Travel

UNESCO – Top 10 World Heritage Sites

UNESCO - Heritage Sites

What are Heritage Sites?

Heritage Sites are places or areas that are selected on the basis of its historical, cultural or scientific importance and are protected legally and are considered as important to the overall interests of humankind. Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we possess today, and what we preserve for our coming generations

UNESCO in a Nutshell

Key points to remember about UNESCO:   

  • UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Established on 16th Nov 1945 and headquartered in Paris, France.
  • It has more than 195 Members and associate members of around 8 in total.
  • UNESCO aims at safeguarding, preserving and maintaining cultural and natural heritage sites across the world that is considered to be of exceptional value to humanity. To achieve this, an international treaty was adopted by UNESCO in the year 1972.It is called as the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage

World Heritage Day

Since it is an accepted norm that World Heritage site does not belong to a particular country where it is located, rather it belongs to all the people across the world; the world heritage day is celebrated across the world every year on 18th April. This mainly aims at motivating the local people and communities to value the significance of cultural heritage in their lives. This was first announced by ICOMOS in the year 1982 Later it was approved by the General Assembly of UNESCO in the year 1983 ICOMOS stands for International Council on Monuments and Sites, based out of France

How are the sites ranked?

A site is recognized as a World Heritage site only when it is listed by the United Nations UNESCO organization as a place with special cultural or physical significance.

There are number of criteria for selecting a World Heritage site and we have listed some of them –

  • An undoubted master piece creation.
  • Represent undeniable human values.
  • To mark the presence of a civilization etc.
  • A landmark building or architecture that stands the test of time
  • A site which needs immediate protection etc.

Till 2014, there were around 1007 heritage sites. This includes 779 cultural sites, 197 natural sites, and 31 mixed ones. Over the last few years, 66 more sites have been added to the list. As of July 2017, 1073 World Heritage sites have been listed. This includes 832 cultural sites, 206 natural sites, and 35 mixed ones. Italy is on top of the list with the highest number of World Heritage Sites (53 sites). This list is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme and administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee

Take a look at the list of top ten amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites that stand out for their beauty, marked by brilliance, showcases the creativity of human genius, and exhibits the importance of human values and stands testimony to a cultural tradition which once ruled the world.

In The Article

1

Sun Temple, Konark, India

Historical Significance

The Konark Sun Temple was built around 13th century CE by the King Narasimhadeva around 1250 AD. This temple stands as a testimony to the architectural brilliance of the late rulers of India. Being dedicated to the God of Light and Life,”Surya”, this one of a kind marvel is a noteworthy revelation. The term ‘Konark’ was coined from the words ‘Kona’ and ‘Arka’ that mean ‘corner’ and ‘sun

India’s most celebrated poet and multifaceted artist, Rabindranath Tagore remarked looking at Konark –“Here the language of stone surpasses the language of human”.

Location

Since the temple is located in the Puri district, 65 km from Bhubaneswar on the Eastern Coast of India. Local language spoken here in this place is Odia. Geo Coordinates: 19.88°N,.86.09°E

Preferable mode of transport :

  • Air The nearest airport is in Bhubaneswar, situated almost 65 km away and can be reached in 75 minutes or so.
  • Train/Cabs The nearest railway station is Puri (30 km away) and from there one can visit this place via private cabs or taxis.
  • Road This place is well connected with all the national highways, it is convenient to visit this place via local bus services from Puri (ODTC).  

World Heritage Site From

The Konark Sun Temple was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1984. This temple has also featured on various list of Seven Wonders of India.

 Interesting Facts

  • The temple construction took a long time of around 12 years for completion
  • This temple was constructed with the help of 1200 artisans.
  • The Sun God’s chariot in Konark Temple actually represents the seven days of the week and 24 hours of the day

Key Features

  • The temple complex is in the shape of a gigantic chariot of the Sun god called Surya
  • The temple follows the traditional style of Kalinga temple architecture with all its defining elements in complete and perfect form
  • This temple is a masterpiece of creative genius with hand crafted stone sculptures having complex designs.
  • This temple is one of the excellent examples of temple architecture and art as revealed in its conception, scale, and proportion.

Things to do/see:

1) Sun Temple

  • The temple complex is in the shape of a gigantic chariot of the Sun god.
  • It has twelve pairs of elaborately carved stone wheels pulled by a set of seven horses (4 horses on the right-hand side and 3 horses on the left-hand side).
  • The temple is carefully oriented towards the east in such a way that the first rays of sunrise strike the principal entrance.
  • Three images of the Sun God to catch the rays of the sun at dawn/morning, noon/afternoon and sunset/evening.
  • The structure is made up of black granite earning it the nick name “Black Pagoda”.
  • The Sun God’s chariot in Konark Temple actually represents the seven days of the week and 24 hours of the day.

2) Navagraha Stone

  • A slab which primarily depicts all the Nava Graha or the nine planets can be found near the main entrance.
  • Every Saturday and on each Sankranti, crowds visit this place to offer their prayers.

3) Chandrabhaga Festival

One of the most important festivals usually celebrated in February every year, to celebrate Magha Saptami.

4) Dance Festival

Held every year in the 1st week of December, a cultural gathering offering a visual feast.

Attractions near by

  • Museum- This museum houses the sculptures that were once part of the Konark Sun temple. The timings are from 10 AM to 5 PM
  • Temple Ramachandi – A famous temple nearby, close to Kushabhadra river.
  • Kuruma – It is a Buddhist tourist site which is placed around 8 km from the main temple in Konark.
  • Astranga picnic location – A nice place to spend quality time with family and friends.
  • Chandrabhaga Beach – A calm beach for everyone to visit.The best place to catch the sunrise view.
  • Trimbakeshwar Temple –  Belongs to the family of 12 Jyotirlinga, a revered place to visit.

