Saturday, 26 May 2012

Jammu and Kashmir

heaven on earth kashmir

  ladakh map



Destination
Overview
The State of Jammu & Kashmir has main three geographical regions known as “The Lesser Himalayas” or the “Jhelum Valley” (Kashmir), “The Inner Himalayas” or “The Indus Valley” (Ladakh & Frontier areas) also called “Trans-Himalayas”, and “The Outer-Himalayas” or “The Southern mountain range” (Jammu). The area of Jammu & Kashmir is 2, 22,236 square kilometers.
inner himalyas and outer himalayas

indus valley ladakh map

 pir panjal range map
Kashmir
Carved tectonically, the valley of Kashmir is a longitudinal depression in the great north-western Himalayan range, situated at an altitude of 1590 mtrs (5209) feet having latitude between 23-4' and 37-6 'North and longitude between 72-31' and 77-30' East. A typical oval shaped valley, its length has a parallel axis to the general direction of the bordering mountains – The Shivaliks, The Middle Mountains, The Pir Panjal, The Himalayas, The Zanaskar, The Ladakh and The Korakaram.
Srinagar: Srinagar is located in the heart of the Kashmir valley at an altitude of 1,730 m(1530 feet) above sea level, spread on both sides of the river Jhelum. The Dal and Nagin lakes enhance its picturesque setting, while the changing play of the seasons and the salubrious climate ensures that the city is equally attractive to visitors around the year.         
Kalhana, the author of 'Rajtarangini’, states that Srinagar was founded by Emperor Ashoka (3rd Century BC). The present city of Srinagar was founded by Pravarasena-II, and Hiuen Tsang, who visited Kashmir in 631 AD, found it at the same site as it is today. Laltaditya Muktapida was the most illustrious ruler of Kashmir in the Hindu period, which ended in 1339 AD. King Zain-ul-Abidin (1420-70 AD), popularly known as ‘Budshah’, was a great patron of Sanskrit. Akbar captured Kashmir valley for the Mughals, who endowed Srinagar with beautiful mosques and gardens. The Sikhs overthrew the last Muslim ruler in the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1819. In 1846 the Dogras secured the sovereignty of Kashmir from the British under the Treaty of Amrjtsar, and in 1947 the state of Jammu and Kashmir with Srinagar as its capital, became part of the Indian Union. 

 HIMALYA'S SEVEN MAIN RIVERS

Ladakh
Situated at the western edge of the Tibetan plateau, Ladakh is bound by the mighty Karokaram mountain range in the north and the Great Himalayas in the South. Landscape of Ladakh has been modified and sculpted into the spectacular shape by the wind and the erosion over the centuries. Its altitude ranges from 9000 to 25000 feet. And is traversed by other mountain chains, the Ladakh range and Zanaskar range. It is rightly called “the broken moonland” and “land of endless discovery”.

Today a high-altitude desert, shelter ed from the rain-bearing clouds of the Indian monsoon by the barrier of the Great Himalaya, Ladakh was once covered by an extensive lake system, the vestiges of which still exist on its south-east plateaux of Rupshu and Chushul, in the drainage basins or lakes of Tso-moriri, Tso-kar and Pangong-tso. But the main source of water is winter snowfall.
Dras, Zanskar and the Suru Valley on the Himalaya's northern flanks receive heavy snow in winter, this feeds the glaciers from which melt water, carried down by streams, irrigates the fields in summer. For the rest of the region, the snow on the peaks is virtually the only source of water. As the crops grow, the villagers pray not for rain, but for sun to melt the glaciers and liberate their water.
 

Druk White Lotus School

The Druk White Lotus School is located in Shey, Ladakh, in northern India.
The school was started at the request of the people of Ladakh who wanted a school that would help maintain their rich cultural traditions, based on Tibetan Buddhism, while equipping their children for a life in the 21st century.
The masterplan and school buildings, designed by architects and engineers from Arup and Ove Arup & Partners, combine local building techniques and materials with leading edge environmental design to make them effective in the extreme climate.
The school offers a broad education, initially in the Ladakhi language and English. Residential blocks allow children from Ladakh's remote areas to attend, and a programme of sponsorship ensures that the poorest are not excluded. It is managed by the Druk Pema Karpo Educational Society and financed with money raised internationally.
Druk White Lotus school is being built in stages. The Nursery and Infant Courtyard opened in September 2001, and the Junior School in November 2004.
The school was featured in a 2007 episode of the PBS series Design e2,Cisco Systems "Human Network" advertisement as well as the Aamir Khan movie 3 Idiots. The school was damaged in August 2010 when cloudbursts caused flash floods that washed mud and boulders into many school buildings.The Bollywood star Aamir Khan made a special effort to lend a helping hand

Aamir in Leh-land

amir khan school ladakh image



 

Jammu
Set against the backdrop of the snow-capped Pir Panjal range, Jammu marks the transition between the Himalayas in the north and the dusty plains of the Punjab in the south, bridging these two extremities by a series of scrub covered hills, forested mountain ranges and deep river valleys. The southernmost unit of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, Jammu region is traversed by the Shivalik hills and quenched by the rivers Ravi, Tawi and Chenab.

