Saturday 9 July 2011

Jim Corbett National Park


Prior to the years 1815-20 of the British Rule, the forests of the Jim Corbett National Park were the private property of the local rulers. Though the ownership had passed into the British hands, the government paid little or no attention to the upkeep of the park. The sole aim was to exploit the natural resources and extract as much profit as possible from the jungle.

It was only in the year 1858 that
Major Ramsay drew up the first comprehensive conservation plan to protect the forest. He ensured that his orders are followed strictly and, by 1896 the condition of the forest began to improve. Ramsays plan reflected the deep thought he had given to the science of forestry. In 1861-62 farming was banned in the lower Patlidun valley. Cattle sheds were pulled down, domestic animals were driven from the forest and a regular cadre of workers was created to fight forest fire and secure the forest from illegal felling of trees. Licenses were issued for timber and count of trees was undertaken. In 1868, the Forest department assumed responsibility for the forests and in 1879 they were declared reserved forest under the forest Act.


– Dwar of Hari or Gateway to Lord Vishnu, is a holy city situated at the base of Shivalik ranges of high Himalayas as well as on the flow path of revered River Ganga. It is widely believed that by taking a dip in this holy river, one is cleared of all his past sins. Lakhs of devotees from all over India visit Haridwar every year to take a dip in the holy River Ganga.

Maa Ganga after carrying the purity of heaven  from the kamandal of Lord Brahma, washing the feet of Lord Vishnu and flowing through the sahastrara of Lord Shiva came on this earth and made Haridwar as it’s divine flow area. From time immemorial, Maa Ganga has been doing the duty of absorbing the heat and negativities of this earth. Besides and  , It is Gateway for the four dhams of  Himalayas viz. Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath.

Dhanaulti history


Location: Uttaranchal
Distance: Approximately 325 km from Delhi
Altitude: Around 2286 m
Main Attractions: Barehipani-Joranda Falls, Dashavatar Temple, Deogarh Fort
Best Time to Visit: April to June and November to February

Situated amidst misty and dreamy surroundings, in the Garhwal Hiils, is the pictorial town of Dhanaulti. The lush greenery, comprising of soaring tress of deodar, rhododendron and oak, makes the hill station look like a painting created by Almighty himself. The serenity and solitude in which Dhanaulti Hills abound serve as one of the major attractions of the travel and tourism industry of the state. The pleasant weather of the hill resort, which boasts of cool breezes, warm sunlight and moderate temperatures, adds to its lure. The hills surrounding it offer amazing views of their sun-capped peaks, covered amidst hazy mist. In short, if you want to take a break from the mundane life, Dhanaulti Hills of Uttaranchal is just the place for you! .......



Built in : 1724
Built by : Sawai Jai Singh II
Location : Delhi


Jantar Mantar is an important landmark of Delhi and a unique edifice. It is an observatory built by Sawai Jai Singh II, the erstwhile ruler of the princely state of Amber and a contemporary of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The various abstract structures within the Jantar Mantar are, in fact, instruments that were used for keeping track of celestial bodies. Nevertheless, the Jantar Mantar is not only a timekeeper of celestial bodies: it also tells a lot about the technological achievements under the Rajput kings and their endeavor to unravel the mysteries pertaining to astronomy.....

India Gate History

History of India Gate

Situated in Rajpath in Delhi the India Gate bears immense historical significance. A 42 meter high gateway built in red stone and granite the India Gate was planned by Sir Edwin Lutyen the architect who laid out the plan for Delhi. The foundation stone of India Gate of Delhi was laid by the Duke of Connaught. The construction of India Gate of Delhi was completed in February 1921.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in the capital the India Gate today acts as a popular picnic spot for most of the tourists and citizens of Delhi.



According to Skanda Purana, Dun formed part of the region called Kedar  Khand.

It  was included in the kingdom of Ashoka by the end of the 3rd  century  B.C.