Budget Restaurants

Sun Hotel
Address:
Near Konark Bus Stand,
Konark

Best Restaurants

Yatrinivas-Konark
Address:
Konark,
Puri-752111
For further details visit: Pantha Nivas

Best Time to Visit this Place

Best time to visit this temple is between Sept to February every year.
For further information visit: the Konark or Konark

2

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Historical Significance

Constructed on the south bank of the Yamuna river in India by the 5thMughal emperor of India Shah Jahan,  Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum, a building housing the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal along with the Emperor himself. Regarded as one of the finest jewels of Mughal architecture in India.

Location

Taj Mahal is in the Agra District in Uttar Pradesh state in India. Taj Mahal is around 9 km from Agra City and around 204 km from Delhi, Capital of India. Agra is well connected by bus to various cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Gwalior, Lucknow, and Kanpur.

  • Air Charter flights also fly to Kheria Airport from Delhi IGI Airport located in Agra. Contact      Delhi    Airport authorities to know the exact flight timings and schedule.
  •  Road Agra is connected to the famous Golden Triangle (Jaipur-Delhi-Agra).The NH-3,11,2 connect Agra from various places.
  •  Rail There are lots of trains from Delhi, Jaipur, and Gwalior to Agra. For ticket bookings and exact schedule check out – IRCTC

           Geo Coordinates: 27.17°N,78.04

World Heritage Site From

Taj Mahal is considered as one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage. The Taj Mahal was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1983. Taj Mahal was also declared a winner of the New7Wonders of the World (2000–2007) in the year 2007

Interesting Facts

  • Ustad-Ahmad Lahori was the main architect of Taj Mahal.
  • The construction of Taj Mahal involved around 22,000 artisans.
  • Taj Mahal attracts 7 to 8 million visitors every year.
  • Throughout the complex, passages can be seen from Qur’an.
  • For the construction of Taj Mahal, stonecutters, carvers, painters, dome builders and other artisans were brought from various places including Central Asia and Iran.
  • The materials for construction were transported by a massive 1,000 elephants.

Key Features

  • Taj Mahal is made of pure white marble with its special luster and fine texture.
  • The marble used in Taj Mahal was obtained from a place called Makrana in the Nagaur district of Rajasthan, India.
  • The main structure of Taj Mahal is surrounded by gardens, fountains, and pools.

Things to do/see

The Main Structure

  1. This structure now a world heritage site, still manages to hold its old world charm intact.
  2. Made of pristine white marbles, this is visual poetry at its majestic best.
  3. Grounds – Classical Persian style gardens with marble plinths in between.The Gardens and the flowing fountains are a treat to watch.
  4. Minarets – Totally four in number, these minarets reaching close to 42 meters in height are built in such a way to avoid any damage to the main structure in case of any natural disaster.
  5. The red sandstone Entrance-South side of the entrance for rich architecture display.

Attraction close by

  • Jawab- Another historic landmark, built in symmetric proportion.
  • Taj Museum –  Located in the West inside the complex, hosts original paintings of Mumtaz Mahal as well as Emperor Shah Jahan. Best time to visit is from 9 AM to 5 PM (daily), Friday holiday. Taj Museum
  • Mehtab Barg- This garden park is now fully restored and gives a majestic view of the Taj.Open daily from dawn to dusk.

Budget restaurants

1) Café Coffee Day
Address:
21/101 Taj East Gate
Agra, India

2) Yash Café
Address:
 3/137 Chowk Kagziyan
Agra, India

 3) Shankara Vegis
Address:
Chowk Kaghzi
Agra, India

Best Restaurants

 1) Joney’s Place
Address:
Kutta Park
Agra, India

2) Saniya Palace Hotel
Address:
Taj Ganj
Agra, India

3) Taj café
Address:
Near Taj Ganj
Agra, India

Best time to visit

The months from October to April, when the weather is bearable.

Taj Mahal is kept open from sunrise to sunset daily and Friday holiday.
Ticket Timings-Taj Mahal
South Gate- 8 AM to 5 PM
East Gate-Sunrise to Sunset (Shilgram ticket counter)
West Gate- Sunrise to Sunset (Saheli Burj ticket counter)
For further details, visit-  Online Booking and Taj Mahal

3

Great Wall of China, China

Historical Significance

The Great Wall of China is a series of a defensive wall built out of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials to protect the Chinese states against the conquered by other countries. The Several walls were built as early as the 7th century BC by different dynasties to protect their state territorial borders.

The Great Wall of China was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1987. It is the longest man made a wall in the world right now.

Location

The Great Wall of China is built along Dandong (a largest Chinese border city) in the east to Lop Lake (former Salt Lake in China) in the west across the historical northern borders of China.

  • Airport – PEK is the closest airport to the Great Wall. Closest is the Mutianyu Wall from here.
  • Taxi – It is convenient to visit the Great Wall in a private cab as there is no direct bus to the  Great Wall.

         GPS- Geo Coordinates: 40.43°N,116.57°E

World Heritage Site From

Great Wall of China represents the stunning ability of the Chinese unity to work together for the goodness of the country.

