Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Giant's Causeway, United Kingdom

The Giant's Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It is located in County Antrim, on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland, about two miles (3 km) north of the town of Bushmills. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986, and a National Nature Reserve in 1987 by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. In a 2005 poll of Radio Times readers, the Giant's Causeway was named as the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven and eight sides. The tallest are about 12 metres (36 ft) high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 28 metres thick in places.
The Giant's Causeway is today owned and managed by the National Trust and it is the most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland.


Alkmaar, Netherlands

Alkmaar pronunciation is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands, in the province of Noord Holland. Alkmaar is well-known for its traditional cheese market. For tourists, it is a popular cultural destination.

The earliest mention of the name Alkmaar is in a 10th-century document. As the village grew into a town, it was granted city rights in 1254. The oldest part of Alkmaar lies on an ancient sand bank that afforded some protection from the sea during medieval times. Even so, it is only a couple of metres above the surrounding region, which consists of some of the oldest polders in existence.
In 1573 the city successfully withstood a siege by Spanish forces under the leadership of Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba. It was a turning point in the Eighty Years War and gave rise to the expression Bij Alkmaar begint de victorie ("Victory begins in Alkmaar"). The event is still celebrated every year in Alkmaar on October 8, the day the siege ended.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

An unusual Map of the World

Turkey-05, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.


Jungfraujoch, Switzerland

Jungfraujoch is a col or saddle between the Mönch and the Jungfrau in the Bernese Alps on the boundary between the cantons of Bern and Valais.
Strictly, the Jungfraujoch is the lowest point on the mountain ridge between Mönch and Jungfrau, at 3,471 meters (11,388 ft). It is just above this location that the mountain station of Jungfraubahn is located, Jungfraujoch railway station, which at an elevation of 3,454 meters (11,332 ft) is the highest railway station in Europe. The Jungfraujoch is often called the "Top of Europe" in tourist literature.

The Jungfraujoch is also home to one of the Global Atmosphere Watch's atmospheric research stations. The Jungfraujoch can only be accessed through a 7.3 km long cog railway tunnel, served by the Jungfraubahn, the highest in a series of cooperating railway companies that provide access to the Jungfraujoch from Interlaken.



The Martinsloch (Martin's Hole) is a hole nearly round hole of about 15 m in diameter in the Tschingelhörner, just below the ridge, the boundary between the Swiss cantons of Glarus and Graubünden forms. The hole is located at an altitude of approximately 2,600 meters and is aligned so that in spring and autumn, the morning sun through the hole in the place Elm seems down. In Elm, the church was so constructed that the church through this hole from the sun can be.
The hole was created by Martin geological faults.


Dolmabahçe Palace, Turkey

Turkey-09, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

The Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, located at the European side of the Bosporus, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1853 to 1922, apart from a twenty-year interval (1889-1909) in which the Yıldız Palace was used.


Mount Nemrut, Turkey

Turkey-08, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Nemrut or Nemrud is a 2,134 m (7,001 ft) high mountain in southeastern Turkey, notable for the vast statues at a 1st century BC tomb on its summit.

This tomb was excavated in 1881 by Karl Sester, an engineer from Germany. Subsequent excavations have failed to reveal the tomb of Antiochus. However, this is still believed to be the site of his burial. The statues have not been restored to their original positions.
In 1987, Mt. Nemrut was made a World heritage site by UNESCO. Tourists typically visit Nemrut during June through August. The nearby town of Adıyaman is a popular place for car and bus trips to the site, and one can also travel by helicopter. Mount Nemrut is part of a geographic area named the Armenian highlands by Russian and Soviet geographers.


The Big Cats

Turkey-07, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Turkey-07, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.


Malaysia FDC

A set of two beautiful FDC's on Rumah Tradisional Houses - sent by Carol.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Los Uros, ethnic group inhabiting Titicaca Lake,Bolivia

Bolivia-1, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Lake Titicaca is a lake located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It sits 3,812 m (12,500 ft) above sea level, making it one of the highest commercially navigable lakes in the world. By volume of water it is also the largest lake in South America.
Uros are a pre-Incan people that live on forty-two self-fashioned floating man-made islets in Lake Titicaca Puno, Peru and Bolivia. They form three main groups: Uru-Chipayas, Uru-Muratos and the Uru-Iruitos. The latter are still located on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca and Desaguadero River.