It  is  revealed by history that for centuries the region formed part  of  the Garhwal kingdom with some interruption fro Rohillas. For about two  decades till 1815 it was under the occupation of the Gorkhas.  In April 1815  Gorkhas were  ousted from Garhwal region  and Garhwal was annexed by the British.  In that  year  the  area now comprising tehsil Dehra Dun was  added  to  district Saharanpur.  In 1825, however, it was transferred to the Kumaon Division.  In 1828, Dehra Dun and Jaunsar Bhabar were placed under the charge of a  separate Deputy  Commissioner and in 1829, the Dehra Dun district was transferred  from the  Kumaon  Division to  the Meerut Division.  In 1842, Dun was  attached  to Saharanpur  district and placed under an officer subordinate to the  Collector of the district but since 1871 it is being administered as separate  district. In  1968 the district was taken out from Meerut division and included  in  the Garhwal Division.

Chile History

History of Chile

The first European to visit what is now Chile was the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who landed at Chiloé Island following his voyage, in 1520, through the strait that now bears his name. The region was then known to its native population as Tchili, a Native American word meaning "snow." At the same time of Magellan's visit, most of Chile south of the Rapel River was dominated by the Araucanians, a Native American tribe remarkable for its fighting ability. The tribes occupying the northern portions of Chile had been subjugated during the 15th century by the Incas of Peru. In 1535, after the Spanish under Francisco Pizarro had completed their conquest of Peru, Diego de Almagro, one of Pizarro's aides, led a gold-hunting expedition from that country overland into Chile. The expedition spent nearly three fruitless years in the country and then withdrew to Peru.

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary history

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary -
History and Legends

There is more to Bharatpur than the national park though that's the major claim to fame. It was closely linked with the ancient kingdom of Matsya Desh, which finds mention in Mahabharata. It was also a flourishing town during the second century BC (late Mauryan era). Sculpture and shards of pottery belonging to that period have been found at nearby Noh, on the Agra road.

Unlike the rest of Rajasthan, Bharatpur and its environs are peopled by Jats. A loose confederacy of Jats, formed in the late 17th century, began to make its presence felt by systematically attacking the surrounding countryside. By the middle of the 18th century, they came to control a large area west of the Yamuna River between Delhi and Agra. Around this timework began on the Bharatpur fort and continued for as many as 60 years!

Bharatpur fort was the citadel of the Jat chieftain, Raja Surajmal, who earned himself a place in history by plundering the Taj Mahal and Red Fort in the sunset years of Mughal rule. He built this fort as a point of resistance against the British. Laying siege to it in 1805, Lord Lake hung on grimly for four months but had to retreat in the face of the heaviest looses ever suffered by the British up to that time.

Shimla History

History Of Shimla District

Shimla District lies between the longitude 77o-0" and 78o-19" east and latitude 30o-45" and 31o-44" north. It is bounded by Mandi and Kullu in the north, Kinnaur in the east, the state of Uttaranchal  in the south, Sirmaur, district in the west. The elevation of the district ranges from 300 to 6000 metres.  The topology of the district is rugged and tough. Shimla district derives its name from Shimla town which was once a small village. Shimla district in its present form came into existence from 1st Sept,1972 on the reorganisation of the districts of the state.

History of Shimla goes back to the period of Anglo-Gurkha war in the beginning of 19th century.  In 1804 the Gurkhas , who had suffered a severe defeat at the hands of the Sikhs at the battle of Kangra, a hill fortress about sixty miles from Shimla, where according to some accounts they lost thousand of men in the fight and many others from disease, commenced to ravage the states and hills surrounding Shimla. Gurkhas built many forts around Shimla. One of these strongholds, the Jagatgarh  fortress, was the origin of the modern

Delhi History

Delhi History

Delhi has a strong historical background, owing to the fact that it was ruled over by some of the most powerful emperors in Indian history. The history of the city dates back to the time of Mahabharata, when it was known as Indraprastha, the city of Pandavas. According to the great epic, the place was originally a barren piece of land and was converted into a wonderful city by the efforts of the Pandavas. As other kings occupied the neighboring region, some other cities came up like Lal Kot, Siri, Dinpanah, Quila Rai Pithora, Ferozabad, Jahanpanah, Tughlakabad and Shahjahanabad.