The city of Jammu is named after Jambu Lochan, the brother of Bahu, a powerful local chieftain who ruled during the ninth century. During 1730 AD, the Dogra rulers built the city of Jammu as their capital and adorned it with numerous temples and shrines now known as the "city of Temples". It is dotted with some historical temples like the Raghunath Temple, Ranbireshwar Temple, Peer Kho Temple, Panjbakhtar Temple which are over a hundred years old. It is the winter capital of Jammu & Kashmir.
 
Lakes

DalLake 

Dal Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes of India and the second largest in the J&K state. Its three sides are surrounded by majestic mountains and a large number of gardens and orchards have been laid along the shores. The campus of University of Kashmir is also located along the shores of the lake. Dal Lake is unique in having hundreds of houseboats, which afford an opportunity for tourists to reside on the lake in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility .



WularLake 
It is difficult to describe in mere words the beguiling beauty of Wular Lake. For one, its formidable size - this is one of Asia's largest fresh water lakes - for another, it changes character with every few miles. The drive from Srinagar will take you to the calm waters of Manasbal , where there is no other sound but birdsong. Manasbal has often been described as the bird watcher's paradise, and as your shikara glides through this mirror of tranquillity, you will experience yet another facet of Kashmir.From Watlab, the Wular Lake stretches away as far as the eye can see, edged by picturesque villages around terraced breeze-rippled fields of paddy, in a riotous burst of colour, the sheer grandeur of the spectacular countryside at leisure.

Ladakh

Pangong Lake

Pangong Lake 
(150 km from Leh/4267 m alt), is about 130 km long 5-6 km wide, straddling across the border between India & China. The ochre hills of the Change-chenmo range surrounding it from the north provide a spectacular backdrop to the blue and green expanse of its brackish water.


Jammu

Mansar Lake

Mansar Lake
Situated 62 kms from Jammu, Mansar is a beautiful lake fringed by forest-covered hills, over a mile in length by half-a-mile in width. Besides being a popular excursion destination in Jammu, it is also a holy site, sharing the legend and sanctity of Lake Mansarovar. Newly weds consider it auspicious to perform three circumambulations (‘Parikarma’) around the lake to seek the blessings of Sheshnag, the lord of serpents, whose shrine is located on its eastern bank. There are also some ancient temples on the lake’s shores, which are visited by devotees in large numbers. Mansar is also ideal for boating.


National Parks

kashmir himalayas
          Kashmir
Hungul
                      Hungul  
The State of J&K has enacted Jammu & Kashmir Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1978 by virtue of which National Parks, Sanctuaries, Game Reserves and Wetlands have been setup to afford protection to the diverse flora & fauna of the Sate .

Kashmiri Stag also known as Hangul (cervus elaphus hanglu) is found alone in the Valley of Kashmir and happens to be distinctly related to the European Red Deer. Dachigam National Park was set up to afford protection to this critically endangered animal.Dachigam National Park is stituated 1 km ahead of Harwon Garden (3 kms ahead of Shalimar Garden) and 18 kms from Srinagar. Permission to visit this National Park requires to be obtained from Wildlife Warden of (Wildlife Department). The rare fauna found in the protected areas of the State include:

Dachigam (Overview)
             Dachigam (Overview) 


Garden




Mughal Garden, Shalimar

  Shalimar Garden
                 Shalimar Garden

 Shalimar garden was built by Mughal Emperor Jehangir in the year 1619 AD and called it "Farah Baksh" (the delightful). Eleven years later Zaffer Khan the Governor of Kashmir during Emperor Shah Jahan's reign extended the garden and called it "Faiz Baksh" (the Bountiful). The garden was graded in three sections. The outer garden known as the Diwan-i-Aam, the central porrion the Emperor's garden called as the "Diwan-i­Khas" and the uppermost by far the best garden was meanc for the Empress and her ladies. The romantic effect of numerous fountains in large tanks and central water channel, cascades, and monumental pavilions, mighty chinars, lush lawns laden with colour and fragrance speak volumes for the taste of Great Mughal. The garden covers an area of 12.40 ha.15 kms from the TRC



 Nishat Garden




Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden

Tulip garden previously named as Model Floriculture Centre, Sirajbagh, Cheshmashahi Srinagar, is spread over an area of about 30 ha situated On the foothills of Zabarwan Hills with an overview of picturesque world famous Dal Lake. This garden was conceived, conceptualized and created by Mr. Gh. Nabi Azad, the then Chief Minister, J&K in the year 2006-07. Main aim of this garden is to boost floriculture and advance tourism in Kashmir Valley. Over 12 Lakh tulip bulbs of 68 varieties of different colours sown during Nov-Dec, 2007 presented a breathtaking view. 


