Monday, August 24, 2009
This massive building of white marble, the result of the incessant work of over twenty-thousand workmen and master craftsmen for twenty-two laborious years, was finally completed in 1648 on the banks on the river Yamuna in Agra, the capital of Mughal monarchs. Built under the supervision of Persian architect Ustad Isa, the Taj Mahal has the verses of the holy Quran inscribed on it, and the gate crowned by 22 small doves. Experts from Europe, Austin of Bordeaux and Veroneo of Venice, had also been consulted for the construction.
The Taj Mahal stands on a red sandstone base topped by a 313 sq ft marble platform, bounded by a high wall with broad octagonal pavilions at the corners. The famous onion-shaped central dome, 60 ft in diameter, and 80 ft high, is flanked by four tapering minarets. The jewel-inlaid cenotaph of the queen lies within the dome. The casket of Shah Jahan, said to have been built as an after-thought, is beside the cenotaph.
The enduring love, tenderness and majestic splendor that inspired this construction seem to scintillate from the Taj, residing in resplendence on the plain across the River Yamuna, where colors famously play magic on the monument. The tomb, especially, has been perpetually admired for its perfect proportions and exquisite craftsmanship.
This foremost tourist spot in India is well-connected to other cities, and all facilities for food and accomodation are available in the vicinity.
" Read India's Tourist Guide Click here "
Bhaba Valley,It isa wonderfull place situated along the banks of Bhaba River, is about 50 km from Sarahan, in Himachal Pradesh. It is formed by a small tributary of the Sutlej River. The link road to this place originates from Wangtu.
Viridescent landscape, meandering lakes and the stunning alpine meadows that adorn the valley makes it a traveler’s delight. Numerous trekking and hiking trails serve the adventure enthusiasts.
" Read India's Tourist Guide Click here "
Friday, August 21, 2009
The South Island of New Zealand is characterized by grand open landscapes. The island is well known for spectacular fiords, large beach forests, golden sand beaches and broad plains. Everybody can enjoy the travel to south island. The south island has ten national parks. These parks incorporate world heritage sites, lakes, glaciers, fiords, native forest, coastline, and world class hiking tracks. The fabulous scenery across the south land attracts many people to plan vacation.
Canadian Rockies is one of the most spectacular places of the earth. This place has potential outdoor opportunities and world class resorts. Visit the two national parks of Canadian Rockies and find why most of the travelers choose Canadian Rockies as their home away home .This place offers you the best of the best. It offers you the hikes that you don’t want to miss, scenic drives and many more natural highlights. You can go for the vacation even along with your children.Winter is a great time to enjoy the place. During this time, you can try sports like skiing, snowshoeing and then relaxing around a roaring fire on every evening.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Sydney is the economic powerhouse of Australia. The place is full of sun-drenched natural attractions, delicious and daring restaurants, dizzy skyscrapers, friendly folk and wonderful shopping, so most of the travel addicts want to visit the place. We can take a trip to Sydney at any time of the year
Grand Canyon is the steep-sided gorge carved by the Colorado River in Arizona State of United States. The powerful sources that cause an impact on the Grand Canyon is erosion, first is by water and second is by wind.
Nearly 5 million people visit the 1 mile deep Grand Canyon every year.
The best time to visit Grand Canyon is during the summer, fall and mild spring, but most locals agree that winter is the great time to visit. There are various camp grounds both on the top and floor of the Grand Canyon. Camping at the floor of the Grand Canyon needs a permit from the country office.
Uluru is a massive sandstone rock in central Australia that is sacred to the Aborigines of the area, who are known as the Anangu. In recent years, Uluru has also become important for New Age practitioners.
Believed to have been formed by the activities of ancestral beings in creation time (or Dreamtime), the beautiful site includes many caves, waterholes, and ancient rock paintings. Uluru is the traditional name for the rock, Ayers Rock is the name given by European explorers, and Uluru/Ayers Rock is the official name.
Myth & MysteryThe Aboriginal inhabitants of Australia, the Anangu, believe the Central Australian landscape was created at the beginning of time by ancestral beings. According to Aboriginal myth, the world was unformed and featureless until ancestral beings emerged from the void and journeyed across the land, creating all living species and the features of the desert landscape. Uluru is regarded as spectacular physical evidence of the ancestors' activities during the creation period.
The record of Dreamtime can be found in the rock itself, its fissures, cliffs and caves. The main path up to the summit of the rock is the traditional route taken by aboriginal ancestors upon their arrival at Uluru in the creation time. Various outcrops represent different ancestral spirits, and by touching the rock, an Aborigine can invoke the spirits for blessings and communicate with Dreamtime.
According to one Aboriginal myth, two tribes of ancestral spirits were invited to a feast in the area, but became distracted by beautiful Sleepy Lizard Women and dallied at a waterhole. Angry at being stood up, the waiting hosts sang evil into a mud sculpture that came to life as the dingo, a wild dog that has been known to carry off babies. There was a terrible slaughter followed by a great battle, which ended in the deaths of the leaders of both tribes. The earth itself rose up in grief at the bloodshed—and this is Uluru.
Uluru remains sacred to several Aboriginal tribes in the area, who still use it for rituals and leave paintings in its caves. The meanings of the rock's features are passed on to youth in songs at initiation ceremonies conducted in the caves along the base of Uluru. The rock is also sacred to New Age practitioners, some of whom have adopted Dreamtime into their beliefs.
HistoryAustralia's native people believe themselves to be direct descendents of these ancestral beings, and continue to carry on the rituals and responsibilities associated with their ancestral land.
The aboriginals of western and central Australia call themselves Anangu, a word that originally meant simply "human being" but has come to refer to aboriginals (especially in western and central Australia) as opposed to Australia's European descendents. The Uluru-area Anangu include two different language groups, the Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara.
The beginning of human settlement in the Uluru region has not been determined, but archaeological findings to the east and west indicate a date more than 10,000 years ago. In October 1872, the explorer Ernest Giles was the first non-native person to see the rock formation. He saw it only from a distance, prevented by a lake from approaching closer.
On July 19, 1873, the surveyor William Gosse visited the rock and named it Ayers Rock in honor of the Chief Secretary of South Australia, Sir Henry Ayers.
The Aboriginal name was first recorded by the Wills expedition in 1903. Since 1903, both names for the site have been used, although Ayers Rock was the most common name used by outsiders until recently.
In December 1993, the site was officially renamed “Ayers Rock/Uluru.” The order of the names was officially reversed to “Uluru/Ayers Rock” in November 2002, following a request from the Regional Tourism Association in Alice Springs.
On October 26, 1985, the Australian government returned ownership of Uluru to the local Pitjantjatjara Aborigines, with one of the conditions being that the Anangu would lease it back to the National Parks and Wildlife for 99 years and that it would be jointly managed. The rock and the surrounding park were designated a World Heritage Site in 1987.
What to SeeUluru is an isolated sandstone rock (not technically a monolith) that stands 346 meters high and more than 8 km (5 miles) around. Roughly triangular in shape, it stretches for over 2 miles in length and nearly 2 miles in width. It has a harder exterior than most other rock formations, which allows for the unusually steep rock faces all the way to ground level.
Uluru is a completely bare rock without the least bit of vegetation, which only adds to its stark and mysterious beauty. By great contrast, however, the base of the rock is nourished by rain runoff from Uluru and is a fertile oasis of water pools, rich greenery and a variety of wildlife. It is thus an ideal ceremonial site for the Aborigines, who camp in the caves and are sustained by the water and available food.
Aside from its imposing size the most impressive feature of Uluru, beloved by Aborigines and visitors alike, is its beautiful range of changing colors throughout the day and year. Sunrise and sunset are particularly remarkable, with the rock glowing a deep rusty red. The rock derives its rust colour from oxidation, and the glowing effect at sunrise and sunset is due to the arkosic sandstone of the rock, which contains reflective minerals and changes color according to the attitude of the sun.
Ayers Rock contains a variety of interesting cracks, canyons, caves and natural formations, all of which the Anangu attribute to the activities of ancestral beings at the creation time. The shallow caves at the base of the rock contain ancient carvings and paintings. But unlike the Lascaux Caves and other cave art sites, the Uluru rock drawings are just not artifacts of some distant culture — they are still being created by the Anangu.
At Uluru, the old cave drawings are simply painted over with new ones, and the paint is made largely of water and is therefore quite delicate. For these reasons, the rock art in these caves is impossible to date with any certainty. The rock art includes figures like boomerangs, human beings, waterholes and abstract symbols.
The base walk around the perimeter of Uluru is 9.4 km long. There is also a Mala Walk (2 km) and Mutitjulu walk (1 km). Guided walking tours are available from park rangers and by the Anangu themselves. These are popular activities and are encouraged by the Anangu. However, the most popular thing to do at Uluru is to climb it (see Making the Climb, below).
About 25 km from Uluru is another sacred rock formation known as Kata Tjuta (“many heads”) or the Olgas (named for Queen Olga of Württemberg in 1872). Special viewing areas with road access and parking have been constructed to give tourists the best views of both sites at dawn and dusk. The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park also includes a Cultural Center, where you can learn more about Aboriginal culture and the sacredness of Uluru.
The Aboriginal community of Mutitjulu (pop. approx. 300) is near the western end of Uluru. From Uluru it is 17 km by road to the tourist town of Yulara (pop. 3,000), which is situated just outside of the National Park. Ayers Rock Resort just outside the park has accommodation for a wide range of budgets. The buildings of the tourist resort are colored to blend in with the surrounding desert.