National Museum History

National Museum of Natural History

A small, but well documented, museum, known as the National Museum of Natural History, is the best place to view the varied flora and fauna of India. It is situated in FICCI building at Barakhambha road in New Delhi. It was opened for the people on 5th June 1978. The museum was the brain child of former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi. There is a Discovery and Activity Room for kids, where Children can participate in creative activities, such as animal modeling. It is maintained by the Ministry of Environment & Forests, with an aim to promote environmental education and create awareness among the people.

Akshardham Temple history

Akshardham Temple
is a magnificent Hindu shrine, situated in the east region of New Delhi. Located on the banks of River Yamuna, it was inaugurated in November 2005, by the former President of India - APJ Abdul Kalam, the Prime Minister - Manmohan Singh and Pramukh Swami Maharaj - the spiritual leader of BAPS. Pramukh Swami Maharaj is the current spiritual leader of Swaminarayan Sanstha, BAPS. Swaminarayan Akshardham was constructed under his guidance, after his guru, Yogiji Maharaj, expressed a wish for the same.

As a spiritual leader, Swamiji constantly travels and meets people across the world, to help them lead better lives. There are various cultural and educational activities conducted by the Swaminarayan Sanstha. Akshardham is also a part of BAPS's initiative to promote Indian art, culture and values. BAPS also has a charitable arm, known as BAPS Care, working for the betterment of the people. The main shrine in the complex is dedicated to Bhawgwan Swaminarayan.

Lotus Temple history

Lotus Temple in Delhi: A Remarkable Architecture

Lotus Temple is one of the remarkable architectures of Bahai faith. It is located at Kalkaji in New Delhi. The temple looks like a lotus flower and is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. The temple has no restrictions for visitors and is open to people from all religions. The place provides immaculate environment for meditation, peace and wisdom. The Bahai temple was completed in 1986. Since then the temple has received recognition from all over the world for its splendid architecture and design. Lotus Temple is among the most visited monuments in India. The credit for building this beautiful structure goes to the Persian architect Fariborz Sahba from Canada.
Personifying Lotus in the temple does not merely mean giving a lotus shape to the edifice but it has a message to the people of India in the form of a manifestation from the almighty. Lotus is a symbol of peace, purity, love and immortality. It is this particular specialty of Lotus flower which makes the flower an important icon in Indian culture and society. This is why the design of Lotus temple has been inspired by lotus flower.....

Friday 8 July 2011

jama masjid history

The peoples of Arabia were predominately polytheistic, and Mecca was the place of their most important sanctuary, the Ka’ba (see below).  Its ancient origins are unknown but, since all accessible deities were represented there, it was a place of annual pilgrimage for all tribes. At one time there were said to have been as many as three hundred and sixty idols in and around the Ka’ba. This, too, was under the control of the Quraysh, who wisely established a non-violent zone that was Haram (sacred, forbidden), radiating for twenty miles around the sanctuary, and made Mecca a place where any tribe could enter without fear and where they were free to practice both religion and commerce.

The Ka’ba in 1910
The Ka’ba was the most important holy place in Arabia even in pre-Islamic times; it contained hundreds of idols representing Arabian tribal gods and other religious figures, including Abraham, Jesus and Mary. It is a massive cube believed to have been built by the Prophet Abraham and dedicated to al-Lah (The God who was the same God worshipped by the Jews and Christians); it stands in the centre of the Sanctuary in the heart of Mecca. Embedded in the Ka’ba’s granite matrix is the famous Black Stone, which tradition says was originally cast down from Heaven as a sign for Adam......

Humayun's Tomb history

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Obama visits Humayun's Tomb; floored by India's history
New Delhi, Nov 7, PTI:

''Spectacular!'' This is how US President Barack Obama described the Humayun Tomb as he visited the 450-year-old Mughal monument, getting a glimpse of India's rich cultural and historic civilisation.....

Obama, who kicked off his engagements in Delhi with the visit to the 16th century marvel, went around with his wife Michelle intently getting the feel of the monument, which is said to have inspired the creation of Taj Mahal.....