Hotels

 Kashmir

Kashmir Hotel & Restaurant Owner’s Federation (KHAROF)

Naik Building, 3rd Floor, Munawarabad M.A. Link Road ,
Srinagar Kashmir ,190001
Tele: + 91 194 2482695
Fax: + 91 194 2453732, 2455251
Email: kharof@mail.com
Web: www.kharof.com
Kashmir Hotel & Restaurant Association (KHARA)
Nawa-i-Subh Complex, Zero Bridge,
Srinagar , Kashmir , 190001
Tele: + 91 194 1472249
Fax: + 91 194 2453209
Travel Agents Society of Kashmir (TASK)
Baba Dharam Das Road, Bishember Nagar,
Srinagar , Kashmr, 190001
Tele/Fax: + 91 194 2459568
Email: task_srinagar@rediffmail.com      
J&K Tourism Development Corporation (J&K TDC) Accommodation:  
 The J&K TDC’s hutments at Pahalgam, Gulmarg, and Patnitop are  furnished and attractive for those with their own transport. J&KTDC also have hotel blocks at the Tourist Reception Centre where rooms are provided for transit visitors. It is necessary to book well in advance, as these rooms are almost always crowded due to their central location. The Corporation has also commissioned its 80-roomed Heemal Hotel, which is conveniently located on the Boulevard.

For more information &booking, visit www.jktdc.co.in


80-roomed heemal hotel, which is conveniently located on the boulevard. Ladakh

Hotels

In the newly opened areas of the region –
Nubra, Changthang and the Drok-pa area - tourist infrastructure is not yet adequately developed. The State Tourism Department has guest house in their homes under a State Government sponsored incentive scheme. For visitors to Tso-moriri Lake, accommodation is available near Korzok village in tented camps, which spring up every season. Similar camps are available in various parts of Nubra valley.started development of accommodation facilities like tourist complexes and hiker's huts at various places in these areas. However, in some of these places, especially in the Nubra Valley, tourists can stay as paying guests with some families who have set up paying
During the peak tourist season i.e. early June to mid-September, it is advisable to book hotel rooms in advance. By late September, hotel rooms are easily available as the tourist rush declines. However, tourists planning winter trips may have to book accommodation in advance so as to ensure provision of heating arrangements during the period of their intended stay.
Contact
All Ladakh Hotels & Guest House Owner's Association , Leh
Tel: +91 01982 256234
Mobile : +91 0941978560

How To Reach 
Kashmir

By Road
National Highway, 1-A, connecting Srinagar with Jammu (300 kms) is an all-weather road. Jammu in turn is connected to many parts of Northern India, including New Delhi. Buses and all types of Taxis to Srinagar are available from Jammu railway station and city centre. Various Tourist Taxi Strands, in the Srinagar City, have recently upgraded their fleet, and taxis can be hired for touring Srinagar city or various resorts in Kashmir.
Also visit www.jksrtc.nic.in


By Rail
Jammu Tawi, a major railway junction of North India, and Udampur in Jammu province, Srinagar’s nearest railhead (202 kms) receive a large number of trains from most parts of India. Trains are operating within Kashmir valley from Anantnag to Baramulla. Kashmir is being connected by rail with Jammu and the project is expected to be commissioned within the next 5-7 years.

 
By Air
Srinagar now has an International Airport and direct weekly flights are operating from Dubai. All major airlines operate regular daily flights to here from New Delhi and other major cities in India. Srinagar Airport is 14 kms from the city


Jammu
By Road
Jammu is on National Highway 1-A and is connected by the highway network to all parts of the country. Some important road distances from Jammu are:
Amritsar- 243 kms Chandigarh- 436 kms Delhi- 586 kms
Katra- 48 kms Srinagar- 305 kms Manali- 428 kms
Patnitop - 108 kms Mansar - 62 kms



By Rail
Jammu Tawi is an important railhead of the Northern India. The main trains operating to/ from Jammu are:

Malwa Express, Super Fast, Jammu Mail, Jammu Express, Shalimar Express, Sealdah Express, Jhelum Express, Himgiri Express, Himsagar Express, Lohit Express, Sarwodaya Express, Sarvodaya Rajkot Express, Happa Express, Navyug Express, Gorakhpur Express, Barauni Express, Madras Express, Rajdhani Express and Ferozpur Express.
Railway Station, Jammu (Tawi):General Enquiry & Reservation, Tel: (0191) 2470212, 2471916, 2470029, 131, 132, 2453029, 2471844, Complaint : 2470314-17


By Air
Jammu airport is 8 kms from the city centre.Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Kingfishers operate scheduled services between Jammu & Delhi and Jammu & Srinagar/Leh. 



Ladakh



By Road
The main overland approach to Ladakh is the 434 Kms Srinagar-Leh highway (open May/June to October). This historic road passes through Kashmir’s picturesque countryside till Sonamarg (86 Km) before ascending the Zojiala pass (3,529m). It connects the most populous parts of Ladakh including Kargil Town (205 Km) where the journey has to be

broken for the nigh. The other land approach is the 473 km Manali-Leh road (open July-September) which runs across 5 passes, the lowest being Rohtang-La (3,878 m) and the highest Taglang-la (5360-m). J&K State Road Transport Corporation (J&K STRC) operates regular bus services between Srinagar and Leh/Kargil while HP Tourism Operates coaches on the Manali-Leh route. Taxis are easily available from Srinagar and Manali for visiting Ladakh.