Interesting Facts

  • The great wall is more than 2,300 years’ old.
  • Hero General Qi Jiguang rebuilt the Great Wall around Beijing between 1368 AD to 1644 AD during The Ming Dynasty.
  • Length of the Great wall is around 21,196 km.
  • Great wall is really too long as it would take around 18 months to walk its length
  • The altitudes of the walls vary. The highest point is the Huanglouyuan in the northwest suburb of Beijing, with a height of around 1439.3 meters that is 4722 feet.
  • The most famous section of the Great Wall is Badaling. It had been visited by more than 300 VIPs and heads of state from across the world.

Key Features

  • Great wall is considered as an integrated military defensive system with watchtowers to do surveillance, fortresses for command posts and logistics, beacon towers for communications and so on
  • The Great Wall was mainly built from rammed earth, stones, and wood, before the use of bricks
  • Bricks were heavily used in many areas of the wall during the Ming dynasty

Things to do /see

  1. Jiànkòu – For breath taking panoramic views, one can reach this portion of the wall from Xīzhàzi Village route. This route is truly marvelous for its sights.
  2. Gǔběikǒu – One of the entrances into China’s north-east part, a tourist delight for its old historic homes and courtyards.
  3. Mùtiányù – A famous portion of the Great Wall of China, even visited by the former United States President Bill Clinton in the year 1998.This portion of the wall is located in Huáiróu County.
  4. Huánghuā Chéng – Considered as the toughest and steepest portion of the wall to climb, good for hiking visitors.
  5. Bādálǐng – Another stunning point of attraction on the Great Wall, previously visited by several heads of the states, Queen Elizabeth, Gorbachev, Reagan, Thatcher, and also by Nixon.Souvenir shops and eateries welcome the tourists and locals alike. Timings-Located in Beijing’s north west, Line S2 connects Badaling with North Terminal. November to March: 7:30 – 17:30h and April to October: 7:00 – 18:00h.
    Visit this website for further information-  Badaling  
  6. Sīmǎtái – scrambling ascents and steep plunges and the watchtowers are a standing testimony to the glorious beauty of this wall.
  7. To reach here – Bus service 980 Express or 980 from Běijīng’s Dōngzhímén to West Bridge  Mìyún.Get into M51 bus for Sīmǎtái

Attraction close by

  • Bādálǐng Great Wall Museum – A landmark place to visit in the east park.
    Timings – Open from 9 AM to 4 PM (Tues to Sun)
  • Huánghuāchéng Great Reserve – It is one of a kind lake park.
    Timings – From October to April- 8AM-5PM and March- November- till  4.30PM

Budget Restaurants

1) The School House
Address:
12 Mutianyu Village
Huairou District,
Beijing 101405,
China

2) LaoMo ShanZhuang
Address:
Yan Qi Bu Ye Gu (YanQiHuanDao Left),
Beijing, China

Best Restaurants

1) Jinshan Hotel, Jinshanling
Address:
Near- Jinshanling Great Wall Ticket Gate

2) Brickyard Retreat
Address:
Beigou Village,
Huairou County

3) Commune
Address:
Badaling Expressway (G6) Shuiguan exit,
Shuiguan Great Wall (North), Badaling(east)

Best time to visit

The best time to visit the Great Wall (around Beijing) are spring and autumn. This will help to avoid summer heat and crowds, as well as the winter freezing conditions

A day is enough to take in the sights of the wall

The Great Wall is open for visitors from 7.30AM to 5.30PM on all days daily

It takes around 2 hours to get to the Great Wall from the downtown Beijing

4

Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt

Historical Significance

  • There are around three pyramids of Giza namely Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure.These pyramids commensurate to the kings for whom these pyramids were built.
  • The Great Pyramid of Giza is also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops.
  • While the Great Pyramid of Giza was built for Khufu, the middle pyramid was built for Khafre and the southernmost and last pyramid was built for Menkaure.
  • Hemiunu is believed to be the architect of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
  • The Great Pyramid of Giza was constructed between 2560 and 2540 BCE.

Location

Giza is located on the western and southern sides of modern city Cairo, in the huge desert believed by the ancient Egyptians to be the land of the dead

The pyramids of Giza are located in the province of Giza, Egypt, on a limestone plateau by the edge of irrigated lands at the vertex of the delta of the Nile river.

  • Air You can reach this place from the nearest International Airport in Cairo, not more than 25 Km.
  • Rail/Cab You can take the metro line number 2 and reach Giza station. From there choose from a number of shared cabs available to reach this place.
  • Road Take the public bus from Cairo to Giza,  357or 355 bus service.
  • Taxi Ask the driver to drop you at  “el-ha-ram”.

          GPS coordinates: 29.97° North and longitude are 31.13° East.

World Heritage Site From

The Great Pyramid of Giza was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1979. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

Interesting Facts

  • The Great Pyramid of Giza consists of around 2.3 million blocks which are believed to have got transported from the nearby quarries
  • Construction of Great Pyramid of Giza took almost 20 years and around 100,000 labors were involved in the construction
  • The interior temperature is constant and equals the average temperature of the earth, 20 Degrees Celsius that is 68 Degrees Fahrenheit
  • This is the largest pyramid ever built.
  • The ancient name of the Great Pyramid of Giza is Khufu’s Horizon.

Key Features

  • Its four sides are hollowed in or indented along their central lines, from base to peak
  • The four faces of the pyramid are slightly concave and Great Pyramid of Giza is the only pyramid to have been built this way

Things to do/see

The Great Pyramid of Giza was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1979. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

1) Khufu Pyramid – This pyramid was started around the year 2550 B.C.This is the largest of the three pyramids in this complex.It is more than 145 meters in height.