Qutub Minar history

Qutub Minar: The Tallest Monument in India
The tall and ever attractive monument of Delhi which can be seen from most parts of the city is called the Qutab Minar. Every body has the same question when one sees the structure for the first time. The question that is often being put up is "Why the monument is that big?" or "Was there any specific reason to build such a tall building or it was just a wish of the person who built it?" Well, the exact reason is assumed to have something related to commemorating the victory. Mughals used to build victory towers to proclaim and celebrate victories. Some say the minaret was used to offer prayer but it is so tall that you can hear the person standing on the top. Also, the minaret is not joined on to Qutuddin's mosque and the Iltutmish's mosque.
Qutab Minar is among the tallest and famous towers in the world. The minaret is 234 feet high and the highest individual tower in the world. Other towers in the world are the Great Pagoda in Pekin, China and the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy but these towers are not as high as the Qutab Minar in Delhi.......

Thursday 7 July 2011

heer ranjha history

Some themes are culturally bound, others transcend boundaries and remain timeless. The story of tragic love is one such theme. Just as in the west Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet epitomises young-love-thwarted, in the Indian Subcontinent it is symbolised by the story of Heer and Ranjha.

Heer Ranjha by the famous Pakistani artist Chugtai
Heer Ranjha is a traditional folk story of the Punjab that has become part of the Indian Subcontinent’s cultural heritage. Beloved by Indians and Pakistanis alike, the story has many narrative versions, but the one that has remained most popular is Waris Shah’s poetic epic Heer, which was written in 1766. A tale of two young lovers Heer and Ranjha, it recounts how Ranjha, forced to flee his ancestral home and village because of cruel treatment by his jealous sisters-in-law, falls in love with Heer at first sight.

Mesmerized by his flute playing, she hires him as a cow herder on her father’s rich estate. They begin meeting secretly, but Heer’s uncle Qaido discovers them and in an effort to avoid any shame, the family hastily arranges Heer’s marriage to a wealthier, older man. With great difficulty and after much suffering, Heer eventually obtains her parent’s consent to marry Ranjha. Her uncle, however, cannot accept her disobeying the strictures of a patriarchal society that emphasised parental choice in marriage. Believing that by falling in love she has destroyed the family honour, he poisons her on what would have been the lover’s wedding day. Ranjha arrives too late to save her and commits suicide.

Clear parallels exist between the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet and that of Heer Ranjha. Shakespeare and Waris Shah both explore the issue of whether marriage should be based on love or parental choice. Both narratives are stories of a young love so all consuming that the lovers would rather die than live without each other. In both instances it is the young girls, Juliet and Heer, who display greater strength and maturity in love. The tragedies of these young lovers are so powerful that, although not allowed to be couples in real life, their names have been forever linked together.

Bollywood film poster (2009).
The story of Heer Ranjha has been the subject of several films in India and Pakistan. The earliest film version was made in pre-Partition India in 1928 and the latest is the 2009 Bollywood production Heer Ranjha. With the continuing popularity of the tragedy, there have also been some recent theatrical productions that have modernised the traditional folk story to make it relevant to today’s world. In 2008, a British Asian production Heer Ranjha set the tragedy in Glasgow, Scotland. Ranjha is portrayed in this version as a muslim restaurant worker who is disaffected and disowned by his faith. Attempting to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge, he falls instead into the boat where Heer, the daughter of a curry-magnate, is holding a party. The play discussed the issues of forced marriages and the sectarian divide in South Asian communities. In Karachi, Pakistan, a 2009 production Ranjha and Juliet innovatively fused both Shakespeare’s and Waris Shah’s tragedies to come up instead with a comedy. The play cleverly explores the question of whether these two couples, immortalized as tragic lovers, would still fall in love in today’s world – if their love is really eternal. As a commentary on our multi-cultural world, and with some mischievous meddling by the devil and cupid, the couplings, however, get mixed up.