By Air

Indian Airlines and Jet Airways operate regular flights to Leh from Delhi and Shuttle services to Srinagar & Jammu (thrice weekly to each city) and to Chandigarh (twice weekly). Leh airport is 6 kms. away from City centre.
Helplines No


Helplines:
Airports contact numbers  
Srinagar +91-194- 2303635
Jammu   +91-191- 2431917
Leh (Ladakh)  +91-1982- 253076
J&K State Road Transport Corporation
Srinagar +91-194- 245510
Jammu +91-191- 2473245
New Delhi +91-11- 23934232 / 32965527
Leh(Ladakh) +91-1982- 25208
 Railway Station Jammu Tawi                   
 +91-191- 2476078
 Tourist Reception Centers
TRC, Srinagar +91-194- 2452691
TRC, Jammu +91-191- 2548172  /2520432 

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

OperaHouse,Australia

OperaHouse


 sydney opera house and harbour bridge


The Sydney Opera House in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia is one of the most distinctive and famous 20th-century buildings, and one of the most famous performing arts venues in the world. Situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, with parkland to its south and close to the enormous Sydney Harbour Bridge, the building and its surroundings form an iconic Australian image. To some the spherical-sectioned shells remind them of the flotilla of sailboats commonly cruising there. Tourists - mostly with little or no interest in opera - throng to the building in their thousands every week purely to see it. As well as many touring theatre, ballet, and musical productions the Opera House is the home of Opera Australia, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. It is administered by the Opera House Trust, under the New South Wales (NSW) Ministry of the Arts. 


Description


The Sydney Opera House has about 1000 rooms, including five theatres, five rehearsal studios, two main halls, four restaurants, six bars and numerous souvenir shops. The roofs of the House are constructed of 1,056,000 glazed white granite tiles, imported from Sweden. Despite their self-cleaning nature, they are still subject to periodic maintenance and replacement. The House interior is composed of pink granite mined from Tarana, NSW and wood and brush box plywood supplied from northern NSW. The five consitutent theatres of the Sydney Opera House are the Concert Hall (with a seating capacity of 2679), the Opera Theatre (1547 seats), the Drama Theatre (544 seats), the Playhouse (398 seats) and the Studio Theatre (364 seats). The Concert Hall contains the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ, the largest mechanical tracker action organ in the world with over 10,000 pipes. The shells of the Opera HouseThe theatres are housed in a series of large shells, conceived by dissecting a hemisphere. The Concert Hall and Opera Theatre are contained in the largest shells, and the other theatres are located on the sides of the shells. Large free public performances have also often been staged in front of the Monumental Steps that lead up to the base of the main sets of shells. A much smaller set of shells set to one side of the Monumental steps houses one of the formal dining restaurants. 


History

The Sydney Opera House can be said to have had its beginnings during the late 1940s in the endeavours of Eugene Goossens, the Director of the NSW State Conservatorium of Music at the time, who lobbied to have a suitable venue for large theatrical productions built. At the time, the normal venue for such productions was the Sydney Town Hall, but this venue was simply not large enough. By 1954, Goossens succeeded in gaining the support of NSW Premier Joe Cahill, who called for designs for a dedicated opera house. It was also Goossens who insisted that Bennelong Point be the site for the Opera House. Cahill had wanted it to be on or near the Wynyard Railway Station, located in the north-western Sydney CBD. The competition that Cahill organised received 233 entries. The basic design that was finally accepted in 1955 was submitted by Jørn Utzon, a Danish architect. Utzon arrived in Sydney in 1957 to help supervise the project.


Separate facts The Sydney Opera house:


Was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon. Was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 20 October 1973. Presented, as its first performance, The Australian Opera's production of War and Peace by Prokofiev. Cost $AU 102,000,000 to build. Conducts 3000 events each year. Provides guided tours to 200,000 people each year. Has an annual audience of 2 million for its performances. Includes 1000 rooms. Is 185 metres long and 120 metres wide. Has 2194 pre-cast concrete sections as its roof. Has roof sections weighing up to 15 tons. Has roof sections held together by 350 km of tensioned steel cable. Has over 1 million tiles on the roof. Uses 6225 square metres of glass and 645 kilometres of electric cable. The SydneyHarbourBridge is one of the major landmarks of Sydney, Australia, connecting the Sydney central business district (CBD) with the North Shore commercial and residential areas, both of which are located on Sydney Harbour. The dramatic water vista of the bridge together with the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of both Sydney and Australia. It was opened on 19 March 1932. The bridge is affectionately known as "the Coathanger" by many Sydney residents on account of its arch-based design. It was the city's tallest structure until 1967. One source of disappointment for those who had built the bridge was the discovery that the Bayonne Bridge in the United States, opened on 15 November 1931, was 700 mm longer. However, that fact was not generally known, and millions of Australian school children throughout the next 50 years were taught, erroneously, that the Sydney Harbour Bridge was the world's longest single-arch bridge. However, it remains the world's largest (but not the longest) steel arch bridge.  
Interior 


