Tag Archives: Travel

Top 10 Tombs In The World

“The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living” said Marcus Tullius Cicero. Different culture treat the dead in different ways. In Tibetan Buddhist culture, people dispose the dead by feeding corpses to vultures. Hindus burn the dead reciting the funeral prayer. However in most of the culture, people bury the dead in complex and ornate tombs, crypts, and catacombs. Let’s have a look at ten most fascinating final resting places around the world.

Top 10 tombs in the world

Newgrange Tomb
Newgrange Tomb

Newgrange – One of the most impressive prehistoric monuments among top 10 tombs in the world is the Newgrange, County Meath, Ireland. It was built between 3300 BC – 2900 BC. It covers the total area of 4046 metre square. The  circular mound is 40 feet in height and 250 feet in width.

Under the circular mound, a long tunnel leads to a high-domed burial chamber, a cor-belled vault with ceilings made up of stone slabs. The entrance is denoted by huge curbstone elaborating megalithic art. Nevertheless, this impressive tomb is the world’s oldest surviving building.

Tana Toraja Tomb
Tana Toraja Tomb

Tana Toraja – Torajans believe that death is not a sudden event but a gradual process towards life after death. The Toraja people in Sulawesi, Indonesia have the most complex funeral ritual in the world. When a person dies, the funeral ceremony lasts for weeks, months and years after death. The the dead is finally buried in a stone cave carved out of a rocky cliff. Toraja cave tombs have balconies, filled with tau tau, a wood-carved effigy.

Westminster
Westminster

Westminster Abbey – Initially Westminster Abbey was the burial place of kings, aristocrats, and monks. The gothic church Westminster Abbey is situated in London, United Kingdom. It was established by Benedictine monks in the tenth century. It was rebuilt in the 13th century by King Henry III. Ever since that, it is the coronation church for English royalty as well as the final resting place of monarchs. Many famous writers, poets and scientists were interred here. This one among the top 10 tombs in the world, is a treasure house of paintings, stained glass, pavements, textiles and fantastic artifacts.

Giza Necropolis
Giza Necropolis

Giza Necropolis – With over 100 pyramids in Egypt, Giza Necropolis, in Cairo is nevertheless the largest and most complex of all the pyramids. It was built in 2560 BC. It is the house of remains of the deceased Pharaohs who ruled over ancient Egypt.

Pharaoh’s spirit called “ka”, is believed to remain with his corpse. The pyramid is 481 feet tall and 758 feet wide. The smooth exterior of the pyramid was made of fine white limestone. Internal is made up of granite blocks. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only surviving member among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings

Valley of the Kings – Valley of the Kings is the burial ground of ancient Egyptian pharaohs. These are build up of limestone, sedimentary rocks and other coarse stones. Egyptologist, Howard Carter, in 1922, discovered and opened the tomb of Tutankhamen inspite of the warning “Death shall come on swift wings to him who disturbs the peace of the King”.

Carter was bitten by a mosquito. He accidentally shaved the bitten area, during shaving, it grew into a large wound and finally resulted in blood poisoning. The tomb has a long rock-cut corridor, leading to one or more halls to the burial chamber. Royal tombs were decorated with religious texts and images.

Catacombs of Paris
Catacombs of Paris

Catacombs of Paris – The next among top 10 tombs in the world is the Catacombs of Paris. It is a huge network of underground tunnels and small rooms that used to be Roman-era limestone quarries. In 1700s, people in Paris were suffering from a terrible disease caused by improper burials and graves in church cemeteries. Finally the authorities decided to stack the remains in abandoned underground quarries. Only small portion of the tomb, that is 186 miles, is open to the public.

Terracota Army
Terracota Army

Terracota Army – While drilling for water, the local farmers of Xi’an, China in the year 1974, accidentally stumbled on the burial of Qin Shi Huangdi. He was the First Emperor and the unifier of China. The striking feature of the tomb is that around 8,000 lively statues of soldiers were buried along with Qin Shi Huangdi to help him in ruling even after death.

Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo
Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo

Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo – The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo are burial catacombs in Sicily, southern Italy. When the monastery outgrew, the Capuchin monks mummified the dead bodies, dressed them up in regular clothing and then put them on display on the monastery walls. There are around 8,000 mummies on the walls of the Capuchin monastery and in the catacombs.

The Sedlec Ossuary
The Sedlec Ossuary

The Sedlec Ossuary – The building is an ossuary containing about 40,000 human skeletons artistically arranged to form decorations, chandeliers, and furnishings. The Sedlec Ossuary is in a small Roman Catholic chapel in Sedlec, Czech Republic. The masterpieces were made in 1870 by František Rint, a woodcarver. These features are chandelier made from skull and bones and coat of bone of arms.

Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal – “The Taj Mahal rises above the banks of the river like a solitary tear suspended on the cheek of time.” said the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore. The so called “Symbol of Eternal Love” is situated in Agra, India. Taj Mahal was built on the order of Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife, Mumtaz.

The massive central dome, called the onion dome because of its shape, is striking feature with its symmetrical perfection.  The white marble tomb, in the center of the complex is flanked on four corners by minarets. The caskets of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan are decorated with gems and inscribed with calligraphy, reciting the 99 names of God.

City of the Dead in Northern Ossetia
City of the Dead in Northern Ossetia

City of the Dead in Northern Ossetia, Russia – Another among the places to visit is the Rugged Gizel valley of Northern Ossetia, Caucasus, Russia, showing small stone buildings that looks like a normal village. But it is actually the house of the dead. It contains in them the mummified bodies dressed in their best clothes and shoes with hair tidily combed.

In 18th century, plague spread all over Ossetia. The localites built houses for their loved sick family members, who were provided with food. They had to live in there until death claimed their lives. A very painful mystery indeed!!

Best time to visit Kruger National Park South Africa

Orpen_gate_Kruger_park-Kruger_National_Park

The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld, this national park of nearly 2 million hectares, SANParks – Kruger National Park is unrivalled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies.

Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Man’s interaction with the Lowveld environment over many centuries – from bushman rock paintings to majestic archaeological sites like Masorini and Thulamela – is very evident in the Kruger National Park. These treasures represent the cultures, persons and events that played a role in the history of the Kruger National Park and are conserved along with the park’s natural assets.

When to go: Lets take a look at the  best time to visit Kruger National Park South Africa. Generally considered a year-round destination, the Kruger National Park has two distinct seasons and choosing exactly when to go to the Kruger depends on what you want to experience.

Most visitors to the Kruger National Park come for the wildlife and there’s no question that the dry winter season from May to October is considered the best time to go to Kruger for game viewing as well as walking safaris. Vegetation is low and sparse at this time of year, making animals easier to spot and follow, and permanent water sources provide rewarding game viewing.

Mid-winter – June to August is a very comfortable time of year to visit the Kruger as there are few mosquitoes, little if any rain and temperatures are pleasantly warm during the day and refreshingly cool at night. The bone-dry, end-of-winter months of September and October often experience uncomfortably hot and humid conditions but concentrations of animals around water sources are at their highest – this period is often regarded as the best game-viewing time for a Kruger Safari.

The summer rains arrive from November onwards, peak in January and February and end around April. The Kruger is transformed into a beautiful, thriving green landscape and it makes for superb photography. During the “Green Season”, game viewing is still good – with many young summer-born animals around it’s a predator’s paradise – and it’s the also best time to visit the Kruger for bird watching as well as safari-and beach holiday combinations.

How to Get Around: Whether you wish to fly or drive to Kruger Park, Siyabona will get you there. Fly in on a commercial line or by private charter, or, make your trip by car or 4×4 SUV. Make your trip around the best time to visit Kruger National Park South Africa.

There are three airports serving Kruger Park:

Northern Kruger Park: Phalaborwa Airport

Central Kruger Park: Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport

Southern Kruger Park: Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMI)

Where to Stay: You can choose to stay in a number of different accommodation units in a number of different camps. Get your suitable accommodation around the best time to visit Kruger National Park South Africa.