The story of Heer Ranjha is believed to be based on the real life story of a remarkable young woman named Heer who took a stand not only for love, but also against the cruelty of the feudal system. Although Juliet and Heer both loved and lost, they have become a symbol of true love. Heer’s grave in Jhang, Punjab, has become a site for young girls in love to visit, where praying for the successful outcome of their love they leave their bangles as an offering. Juliet’s balcony in Verona, Italy, although doubted as actually hers, has become a traditional tourist spot on a tour of Italy and Verona itself has become a romantic wedding destination for many couples.

Heer Ranjha (Punjabi: ਹੀਰ ਰਾਂਝਾ, ہیر رانجھا, hīr rāñjhā) is one of the four popular tragic romances of the Punjab. The other three are Mirza Sahiba, Sassi Punnun and Sohni Mahiwal. There are several poetic narrations of the story, the most famous being 'Heer' by Waris Shah written in 1766. It tells the story of the love of Heer and her lover Ranjha. The other poetic narrations were written by Damodar Daas, Mukbaz and Ahmed Gujjar among others.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji also reffered to heer ranjha in his composition called charitropakhyan.

Heer ranjha Painting
Heer Saleti was an extremely beautiful woman, born into a wealthy Jatt family of the Sayyal clan. Ranjha (his surname), his first name was Dheedo, also was a Jatt. He was the youngest of four brothers and lived in the village 'Takht Hazara' by the river Chenab. Unlike his older brothers who had to toil in the fields, young Ranjha had been doled over by his, becoming his father's favorite son. With the work being handled his father allowed him to lead a life of ease playing the flute ('Wanjhli'/'Bansuri'). After a quarrel with his brothers over land, Ranjha left home.
In Waris Shah's beloved version of the epic, Ranjha left his home because his brothers' wives refused to give him food. Eventually he arrives in Heer's village and falls in deeply in love with her at first sight. Heer offers Ranjha a job as caretaker of her father's cattle. Soon, mesmerised by the way Ranjha plays his flute, she eventually falls in love with him. They met each other secretly for many years until they were caught by Heer's jealous uncle, Kaido, and her parents Chuchak and Malki. So Heer, to save the 'honor' of her family, is forced by her family and the local priest or 'mullah' to marry another (rich, respected, older local man) named Saida Khera who lived in a distant village.
Ranjha is heartbroken. He is left to walk the quiet villages on his own until eventually he meets a 'Jogi' (an ascetic) named Baba Gorakhnath, who happens to be the founder of the "Kanphata" (pierced ear) sect of Yogis. Their meeting was at 'Tilla Jogian' (the 'Hill of Ascetics'), located 50 miles north of the historic town of Bhera, Sargodha District, Punjab, India; which since the farengis (the British) partitioned India (dividing the former kingdom of Maharaja Ranjit Singh) has been part of (Pakistan)). The heart-broken Ranjha decided to become a Jogi, piercing his ears and renouncing the material world. Reciting the name of the Lord, "Alakh Niranjan", as he traveled around the Punjab, he eventually finds the village where he is reunited with Heer.
The two returned to Heer's village, where Heer's parents agreed to their marriage. However, on the wedding day, Heer's jealous uncle Kaido had arranged for one of his servants to lace some sweets, that Ranja had sent to Heer, with a deadly poison, such was his jealousy that he would rather have her die than she her happily married to Ranja. Being told what Heer's uncle had done, Ranjha rushed to save Heer, but he was too late, as several pieces of the Laddu were missing and Heer breath her last just as he arrived. Brokenhearted once again, Ranjha finished the poisoned Laddu (a sweet) laying down to die by her side.
Heer and Ranjha are buried in a Punjabi town called Jhang, Punjab. Lovers and others often pay visits to their mausoleum.
Waris Shah's version

Waris Shah
It is believed that the story of Heer and Ranjha had a happy ending but Waris Shah gave it the sad ending described above, thereby giving it the legendary status it now enjoys. It is argued by Waris Shah in the beginning of his version that the story of Heer and Ranjha has a deeper connotation - the relentless quest of man (humans) for God.

