The real Seven Wonders of the World

A group of students were asked to list what they thought were the present “Seven Wonders of the World.”  Though there were some disagreements, the following received the most votes:

                            1. Egypt’s Great Pyramids
                            2. Taj Mahal
                            3. Grand Canyon
                            4. Panama Canal
                            5. Empire State Building
                            6. St. Peter’s Basilica
                            7. China’s Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student had not finished her paper yet. So she asked the girl, if she was having trouble with her list.
The girl replied, “Yes, a little. I couldn’t quite make up my mind
because there were so many.”
The teacher said, “Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help.”
The girl hesitated, then read, “I think the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’ are:

                            1. to see
                            2. to hear
                            3. to touch
                            4. to taste
                            5. to feel
                            6. to laugh
                            7. and to love.”

The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. The things we overlook as simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly wondrous!!
If wealth is the secret to happiness, then the Rich should be dancing on the streets. But only Poor Kids do that.
If power ensures security,then top Officials should walk unguarded. But people who live on roadside feel more secure.
If beauty brings ideal relationships, then celebrities should have the best marriages.  But they have one of the worst relationships.

Thats why… Live simply…Walk humbly
Love genuinely!!!

A sugary fruit with Lord’s name- Ramphal

While travelling in Maharashtra, I was amazed to see a fruit called ‘Ramphal’ while we were in the verge  of exploring Daulatabad fort, Aurangabad. Since I never heard of it. I was bit curious to know more about it. So I flooded that vendor with many questions related to this fruit.
Me: “what is this fruit?”
Vendor:“Sir  ji this is Ramphal. Don’t you know?”
Me: “What is the main season for ramphal ?”
Vendor: “during March – May”
Me: “How does it taste?”
Vendor: “It is sweet just like Sitaphal (Custard Apple). You should taste it and know it by yourselves.”
Me: “How to differentiate between ripe and unripe fruit?”
Vendor: “If the fruit is pale green or hard to touch and have shiny green skin then it is in unripe state. The  ripe fruits are heavy and soft to touch. The ripe fruits are very sweet.”Ramaphal Annona  reticulata (2)
Since we’ve a lot to travel, I thought of ending the conversation. So I asked him to select few good fruits for me. I bought some and went to my dad and showed him as if I discovered something 😉 then he told me that they used to eat this in their childhood. Perhaps these are  found only in rural areas where they grow. May be they are seldom found in cities?

My Tastebuds exploded with Sweetness:

I have guessed that the taste of this fruit will be similar to sitaphal. And my guess was right. But this is more sweeter than sitaphal. It was very sweet indeed. But the second one was mildly sweet. Maybe the taste of the fruit depends on the fruit and its tree.When compared with Sitaphal, its texture was creamy yet slightly granular, especially nearest to the skin.It is smoother, butterier and the best part is that ramphals have fewer seeds.Ramaphal Annona  reticulata (3)
With a pinch of excitement to know more about this fruit ,I have spent some time in browsing other forums to share the most about this lovely fruit with my friends and followers..

Origin of Ramphal: 

Ramphal or Annona reticulata also known as bullock’s heart is originated from West Indies, Central and South America. However, It is naturalized in Southeast Asia, India, Taiwan, West Africa and Australia.

Health Benefits :

Health benefits of Ramphals is quite fascinating. They are high in vitamin C, a nutrient that boosts the immune system, keeps skin healthy and assists with repairing wounds and cuts.
It has potassium, which helps the body regulate its electrolyte balance, enhance muscle growth, and improves the body’s ability to process waste.

The leaves act as an insecticide, styptic, anti-helminthic, Anti ulcer  and, when applied externally, as a suppurant (or, aids in the elimination of pus). The ripe and unripe fruits combat dysentery; the bark is a potent astringent and vermifuge. In Ayurveda and Unani, leaves are used as an aphrodisiac and emmenagogue(stimulates menstruation).

Ramaphal Annona  reticulata (1)
Interesting Facts about this fruit:

All the species of Annona fruit are named after Hindu Gods like Ramphal (Annona Reticularis), Sitaphal (annona Squamosa)and Lakshmanphal (Annona muricata). It is quite endearing that in Hindu mythology Ram is married to Sita and Lakshmana is Ram’s brother. Interesting isn’t it?

The Forgotten Marvels – Lotus Mahal & Elephant stables

Lotus mahal

This is a 2 storeyed structure. One can notice that this is a blend of Indian and Islamic architectural styles. Interesting part of this building is the ceiling which consists of a number of vaults and domes symmetrically arranged.The central bay has plain flat coffered ceiling decorated with a lotus bud at the centre. Out of 9 pyramidal sikharas the central one is the tallest. This is also known as chitrangini mahal.

Lotus Mahal, Hampi

The central Sikhara is the tallest among the nine sikharas. This is also known as chitrangini mahal.

Elephant stables:

This long and lofty building has 11 chambers with dignified entrances. The center one is specially decorated and big. Probably the musicians and the associated band troupes had been using this during ceremonies involving elephant processions.

This is a blend of indo Islamic style architecture

This is a blend of indo Islamic style architecture..

