World famous | Sunday Observer

World famous

20 September, 2020

The Great Buddha of Kamakura


Kōtoku-in is a Buddhist temple of the Jōdo-shū sect in the city of Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The temple is renowned for its “Great Buddha”, a monumental outdoor bronze statue of Amida Buddha which is one of the most famous icons of Japan.

Great Buddha of Kamakura is a monumental outdoor bronze statue of Amitābha Buddha at the Kōtoku-in Temple in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The bronze statue probably dates from 1252, in the Kamakura period, according to temple records. It was preceded by a giant wooden Buddha, which was completed in 1243 after ten years of continuous labour, the funds having been raised by Lady Inada (Inada-no-Tsubone) and the Buddhist priest Jōkō of Tōtōmi.

The statue is approximately 13.35 metres tall including the base and weighs approximately 93 tonnes. The statue is hollow and visitors can view the interior.

Golden Temple of Amritsar 

Sri Harmandir Sahib (The abode of God), also Sri Darbar Sahib and informally referred to as the “Golden Temple”, is the holiest Gurdwara of Sikhism, located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India.

Amritsar was founded in 1577 by the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das. The fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan, designed the Harmandir Sahib to be built in the centre of this holy tank and upon its construction, installed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, inside the Harmandir Sahib. The Harmandir Sahib complex is also home to the Akal Takht (the throne of the timeless one, constituted by the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind).

The construction of Harmandir Sahib was intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions to come and worship God equally. Accordingly, as a gesture of this non-sectarian universalness of Sikhism, Guru Arjan had specially invited the Muslim Sufi Saint, Sai Mian Mir to lay the foundation stone of the Harmandir Sahib. The four entrances to get into the Harmandir Sahib also symbolize the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religions.

Some of the architectural features of the Harmandir Sahib were intended to be symbolic of the Sikh world view. The gurdwara is surrounded by the Sarovar, a large lake or holy tank, which consists of Amrit (“holy water” or “immortal nectar”) and is fed by the Ravi River.

Much of the present decorative gilding and marble work dates from the early 19th century. All the gold and exquisite marble work was conducted under the patronage of Hukam Singh Chimni and Emperor Ranjit Singh, Maharaja of the Sikh Empire of the Punjab.

Blue Domed Church   

Santorini is well known for its blue domed churches and chapels with painted arches and blue domes. The combination of the lively blue and striking white is simply amazing.

It is commonly believed that Santorini is in fact Atlantis. The history of Santorini after this is similar to the rest of Greece, being occupied by Dorian Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Franks, Venetians and Turks until the independence of Greece.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the town was a mariners’ town that flourished as a result of seaborne trade throughout the Mediterranean, particularly as part of the trade route between Russia and Alexandria. In 1890, Oia had approximately 2,500 residents and approximately 130 sailing ships.

It is built on the steep slope of the caldera and the houses and restaurants are built into niches carved into the caldera on the seaward side. There are narrow passageways and a central square.

The sunlight hours in this village are much longer than in the Firatown. The paths are very narrow and get congested during the tourist season.

The idyllic surroundings of the town have traditional Cycladic houses and cave houses carved into the rock face on top of the cliff. It is set in a location which provides excellent views of the sunset over the caldera.

The blue domed churches with the white crosses and sleek bell towers are a classic postcard shot. In Santorini, it’s not only about the religious sentiment; it’s about aesthetics and the development and preservation of a unique architectural pattern that makes the island stand out.

Once in Santorini, the painted arches and blue domes are sure to catch your attention, since they perfectly match the blue sky with the backdrop of the caldera and the Aegean Sea.

Blue is a significant colour for the Greeks as it reflects the colour of their seas and skies and of their everyday life.

A few of the beautiful churches in Santorini are used as wedding venues for the many weddings conducted on this romantic isle. As with other Greek Islands and mainland Greece, the Church plays a significant role in the lives of the Greek people.


Twelve Apostles 

The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park by the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. Their proximity to one another has made the site a popular tourist attraction. Currently there are eight apostles left, the ninth one of the stacks collapsed dramatically in July 2005. The name remains significant and spectacular especially in the Australian tourism industry.

The apostles were formed by erosion: the harsh and extreme weather conditions from the Southern Ocean gradually eroded the soft limestone to form caves in the cliffs, which then became arches, which in turn collapsed; leaving rock stacks up to 50 metres high.

The stacks are susceptible to further erosion from the waves. On July 3, 2005, a 50-metre-tall stack collapsed, leaving eight remaining. On September 25, 2009, it was thought that another of the stacks had fallen, but this was actually one of the smaller stacks of the Three Sisters formation. The rate of erosion at the base of the limestone pillars is approximately 2 cm per year. Due to wave action eroding the cliff face existing headlands are expected to become new limestone stacks in the future.

Golden Gate Bridge  

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gatestrait, the one-mile-wide, three-mile-long channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the American city of San Francisco, California – the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula – to Marin County, carrying both US Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait. The bridge is one of the most internationally recognised symbols of San Francisco, California and the United States. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Until 1964, the Golden Gate Bridge had the longest suspension bridge main span in the world, at 1,300 m. Since 1964 its main span length has been surpassed by ten bridges; it now has the second longest main span in the United States, after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City. The total length of the Golden Gate Bridge from abutment to abutment is 2,737 m. The Golden Gate Bridge’s clearance above high water averages 67 m while its towers, at 227 m above the water, were the world’s tallest on a suspension bridge until 1998 when bridges in Denmark and Japan were completed.

The weight of the roadway is hung from two cables that pass through the two main towers and are fixed in concrete at each end. Each cable is made of 27,572 strands of wire. There are 130,000 km of wire in the main cables. The bridge has approximately 1,200,000 total rivets.



Mont St. Michel  

Le Mont-Saint-Michel (Saint Michael’s Mount) is an island commune in Normandy, France. It is about one kilometre off the country’s northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. 100 hectares in size, the island has a population of 44 (2009). Its unique position - on an island just 600 metres from land - made it accessible at low tide to the many pilgrims to its abbey, but defensible as an incoming tide stranded, drove off, or drowned would-be assailants.

One of France’s most recognisable landmarks, Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and more than three million people visit it each year. Now a rocky tidal island, the Mont occupied dry land in prehistoric times. As sea levels rose, erosion reshaped the coastal landscape and several outcrops of granite emerged in the bay, having resisted the wear and tear of the ocean better than the surrounding rocks.

The island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times and since the 8th century AD has been the seat of the monastery from which it draws its name.

The structural composition of the town exemplifies the feudal society that constructed it: on top, God, the abbey and monastery; below, the great halls; then stores and housing; and at the bottom, outside the walls, houses for fishermen and farmers.

Neptune and the Palace 

The Palace of Versailles, or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. It is also known as the Château de Versailles.

When the château was built, Versailles was a country village; today, however, it is a wealthy suburb of Paris, some 20 kilometres southwest of the French capital. The court of Versailles was the centre of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution.

The king’s apartment consisted of an enfilade of seven rooms, each dedicated to one of the then known planets and their associated titular Roman deity. The queen’s apartment formed parallel enfilade with that of the grand appartement du roi. It served as the residence of three queens of France-Marie-Thérèse d’Autriche, wife of Louis XIV, Marie Leczinska, wife of Louis XV and Marie-Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI.

The petit appartement du roi is a suite of rooms that were reserved for the private use of the king. The petit appartement de la reine is a suite of rooms that were reserved for the personal use of the queen.

In the evolution of the château of Versailles, there were five chapels. The current chapel, which was the last major building project of Louis XIV, represents one of the finest examples of French Baroque architecture and ecclesiastical decoration.