The temple of the Tooth is a UNESCOworld heritage site situated in Kandy, Sri Lanka. The monument is actually a Buddhist worship place which is also famous as the temple of the sacred tooth. The legend associated with the temple is the holy tooth of Buddha that was secretly brought to Sri Lanka in 313 AD, hidden in the hair of Princess Hemamali who fled the Hindu armies besieging her father’s kingdom in India.
Temple of the sacred tooth - Image: Buddhika Ranchagoda
The visitors come to attend the rituals that are performed three times daily: at dawn, at noon and in the evenings. The temple is decorated with richly carved and embellished with inlaid woods, ivory, and lacquer. The relic of the tooth is kept in a two-story inner shrine fronted by two large elephant tusks. The tooth is preserved on a solid gold lotus flower, encased in jeweled caskets that sit on a throne.
Buddha Statue placed at the temple of the Tooth ( Image: LeszekZadlo )
The temple of the Tooth in Kandy, Sri Lanka is surrounded by an artificial lake which is known as Kiri Muhuda and its holy water is believed to contain healing powers and is distributed among those present.
This is yet another masterpiece constructed by the great Afghan King who is known in the history as Sher Shah Suri and whose actual name was Farid Khan. This is Rohtas Fort of Jhelum, Pakistan which was built by Suri in order to resist the Army of Humayun (The Indian Mughal Emperor) after defeating him. He was also threatened by the local Ghakkars, so another reason to build this fort was obviously to block them as well. The other magnum opus of Suri is the famous Grand Trunk Road.
Rohtas fort ( By Amir Mukhtar Mughal )
Sher Shah Suri was an efficient and a masterly administrator. Although, he ruled over India for only five years from 1540 to 1545, but he established a new template for civic and military discipline. First time in the history of India, Rupee was regulated as official currency and the postal system of India was also formulated. But Rohtas Fort and G.T. Road are the most significant constructions, raised during the Suri’s reign.
The Rohtas Fort is a mega military architecture which is spread over a circumference of 4 kilometers. Rohtas fort was constructed in the Afghan-Persian architectural style. In fact this was the first time in the history, when both construction styles were mixed together. Rohtas Fort is a magnificent piece of art near to many archaeologists due to its commanding location and it has many high and massive walls along with huge trap gates.
The outer walls are presently lacking symmetry but they have a length of more than four kilometers. They have the average height of about 14 m and the average thickness of 10 m. The wall of the Rohtas Fort has 2 or 3 terraces and varies in thickness, the maximum being 13 meters near the Mori Gate. The terraces are linked by staircases.
Talaqi Gate of Rohtas Fort ( Image : Sadaqat )
Rohtas Fort has twelve main gates which were built in ashlar stone. These gates are known as; Sohail Gate, Shah Chandwali Gate, Kabuli Gate, Shishi Gate, Langar Khani Gate, Talaqi Gate , Mori Gate, Khwas Khani Gate, Gatali Gate, Tulla Mori Gate, Pipawala Gate and Sar Gate.
Haveli Man Singh ( Image : aha299 )
There are also three Baolis in Rohtas fort made with lime rock and they are named as the Main Baoli , Shahi Baoli and Sar Gate Baoli. The other spectacular buildings include the famous Shahi Mosque which was constructed near the Kabuli Gate. This mosque contains exquisite calligraphic and decorative features.
Shahi Mosque of Rohtas Fort ( Zahid Ali Khan's Image )
Queen’s Palace which is commonly spoken as Rani Mahal is a single storey structure and both the exterior and interior are embellished magnificently. Haveli Man Singh is also situated just near to Rani Palace.
Rani Mahal or Queen's Palace ( Image: Fiaz Tariq )
UNESCO declared the Rohtas Fort of Jhelum, Pakistan as the World Heritage Site in 1997 and pays tribute to this historical building as under;
“Rohtas Fort is an exceptional example of the Muslim military architecture of central and South Asia, which blends architectural and artistic traditions from Turkey and the Indian sub-continent to create the model for Mughal architecture and its subsequent refinements and adaptations.”