Kruger National Park offers camp-run accommodation. Each camp has its own unique selection of accommodation types.

Camping

Sites for caravans or tents – most have power (except Balule and some at Punda Maria). Sites at lower Sabie have designated boundaries and own water taps.

Hut

Single room units with communal kitchen and communal ablution facilities.

Safari Tent

Permanent canvas tent bedrooms on permanent platforms. Some have communal kitchen and communal ablution facilities, while others are fully equipped and have more luxurious trimmings.

Bungalow

Single bedroom units with a bathroom. Some have communal kitchens while others have own kitchenettes with basic kitchen equipment. Some bungalows have perimeter or river views, while others have been upgraded to luxury status.

Cottage

Single bedroom units with living room, bathroom and kitchen.

Family Cottage

Multiple bedroom units with a living room, bathroom and kitchen.

Guest Cottage

Multiple bedroom units with at least 2 bathrooms of which one is en-suite. Fully equipped kitchen.

Guest House

Multiple bedroom and bathroom units with lounge area and often with bar facility and exclusive view.

Luxury Lodges

These exclusive private lodges, with a unique style and atmosphere form part of a suite of products known as SANParks “Golden Kudus”, where luxury is the order of the day.

Attractions:

1. The Big Five – Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion and Rhino.

2. The Little Five – Buffalo Weaver, Elephant Shrew, Leopard Tortoise, Ant Lion and Rhino Beetle.

3. Birding Big Six-Ground Hornbill, Kori Bustard, Lappet- faced Vulture, Martial Eagle, Pel’s Fishing Owl and Saddle-bill Stork.

4. Five Trees – Baobab, Fever Tree, Knob Thorn, Marula, Mopane.

5. Natural/Cultural Features – Letaba Elephant Museum, Jock of the Bushveld Route, Albasini Ruins, Masorini Ruins, Stevenson Hamilton Memorial Library, Thulamela.

Warnings:

Bats & Insects: Light draws many flying insects and with these insects come their predators. These predators could take on the form of bats and frogs. Please remember to keep your screen doors closed as this will prevent these unwanted creatures from entering your room. Should you forget and a bat enters the room by mistake, please do not panic! Calmly place a towel over the bat and release it outside or call for assistance.

Spiders, Snakes & Scorpions: Yes, these creatures are part of our environment but will most probably not harm you if not threatened. If you must walk around at night please DO NOT DO SO WITHOUT A TORCH. If you do come across a snake please do not try to catch it! Rather report this to the Manager on duty or to reception.

Fun Fact: Monkeys, baboons and tame bushbuck are very cute and can be entertaining for young and old, BUT PLEASE DO NOT FEED THEM. Remember that by feeding them, you are signing their death warrant, as they become aggressive and may have to be destroyed. By feeding these animals you do not only aggravate the situation but you also make these animals lazy and they become dependant on this food supply. The same applies to animals you may encounter along the fences of the camps in KNP, including Hyaena. Do not throw food to them or attempt to touch or tease them.

Before going out in the morning in search of animals please make sure that you have put all foodstuffs securely away. Remember that these monkeys and baboons have learnt to open up fridge doors and cupboards.

Romantic Rich Herzlich Zurich Trip

Rich Zurich Trip
Rich Zurich Trip

My friend betrayed and cancelled the last minute plan. But it was comfortable traveling alone. Finally I boarded on a fine coach for Zurich, the cosmopolitan yet cultural city. My seat was adjacent to a hunk. OMG! We exchanged names and soon realized the fact that we could only use gestures and smiles. Roger did not know English and i was poor at German. Going through my android smartphone and came to know about a language learning app that made things easy. I downloaded the app and looked in for German language translator. Greeting Roger in his language surprised him.