2) Khafre Pyramid – This was built was around 2520 B.C.The Sphinx was also built at this time by Khafre. This Pyramid is more than 130 meters in height and the width is more than 200 meters.

3) Menkaure Pyramid – Built by Menkaure around 2490 B.C which also includes a mortuary temple.Not more than 60 meters in height, mainly constructed using limestone materials.

4) Tomb Arts – Various art works including religious rituals, costumes, carpentry, fowling and fishing, livestock etc.And also visit the nearby tombs of the priests, nobility, and royal monarchs.

5) Great Sphinx – Half lion and half pharaoh structure near the pyramid complex.

Attractions Near By

  • Solar Boat Museum – Located in the room near the Great pyramid.
  • Eastern Cemetery – Tombs for the Royals.
  • Western Cemetery – A special place of burial for the higher government officials, Senegemib-Inti Tomb is famous here.
  • Tours – There are lots of operators who conduct half-day to one day tours featuring places such as Saqqara and Memphis.
  • Camel trips – Hire a camel and visit the pyramids in true Egyptian style.
  • Sound and Light Show – Attend this show to experience the glory of Egypt under the night sky.

Budget Restaurants

Felfela
Address:
Alexandria Desert Road,
Giza 12561, Egypt

Best Restaurant

1) Osmanly Restaurant
Address:
12 Ahmed Ragheb Street
Garden City, Cairo 11511,
Egypt

2) Surabaya
Address:
Corniche El Nil,
Semiramis InterContinental Cairo,
Cairo 11511,
Egypt

Best time to Visit

The top tourist months are from Oct till Apr

The best time to visit the pyramids are

May 1st till the start of holy month of Ramadan- Morning 7.00 to Evening 7.00

From the holy month of Ramadan to April 30th –Morning 8.00AM to Evening 5.00 PM

In case you need more details, feel free to visit- SCA-Egypt

5

Statue of Liberty, USA

Historical Significance

The Statue of Liberty indicates “Enlightening the World” and it is a gigantic neo classical sculpture. It was Edouard de Laboulaye, a French political intellectual and anti-slavery activist who proposed that a statue symbolizing liberty be built.

The Statue of Liberty was then built and it was given as a diplomatic gift by France to the United States and the statue marks the alliance of France and the United States during the American Revolution.

The construction of the statue was started in the year 1875 and was completed statue in the year 1884.It was dedicated in the year 1886 on October 28thto common public. This statue is governed by the U.S. National Park Service at present.

Location

This statue is located on the Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York City, in the United States and the visitors interested to visit the Crown must be able to walk stairs. Climb 354 stairs to reach the statue’s crown and remember that the torch has been closed to the public.

  • Public transport – Battery Park, New York- Take M20, M15, and M5 till South ferry. Follow signs to reach Liberty Statue ferries.
  • Train – Bowling Green, take 5 and 4 stops.
  • The R and 1 train stops at Whitehall and South Ferry respectively. Feel free to visit- MTA  for more details.

          GPS -Geo Coordinates: 40.68°N,70.04°W

World Heritage Site From

The Statue of Liberty was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1984. Any symbol stands for an idea and the Statue of Liberty stands in Upper New York Bay and it is a universal symbol of freedom

Interesting Facts

  • The total weight of the Statue of Liberty is around 450,000 pounds.
  • This statue was built after the French sculptor’s mother called Marie Bartholdi
  • The Statue of Liberty stands 305 feet tall from the ground to the top of the torch flame.
  • 31 tons of copper and 125 tons of steel were used to build the statue.
  • The height of the copper statue (up to torch) is around 151 feet 1 inch (46 meters).

Key Features

  • The torch is a symbol of enlightenment
  • The statute carries a book inscribed in Roman numerals with July 4th, 1776
  • This date indicates the day the United States adopted the Declaration of Independence
  • The crown has 25 windows and seven spikes
  • The seven spikes indicate the seven seas and seven continents of the world

Things to do/see

  1. The Statue of Liberty was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1984.
  2. This statue was designed by a French sculptor called Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and it was built by a French engineer called Gustave Eiffel.
  3. Pedestal visit – Here the access is very much restricted and it is advisable to book well in advance to avoid disappointments.
  4. The elevator is also available for those who are unable to climb the 215 stairs.
  5. Crown Visit – Be ready to climb 162 steps to reach the top of the crown. Visit Liberty Island Museum, Original torch and also pedestal observation deck. Also, take a note of Alexandre Gustave framework of the famous Eiffel Tower and panoramic views of Brooklyn from the top.
  6.  Museum – Located in the pedestal chronicles the struggles encountered by France as well as America to build this colossal statue.
  7. Ranger Guided Tours – Full English tours are available for the public and no extra fee charged for this tour.It is not more than 45 minutes.
  8. Self – Audio Tours Available in many languages including German, Spanish, Mandarin, Italian etc. Special tours for visually impaired is also provided. It is not more than 45 minutes.
  9. Ellis Island and Museum – This island is located near the Statue of Liberty itself. This island is a reminder of those immigrants who entered America in hopes of a better future.

Advance Booking to visit Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Statue Cruises 

Attraction close by

We have listed some of the important attractions close by

  • Gateway National – Made up of three parks such as Sandy Hook, Staten Island, and Jamaica Bay.
  • Morristown National Historical Park – A Place to remember the heroics of the army.
  •  Paterson Great Falls Nhp – First Industrial place in America.
  •  Thomas Edison National Historical Park– Home to one of the World’s most celebrated and revered Scientist.
  • Federal Hall National Memorial –   Place where the former president of United States took an oath.
  • Lower East Side Tenement Museum – Located at the iconic Orchard Street, number 97.