Uluru or Ayers Rock of Australia is one of the most ancient bedrock structures on the planet earth. According to a research, this structure was formed about 500 million years ago. Ayers Rock has special significance near the aboriginal tribes of Australia. They call it as “Uluru” and it is located right in the middle of the Simpson Desert. In the Australian geography, Uluru or Ayers Rock is of paramount importance being a phenomenal sandstone formation. Ayers Rock stands 348 m (1,142 ft) high (rising 863 m/2,831 ft above sea level), with most of its bulk lying underground, and has a total circumference of 9.4 km (5.8 mi).
Uluru: Ayers rock of Australia ( Steve Shattuck Image )
Another exotic feature of the Ayers Rock or Uluru is the appearance of changing color during different months of the year. The area around Uluru or Ayers Rock is declared as a national park which is named after it, Uluru National Park. This park has splendid flora and fauna and it is home to over 150 types of birds and 26 types of mammals.
The Uluru cave ( Image : Roy Lathwell )
A very famous legend is associated with the Ayers Rock or Uluru by the aborigines that Uluru was once an ocean, but after a great battle at its shores, it rose up in revolt at the bloodshed, forming the great red-colored rock. Today, Uluru or Ayers Rock of Australia is a world heritage site and its many formations and water excavations which have emerged as result of overflow of water for thousands of years, keep special attraction. Similarly, the large dens and rocky shelters are also sites for the ancient paintings depicted on their walls and the ceilings.
This is the second highest mountain peak of Africa which obviously can’t be compared with Himalayan or Karakorum peaks yet it is a unique beauty. This showy spectacle is known as Mount Kenya, the beauty of Africa, which is actually from volcanic origin. This magnificent peak is also a source of inspiration for the native ethnic Kikuyu people who live on the lower slopes of Mount Kenya.
A perfect view of Mount Kenya
Mount Kenya is situated 180 km to the north of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. The surrounding area is a lush green zone that is known as Mount Kenya National Park. It is also popular with the name of Mount Kenya National Reserve and it is also declared as World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve. Mountain Kenya attracts many climbers from around the globe who specially come to climb Mount Kenya , the beauty of Africa in the months of January and February. These months are considered the best time for climbing the Mount Kenya. With an elevation of 5,199 m, the Mount Kenya offers challenging ascents with ultimate scenic attractions. The flora and fauna is also so special that varies with the altitude. Some of very unique animal species including Sunni Buck, Mt Kenya Mole Shrew, skinks (lizard), different species of owls and Albino Zebra etc are also found in the forests of Mount Kenya.
The ancient city of Bergen in Norway is well known for its classic architecture of wharf commonly known as Bryggen which has been center of commercial activities for centuries. This old city was founded in 1070 and it is no doubt a marvelous emblem of a medieval district. During the later middle Ages, Bryggen remained a strong hub for lively exercise of trade and commerce. The classic structure of parallel houses in a row has remained an exceptional attraction for the viewers for the last eight centuries.
Architecture of Bergen
All the buildings on Bryggen were constructed in long rows having a common passageway. Actually they were warehouses and big dwelling places and they were used to store the goods especially fish from north Norway and edible grains imported from Europe. In each building there was a dock area with a storing chamber. The possession of these Bryggen properties was retained by hanseatic merchants for a long time and the traditional use of Bryggen buildings was carried on till the end of nineteenth century. But ultimately, when modern ways of communication were adopted by the traders the conventional use of Bryggen was ended.
Wharf, Bryggen Buildings of Bergen in Norwary
Bryggen properties have faced many losses throughout their history, especially fire damages due to their wooden structure. In 1702 the most part of the administrative buildings were destroyed from fire and new wharf warehouses were built. However a few buildings dating back to 15th century still exist. In 1955 again Bryggen was ransacked by a huge fire and when this area was excavated, many ancient artifacts, handicrafts and precious items of medieval times were discovered.
Today, Bryggen houses comprise of hotels, restaurants, gift shops, pubs and museums. A museum is built over the remains of the first settlement of Bryggen. The items displayed in Bryggen’s Museum reflect the glorious history of Bryggen commercialism. Bryggen in Bergen was protected under the Cultural Heritage Act in 1927 and also has been designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO.