Wednesday, 28 November 2012

MONTE CARLO



MONTE CARLO
Monte Carlo is a French word. Colloquially it is called Monte-Carl. Monte Carlo refers to an administrative area of Monaco, a large district as well, in France. Monte Carlo stands on the French Riviera which is the Mediterranean coast line and the Italian border. The world famous Place du Casino is situated here. There are four quarters in Monaco and these are Fontvieille, Monaco-ville, La condamine and mote Carlo. The population of Monte Carlo is 3,500.
History:
Monte Carlo was founded in the year 1866 and the name ‘Monte Carlo’ has its origin in Italian language and literally means ‘Mount Charles’, a prince then in power. People would utter the name of the prince, Charles iii of Monaco with horror. The history of the ruling family ‘Grimaldi’ and the area under their rule dates back to centuries and the Port of Monaco was first recorded in 43 BC with the historical reference of Julius Caesar who was then in search of Pompey centering his army at Monaco harbour. But the ‘Grimaldi’ family was overpowered and the area fell under the sovereignty of Genoa but after a lot of hardship the Grimaldies regained the rock in the year 1295 but the following years were very conflicting to them as the ruling family fell almost bankrupt in 1850s as the two major income generating towns Menton and Requebrune yielding orange, lemon and olives in plenty were put under the Savoyan.
Main attractions:
MONTE CARLO CASIN
 Monte Carlo Casino:      To see the prosperity of the German towns ‘Hamburg’ and ‘Baden-Baden’ from the income of casinos in 1856 Charles iii of Monaco ordered a casino to be built. He got it built in German style in 1862 at Condamine but it was proved as a total failure in generating income. After several shiftments of the casino and after the establishment of railway in 1868 the income generation from gambling started remarkably and Mone Carlo flourished incredibly in a short time.

Hotel de Paris:  In 1804 ‘Hotel de Paris’ was ordered to be established by Charles iii of Monaco on the western side of Palace de Casino. It is situated at the heart of Monte Carlo. The hotel is divided into four groups and there are 106 rooms with modern facilities based on the view around the environment.
Sports and Leisure:  There is hardly anyone who will not feel exited seeing Formula One Monaco Grand Prix motor race is held on the Circuit de Monaco. Boxing bout, the European Poker tour Grand Final is also held here. The main attractive visiting places are MonacoCathedral, the Napoleon Museum, the Princes’ Palace and the Oceanographic Museum.

Monte Carlo was divided into 3 municipalities by the Constitution in 1911 but in 1917 the three municipalities were unified into one and those former three were accorded the status of words. In continuation of this there are 10 wards in Monaco at present. Isn’t it attractive enough to pay a visit?

Friday, 23 November 2012

THE HIMALAYAS

THE HIMALAYAS(THE EVEREST)
The word ‘Himalaya is a Sanscrit word (‘Hima’ means ‘snow’+ ‘Alaya’ means ‘house’/’dwelling’) literally means ‘abode of snow’. This mountain has geographically divided the Indian subcontinent from the plateau of Tibet. Mount Everest is the highest mountain of the world. The highest of this mountain at the highest peak is 8884 meters (29,029ft) measured from the sea level . Mount Everest is situated in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas. The great trigonometric Surveyor of British India first published the highest of Everest then known as Peak xv in 1856, 29,029 ft (8,840m). Five countries India, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and People’s Republic of China have been abutted by the Himalayas . Many Himalayan peaks have been sacred to both the Hindus and Buddhists.
 In the year 1865 upon a recommendation by Andrew Waugh , the British Surveyor General of India named the highest peak of the mountain after his predecessor in the post Sir George Everest although the Tibetans had called the mountain “Chomolungama” for centuries. No plant life grows near the peaks of the mountains for high velocity of wind and for extreme cold weather. Another important cause is the scarcity of oxygen at that height. Many people climb Everest every year and in this attempt of climbing many fall sick and many die for sickness and for lack of oxygen. The problem breathing for want of oxygen results in brain damage. 
The major three rivers of the world the Ganges, the Indus and the Tsangpo Brahmaputra all initiated their journey near Kailas Mountain and the combined basin of these three rivers have become home to near about six hundred million people so far.
The Everest
 In Hinduism the Himalayas has been personified as Himavat, a god of snow and this reference can be found in the Mahabharata. This Himavat is referred to as the father of Ganga and Saraswati the demigoddess. They became rivers. It is believed in Hinduism that Mount Kailas is the abode of Shiva and he lives with his wife Parvati there. Himalaya has long been an abode ideal for meditation to the devotees of different religion. The Himalyas has been a place of religious significance to the Hindus, Jainas and Bhuddhists. The residence of Dalai Lama is in the Himalayan mountain range. There were 6,600 monasteries in Tibet. In Shigatse and in Lhasa the Muslims of Tibet had their mosques. 
 With the variation of climatic condition the flora and Fauna differ. In the Garwal Himalayan region the pine forest is invading into oak forest. The animals that are found in the Himalayan area, especially mammals, are Asian golden cat, brown boar, clouded leopard, Eurasian lynx etc. Barheaded goose, snow goose, golden eagle and lammergier are the most common birds indigenous to the Himalayas. Rhododendrons, oaks and violets are very common here.
 There are hundreds of lakes here in the Himalayan region. Some of the remarkable lakes are Gurudogmar in north Sikkim, Talicho Lake in Nepal and Tsongmo lake near Indo China border and attracts the tourists. 
This is the only natural gift to human being that has touched both ground and the sky simultaneously. 

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

ROME



Colosseum
Rome is an ancient city and the capital of Italy .It is the country’s fourth populous city in the European Union .The city is located in the Central Western portion of Italian Peninsula and stands on the river Tiber in the Lazio region in Italy .The city is also known as ‘The Eternal City’.                                    
The history of Rome spans more than two and a half thousand years since the founding of the city in 753 BC. Once it was the capital of Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic  and the Roman Empire and it was the most dominant power from 1st century  BC to 7th century AD. Rome is regarded as one of the birth places of Western Civilization.
Rome was ruled by Popes after the middle ages and under the leadership of those   popes the city turned into a center of Italian Renaissance as was true with Florence. In this regard Alexander vi and Leo x played a pivotal role.
In the year 2010 Rome has been ranked as a beta+world city. It has also been declared as the 28th most important global city which was the 11th most important global city in 2007. As regards assets and  branded city it is one of the most successful cities in the world so far.In Rome the most visited tourist museums are Vatican Museum and Colosseum Museum. Every year on an average 4 million tourists visit this museums.



WOLF FEEDING THE TWINS
The very well known legendary and mythical story about the founding of this city handed down by the ancient Romans is that Romulus and Remus were twin brothers. They are the central characters of the myth relating o the founding of the city, Rome. Rhea Silvia was their mother and Rhea was the daughter of Numitor who was the king of Alba Longa. Amulius ,the brother of Numitor, dethroned his brother and all the male heirs of Numitor and Rhea Silvia was forced to become vestal virgin and was sworn to chastity to make the power of Amulets  thornless. But in an irony of fate   Rhea Silvia conceived the twins by god Mars or by the demi-god Hercules. In due time the twins were born but Amulius had floated the twins abandoned to die in the river Tiber but for miraculous interventions the twins survived to kill him in course of time. It so happened coincidentally that a she wolf found them on the bank, suckled them and a woodpecker fed them. The two brothers remaining completely dark about their identity were fostered to manhood with great care by a shepherd and his wife. When they came to know their identity they killed Amulius the usurper and restored Numitor to power. Romulus was intent to found a city on the Hill Palatine while Remus wanted it to be founded on the Hill Aventine. To end the dispute both the brothers agreed to settle the dispute with the help of augury. But it so happened that both claimed the decision in his favour and got involved in fighting. Eventually Remus was killed and Romulus founded the city and named it Rome after himself. But the legend is not beyond controversy.  
In the chronology of history Rome became Republic in 509 BC. Within a few centuries Rome flourished as a great and popular city after the rule of the famous Augustus who is also known as Octavian. It flourished more when the Sabines, the Etruscans and the Semites were defeated by Rome in the third century BC.
NERO FIDDLES---------
The more formal and grand journey towards a flourishing condition of Rome started in the hands of Emperor Augustus(63 BC- AD14). Augustus founded ‘Principiate’, a system of monarchy headed by an emperor who holds power for life instead of making himself a dictator. Augustus started his work for development of Rome in respect of social, political and economic reform. He was a great patron of arts. Poets like Virgil, Propertius and Horace attended his court. Impressive magnificent buildings and palaces were built by him.
The followers of Augustus were Trajan, Caligula, Nero and Hadrian. Nero among them is most remarkable for his tyranny, cruelty and extravagance. The very well known proverb-“Nero fiddles while Rome burns” is reminiscent of the incident of the night of 18 to 19 July 64 AD.
 Today Rome is one of the most important tourist attractions around the globe. Colosseum is one of the most attractive spots for the tourists to visit. It is an elliptical  amphitheater the largest ever built at the heart of the city of Rome. It is made of concrete and stone. Its construction started in 72 AD when emperor Vespasian was in power and it came to a completion in 80 AD Titus in power. This amphitheater had the capacity to accommodate 50,000 spectators. The Colosseum was generally used for mock sea battles, animal hunts and for staging classical mythical dramas and so like. It is still present in the 21st century though partially ruined by earthquake and party damaged by stone robbers.

TRAVIE  FOUNTAIN


The fountain Travie in Trevi district in Rome is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and perhaps the most famous fountain in the world with 88.3 feet height and 65.6 feet width. There holds a traditional legend that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain their return to Rome is ensured. It is one of the most attractive tourist attractions to the people around the globe.  
Rome is really a wonder and attracts the people to see,learn and realize the spirit of human intention incarnate in art forms throughout the centuries.It is really superb.


 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

THE SUNDARBANS



 The Sundarbans is the biggest halophytic mangrove forest in the world. It is situated to the southern part of Bangladesh and stands on the Bay of Bengal. The area of this forest is around 6000sq.km. The name Sundarban means a ‘forest of beauty’. It is widely thought that the name has been derived from’Sundaree tree’ present in large numbers in this forest. It has been declared a World Heritage Site in 1997.      
Around 200-300 years back the place was traced in history. The ruins of a city founded by Chad Sadagar has been traced in the Baghmara Block Forest. During the Mughal empire in this subcontinent the Mughal rulers leased the forest to residents nearby and subsequently it became an abode of criminals.Two-thirds of the Sundarbans is in Bangladesh and the rest one-third has fallen in the Indian side. The East,West and South are the three protected forests in Bangladesh is densely covered by Mangrove forest.
The Sundarbans is a habitat for the world famous Royal Bengal Tigers and some other predators like leopard, jungle cat, fishing cats and leopard cats; but they have always been subject to human attack for centuries. Wild boars are also seen here.
The forest is rich in avifauna. Nearly 170 species of birds live in this forest. Birds like Open Billed Storks, Black Header Ibis, Brahmini Kites, Spotted Doves and many others are found in this forest.
Electric ray, common carp, silver carp, butter fish, saw fish are very common acquafauna in the rivers of the Sundarbans. Tree frogs are also found here. Pythons, crocodiles, king cobra, dog-faced-water snakes are very common reptiles here.
The Sundarbans has been a good source of literature. The source of Salman Rushde’s Booker prize winner novel Midnight’s Children’ is based on the Sundarbans. ‘Padma Nadir Maghi’ by Mnik Bandopadhya depicts the rigorous life leading of the people living in the Sundarban region and this novel has been filmed by Goutom Ghosh, a renowned film maker of India. Shib Shankar Mitra has written a novel named ‘Sundarbanay Arjun Sardar’. ‘The HungryTide’ a novel written by Amitav Ghosh depicts the life style of the people of this region. In Bengali Folk Epic ‘Manasa Mangal’ there is the reference of  Netaidhopani  and Behula’s quest for reviving her husband Lakhindar dead by snakebite.
The sundarbans plays a vital role on the national economy of Bangladesh. This forest has been a good source of earning for a certain class of people directly or indirectly. The forest provides raw materials for the wood based companies. The forest provides 45% timber and fuel wood of the total demand of Bangladesh. The forest supplies thatching material ‘Golpata’ in large numbers. Honey collectors collect honey and bees-wax from this forest. This forest is also a good source of pulp-wood. 

Sunday, 11 November 2012

THE HANGING GARDENS OF BABYLON



The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is said to have existed in Babylon, the then city state now known as Al-Hillah in the province of Babil, in Iraque by the river Euphrates.
It is also said that Nebuchannizzar ii , the Neo-Babylonian king ruling between 605-562 BC got this garden built to please his homesick wife Amytes. She was Amytes of Media whose ardent desire was to enjoy the floral beauty sitting in her bed room.
The garden is called the hanging garden because the trees and plants here were planted on higher level of platform from the level of ground.
Ancient Roman as well as Greek writers documented on this wonderful garden. Especially the names of Diodorus Siculus, Strabo and Quintus Curtius Rufus are worth mentioning in this regard.
Siculous and Strabo, the Greek historians described the garden as theatrical in shape. It was 100 ft wide and 100 ft long. The roofs that supported the garden were made of stone and thick layer of tar,then baked brick cement bounded were used with another layer of led so that moisture could not penetrate and harm the roof. Then thick layer of top soil was spread as roots of big trees could easily penetrate deep into the soil for good growth.

There is also reference of using pumps for watering the garden for the growth of planted trees and plants. The ground was ploughed well for planting trees and plants. It is thought that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon got destroyed by earth quake.
There have arisen controversies as regards whether there were the existence of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon or not as there is no documentation or reference of the gardens in any form in any document of that time. Some scholars opine that even Herodotus the historian cited about Nebuchdnizzar ii but he wrote nothing about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. It is also presumed by some scholars that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon is simply a poetic imagination.
Not only that there is no archaeological evidence in favour of the existence of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. In recent times it is also presumed that it was not Nebuchadnizzar ii  but Sennacherib the king (reigning 705- 681 AD) got the garden constructed but it got attributed to Nebuchadnizzar ii  out of confusion.
Whatever the historical reality of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon is,it is a matter of hope and aspiration that people throughout the world have long been enchanted at the very thought of an artistic super creation of the hanging gardens that were totally unthought-of  and beyond  anybody’s dream. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon can be compared with The Taj Mahal at Agra in India in the sense that both the wonders were dedicated to the queens respectively. One emperor Nebuchadnizzar ii  satisfied the demand of his  homesick wife as regards her enjoying a floral scenery across a river Euphrates sitting in her bed room and the other emperor Saha Jahan got The Taj Mahal built on the bank of the river mighty Jamuna to keep the sweet recollections of Mum Taj alive in the days to come.
Actually, the thought of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon takes us to an elevated plane of aesthetic reality and we feel nostalgic. Whether its existence is purely legendary or based on reality the thought of the  Hanging Gardens of Babylon will go on inspiring us generation after generation about its artistic  romantic creation superb and unique in all respects.