Budget restaurants

Ellis Island Café
Address:
Ellis Island
Crown Café, Liberty Island

Best Restaurants

Light Horse Tavern
Address:
199 Washington St,
Jersey City,
NJ 07302,
USA

Best time to visit

The Statue of Liberty is open daily (December 25th holiday).

To enjoy both the tourist spots (Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island), be there before 1.00PM at either of the ferry station (Liberty or Battery Park).

To know more visit: the statue of liberty; NPS 

6

Stonehenge, England

Historical Significance

  • Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, a county in South West England.Stonehenge is the most architecturally elegant and only existing installed stone circle in the world.Stonehenge is in the center of a large number of Bronze Age and Neolithic monuments
  • It consists of a ring of standing stones
  • The first monument was an early henge monument and it was built around 5000 years ago
  • The unique stone circle was erected later during the late Neolithic period from 3000 BC to 2000 BC

Location

Stonehenge is located 3km west of Amesbury and 13 km north of Salisbury. It is possible to walk up to Stonehenge or go beyond the barriers walking among the stones at Stonehenge outside regular open hours.

  • Train – Salisbury station which is located almost 15 km from this site.
  • Road – You can park your car at Visitor center in this place; take A303 and then drive into A360 traveling towards Devizes at Long Barrow roundtable.
  • Take the third exit at Airman’s corner, this parking spot is right there.
  • Walk – It is 3 Km from Amesbury. You can choose Coneybury Hill or Countess Farm route.
  • Bus – Take the X5 or Activ8 buses from Amesbury.

         Geo Coordinates: 51.17°N,1.82°W

World Heritage Site From

Stonehenge was built at least 300 years before the Egyptians actually started building the pyramids. The Stonehenge site and its surroundings were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1986.

Interesting Facts

  • John Aubrey, an English antiquary, natural philosopher, writer and a pioneer archaeologist was the first one to link Stonehenge to the Druids.
  • Dr. William Stukeley, another Stonehenge antiquary, also claimed that Stonehenge’s builders were the Druids.
  • It took at least 30 million hours of labor to build while some people even say that it took approximately 1500 years.
  • There are also several hundred burial mounds in the area and in the land surrounding Stonehenge.

Key Features

  • Stonehenge is built from two main types of rocks
  • The huge sarsens that are silicified sandstone, and a variety of smaller igneous rocks known as the bluestones
  • The stones that are used to make the external wall of the Stonehenge circle are sarsen sandstone
  • Each standing stone is around 13 feet (4.1 meters high); 6 feet 11 inches (2.1 meters )wide

Things to do/see

  1. One of England’s most prolific and iconic landmarks, Stonehenge is a natural beauty.
  2. Some of the important things to take note of:
  3. Fargo Woodland – To visit ancient burial sites on the way to the Stonehenge.
  4. Incredible Beech Trees – These lovely trees greets the visitors from the Kiang Barrow Ridge.
  5. Nile Clumps – Reach tree in this park represents a  ship’s position at the Nile Battle.
  6. Cuckoo Stone – This ancient stone lies between Currus and Woodhenge.
  7. Cursus – A long Neolithic structure, considered to be older than the Stonehenge.
  8. Winterbourne Stoke Barrows – Contains all unique barrow types.
  9. The Avenue and Durrington Walks – The Avenue is believed to be a ceremonial entrance to this circle and the latter has said to have had timber structures in the ancient times.
  10. King Barrow Ridge – Burial mounds nestled amidst Hazel coppice; one can spot Ringlet, Common Blue and other varieties of Butterflies during the summer months.
  11. Stonehenge Down – A perfect spot for a picnic under the open skies.

Attractions nearby

1) Wiltshire Museum –Take a look at some of the prehistoric items.
Timings  10 to 5 PM (Mon-Sat), Sunday-12PM to 4 PM(Holiday-Monday)

2) Avebury Henge – A museum to take a look at, Silbury Hill and Long Barrow are other things to look out for.

3) South Wiltshire and Salisbury Museum  – A rich collection of artifacts including ancient pottery.
Timings Mon to Sat- 10 to 5 PM; Sunday open only from June to September from 12 PM to 5 PM)

4) Free Walking – Take the bus tour from Swindon to Avebury via Devizes. Contact- Stonehenge Tour Information for further details.

Budget Hotels

Local Café
Address:
Visitor Center
Stonehenge

Best Restaurants

1) Swan
Address:
Long Street
Enford
Pewsey, Wiltshire
SN9 6DD

2) Red Lion Freehouse
Address:
East Chisenbury,
Pewsey SN9 6AQ, UK

Best time to visit

The Stonehenge is daily open from 9 to 8 PM.

For pre-booking, visit now- Advance reservation – Stonehenge

To know more about this historic site– English Heritage, National Trust and Wiltshire Tour Information

7

Mount Fuji, Japan

Historical Significance

  • There are 110 active volcanoes in Japan.Out of 110 volcanoes, 47 are monitored very closely because either they have erupted recently or is showing worrying signs.
  • Mount Fuji is among the 47 volcanoes that are monitored.Mount Fuji is one of the Japan’s Three Holy Mountains.The other two mountains are Mount Tate and Mount Hak.
  • It is considered as one of the Japan’s Historic Sites.It is Japan’s highest mountain which is at 3776 meters.
  • The mountain contributes to Japan’s physical, cultural as well as spiritual geography.

Location

Mount Fuji is an active volcano which is about 100 kilometers southwest of Tokyo, capital of Japan. It can be seen from there on a clear day.It is located on Honshu Island. They are Gotemba to the east, Fujiyoshida to the north, Fujinomiya to the southwest, and Fuji to the south.