Full Story

Waris Shah’s composition, the love story of Heer Ranjha takes a pre-eminent place, in what may be called the ‘qissa’ literature of Punjab. It is the story of the youngman and a youngwomen, which did not receive the sanction of society in the shape of marriage, a major theme of literature, music, dance and drama not only in Punjab, but everywhere in the world. Witness Shakespear's Romeo and Juliet.

Sclupture Mirza Shahiban and Heer Ranjha
The story performed in the form of an opera as well as a ballet is very typical. Heer was the daughter of a feudal landlord Chuchak Sial from Jhang. Before her sacrifice for Ranjha, she proved herself to be a very courageous and daring young girl. It is said that Sardar (Chief) Noora from the Sambal community, had a really beautiful boat made and appointed a boatman called Luddan. Noora was very ruthless with his employees. Due to the ill treatment one day Luddan ran away with the boat and begged Heer for refuge. Heer gave him moral support as well as shelter.
Sardar Noora was enraged at this incident. He summoned his friends and set off to catch Luddan. Heer collected an army of her friends and confronted Sardar Noora and defeated him. When Heer’s brothers learnt of this incident they told her,"If a mishap had befallen you why didn’t you send for us?" To which Heer replied, "What was the need to send for all of you? Emperor Akbar had not attacked us."
It is the same Heer who, when she is in love with Ranjha, sacrifices her life for him and says, "Saying Ranjha, Ranjha all time I myself have become Ranjha.
No one should call me Heer, call me Dheedho Ranjha."
When Heer’s parents arranged her marriage much against her wishes, with a member of the house of Khaidon, it is Heer who plucks up courage during the wedding ceremony and reprimands the Qazi (priest)."Qazi, I was married in the presence of Nabi (Prophet). When did God give you the authority to perform my marriage ceremony again and annul my first marriage? The tragedy is that people like you are easily bribed to sell their faith and religion. But I will keep my promise till I go to the grave."

Heer Ranjha Poster
Heer is forcibly married to Khaidon but she cannot forget Ranjha. She sends a message to him. He comes in the garb of a jogi (ascetic) and takes her away. When Heer’s parents hear about the elopement they repent and send for both of them promising to get Heer married to Ranjha. But Heer’s uncle Khaidon betrays them and poisons Heer.
In this love tale Heer and Ranjha do not have the good fortune of making a home. But in the folklore sung by the ladies, Heer and Ranjha always enjoyed a happy married life.
It was Heer’s strong conviction, which has placed this tragic romantic tale on the prestigious pedestal along with Punjab’s religious poetry.

Wednesday 6 July 2011

statue of liberty history

America probably could not have won its freedom from the British during the American Revolution without the help of the French. France provided arms, ships, money and men to the American colonies. Some Frenchmen - most notably the Marquis de Lafayette, a close friend of George Washington - even became high-ranking officers in the American army. It was an alliance of respect and friendship that the French would not forget.

Almost 100 years later, in 1865, after the end of the American Civil War, several French intellectuals, who were opposed to the oppressive regime of Napoleon III, were at a small dinner party. They discussed their admiration for America's success in establishing a democratic government and abolishing slavery at the end of the civil war. The dinner was hosted by Edouard Rene Lefebvre de Laboulaye. Laboulaye was a scholar, jurist, abolitionist and a leader of the "liberals," the political group dedicated to establishing a French republican government.

During the evening, talk turned to the close historic ties and love of liberty the two nations shared. Laboulaye noted that there was "a genuine flow of sympathy" between the two nations and he called France and America, "the two sisters."

As he continued speaking, reflecting on the centennial of American independence only 11 years in the future, Laboulaye commented, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if people in France gave the United States a great monument as a lasting memorial to independence and thereby showed that the French government was also dedicated to the idea of human liberty?"

Laboulaye's question struck a responsive chord in one of his guests, Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, a successful, 31-year-old sculptor from Colmar, a town in the eastern province of Alsace, France.

Years later, recalling the dinner, Bartholdi wrote that Laboulaye's idea "interested me so deeply that it remained fixed in my memory." So was sown the seed of inspiration that would become the Statue of Liberty.

Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi

The sculptor who designed the Statue of Liberty, Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, was born into a well-to-do family in Colmar, France on August 2, 1834.