The Concert Hall and organ
Stage III, the interiors, started with Utzon moving his entire office to Sydney in February 1963. However, there was a change of government in 1965, and the new Robert Askin government declared the project under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Public Works. This ultimately led to Utzon's resignation in 1966 (see below).
The cost of the project so far, even in October 1966, was still only $22.9 million, less than a quarter of the final $102 million cost. However, the projected costs for the design were at this stage much more significant.
The second stage of construction was progressing toward completion when Utzon resigned. His position was principally taken over by Peter Hall, who became largely responsible for the interior design. Other persons appointed that same year to replace Utzon were E. H. Farmer as government architect, D. S. Littlemore and Lionel Todd.
Following Utzon's resignation, the acoustic advisor, Lothar Cremer, confirmed to the Sydney Opera House Executive Committee (SOHEC) that Utzon's original acoustic design only allowed for 2000 seats in the main hall and further stated that increasing the number of seats to 3000 as specified in the brief would be disastrous for the acoustics. According to Peter Jones, the stage designer, Martin Carr, criticised the "shape, height and width of the stage, the physical facilities for artists, the location of the dressing rooms, the widths of doors and lifts, and the location of lighting switchboards."

More Information click here...... 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Taj Mahal in INDIA

Taj Mahal: The Epitome of Love

                                       THE TAJ MAHAL

In 1631, Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal empire's period of greatest prosperity, was grief-stricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their 14th child. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632. The court chronicles of Shah Jahan's grief illustrate the love story traditionally held as an inspiration for Taj Mahal. The principal mausoleum was completed in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later.  


Bird eye view of TAJ MAHAL


WHERE IS THE TAJ MAHAL



 

Type                           :  Cultural
Elevation                   :  171 m (561 ft)
Spread Over              :  42 acres
Significance              :  One of the seven wonder of the world
Build                          :   1632–1653
Built by                      :   Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan
Architecture              :  Ustad Ahemad Lahauri
Architectural style    :  Mughal
Visitors                      :  More than 4 million
Location                    :  Agra
Country                     :  India

Taj Mahal Location

Standing majestically on the banks of River Yamuna, the Taj Mahal is synonymous with love and romance. It is believed that the name "Taj Mahal" was derived from the name of Shah Jahan wife Mumtaz Mahal and means "Crown Palace". The purity of the white marble, the exquisite ornamentation, precious gemstones used and its picturesque location, all make Taj Mahal travel gain a place amongst the most popular ones. However, unless and until, one knows the love story behind the Tajmahal of India, it will come up as just a beautiful building. But, the love behind this outstanding monument is what has given a life to this monument. 

Location: On the banks of river Yamuna in Agra
Year of Construction: 1631-1653
Built By: Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan
Spread Over: 42 acres
Significance: One of the Seven Wonders of the World

Interior decoration

Jali screen surrounding the cenotaphs

 

Tombs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal


Cenotaphs, interior of Taj Mahal

history of the taj mahal
The interior chamber of the Taj Mahal steps far beyond traditional decorative elements. Here, the inlay work is not pietra dura, but a lapidary of precious and semiprecious gemstones. The inner chamber is an octagon with the design allowing for entry from each face, although only the door facing the garden to the south is used.
The interior walls are about 25 metres (82 ft) high and are topped by a "false" interior dome decorated with a sun motif. Eight pishtaq arches define the space at ground level and, as with the exterior, each lower pishtaq is crowned by a second pishtaq about midway up the wall. The four central upper arches form balconies or viewing areas, and each balcony's exterior window has an intricate screen or jali cut from marble. In addition to the light from the balcony screens, light enters through roof openings covered by chattris at the corners. Each chamber wall has been highly decorated with dado bas-relief, intricate lapidary inlay and refined calligraphy panels, reflecting in miniature detail the design elements seen throughout the exterior of the complex.
The octagonal marble screen or jali which borders the cenotaphs is made from eight marble panels which have been carved through with intricate pierce work. The remaining surfaces have been inlaid in extremely delicate detail with semi-precious stones forming twining vines, fruits and flowers.
Muslim tradition forbids elaborate decoration of graves. Hence, the bodies of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan were put in a relatively plain crypt beneath the inner chamber with their faces turned right and towards Mecca. Mumtaz Mahal's cenotaph is placed at the precise center of the inner chamber on a rectangular marble base of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) by 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in).
Both the base and casket are elaborately inlaid with precious and semiprecious gems. Calligraphic inscriptions on the casket identify and praise Mumtaz. On the lid of the casket is a raised rectangular lozenge meant to suggest a writing tablet. Shah Jahan's cenotaph is beside Mumtaz's to the western side, and is the only visible asymmetric element in the entire complex. His cenotaph is bigger than his wife's, but reflects the same elements: a larger casket on a slightly taller base, again decorated with astonishing precision with lapidary and calligraphy that identifies him. On the lid of this casket is a traditional sculpture of a small pen box.
The pen box and writing tablet were traditional Mughal funerary icons decorating the caskets of men and women respectively. The Ninety Nine Names of God are found as calligraphic inscriptions on the sides of the actual tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, in the crypt including "O Noble, O Magnificent, O Majestic, O Unique, O Eternal, O Glorious... ". The tomb of Shah Jahan bears a calligraphic inscription that reads; "He traveled from this world to the banquet-hall of Eternity on the night of the twenty-sixth of the month of Rajab, in the year 1076 Hijri."