  • The plane – Nearest airport is Mt.Fuji Shizuoka Airport almost 80 km away.
  • Train -There are two ways to reach this place
  • Bus – Keiro Express direct bus –From  Shinjuku, Tokyo to 5th station Kawaguchiko. To Book tickets contact- highway
  • Car/Taxi
    • Chuo Expressway  – Take Kawaguchi route to reach Fujiyoshida trail.
    • Tomei Expressway  – Gotemba route to reach Fujiyoshida trail.
      For further details contact- global

1) Fujiyoshida
From JR Chuo line to Otsuki, and then move to Fujikyu.
This line takes us to Kawaguchiko via Fujiyoshida.
Take the bus from this point to reach the 5th station.

2) Gotemba line
Tokyo JR Tokaido line to Kozu; then move to Gotemba from this point.

3) Fujinomiya Line
Reach Shin-Fuji station and then take a bus to reach this place.

Geo Coordinates: 35.36°N,138.72°E

World Heritage Site From

Mount Fuji was added to the World Heritage List as a Cultural Site in the year 2013 on June 22nd. According to UNESCO, Mount Fuji has inspired many artists and poets and it has been the object of pilgrimage for many centuries.

Interesting Facts

  • Mount Fuji’s current attractive cone shape was caused by an explosion during three different periods.
  • Mount Fuji last erupted in the year 1707 on 16th December
  • On an average, it takes around 6 hours to climb up to the summit of Mount Fuji.
  • The first person to climb this mountain was a monk (name of the monk is not known) in the year 663 AD.
  • There are 5 lakes surrounding the mountain. They are Lake Motosuko, Lake Kawaguchiko, Lake Shojiko, Lake Yamanakako, and Lake Saiko.

Key Features

  • Mount Fuji is around 100,000 years old. It is called as Old Fuji.
  • The New Fuji is believed to have formed on top of the Old Fuji 10,000 years ago.
  • The volcano is at present classified as active with a very minimal risk of explosion

Things to do/see

  1. Yoshida Entrance: Fuji Subaru line end-This is one of the closest places to Mt.Fuji. Remember, from here no cars or vehicles are allowed after this point. A good place to source for eateries and gifts shops.
  2. Okuniwa Trail: This trail is situated almost 3 km before the end of the 5th station line. Known as “Tengus Garden”, a super good spot to view Mount Fuji.
  3. Fuji-Q-Highland: Japan’s top most popular amusement parks feature some of the world’s best riders including Eejanaika, Takabisha to name a few.
  4.  Lake Yamanaka: One of the best – known tourist spots in Mount Fuji, notoriously famous for the Diamond Fuji formation viewed between November to February months.
  5. Diamond Fuji: The most exciting natural occurrence when the sun reaches the tip of the summit, which when viewed from the lakes shine appears like a diamond on the top.
  6. Oshino Hakkai: Snow water from the mountain is collected in the nearby 8 lakes earning it the nick name “ “Oshino Hakkai”.
  7.  Amphibian Bus: This is one of a lifetime experience when this bus enters the waters of Lake Yamanaka.
  8. PICA Village: This village offers serene, nice quiet atmosphere to spend the day gazing around or hire a bicycle to visit roam around this area.
  9. Hananomiyako Flower Garden: A beautiful garden to visit between spring and autumn; added attraction include waterfalls and floral dome.
  10. Platform View: Catch the breath taking a view of both the places, Lake Yamanaka and Mount Fuji between Mikuni pass and the lake. The observation deck is truly a blessing in disguise.
  11. Lake Kawaguchi: Lake Kawaguchi is one of the five lakes of Mount Fuji, a great picnic spot for all age groups to spend some rich quality time with their friends and family.
  12. Tenjoyama Park: Take the cable or ropeway car till the top and catch a glimpse of the lake and panoramic views from the top.”Kachikachi-Yama”, Japan’s most popular folklore is associated with this place.
  13. Retro Bus Tour: The tour starts from Fujikyuko Kawaguchiko station, maneuvering places of interest like Kawaguchiko ship, Kawaguchiko Music Forest etc.
  14. Yagizaki Park: A splendid lavender garden housing more than 80,000 lavenders; Lake Kawaguchi Herb Celebrations” in the last week of June till mid-July.
  15. Kawaguchiko Music Museum: Hosts some of the top class music box collection from the times of European period.
  16. Mount Fuji Climbing Trails
    Opening Schedule – Starting from July until August last every year, suitable for beginners.
    Expert Schedule – During the months of winter from the month of October.
  17. Climbing Routes
    There are totally four trails-I
    Fujinomiya and Yoshida – This trail is best suited for first-time climbers.
    Gotemba – Suitable for experienced climbers only as the trail is long and a bit more difficult.Please keep in mind to wear suitable clothing and book a place in advance in case you have planned to catch the morning sunrise.