Bartholdi's father, a civil servant and prosperous landowner, died when the child was only two years old, so he was raised by his stern, possessive mother, Charlotte.

Bartholdi began his career as a painter, but it was as a sculptor that he was to express his true spirit and gain his greatest fame. His first commission for a public monument came to him at the young age of 18. It was for a statue of one of Colmar's native sons, General Jean Rapp, a leader of Napoléon Bonaparte's army. Even at 18, Bartholdi loved bigness. The statue of the general was 12 feet tall and was created in Bartholdi's studio, where the ceiling was only one inch higher. The statue established his reputation as a sculptor of note and led to many commissions for similar, oversized, patriotic works.

A man of his time, Bartholdi wasn't alone in his passion for art on a grand scale. During the 19th century, large-scale public monuments were an especially popular art form. It was an age of ostentation, largely inspired by classical Greek and Roman civilizations. Most monuments reflected either the dress or architecture of these ancient times, so the artistic style of the 19th century came to be known as "neoclassical." The Statue of Liberty would be patterned after the goddess, Libertas, the Roman personification of freedom.

But it was a trip to Egypt that shifted Bartholdi's artistic perspective from simply grand to colossal. The overwhelming size and mysterious majesty of the Pyramids and the Sphinx were awesome to the enthusiastic young Bartholdi. He wrote, "Their kindly and impassive glance seems to ignore the present and to be fixed upon an unlimited future."

china wall history

       The history of the Great Wall is said to start from the Spring and Autumn Periods when seven powerful states appeared at the same time. In order to defend themselves, they all built walls and stationed troops on the borders. At that time, the total length of the wall had already reached 3,107 miles, belonging to different states.

In 221 BC, the Emperor Qin absorbed the other six states and set up the first unified kingdom in Chinese history. In order to strengthen his newly born authority and defend the Huns in the north, he ordered connecting the walls once built by the other states as well as adding some sections of his own. Thus was formed the long Qin's Great Wall which started from the east of today's Liaoning Province and ended at Lintao, Gansu Province.

In the Western Han Dynasty, the Huns became more powerful. The Han court started to build more walls on a larger scale in order to consolidate the frontier. In the west, the wall along the Hexi corridor, Yumenguan Pass, and Yangguan Pass was built. In the north, Yanmenguan Pass and Niangziguan Pass in Shanxi were set up. Many more sections of the wall extended to Yinshan Mountain and half of the ancient Silk Road was along the Han's wall.

The Northern Wei, Northern Qi and Northern Zhou Dynasties all built their own sections but on a smaller scale than the walls in the Han Dynasty. The powerful Tang Dynasty saw peace between the northern tribes and central China most of the time, so few Great Wall sections were built in this period.

Eiffel Tower History

               The Eiffel Tower was built for the International Exhibition of Paris of 1889 commemorating the centenary of the French Revolution. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII of England, opened the tower. Of the 700 proposals submitted in a design competition, Gustave Eiffel's was unanimously chosen. However it was not accepted by all at first, and a petition of 300 names - including those of Maupassant, Emile Zola, Charles Garnier (architect of the Opéra Garnier), and Dumas the Younger - protested its construction.
At 300 meters (320.75 m including antenna), and 7,000 tons, it was the world's tallest building until 1930. Other statistics include:

2.5 million rivets
300 steel workers, and 2 years (1887-1889) to construct it.
Sway of at most 12 cm in high winds.
Height varies up to 15 cm depending on temperature.
15,000 iron pieces (excluding rivets). 40 tons of paint. 1652 steps to the top.
In 1889, Gustave Eiffel began to fit the peak of the tower as an observation station to measure the speed of wind. He also encouraged several scientific experiments including Foucault's giant pendulum, a mercury barometer and the first experiment of radio transmission. In 1898, Eugene Ducretet at the Pantheon, received signals from the tower.
According to NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally, the 'Arctic is the canary in the coal mine.' What do you think would happen to the Eiffel Tower due to global warming? Please send your thoughts to our Webmaster! ... and do not be surprised if these are published on our Web site.