Tuesday, 25 December 2012


Sydney the most populous city in Australia is the state capital of NewSouth Wales. It stands on the Australian sea coast, Tasman Sea. . Actually the city of Sidney is built on the hills. The hills surround the Sydney harbor which is also known as Port Jackson. There are many beautiful parks in the hinterland. A few of the notable ones are Royal Botanic Garden and Hyde Park.

The people who are the inhabitants here in Sidney are called Sydney  siders. In the year 1770 James Cook set foot on Botany Bay situated in the Kurnell Peninsula and here he came in contact with ‘Gwegal’, the aboriginal community residing here. Later on under the direction of the British Government Arthur Phillip arrived Botany Bay with 11 ships in the month of January in 1788 but they realized that this place was not worth living for human habitation as there was scarcity of pure drinking  water and the soil was poor. As a result, Arthur Phillip was bound to establish a colony in Sydney Cove in the same year. After the lapse of two weeks of the founding of the colony it was intended to name the place  Albion but as a token of gratitude from Arthur Phillip it was named after the then British Secretary for Home, Thomas Townshend Lord Sydney as Lord Sydney nominated Arthur Phillip in establishing a colony there.The approximate population of the metropolitan area is 4.6 million as was estimated in the consensus of 2010.

It is suggested by the researchers that Australia has been inhabited by the Australians indigenous to this region for not less than 30,000 years. It is presumed that the land was inhabited by aboriginals (4,000-8,000 years ago) when the British people settled here. When asked where did they come from, they replied – Eora which means ‘from this place’. So the British people called them Eora. The people living here for centuries basically used three languages namely-Darug , Dharwal and Guringac and these languages were dialectically spoken by different clans living here.

But in an irony of fate small pox spread out in an epidemic form and the aboriginals died in large numbers and the situation was o grave that dead bodies were found floating having none to perform the rituals. The number of the aboriginals reduced to 10% of the total number estimated in 1788. There was protest against the British settlement in Pemulway in Botany Bay and in other places as well as they felt that their existence was under threat. it was Govornor Macquarie who took initiative to civilize as well as Christianize the aboriginals and here was a remarkable progress in establishing Sydney as a town in the truest sense of the term.

In course of time Sydney ha now developed as an important tourist spot around the globe for the following         
Main Tourist Attractions:
Sidney Opera House is a multi-art center in Sudney,New South Wales inAustralia. On June 28,2008 Sydney Opera House was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is very close to Sidney Harbour Bridge. Sydney Opera House is the busiest among the performing art houses of the world. The yearly performances amount to around 1500 and about 1.2 million people attend here.  
  Sidney Harbor Bridge: Sydney Harbour Bridge is an arch bridge made of steel with rail, road and pavement for the pedestrians connecting North Shore and Sydney Central Business District(CBD). The Bridge is also nicknamed The Cothanger for the very structure it embodies. It is the 5th longest arch bridge in the world. 
Luna Park: Luna Park is one of the two amusement parks of the world. It is situated on the north shore of Sydney Harbour. In the year 1935 the park was constructed at foot of Harbour Bridge. Earlier it was named Harbourside Amusement Park. The park was temporarily closed immediately after the Ghost Train Fire in 1979. This fire took away the lives of six children and one adult. It opened later on.

Health tip: First chew and then swallow half teaspoonful of Fennel Seeds after meals to get relief from gas. 

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


Maldives is officially known as the Republic of Maldives. It is also known as Maldive Island. The very name of the country may have derived from the Sanskrit word Mahaldeeb (in Sanskrit ‘ Deeb’/ ‘Deeb’ means ‘ island’) and it is an island nation situated in the Indian Ocean consisting of 1,192 coral islands  of 26 attols    ( ‘attol’ means coral island ) of double chain ( ‘chain’ means a group of islands). Maldives is situated in the Lakshadweep sea( known also as Laccadive Sea) which is 400 km swouth-west  of India and 700 km south-west of Sri-lanka. In consideration of area and population Maldives is the smallest country in asia. The average level of height of the ground from the sea level is 1.5 meters and so it is the lowest country of the planet.
History :
Maldives had been colonized by Britain, the Netherlands and Portugal for a pretty long time. In linguistic  and cultural consideration the comparative study study suggests that the people were Dravidians who turned up there from Kerela in 300BC-300AD) and presumably they were fishermen by trade/profession. They are considered as the earliest settlers here from outside. It is also argued that Sindhis and Debals migrated here during the Indus Valley Civilization. The Sinhales also settled here.
The country existed as an independent Islamic Sultanate from 1153 to 1968 but it became a proctorate of the British from 1887 to 1965 on the basis of contract between the sultan and the British government of Ceylon. The internal administration restored to the sultan in exchange of tribute to the British government and in the military protection and the foreign policy making the British Government was the decision maker and there eas a promise by the British Government that the internal administration would not be intervened by them.
  Resturant Under Water: 
There is an astounding under sea water  restaurant named Ithaa. This is the first human made long glass dome undervwater where a person can dine and see the beauty under sea water. The restaurant is kept open seven days from 11 in the morning till late at night. The restaurant is situated at yhe Conrad Hilton Maldives Resort and Spa and the cost here is around 100 pounds per head. 
Buddhismm got entry into Maldives during the reign of Ashoka. It became a dominant religion in Maldives up to 12th century AD and the ancient kings of Maldives promoted the religion and the artistic excellence ( architecture and sculpture) which was the very embodiment of Buddhism at that period. Not only that prior to the advent of Buddhism the ritualistic tradition of venerating Surya was in vogue to the people of Maldives.
There is an inscription in the ancient edicts on the plates of copper that people in large numbers converted to Islam at the fag end of 12th century AD. There is a legendary reference that an Iranian saint of the city of Tabriz of Iran came here , subdued a demon, Rannamaari, and that power  he showed to subdue paved the way of convertion.
In 1965 on 26July on the basis of an agreement between His Majesty the Sultan Ibrahim Nasir Rannabandeyri Kilegefan and on behalf of HerMajesty Queen, British Ambassador, Sir Michael Walker the responsibility for defense and external affairs no longer remained a responsibility for the British and the island started enjoying her full political independence and sovereignty. Muhammad Fareed Didi chose to declare him a king rather than a Sultan for the following 3 years as the sultanate continued.
On 15 BNovember 1967 a vote was arranged in the parliament to decide whether the constitutional monarchy should come to stay or the country will turn into a republic. The result was in favour of republic and it fated the 853 years old sultanate to an end and the presidency rested on Ibrahim Nasir .
In the year 1978 Muhammad Abdul Gayoom was elected as president and continued his rule for the next 30 years without any opposition. Under his leadership Maldives developed and flourished as a very attractive tourist spot for the people globally.
System of Government:
The republic is run with an elected president in power for 5 years with a limit of two terms for a person as president. The president heads the cabinet and appoints executives of his cabinet and it is approved by the Peoples’ Majlis ( parliament). President is here both the heads of the government and of state. Though republic has been passaged by monarchy, power still has been restored to certain influential families of the republic even in some islands power has been restored to some families for generations.
Main attractions:
Tourism is the main income generating sector here and 90% of the government tax revenue is generated from tourism related taxes and import duties.
Officially Islam is the state religion in Maldives. Open practice of any other religion is totally forbidden here and is subject to prosecution. According to the constitution “the republic is based on the principles of Islam” and a non-Muslim has no right to be a citizen in Maldives and “no law contrary to the principles of Islam can be applied”. In the year 2012 35 Buddhist and Hindu artifacts restored in the Maldives’ National Museum were smashed and all the pre-Islamic  history has totally been abolished.

Friday, 7 December 2012


The Ajanta caves are actually 30 rock cut Buddhist cave temples in a series in Aurangabad district of the province of Maharashtra in India. Its founding dates back to Second century BCE to 600 CE in the historical consideration. The paintings and the sculptures inscribed on the walls represent the Buddhist religious art rather it can be termed as the masterpieces of artistic excellence.
The paintings were built in two phases. The first groups were built around second century BCE and the later phases of building the caves span around 600. It is presumed that under the patronage of Satavahana dynesty (230 BCE to 220 CE) 9, 10, 12 and 15A  caves were built. There are controversies regarding the second phase of construction but it is said that the construction of the second phase was possible under the patronage of emperor Harishena belonging to the Vaktaka dnesty.
It is promulgated by the researchers that these caves were abandoned after the fall of Harishena and since then these temples have been abandoned and gradually got forgotten and during the intervening centuries the caves were hidden by the jungle grown around in course of time and were left unvisited, undisturbed and consequently forgotten.
But John Smith a British officer of the 28th cavalry discovered the cave no 10 while hunting tiger and the caves were then homes of nothing but bats, birds, and other animals. A little later of John Smiths’ discovery the Ajanta Caves became renowned for its impressive architecture, beautiful setting and for historical importance.
There are paintings on almost all the walls but in course of time and for human interference the art works have eroded and have become mostly fragmented but our minds peep back into the history of that glorious past as if we can see lively human habitation dedicated to artistic excellence and humane spiritual sublimation sitting in the caves at the very sight of them.
The Ajanta Caves were declared World Heritage Site in 1983. The location of the Ajanta caves is 75040’N 20030’ E. The distance of the Ajanta Caves is 107 km from Aurangabad district headquarters in Maharashtra.
The Ajanta Caves is kept open to the visitors of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Srilanka, Nepal, Thailand & Mayanmar) against Rs 10 per head. Visitors of other countries have to pay $5 or Indian Rs 250 per head. Children up to 15 get free access. The Ajanta Caves has become a major tourist spot in India to the global people.