Attractions near by

Sengen Shrine – A top cultural place; a must visit the place to soak in Japanese spirituality.
Ginmeisui –  Reach the top most point of Mount Fuji.
Safari Park – Scenic wildlife spot to catch the lions in its habitat.
Timings Open daily from Mon to Sun- 9 AM to 5 PM

Budget Restaurants

1) Hotel Mount Fuji
Address:
Japan, 〒401-0501 Yamanashi Prefecture,
Minamitsuru District, Yamanakako,
Yamanaka, 1360−83

2) Moose Hills Burger
Address:
Japan, 〒401-0310 Yamanashi Prefecture, Minamitsuru District,
富士河口湖町Katsuyama, 3290−1

Best Restaurants

1) Tetsuyaki
Address:
3486 Funatsu,
富士河口湖町 Minamitsuru District,
Yamanashi Prefecture 401-0301,
Japan

2) Sanrokuen
Address:
3370-1 Funatsu,
富士河口湖町 Minamitsuru District,
Yamanashi Prefecture 401-0301,
Japan

3) Mt.Fuji Base
Address:
3646-1 Funatsu,
南都留郡富士河口湖町 Minamitsuru District,
Yamanashi Prefecture 4010301,
Japan

Best time to visit

The months of July till August suitable because of the weather.
Cherry Festival and Shogatsu are some of other known festivals famous in this region.
For  more details, feel free to visit- Jnto
To know more visit: japan-guide  

8

Vatican City, The Vatican

Historical Significance

  • Vatican City is officially called as Vatican City State or the State of Vatican City.Vatican City is the headquarter for the Roman Catholic Church.It is the home to the Pope and he is its head.
  • Vatican City is governed as an absolute monarchy.It is the smallest country in the world.

Location

Vatican City is a country located within the city of Rome in Italy in Europe Continent.Vatican City is situated on, the west bank of the Tiber River.

  • Metro Take Line A (Metro) and the nearest station is Ottaviano-S. Pietro.
  • Train St Pietro station in St.Peters is the best connecting point.
  • Public Transport/Taxi Bus number 64 and 40 are more frequent to reach this place.

          Geo Coordinates: 41.90°N,12.45°E

World Heritage Site From

Vatican City was added to the World Heritage List as a Cultural Site in the year 1984 on 15th February. This is the only site to encompass a whole country.

Interesting Facts

  •  As of 2016, the population of Vatican City was around 1000 people.
    The Holy See is the name given to the government of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • The Vatican City has its own Post office and issues its own stamps.
  • Italians are allowed to donate at least 8% of their yearly taxes to the Vatican instead of paying the same to the Italian Government.
  •  Catholics acknowledge Saint Peter as their first Pope and Bishop of Rome, though he had the office, not the title.

Key Features

Inside Vatican City, there are religious and cultural sites like as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums.

There are 11 Vatican Museums, and Vatican Gardens, fountain and fish pool instead of the Vatican City.

 Things to do/see

Sistine Chapel – The most visited tourist spot in the Vatican City, hosts world’s most popular art works in the history of mankind – Ceiling Frescoes and Last Judgement by Michelangelo. The best way to catch the entire frescoes is from the east entrance.
Timings – Open from 9 AM till 6 in the evening; Last Sunday (every month) – visitors not allowed after 4 PM.
Visit – Musei Vatican  for more details.

St Peters Basilica – Remarked as the world’s most visited and revered church, it’s charm and divinity is unparalleled so far.

Key things to note

  • Façade – Carlo Maderno’s façade is a feast for the eyes.
  • Internal Architecture – Bernini’s Baldachin, Michelangelo’s Pietà, Arnolfo di Cambio’s St Peter statue are some of the artistic beauties found inside.
  • Dome – Majestic and enchanting; take the lift or climb all the 551 steps all the way up.
  • St Peter’s Tomb – Widely believed to hold the remains of Pope Paul VI; need prior permission to visit the tomb.
  • Check out – Ufficio Scavi for tomb visit.
  • Vatican Tombs – Take the Pier entrance (St Andrew).
    Timings – Open daily from morning 7.00 to evening 7.00 pm in summer and till 6.30PM (Winter)
    Feel free to visit- Vatican 
  • Vatican Gardens – Pre-booked guided tours are available to visit these immaculately maintained gardens.
    For pre-booking- Musei Vaticana 
  • Vatican Museums – Established in the 16th century by Pope Julius II; rarest of rare collections can be found in this museum.
  • Key aspects are classical statuary; Raphael frescoed rooms and Sistine Chapel.
  • St Peter’s Square – Bernini’s simple yet stunning design representing the importance of St Peters Basilica.

Attractions Near By

Museo Storico – Contains rare articles namely gifted cross of Justinian II.

Budget Restaurants

1) Pizzarium
Address:
Via della Meloria 43
Rome, Italy

2) II Sorpasso
Address:
Via Properzio 31-33
Rome, Italy

Best Restaurants

1) L’Arcangelo restaurant
Address:
Via Guiseppe G Belli 59
Rome, Italy

2) La Veranda
Address:
Borgo Santo Spirito 73
Rome, Italy

3) Enoteca La Torre
Address:
Villa Laetitia
Rome, Italy

Best time to visit

Tuesdays and Thursdays can be a little bit less crowded. Winter time is the best time to visit Vatican City to beat the crowds. For more details visit- Vatican State for more details.

9

Lord Howe Island, Australia

Historical Significance

  • Lord Howe Island is a small Australian island in the Tasman Sea.The Lord Howe Island was named after Earl Richard Howe.Earl Richard Howe is a British admiral, who commanded British’s naval forces in the early years of the American Revolution.
  • This Island was first discovered by Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball in the year 1788.

Location

Lord Howe Island is actually located in the South Pacific Ocean.This island is located between Australia and New Zealand, 600 km directly east of Port Macquarie, and about 900 km southwest of Norfolk Island. You can use private yachts or enter this island by air.

Air services – Catch the Qantas flight from Sydney (almost daily) or Brisbane (mostly WeekFrom Port Macquarie (direct flights) – Between Sept & Dec and Feb and June.
For Flight Bookings and Details, visit – Qantas Airlines

Geo Coordinates: 31.55°S,159.08°E

World Heritage Site From

In the year 1982, UNESCO recognized the Lord Howe Island Group as a World Heritage Site of global natural significance.