Elephant stables, Hampi  (1) The guards’ barracks are located right next to the elephant stables. Which are now used as an exhibition hall.

Exhibition hall which displays some artefacts..

Exhibition hall which displays artefacts..

Vijayanagara Empire is the never to be forgotten empire where the time stands still..Go and experience the amazing feel. It was just like time travel for us.

 

The Bell tower and The Drum tower of xi’an

It was 22 April 2013, a rainy day, we started early from our hotel. As I being an Archeological lover, though we are not so familiar about the destination, we have opted for the Forest of steles (it has 7 exhibition halls displaying 3000 steles). We took a bus to Forest of steles (碑林) and walked all the way long for about 20 minutes. Later we roamed around observing the streets and tried some local cuisines.  After reaching the destination it was piao liang (beautiful in Chinese) all the trouble we took to reach this place has looked nothing. Before we left to Drum and Bell tower of Xi’an, we went to City wall of Xian and spent some good time there till 5pm.

Drum tower

The Drum tower of Xi’an, China

Since our hotel was near to Bell Tower and Drum Tower. While walking to our hotel at nights on 20 & 21. We discovered that it was more magnificent and spectacular at night. So we planned our visit at night time.It was 6.30 pm since we reach the Bell tower, By the time we reach there it was lit-up. We were awestruck with beauty of these magnificent buildings at night.

Bell Tower:

History of the Bell Tower of Xi’an (Chinese: 西安钟楼), built in 1384 during the early Ming Dynasty, is a symbol of the city of Xi’an and one of the grandest of its kind in China. The Bell Tower also contains several large bronze-cast bells from the Tang Dynasty.

Large Bell in Bell tower of Xi'an

Large Bell in Bell tower of Xi’an

Stories behind the tower:

There are several legends regarding the Bell Tower, one of them tells: In Ming Dynasty, several earthquakes struck Guanzhong area, thousands were dead and injured. Then a legend appeared: There was a great river flowing across the center of Xi’an City.  A dragon in the river was always active and caused trouble, so an earthquake occurred. An official of Xi’an government believed these words, so he ordered the blacksmiths of the whole city to make a several thousand feet of long iron chain in order to lock the dragon and sink it to river. He then ordered 5,000 craftsmen to repair the Bell Tower day and night in order to use the tower to restrain the dragon. He believed this would suppress the dragon firmly under the river and so it would no longer be active and cause trouble again. After establishing the Bell Tower, earthquakes never occurred in Xi’an again.

Architecture of Bell tower, XI'an

Amazing Architecture of Bell tower

According to another legend:

The forefather of Ming Dynasty named Zhu Yuanzhang was born poor and his parents passed away early. He depended on tending sheep for others when he was very little. When he grew up, he left home and became a monk. When he became the emperor, he was afraid that the real emperor (“dragon son of heaven”-means king sent from heaven, a dragon is the symbol of the emperor) in the country somewhere will fight for the throne with him. He then ordered to build the bell towers to suppress the “dragon power”. Xi’an was the emperor city in ancient times and it was the place of emperor’s throne and the “dragon power” was very strong of course. Zhu Yuanzhang was afraid, so the Bell Tower in Xi’an was built not only quickly, but also very tall.

View from the Bell tower, xian

View from the Bell tower, xian

Walking towards Drum tower through an underground access: After an hour or so we went to Drum tower through an underground access.Once we Reached Drum tower we were awestruck with the beauty of this building. It transformed into a completely new place. Lights played a major role in displaying its architecture and beauty.

View of the Drum tower from the Bell tower.

View of the Drum tower from the Bell tower.

Drum tower:

History of the Drum Tower (西安鼓楼): Along with the Bell Tower it is a symbol of the city. Erected in 1380 during the early Ming Dynasty.

The Drum Tower got its name from the huge drum located within the building. Drum was beat at sunset to indicate the end of the day. On the Drum Tower’s first floor, lies a hall which hangs many large drums. Each was decorated with intrinsic and beautiful Chinese writing, which symbolizes good fortune.

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The impressive arrays of drums

Inside the Drum Tower there is also a drum museum, where a variety of drums are on display, some of which can be dated back thousands of years. There is a drum show performed here every day. The top of the tower commands a panoramic view of the city.Visitors can go upstairs to the second floor, and enjoy the views around the Drum Tower. Meanwhile, you will notice that there are twenty-four drums in the north and south sides of the Drum Tower. These drums stand for the Twenty-four Solar Terms which is a kind of weather calendar created by the Chinese ancients in order to guide the agricultural production.

Drum tower of Xi'an, China

Lights played a major role in displaying the architecture of Drum tower.

In modern times, the Drum Tower is not used as a timer any more, but there are some new attractions for visitors to enjoy. In the year of 1996, a new drum, covered by a whole piece of cowhide was given a place on the Drum Tower. It is the biggest drum in China at present.

Drum tower of Xian, China

I took a lot of time for capturing the moon along with the Drum tower.

I can assure you that going there during the night is an awesome experience. I spent around 1hour taking Pictures. My friends were like “gash! When will you finish?” But the time I spent really paid me off. I’ve captured some terrific pictures.After finishing the photo session we went to explore the local foods in the Beiyuanmen muslim street .