I showed him the amazing app and he downloaded it too. We could now exchange at least basic stuff. Roger told me that he had come to pay a visit to his uncle’s place and thought of exploring Zurich. Roger was more than excited when he came to know that i was also there for the same purpose. Not to a surprise, we decided to have fun together. Attraction was natural. We decided to visit five places.

Beautiful Zurich Heart
Beautiful Zurich Heart

Rietberg Museum

The Rietberg Museum is a paramount cultural institution in Zurich. Rietberg Museum comprised of Non-European art. I was just about to trip off the train, when Roger yelled, “achten”. According to the app it meant careful. And i replied, “I am fine”. He too scrolled his phone screen and gave a little smile. It was a sweet beginning of a yet sugary journey.

Zoo

With over 3,000 specimens, zoo is a great place in the city for education and fun. We clicked a number of photographs and also shared our Facebook accounts. Snake section was very fascinating. He exclaimed “schön” which means beautiful.

Fraumünster

The old church had exotic glass design work by Marc Chagall, reflecting the rich heritage of the city. We silently prayed and then went for lunch. The menu was in English. Using the help of lingual app, he decided to have pizza. We enjoyed pizza and pasta with cocktail.

Lake Promenade

Zurich has a lake and lush green scenery galore. All of a sudden Roger told, “kann ich deine Hand halten?”, it means can i hold your hand? We took a walk hand in hand by the lake. The feeling was enticing . It seemed as if butterflies were flying in my stomach.

Lindenhof

It was the time of dusk and the romance was oozing. Our last destination was Lindenhof. Lindenhof is the historic home of a Roman castle and fortress. It consists of a hill and section of old Zurich.

Love in Zurich
Love in Zurich

My flight was at 2:00 A.M. We would part after that, not willing to tell goodbye. He dropped me to the airport. Boarding on the plane, i saw the last message on my cell, it was Roger’s. It said, “ich liebe dich”. Our short love story had begun through apps, shortly i replied, “ich liebe dich auch”. Understand the emotions, it does not require any language translator.

Coming of the Ashes…

There are three things wrong with this English team- they can’t bat, they can’t bowl, they can’t field.”  Martin Johnson.

The aim of English Cricket is, in fact, mainly to beat Australia.” – Jim Laker.

The statements must have indicated you something by now. “The much hyped rivalry between Englishmen and Australians”.  And Ashes Tournament comes out to be a live witness.

The Ashes Tournament has its roots deeply embedded in the soil of Cricketing History.

It is a form of test cricket played between England and Australia. There have been several games seen on the field of cricket- some well-contested and some one-sided hopelessly played. You name it dominance or gentleman spirit, nothing stands close to the reputation of Ashes. Such tournaments remain the highlight of the year with respect to their growing popularity and class cricket.

Trapped by our life’s hectic schedules, don’t we often miss out on some of the exciting ventures that we have been planning since long! It could vary from taking out time arranging tickets for Ashes to experiencing the gentleman’s game ‘live’. But today many resources have come up which allows you to stay in touch with your planned ventures wherever you go. Off late, a few good apps got launched on Ashes Test and have said to arrive the stores of ‘much talked about’ platforms- Android and iOS.

Go Ashes’ , ‘ECBCricket’ and ‘The Ashes’ are such few apps that carry all the useful information about such an event.

ECB Cricket:

ECB Cricket is a beautifully crafted app, yet full of desired information. This app is meant for the easy accessing of news scores, matches and updates. From the tickets of ongoing Ashes to updates on forthcoming tournaments, from match highlights to choosing a cricket wallpaper, from scoreboard to the fall of wickets, you will get them ALL.

It’s USP is that it comes on four platforms- Apple, Blackberry, Nokia and Android whilst the cost comes out to be absolutely free.

Go Ashes:

Designed for both iPhone and iPad, Go Ashes acts as a perfect companion during your tour to the Tournament. It has a feature by an interesting name “Twickets”. It organizes all your Ashes twitter feeds at one place. Other’s include live scoring, series overview and history and news feeds w.r.t. both the teams.

Its makers say that “It is a must have for any visitor to Australia! “. Besides (in the app) you get food and drink suggestions to all the Ashes host cities.