Interesting Facts

  • Lord Howe is a crescent shaped island.
  • Lord Howe Island Group includes 28 islands, islets and rocks.
  • This Island is far remote to receive mobile phone coverage.
  • The island airport was opened in the year 1975.
  • There is a speed limit of around 25 kph in the island.
  • Tourists are restricted to just 400 per day.

Key Features

  • Mount Gower is the island’s tallest mountain.
  • It rises 875 meters above sea level.
  • The Island waters have got around 500 species of fish and 90 coral species.
  • Around two-thirds of the island is a Permanent Park Preserve.

Things to do/see

  1. Mount Gower – Stunningly spectacular, towering almost more than 900 mts from the ground level, only guided trails are allowed.
  2. Ball’s Pyramid – A must visit place for bird watching and diving.
  3. Ned’s Beach – A top class snorkeling spot for a gala filled the weekend.
  4. North Beach – Australian beaches are travelers delight and North Beach is not an exception.

Attractions Near By

Lord Howe’s Museum – Displays Australian local history, gift shop and a visitor help desk are the added attractions.
Timings  Weekdays-9 to 3 pm, Weekends-10-2pm
Visit Lord Howe’s Museum for further details.

Budget restaurants

1) Golf Club Restaurant
Address:
Lagoon Rd
Lord Howe Island, Australia

2) Coral Café
Address:
Intersection Middle Beach & Lagoon Road
Lord Howe Island, Australia

Best Restaurants

Anchorage Restaurant
Address:
Ned’s Beach Rd
Lord Howe Island, Australia

Best time to visit

The best months are from Sept to June and also between July to August.
Official Website – Lhib
To know more visit: Lord Howe Island

10

Easter Island, Chile

Historical Significance

  • Easter Island is a Chilean island located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean.The name Easter Island was given by a Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen.
  • He discovered this island on an Easter Sunday on 5th April in the year 1722.Hence the name ‘Easter Island.
  • These statutes indicate the history of the phenomenal rise and fall of the most isolated Polynesian culture.

Location

  • Easter Island is around 3510 km from the west of continental Chile.
  • The total area of this island is around 163.6 square kilometers.
  • As this island is remote and in an isolated location, the easiest way to get to Easter Island is only by plane
  • The nearest airport to Easter Island is Mataveri International Airport
  • This airport is in Easter Island, Chile and it is around 8 km from the center of Easter Island
  • Latam Airlines has scheduled flights to Rapa Nui. It connects the island with Santiago
  • Plane – LATAM is the only airlines flying frequently to this island.
  • Daily – Santiago only and weekly flight- Papeete (Tahiti)
  • Private boats – Jan to Mar is the time to catch some private boats to reach this island.

        Geo Coordinates: 27.11°S,109.34°W

World Heritage Site From

UNESCO recognized Easter Island as a World Heritage Site in the year 1995

Interesting Facts

  • The language spoken in this island is Spanish, Rapa Nui.
  • The flag of Easter Island was adopted on 9th May in the year 2006.
  • It is a white flag with a red rei miro in the center.
  • Reimiro is a wooden pectoral ornament once worn by the women of Rapa Nui.
  • The local currency used in this island is the Chilean pies.
  • As per Chilean census was done in the year 2012, this island had about 5800 residents.
  • The current population is projected to be around 6600 residents.

Key Features

  • Easter Island is a remote volcanic island in Polynesia.
  • This island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world.
  • Its native name is Rapa Nui.
  • The capital of Easter Island is Hanga Roa.
  • The moai statues in this island were created by Rapa Nui people.
  • The moai statues were built around 1400 AD to 1650 AD.
  • These statues were created in one piece and they have an average weight of 20 tons and measuring 20 feet tall or more.
  • Moai statues are rigid, gigantic carved human stone figures.

Things to do/see

  1. Orongo Ceremonial Village and Rana Kau – Pristine aqua blue waters; this is located at a height of 400 mts from sea level.
    God Makemake is ceremoniously linked with Orongo Village in the previous centuries.
  2. Rano Raruku – Moai Tukuturi, kneeling is the highlight in this top class Polynesian archaeological site.
    Timings – 9  to 4 PM (Daily)
  3. Ahu Tongariki – A monumental tourist place with the largest ahu in place.
  4. Hanga Roa – Features Rongo Tablets, moai head and other artifacts that help to remember the island’s culture and history.
    Timings – Weekdays(Tuesday to Friday)- 9.30-5.30PM, Weekends- till 12.30PM.
    For more details visit – Museum Official Website

Attractions nearby

National Park – A guided tour is most welcome and it is quite interesting to visit this place.
Timings – Daily- 9 AM to 4 PM.
Visit Conaf for more details.

Budget Restaurants

La Taverne du Pêcheur
Address:
Caleta Hanga Roa s/n
Hanga Roa, Chile

Best Restaurants

1) Mikafé
Address:
Caleta Hanga Roa s/n
Hanga Roa, Chile

2) Motu Hava Kafe
Address:
Caleta Hanga Roa s/n
Hanga Roa, Chile

3) Te Moan
Address:
Av Policarpo Toro s/n
Hanga Roa, Chile

Best time to visit

The months from January to March are the peak tourist season. Visiting in the winter season is ideal for horse riding and hiking. From Oct to Dec or from April till June is also recommended for ideal weather conditions.
To know more visit: easter island tourism , history


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