Fishing Field, Cat Ba, Vietnam

Vietnam-5, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Cat Ba - the pearl island is the well-known archipelago in the whole country with a spectacular array of sea and island scenery, it covers an area of 20,000ha in the North-East of Hai Phong. It takes about one hour by high speed ferry to go to the island, or by land it is about 60 km passing 2 ferries, you will easily reach the pearl island. In the spacious sea, we suddenly see a tropical jungles.

Cat Ba Island was probably the veer off reading from Cac Ba (women) by the local people. Legend has it that in the alien war resistance, all the men were in the front lines to fight so now known as Cac Ong Island (Mennnns Island) and women stayed behind to deal with the cooking so this island is now called Cac Ba Island (Womennnns Island) Nature here is till wild. Mountain, forest, sea, spring, hill, valley, sandbank, grotto are intertwined creating many practically interesting beauty spots. Some big grottos such as Trung Trạng which can contain hundreds of people. Hung Son Grotto or known as Quân Y (Hospital of army) as there existed a field hospital inside it during the war. Cat Co, Cat Tiên, Cat Đa Bong, Cat Dua beaches are small, beautiful with white and pure yellow sand, the front looking to the immense sea, the back and the two sides look like a great wall. To reach the bathing beach , one must climb the mountain or go through a tunnel. The primitive forest here reserving many rare animals and plants which are under the Stateeees protection has been named the National Park. Driving in the clear and blue sea water in Cat Ba you can see clearly the grotto, coral reefs, living creatures in the stone gorge at the seabed. Cat Ba was officially recognized by UNESCO as the International Biosphere Reserve in 2005.


Snow view of Golden Pavilion, Rokuonji Temple, Japan

Japan-16, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Kinkaku-ji, or formally Rokuon-ji is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan.
Kinkaku-ji was originally built in 1397 to serve as a retirement villa for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, as part of his estate then known as Kitayama. It was his son who converted the building into a Zen temple of the Rinzai school.

The Golden Pavilion, or Kinkaku, is a three-story building on the grounds of the Rokuon-ji temple complex. The top two stories of the pavilion are covered with pure gold leaf. The pavilion functions as a shariden, housing relics of the Buddha (Buddha's Ashes). The top floor is built in traditional Chinese cha'an style, also known as zenshu-butsuden-zukuri; and the middle floor in the style of warrior aristocrats, or buke-zukuri. The ground floor is rendered in shinden-zukuri style, reminiscent of the residential style of the Heian imperial aristocracy. The building is often linked or contrasted with Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion Temple), and Shōkoku-ji, which are also located in Kyoto.


Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries, China

China-54, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

The Giant Panda newborn is small and underdeveloped and the rely completely on the care of their mother.

The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries located in southwest Sichuan province of China, is the home to more than 30% of the world's highly endangered Giant Pandas and is among the most important sites for the captive breeding of these pandas. It covers 9245 km² with seven nature reserves and nine scenic parks in the Qionglai and Jiajin Mountains. Along with the Giant Panda, the sanctuary is a refuge to other endangered species such as the red panda, the snow leopard, and the clouded leopard. Outside of the tropical rainforests, it is among the botanically richest sites of the world, and is home to between 5,000 and 6,000 species of flora. It has been noted that the region is similar to the paleo-tropic forests of the Tertiary Era.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Panoramic Sight with the main square, Machu Picchu, Peru

Peru-2, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian Inca site located 2,430 metres (8,000 ft) above sea level. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cuzco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Often referred to as "The Lost City of the Incas", Machu Picchu is one of the most familiar symbols of the Inca Empire.


Tach Island (Cup Island), Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam

Vietnam-4, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Hạ Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Quảng Ninh province, Vietnam. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes.

Local legend has it that long ago, when the Vietnamese were fighting Chinese invaders, the gods sent a family of dragons to help defend the land. This family of dragons began spitting out jewels and jade. These jewels turned into the islands and islets dotting the bay, linking together to form a great wall against the invaders. The people kept their land safe and formed what later became the country of Vietnam. After that, dragons were interested in peaceful sightseeing of the Earth and decided to live here then. The place where Mother Dragon flew down was named Hạ Long, the place where the dragon children attended upon their mother was called Bái Tử Long island (Bái: attend upon, Tử: children, Long: dragon), and the place where the dragon children wriggled their tails violently was called Bạch Long Vỹ island (Bạch: white- colour of the foam made when Children Dragon wriggle, Long: dragon, Vỹ: tail).