Making the ClimbThe Anangu do not climb Uluru because of its great sacredness, and they request that visitors refrain from climbing it. A sign at the base of Uluru posted by the Aborigines specifically requests visitors not to climb their sacred rock. It reads in part:
"Our traditional Law teaches us the proper way to behave. We ask you to respect our Law by not climbing Uluru. What visitors call 'the climb' is the traditional route taken by ancestral Mala man upon their arrival at Uluru in the creation time. It has great spiritual significance. We have a responsibility to teach and safeguard visitors to our land. 'The climb' is dangerous and too many people have died while attempting to climb Uluru. Many others have been injured while climbing. We feel great sadness when a person dies or is hurt on our land."However, since Uluru is currently leased to Australia as a national park (see History, above), visitors are free to climb the rock and there is a marked path with chain handhold provided to make it a little safer. Many tourists climb the rock each year, but as the sign above points out, the climb is no easy task and some have even died in the attempt.
The steep climb to the top of Ayers Rock takes over an hour in hot desert conditions. A reasonable level of fitness, proper clothing, and plenty of water are necessary. There are emergency radio alarms at various points around the base of Uluru in case of injury or health problems.
The most common journey to Ayers Rock begins at Alice Springs, from which it is 280 miles (450 km) southwest by road to the site. You can drive yourself, take a bus or join a tour from Alice Springs. See map below.
Flights depart daily from most capital cities to Connellan Airport, which is located just outside the Park. Contact a travel agent for further details. Car hire is available from the airport and is best arranged through a travel agent before arrival.
The ruins of Machu Picchu, rediscovered in 1911 by Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham, are one of the most beautiful and enigmatic ancient sites in the world. While the Inca people certainly used the Andean mountain top (9060 feet elevation), erecting many hundreds of stone structures from the early 1400's, legends and myths indicate that Machu Picchu (meaning 'Old Peak' in the Quechua language) was revered as a sacred place from a far earlier time. Whatever its origins, the Inca turned the site into a small (5 square miles) but extraordinary city. Invisible from below and completely self-contained, surrounded by agricultural terraces sufficient to feed the population, and watered by natural springs, Machu Picchu seems to have been utilized by the Inca as a secret ceremonial city. Two thousand feet above the rumbling Urubamba river, the cloud shrouded ruins have palaces, baths, temples, storage rooms and some 150 houses, all in a remarkable state of preservation. These structures, carved from the gray granite of the mountain top are wonders of both architectural and aesthetic genius. Many of the building blocks weigh 50 tons or more yet are so precisely sculpted and fitted together with such exactitude that the mortarless joints will not permit the insertion of even a thin knife blade. Little is known of the social or religious use of the site during Inca times. The skeletal remains of ten females to one male had led to the casual assumption that the site may have been a sanctuary for the training of priestesses and /or brides for the Inca nobility. However, subsequent osteological examination of the bones revealed an equal number of male bones, thereby indicating that Machu Picchu was not exclusively a temple or dwelling place of women.
Shamanic legends say that when sensitive persons touch their foreheads to the stone, the Intihuatana opens one's vision to the spirit world (the author had such an experience, which is described in detail in Chapter one of Places of Peace and Power, on the web site, www.sacredsites.com). Intihuatana stones were the supremely sacred objects of the Inca people and were systematically searched for and destroyed by the Spaniards. When the Intihuatana stone was broken at an Inca shrine, the Inca believed that the deities of the place died or departed. The Spaniards never found Machu Picchu, even though they suspected its existence, thus the Intihuatana stone and its resident spirits remain in their original position. The mountain top sanctuary fell into disuse and was abandoned some forty years after the Spanish took Cuzco in 1533. Supply lines linking the many Inca social centers were disrupted and the great empire came to an end. The photograph shows the ruins of Machu Picchu in the foreground with the sacred peak of Wayna Picchu towering behind. Partway down the northern side of Wayna Picchu is the so-called "Temple of the Moon" inside a cavern. As with the ruins of Machu Picchu, there is no archaeological or iconographical evidence to substantiate the 'new-age' assumption that this cave was a goddess site.
looks like -->
Posted by Paval at 9:43 PM
The Niagara Falls are voluminous waterfalls on the Niagara River, straddling the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York. The falls are 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York and 75 miles (120 km) south-southeast of Toronto, Ontario, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York. Niagara Falls is composed of two major sections separated by Goat Island: Horseshoe Falls, the majority of which lies on the Canadian side of the border, and American Falls on the American side. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are also located on the American side, separated from the main falls by Luna Island. Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age), and water from the newly-formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than six million cubic feet (168,000 m³) of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost 4 million cubic feet (110,000 m³) on average. It is the most powerful waterfall in North America. The Niagara Falls are renowned both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Managing the balance between recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 1800s.
Antarctica is a land of extremes: it is the coldest and driest continent on Earth and has the highest average elevation. As the fifth largest continent in the world, Antartica is also the most Southern, overlying the "South Pole". Scarcely touched by humans, the frozen land boasts breathtaking scenery, broken by only handful of scientific bases and a "permanent" population of scientists numbering only a few thousand. Visitors to Antarctica generally must brave rough sea crossings aboard ice-strengthened vessels, but those who do are rewarded with amazing scenery and tremendous and unique wildlife.