The Taj Mahal, the Crown of Buildings is a Mausoleum located in the city of Agra, near Delhi. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is one of India’s greatest tourist attractions. The Taj Mahal is an example of Mughal architecture – a mixture of building design ideas from Islamic Indian, Persian and Muslim arts. The construction of Taj Mahal began in 1632 AD and was completed around 1653 AD. The marble dome that surmounts the tomb is the most spectacular feature. Its height of around 35 meters is about the same as the length of the base, and is accentuated as it sits on a cylindrical “drum” which is roughly 7 meters high. Because of its shape, the dome is often called an onion dome. The top is decorated with a lotus design, which mixes traditional Persian and Hindustani decorative elements. Near Taj Mahal there are several sites including Agra Fort, Buland Darwaja at Fatehpur Sikri, besides Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. I visited several times to these sights of Pride of India.
The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in Northern China built originally to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by various nomadic groups. It was a myth that the long wall is 6259.6 KM long but on my visit I understand that the great walls are the total length of number of walls built separately covering and protecting various empires’ properties. Several walls have been built since 5th Century BC that is referred to collectively as Great Wall. Some of them were rebuilt and maintained from the 5th Century BC through the 16th Century. One of the most famous is the wall built between 220-206 BC by the first Emperor of China Qin Shi Huang. The majority of the existing wall was built during the Ming Dynasty. I visited this Great Wall of China in the year 2006 with my nephew Soumya. I have also visited other places of interest in Beijing and Shanghai. It seems that the people are waiting for a change for freedom.
Petra means rock. It is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordan, near Amman, the capital of Jordan, famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits systems. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans. It is now symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited tourist attraction. It lies on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Wadi Araba, the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985 and in 2007 it has become one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The site remained unknown to the Western World until 1812, when it was introduced by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig. It was described as “a rose-red city half as old as time”. I visited Petra in the year 2009. I was stunned to see the unbelievable architectural site of the Treasury at Petra and other sites spread over four kilometers. I also visited places of interest in Amman and the sacred place where Jesus was baptized including the Moses Tomb. I also swam in the famous Dead Sea; the lowest point of the earth-experience is thrilling.
I was fortunate enough to visit Cairo to see The Great Pyramid of Giza and other places of interest in the year 1997, while I was also visiting Cyprus and Israel. The Great Pyramid of Giza, called the Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of Cheops,are the oldest and largest Pyramids in Egypt and also one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Continue reading
MachuPicchu is a pre-Colombian 15th century Inca site at 7970 Ft height above sea level on a mountain ridge above Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is 80 kilometers northwest of Cusco, cultural City of Peru and through which the Urubamba River flows. I visited that site in the month of April, 2011 (15th April to 24th April). Continue reading
Christ the Redeemer is one of the recent Seven Wonders of the World. Christ the Redeemer is a statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world and the world’s 5th largest statue of Jesus Christ. It is 130 ft. tall, including its 31 ft. pedestal, and 98 ft. wide. Continue reading
Chichen Itza means at the mouth of the well. I visitedChichen Itza which is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site built during Maya civilization located in the northern centre of Yucatan Peninsula in the Yucatan State, present day Mexico. As a traveller I visited this wonderful site of Maya Civilization in June,2010. Continue reading