Arch of Jali
 Detail of Pietra dura jali inlay 

 Delicate pierce work








Detail of Jali



TAJ MAHAL IN SUNRISE
 


Watching the sun rise up from under the sea of sky is a sight to behold, and what better way to experience it than to watch it take its place up there while you stand on the premises of one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It's a moment of delight when the beauty of the sunrise and the Taj Mahal culminate together to make for some awe-inspiring images of the Taj, being transformed from soft grey and pink to a soft red glow.

TAJ MAHAL IN SUNSET
After shining its glory all through the day, when the sun climbs down the stairway of heavens and gets ready to say adios to the world, it plays its final trick in the book by lending Taj Mahal a different appearance with the shades of fiery yellow being transformed into soft exotic orange and finally to pearl white again, until the full moon prepares itself to accompany the Taj all through the night while dazzling the world with its quiet heavenly elegance.

TAJ MAHAL IN FULL MOON NIGHT
By the night when the full moon is high up in the sky, the beauty that Taj Mahal breathes out is beyond the scope of words. A silver glow that takes over Taj Mahal is so mesmerizing that most of the things you'll see after that will feel ordinary at best. This fabulous interplay of colors all through the day, and then night, symbolically implies the presence of God, who is never represented in the anthropomorphic form.

The best time to arrive would be just before the sunrise or sunset. Night viewing is allowed on the full moon night, two days before it and two days after it. Tickets for the same need to be booked one day in advance.

BEST TIME TO VISIT: October to March
  
HOW TO REACH TAJ MAHAL
By Air
The fastest way of reaching Taj Mahal, Agra is by air. The city of Taj, Agra, has its own airport that is around 7 km from the city center. Indian Airlines operates flights to Agra on a daily basis.

By Rail
There is a good network of trains connecting Agra with the rest of the country. Apart from the main railway station of Agra Cantonment, there are other two stations also, that of Raja-ki-Mundi and Agra Fort. The main trains connecting Agra with Delhi are Palace on Wheels, Shatabdi, Rajdhani, and Taj Express.

By Road
There are regular bus services from Agra to a number of important cities. The main bus stand of Idgah has a number of buses running for Delhi, Jaipur, Mathura, Fatehpur-Sikri, etc.

Local Transportation
After reaching the city also, you need some sort of local transport to reach Taj Mahal. You can easily get taxi, tempo, auto-rickshaw and cycle rickshaw in the city that will take you to your destination. Prepaid taxis are also available if you want to visit the various places near the city. For the adventurous kind, there are bicycles that can be hired on hourly basis from different parts of the city. Since diesel and petrol vehicle are not permitted in the vicinity of Taj Mahal area, you can find battery-operated buses, horse-driven tongas, rickshaws and other pollution-free vehicles there.

see more........ 
                                                    TAJ MAHAL IN SUNRISE





TAJ MAHAL IN SUNSET


TAJ MAHAL IN FULL MOON NIGHT 
       night view of taj mahal at full moonlight
taj mahal on full moon night




Friday, 11 May 2012

Abu Dhabi


بوظبي "Abū Dhabi"


Flag


Abu Dhabi is located in United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi
Location of Abu Dhabi in the UAE
Coordinates: 24°28′N 54°22′ECoordinates: 24°28′N 54°22′E
CountryUnited Arab Emirates
Government
 • TypeConstitutional monarchy
 • SheikhKhalifa bin Zayed
 • Crown PrinceMohammed bin Zayed
Area
 • Total67.34 km2 (26.00 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Total896,751
 • Density13,317/km2 (34,490/sq mi)
Time zoneUAE standard time (UTC+4)
WebsiteAbu Dhabi Government Portal


Astronaut View of Abu Dhabi




Abu Dhabi (Arabic: أبو ظبيAbu Dhabi, Father of Deer) is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western coast. The city proper had an estimated population of 896,800 in 2009.
Abu Dhabi houses important offices of the federal government, and is the seat for the United Arab Emirates Government and the home for the Abu Dhabi Emiri Family and the President of the UAE from this family. Abu Dhabi has grown to be a cosmopolitan metropolis. Its rapid development and urbanisation, coupled with the relatively high average income of its population, has transformed Abu Dhabi to a larger and advanced metropolis. Today the city is the country's center of political, industrial activities, and a major cultural, and commercial centre due to its position as the capital. Abu Dhabi alone generated 56.7% of the GDP of the United Arab Emirates in 2008.
Abu Dhabi is home to important financial institutions such as the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the corporate headquarters of many companies and numerous multinational corporations. One of the world's largest producers of oil, Abu Dhabi has actively attempted to diversify its economy in recent years through investments in financial services and tourism.
Abu Dhabi is the second most expensive city for expatriate employees in the region, and 67th most expensive city in the world. Fortune magazine & CNN stated that Abu Dhabi is the richest city in the world.