A bird's-eye view of the Forbidden City, China

China-49, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost five centuries, it served as the home of the Emperor and his household, as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government.
Built from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 surviving buildings with 8,707 bays of rooms and covers 720,000 square metres (7,800,000 square feet). The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture,[2] and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.


Several Temples, China

China-55, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

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1.The big wild Goose Pagoda

Giant Wild Goose Pagoda or Big Wild Goose Pagoda, is a Buddhist pagoda located in southern Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China. It was built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty and originally had five stories, although the structure was rebuilt in 704 during the reign of Empress Wu Zetian and its exterior brick facade renovated during the Ming Dynasty. One of the pagoda's many functions was to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by the Buddhist translator and traveller Xuanzang.

2. Zhao Ren Temple

Zhaoren Temple, located in Zhang Wuxian City Street northbound. Tang Zhenguan years built. 3 temple only three ordinary brick room, the door in the door of that "Zhaoren Temple" words.

3. Guang Ren Temple
It is situated in Xi'an.It is consecrated to Princess Wencheng who married the leader of Tibet. She promoted the relationship between Tang and Tibet.

4. The Famen Temple
Famen Temple is located in Famen town, Fufeng County, 120 kilometer west of Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province. It was widely regarded as the "ancestor of pagoda temples in Guanzhong area".


Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, China

China-50, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

China-51, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

The Terracotta Army are the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses of Qin Shi Huang the First Emperor of China. The terracotta figures, dating from 210 BCE, were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers near Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China near the Mausouleum of the First Qin Emperor. The figures vary in height (183–195 cm - 6ft–6ft 5in), according to their role, the tallest being the generals. The figures include strong warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians. Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits.


Nijo Castle, Kyoto, Japan

Japan-17, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Inner Moat and Gate to the Hommaru Palace

Japan-17, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Nijo Castle is a flatland castle located in Kyoto, Japan. The castle consists of two concentric rings of fortifications, the Ninomaru Palace, the ruins of the Honmaru Palace, various support buildings and several gardens. The surface area of the castle is 275,000 square meters, of which 8000 square meters is occupied by buildings.

The Nijo Castle has two concentric rings of fortifications, each consisting of a wall and a wide moat. The outer wall has three gates while the inner wall has two. In the southwest corner of the inner wall, there are foundations of a five-story keep, destroyed by a fire in 1750. The inner walls contain the Honmaru Palace with its garden. The Ninomaru Palace, Kitchens, Guard House and several gardens are located between the two main rings of fortifications.


Rock Garden, Ryoan-Ji Temple, Kyoto, Japan

Japan-15, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Ryoan-ji is a Zen temple located in northwest Kyoto, Japan. Belonging to the Myoshin-ji school of the Rinzai branch of Zen Buddhism, the temple is one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

To many, the temple's name is synonymous with the temple's famous karesansui (dry landscape) rock garden, thought to have been built in the late 1400s. The garden consists of raked gravel and fifteen moss-covered boulders, which are placed so that, when looking at the garden from any angle (other than from above) only fourteen of the boulders are visible at one time. It is traditionally said that only through attaining enlightenment would one be able to view the fifteenth boulder.


Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian, China

China-52, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

China-53, originally uploaded by Abhishek's Received Postcards.

Zhoukoudian or Choukoutien is a cave system in Beijing in China. It has yielded many archaeological discoveries, including one of the first specimens of Homo erectus, dubbed Peking Man, and a fine assemblage of bones of the gigantic hyena Pachycrocuta brevirostris. The Peking Man lived in this cave approximately 200,000 to 750,000 years ago, if evolutionary science is true.
The Peking Man Site was discovered by Johan Gunnar Andersson in 1921 and was first excavated by Otto Zdansky in 1921 and 1923 unearthing two human teeth. These were later identified by Davidson Black as belonging to a previously unknown species and extensive excavations followed.

As per UNESCO WHS website:
Scientific work at the site, which lies 42 km south-west of Beijing, is still underway. So far, it has led to the discovery of the remains of Sinanthropus pekinensis, who lived in the Middle Pleistocene, along with various objects, and remains of Homo sapiens sapiens dating as far back as 18,000–11,000 B.C. The site is not only an exceptional reminder of the prehistorical human societies of the Asian continent, but also illustrates the process of evolution.