The Ashes:

The Ashes is another commendable app on Google Play. It endows users with the latest information on the ongoing tournament. Here, all the content is powered by ‘The Telegraph’. This app has a simplified approach towards reporting on the Ashes and other cricket info.

All all, these apps are more fruitful & perfect to those having minimal time with no-fuss approach. Blessed with video content, live blogs, squad profile, photo galleries; they are match and news focussed. Other apps in the line are Yahoo Cricket, Crickbuzz Cricket Scores & News, ICC Cricket and Cricket Companion App.

cricket-ashes-history

 

A Journey from an Active Player to an Active Viewer…

If not otherwise occupied, can you deny when you are offered to play a game? Well, I can’t. Man is by nature drawn towards some or other games. The whole universe regards a mother as a child’s first teacher and do you know how this great teacher teaches a child! Of course, through games. An infant is encouraged to play games through which he can use all his senses.

Do you remember when your mom used to hide your toys under a blanket and how you used to take pleasure in finding it out? Our moms used to collide two of our toys and thus the sound produced used to amaze us and later, in order to encourage us, our moms used to give us same expressions when we repeat it. Even when a little baby makes his glass of milk fall down it becomes a matter of pleasure for him, but can we say the same for the parents? Nooooo. Many times have I heard a sentence from my elders that a child’s work is to play and the parent’s work is to clean up later.infant_play_site_083_w640

With age comes a change in our games. Few years later we start imitating the world around. I still remember how I used to force my elder brother to be a thief and then used to pretend as if making an all out effort to catch him as a cop. And then the next day, he was forced to be my student. hahaha.. I am sure, many of you have the similar instances to get nostalgic about. Such games help in developing our power of imagination, we try to understand the practicalities of life through our own ways. We try to solve our cooked up problems in our own special ways.Phenom-Childred-Play-631

In schools, we get an altogether different platform to play. Here, we learn to play in abidance by rules. We feel ourselves like professional players when we go for an inter school competition. This is the place that turns our fun into our passion. However, it is after our college years that we need to decide whether we opt as a professional sportsman or go for some other ambitious careers. And thus, get busy in our career building process.

At this juncture, our passion as a sports player takes a backseat but to compensate this separation we become an all the more passionate viewer or a fan. We make an emotional bond with a particular sport, then with a team and finally with a player. Being an enthusiastic viewer,  we hardly want to miss any sport event. In such a tech-savvy arena, we have mobiles, computers and apps like ED sports fanatics that keep us updated about sports’ on-goings and their venues. Our belief that fans do affect the outcome of the game, make us follow our Favorite team to the core of the world irrespective of our expense, work, and time.Wisconsin-Fans-Cheering

Lets take a very recent example of our craze as fans: Sachin Tendulkar, a name that needs no recognition. A name that speaks volumes about the legendary cricketer. The news that he is going to take retirement after playing his 200th Test cricket, has spread like fire in woods. The whole Indian cricket association is making an all out effort to give him a memorable farewell. So is the efforts of his widely spread fan following. His fans from all over the world are grappling with their busy schedules to make it to India between 14th-18th November to witness the historic event live. They do not want to lag behind in an effort to bid him adieu amidst so much fanfare. Such is the emotional bond all his fans share with him.

As a viewer, we serve as a support or source of enthusiasm for our team and its players. Thus, whether as a player or a viewer we always remain in touch with sport that gives us a break from our otherwise monotonous lives and relieve us from mental exhaustion. That’s how it becomes a source of energy and enthusiasm throughout our lives.

P.S.- Lets take a sneak view at benefits of playing:

  • Acts as a regular but playful exercise.

  • Strengthen our bones and muscles.

  • Saves us from being overweight.

  • sports give us a break from our otherwise monotonous lives.

  • They relax the mind and vanish our mental exhaustion.

  • They provide opportunity to prove one’s talent.

  • Teach us the importance of team spirit.  

  • Make us disciplined.