History

Early civilizations

Abu Dhabi is full of archeological evidence pointing to civilizations having been located there from the 3rd millennium BC, such as the Umm an-Nar Culture. Settlements were also found further out of the modern city of Abu Dhabi but close to the modern city of Al Ain. There is evidence of civilizations around the mountain of Hafeet (Jebel Hafeet). This location is very strategic because it is the UAE’s second tallest mountain so it would have great visibility and it contains a lot of moisture in the form of springs and lakes today, which means there would have been even more back thousands of years ago.

Origin of the name Abu Dhabi

The origin of the name "Abu Dhabi" is uncertain. Meaning "Father of Deer", it probably referred to the few gazelle which inhabit the emirate. According to Bilal Al Budoor, assistant under-secretary for Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development "The area had a lot of Dhibaa [deers] and was nicknamed after that". An old story tells of a man who used to chase Dhabi [deer] was named the "father" of the animal, hence the name. Abu Dhabi's original name was "Milh" meaning salt, possibly referring to the salty waters of the Persian Gulf. Some Bedouins called the city Umm Dhabi (mother of deer) while British records refer to the place as Abu Dhabi. According to some historical accounts, the name Abu Dhabi was first used more than 300 years ago. Abu Dhabi is pronounced as "Bu Dhabi" by inhabitants of the western coast of the city. In the eastern part of the city, the pronunciation is "Abu".

Origins of the Al Nahyan family

The Bani Yas Bedouin tribe made their civilization off the coast of the Persian Gulf in the 16th century due to the discovery of fresh water. This tribe was the most significant in the area, having over 20 subsections. The tribe was originally centered in the Liwa Oasis but the Al Bu Falah subsection migrated to modern Abu Dhabi in 1793. One section within this subsection was named the Al Nahyan Family. This family makes up the rulers of Abu Dhabi today.

First oil discoveries

In the 1930s, as the pearl trade declined, interest grew in the oil possibilities of the region. On 5 January 1936, Petroleum Development (Trucial Coast) Ltd (PDTC), an associate company of the Iraq Petroleum Company, entered into a concession agreement with the ruler, Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan al Nahyan, to explore for oil. This was followed by a seventy-five-year concession signed in January 1939. However, owing to the desert terrain, inland exploration was fraught with difficulties. In 1953, D'Arcy Exploration Company, the exploration arm of British Petroleum, obtained an offshore concession which was then transferred to a company created to operate the concession: Abu Dhabi Marine Areas (ADMA) was a joint venture between BP and Compagnie Française des Pétroles (later Total). In 1958, using a marine drilling platform, the ADMA Enterprise, oil was struck in the Umm Shaif field at a depth of about 8,755 feet (2,669 m). This was followed in 1959 by PDTC’s onshore discovery well at Murban No.3.
In 1962, the company discovered the Bu Hasa field and ADMA followed in 1965 with the discovery of the Zakum offshore field. Today, in addition to the oil fields mentioned, the main producing fields onshore are Asab, Sahil and Shah, and offshore are al-Bunduq, and Abu al-Bukhoosh.

Geography and climate

Abu Dhabi has a hot arid climate. Sunny blue skies can be expected throughout the year. The months of June through September are generally hot and humid with maximum temperatures averaging above 35 °C (95 °F). During this time, sandstorms occur intermittently, in some cases reducing visibility to a few meters.
The weather is cooler from November to March. This period also sees dense fog on some days. The oasis city of Al Ain, about 150 km (93 mi) away, bordering Oman, regularly records the highest summer temperatures in the country; however, the dry desert air and cooler evenings make it a traditional retreat from the intense summer heat and year-round humidity of the capital city.

Architecture



2006 ADIA Tower, until recently at 185m the tallest in Abu Dhabi, now dwarfed by 320 meter neighbours
The density of Abu Dhabi varies, with high employment density in the central area, high residential densities in central downtown and lower densities in the suburbs. In the dense areas, most of the concentration is achieved with medium- and high-rise buildings. Abu Dhabi's skyscrapers such as the notable Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Tower, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi headquarters, the Hilton Hotel Tower and the Etisalat headquarters are usually found in the financial districts of Abu Dhabi. Other notable modern buildings include the Emirates Palace with its design inspired by Arab heritage.
The development of tall buildings has been encouraged in the Abu Dhabi Plan 2030, which will lead to the construction of many new skyscrapers over the next decade, particularly in the expansion of Abu Dhabi's central business district such as the new developments on Al Sowwah Island and Al Reem Island. Abu Dhabi already has a number of supertall skyscrapers under construction throughout the city. Some of the tallest buildings on the skyline include the 382 m (1,253.28 ft) Central Market Residential Tower, the 324 m (1,062.99 ft) The Landmark and the 74-storey, 310 m (1,017.06 ft) Sky Tower. Also many other skyscrapers over 150 m (492.13 ft) (500 ft) are either proposed or approved and could transform the city's skyline. As of July 2008, there were 62 high-rise buildings 23 to 150 m (75.46 to 492.13 ft) under construction, approved for construction, or proposed for construction.

