structure can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. The sheer elegance of it is mind blowing. Antwerp also has the pleasure of having the world’s fourth most beautiful railway station.

Besides its magnificent architecture, Fashion is another one of Antwerp’s charms. Being a rising fashion city, ‘Antwerp Six’ is one of the most famous designers that it has produced. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts greatly adds to its status in the fashion world today. The ‘Rubenshuis’ which was the house of famous painter Reuben is now an attractive museum and showcases much of the painter’s life and work.

Antwerp Zoo

Some of the places that you must visit are the St. Paul’s Church which features a lovely mix of Baroque and Gothic style of architecture, the Antwerp Zoo which is one of the world’s oldest zoos today, and the City Hall which is the historic center of the town. The beautiful mixture of Gothic and early Renaissance architecture is almost endemic to this region of Europe.

Bruges sunset

Bruges

This splendid town is an almost perfectly preserved pre-motorised cities in Europe. Having an abundance of canals, it is quite often referred to as the ‘Venice of the north.’ These lovely canals offer serene and romantic settings during dusk and dawn, so don’t miss the wonderful photo opportunities. The town of Bruges has a very unique sort of charm that very few other cities have.

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The Jerusalem church is an extremely unique church with octagonal towers, Gothic stained glasses, and a fine black marble tomb, and a hauntingly beautiful chapel containing the effigies of Christ. The Onze Lieve Vrouwkerk is another marvellous creation of Gothic and Romanesque periods. The church also possesses a stunning Michelangelo sculpture of ‘Madonna with Child.’

One must visit the many museums that Bruges has to offer such as the Choco-Story Museum which displays the transition from cocoa to chocolate, the ‘Diament museum’ which has a large exhibit of diamonds, and the Friet Museum which is the only museum in the world about the evolution of fries.

Brewery De Halve Maan

The Brewery De Halve Maan is a brewery and museum which offers a tour of the beer making process. As Belgian beer is world famous, one should most definitely visit this place to get a good metaphorical or literal taste of the country’s most beloved drink.

Some of the other exciting attractions of Bruges include hot air balloon rides, boat rides in the enchanting canals, and riding the romantic horse drawn carriages. Every year from November to January there is a stupendous snow and ice sculpture festival that displays some of the finest ice sculptures built by professional artists.

Taj Mahal-The Structural Wonder



Taj Mahal-The Structural Wonder

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  • INTRODUCTION

Taj Mahal, “A Shrine of Love” is one of the most striking shrine in the world. It is situated on the bank of river Yamuna, in the city Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. Taj Mahal is a white marble Burial chamber which was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Taj Mahal is also known as “The Jewel of Muslim Art in India”. In 1983 the masterpiece of world’s heritage was selected as 7th wonder of the world by UNESCO. On full moon night the Taj Mahal seems to glow in the light.

  • HISTORY

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 In the year 1631, Shah Jahan, a Muslim army commander and emperor of Mughal Empire in central India lost his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, a few minutes after delivering her 14th  child, A Daughter. The last wish of Mumtaz Mahal was to build a dream like tombstone such as the world had never seen before. As an assurance, Shah Jahan build Taj Mahal in Agra, which placed in Northern part of India to justify the dream of his Wife. The construction of Taj Mahal started in 1632 and ended in 1653. That is it took about 22 years to complete the construction of the beautiful shrine, Taj Mahal. As the construction finished, Shah Jahan the Mughal emperor was imprisoned by his own son Aurangzeb in Agra fort, from where he used to see the Taj Mahal. After the death of Shah Jahan, his grave was also placed next to the grave of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.  It is also said that when the construction of Taj Mahal ended, the king Shah Jahan cut the hands of their workers, so that they do not make any other similar shrine again.

  • CONSTRUCTION of TAJ MAHAL

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The construction of Taj Mahal took a period of 22 years, it started in 1632 and ended in 1653. The construction of Taj Mahal cost about 32 Million Rupees. 1000 of elephants and ox were also employed to deliver the heavy material from one place to another. The architects of Taj Mahal achieved the most beautiful appearance through this creation. Taj Mahal is the results of efforts together put by the experts artists of that time. The beautiful lush green gardens also increase the beauty of the monument.