Economy

The UAE’s large hydrocarbon wealth gives it one of the highest GDP per capita in the world and Abu Dhabi owns the majority of these resources – 95% of the oil and 6% of gas. Abu Dhabi thus holds 9% of the world’s proven oil reserves (98.2bn barrels) and almost 5% of the world’s natural gas (5.8 trillion cu metres). Oil production in the UAE was in the region of 2.3m barrels per day (bpd) in 2010, and projects are in progress to boost production to 3m bpd. In recent years the focus has turned to gas as increasing domestic consumption for power, desalination and reinjection of gas into oil fields increases demand. Gas extraction is not without its difficulties, however, as demonstrated by the sour gas project at Shah where the gas is rich in hydrogen sulphide content and is expensive to develop and process.
Recently the government has been diversifying their economic plans. Served by high oil prices, the country’s non oil and gas GDP has outstripped that attributable to the energy sector. Remarkably, non oil and gas GDP now constitutes 64% of the UAE’s total GDP. This trend is reflected in Abu Dhabi with substantial new investment in industry, real estate, tourism and retail. As Abu Dhabi is the largest oil producer of the UAE, it has reaped the most benefits from this trend. It has taken on an active diversification and liberalisation programme to reduce the UAE’s reliance on the hydrocarbon sector. This is evident in the emphasis on industrial diversification with the completion of free zones, Industrial City of Abu Dhabi, twofour54 Abu Dhabi media free zone and the construction of another, ICAD II, in the pipeline. There has also been a drive to promote the tourism and real estate sectors with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and the Tourism and Development Investment Company undertaking several large-scale development projects. These projects will be served by an improved transport infrastructure with a new port, an expanded airport and a proposed rail link between Abu Dhabi and Dubai all in the development stages.
Abu Dhabi is the wealthiest emirate of the UAE in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and per capita income. More than $1 trillion is invested worldwide in this city alone. In 2010, the GDP per capita also reached $49,600, which ranks ninth in the world after Qatar, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg and many others. Abu Dhabi is also planning many future projects sharing with the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and taking 29% of all the GCC future plannings. The United Arab Emirates is a fast-growing economy: in 2006 the per capita income grew by 9%, providing a GDP per capita of $49,700 and ranking third in the world at purchasing power parity. Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), currently estimated at US$ 875 billion, is the world's wealthiest sovereign fund in terms of total asset value. Etihad Airways maintains its headquarters in Abu Dhabi.


Utility services

The water supply in Abu Dhabi is managed by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company. As of 2006, it supplied 560.2 MiGD (million imperial gallons per day) of water, while the water demand for 2005–06 was estimated to be 511 MiGD. The Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD) states that groundwater is the most significant source of water, as well as desalinated potable water, and treated sewage effluent. At 40.6 MiGD, the Umm Al Nar storage is the largest water source for Abu Dhabi, followed by the rivers Shuweihat and Taweelah. With falling groundwater level and rising population density, Abu Dhabi faces a severely acute water shortage. On average each Abu Dhabi resident uses 550 litres (120 imp gal; 150 U.S. gal) of water per day. Abu Dhabi daily produces 1,532 tonnes of solid wastes which is dumped at three landfill sites by Abu Dhabi Municipality. The daily domestic waste water production is 330 MiGD and industrial waste water is 40 MiGD. A large portion of the sewerage flows as waste into streams, and separation plants.
The city's per capita electricity consumption is about 41,000 kWh and the total supplied is 8,367 MW as of 2007. The distribution of electricity is carried out by companies run by SCIPCO Power and APC Energy. The Abu Dhabi Fire Service runs 13 fire stations that attend about 2,000 fire and rescue calls per year.
State-owned Etisalat and private du communication companies provide telephone and cell phone service to the city. Cellular coverage is extensive, and both GSM and CDMA (from Etisalat and Du) services are available. Etisalat, the government owned telecommunications provider, held a virtual monopoly over telecommunication services in Abu Dhabi prior to the establishment of other, smaller telecommunications companies such as Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC — better known as Du) in 2006. Internet was introduced into Abu Dhabi in 1995. The current network is supported by a bandwidth of 6 GB, with 50,000 dialup and 150,000 broadband ports. Etisalat recently announced implememnting a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network in Abu Dhabi during the third quarter of 2009 to make the emirate the world's first city to have such a network.

Transportation
Interior of Abu Dhabi International Airport
Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is the city's main aviation hub and the second busiest airport in the UAE, serving 9.02 million passengers in 2008, up 30.2% on 2007.Its terminal spaces are dominated by Etihad Airways which is the UAE's national carrier and the country's second largest airline.A new terminal opened in 2009 with total capacity reaching 12 million passengers per annum by 2011.Development work has also started on a new passenger terminal, to be situated between the two runways and known as the Midfield Terminal. The new mega-midfield terminal complex will be capable of handling an additional 20 million passengers a year initially and then later, as Abu Dhabi develops as a major Middle East transport hub, up to 50 million passengers a year, thus providing a major competition to Dubai International Airport. The 5.9-million-square-metre (1,500 acres) terminal will initially include 42 gates, rising to more than 90 gates on completion of the airport.
airport infrastructure wallpapers



 imagenes abu dabi en hd


Parks and gardens

Abu Dhabi has over 2,000 well-maintained parks and gardens and more than 400 km of coastline,
of which 10 km are public beaches.








A Public Park in the City













































































Waterfront park in Abu Dhabi.