  • ARTISTS & WORKERS

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 In the construction of Taj Mahal many famous artists were involved. It consist a creative team of 37 men which include sculptor and calligraphers from Persia inlayers who came from southern part of India, stone cutters from Baluchistan, the designers specialized in carving marble and an expert in making tower. The deigned plan of Taj Mahal was finally produced by – USTAD AHMAD LAHAURI. The dome of Taj Mahal was constructed by – ISMAIL KHAN AFRIDI and the calligraphy on the dome was done by – AMANAT KHAN SHIRAZI. The poetry on the stone of the tomb is done or written by the poet – GHYASUDDIN. PURU – from Persia was known as supervising architect, who supervise thousands of labour appointed together in the construction of Taj Mahal. CHIRANJILAL from Delhi was the chief sculptor and mosaic architect.

  • BUILDING MATERIAL

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 The main tomb of Taj Mahal was made of white marble, whose colour changes according to the light of the day. 43 kinds of precious and semi-precious stones were used in the inlay work of interior and exterior parts of Taj Mahal. The material used are :- Red Sand Stone from Fatehpur Sikri, White Marble from Makrana, Rajasthan, Jade and Crystal from China, Turquoise from Tibet, Yellow Amber from Burma, Badakhshan from Afghanistan, Lapis Lazuli from Egypt and Jasper from Punjab. Some of the other semi-precious stones are Topaz, Onyx, Garnets, Sapphires, Rubies and Quartz which were brought from Himalayas and the precious stone like Diamond was brought from Golconda which enhance the beauty of stunning monument – THE TAJ MAHAL.

  • ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS

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Taj Mahal is the blend of Hindustan and Persian art. The entire area of Taj Mahal measures 1902*1002 feet. It is a rectangular plot.

           1.  The Tomb

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The main attraction is a white marble Tomb, which stands on the square platform covered with huge white dome, whose top is decorated with lotus flower. The 4 equal pillars stood there which surrounds the white dome from each corner. The dome of the Tomb is also known as Onion dome because of its shape. The top of the dome was decorated with Gold but it has been replaced with Bronze in 20th century. The tomb consists the false grave of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan in the main hall. The actual graves are placed in the lower level of the tomb. The Grave of Shah Jahan is bigger than the Grave of Mumtaz Mahal. The Tomb is square in plan with chamfered corners.

           2. The Main Gate 

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The main gate stands opposite to the main tomb. It is made of red sand stone. It is 93 feet in height. It is the best example of fine inlay work. The gate has a plentiful inlay work of white marble and precious stones are done into the red sandstone surface. On the top of the gate 11 domes are erected with two high supports on the side. Some Quran wordings are also emblazoned in black stone on the white marble surface. It has exquisitely crafted doors on the two sides, one opening towards the court-yard side to receive tourists from all three entry gates, and the other side opening towards the grand white marble Taj Mahal.

           3.  The Taj Gardens

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The Taj Mahal gardens not only enhances the beauty of Taj, but they also give it the peaceful and tranquil ambience which makes visiting the Taj Mahal a real preference. The gardens of Taj Mahal are divided into 4 parts with two main walk way. The 4 parts of garden are further divided into 4 parts, so it is also known as Charbagh of Taj Mahal. The Charbagh depict the image of 4 gardens which represents Water, Honey, Milk and Wine. A line of musical fountains passes in between the main walkway from the main gate to the base point of white marble tomb. The gardens consists of various kinds of trees, birds and flowers which enrich the prettiness of the Taj Mahal.

           4.  The Naqqar Khana and The Mosque

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The east and west side of Taj Mahal stood 2 complex of red sand stone and they are Naqqar Khana and the mosque. Both are opposite to each other and gives even shape to Taj Mahal. Naqqar Khana is the guest house of Taj Mahal which is also known as Mehman Khana. The mosque on the west of Taj Mahal gives a new contrasting look to the whole area of the tomb.

  • How to get there

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Agra is the major city of Uttar Pradesh. It is also known as city of forts and palaces. A large number of tourists come every year to visit Agra, so it is well connected to Road, train and Air. But in the complex of Taj Mahal one has to travel by foot.

  • When to Visit

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A large number of visitors throughout the world are attracted towards Taj Mahal. Two types of entry ticket system moves in Taj Mahal. One for Indian Class which is lower and one for the Foreigners which are higher. On Friday Taj Mahal is closed. Taj Mahal is open for night viewers on full moon night.