Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Crystal mosque in Terenqqanu, Malaysia

Crystal Mosque in Malaysia is one of the most beautiful mosques in the world. There are no doubts that today mosques function not only as the sacred sites for Muslims but they also attract tourists due to their rich history and outstanding image. 

The Crystal Mosque or Masjid Kristal is a mosque in Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia. A grand structure made of steel, glass and crystal. The mosque is located at Islamic Heritage Park on the island of Wan Man. The mosque was constructed between 2006 and 2008. It was officially opened on 8 February 2008 by 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu. It has the capacity to accommodate over 1,500 worshipers at a time.

 The planning and realizing such impressive park took lots of resources and work (the estimated budget that was spent on the realization is about$ 80M). Among all the sites, the Crystal Mosque is the most famous and visited sightseeing highlight of the park. Just imagine yourself standing in front of this solid and shiny architectural wonder. Indeed, to some people it might seem like a scene from a fairy tales and legends, which used to tell us about magic golden palaces. The visual effect is truly amazing and it is certainly worth seeing this unbelievable building both from outside and inside.

Crystal Mosque History & Details

The mosque was built in the period between 2006 and 2008. Crystal, steel and glass were used as the three main materials in the construction and altogether they form a really incredible and astonishing look, which has been the reason to rank Crystal Mosque among the most beautiful mosques in the world. Another interesting fact is that this is the first mosque in the world to be equipped with different up-to-date amenities including wireless internet connection. The capacity of the mosque is quite imposing too, since there about 1, 500 worshipers can be taken in at one time.

Although the traditional historic mosques carry some exciting stories from the past, one should not make a little account of the new ones and Crystal Mosque is a great example. As a breath taking engineering achievement this mosque building shows us that nothing is impossible – even crystal buildings. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Langkawi Sky Bridge - Mount Mat Cincang, Malaysia

This bridge will take your breath away:  The Langkawi Sky Bridge and Langkawi Cable Car and are some of the most popular attractions in Langkawi. The Langkawi Sky Bridge on Pulau's Mount Mat Cincang is only accessible via cable car. At 2,000 feet above sea level, tourists can literally walk across the treetops and view the canopy like never before. The walkway spans more than 400 feet, with observation decks strategically placed to show off the 99-island archipelago of Langkawi in an epic panorama. Langkawi Sky Bridge is completed in 2005.

Mount Mat Cincang is the second highest peak of Langkawi with an altitude of 709 meters from the sea level. If you look back from Burau Bay area, you will see the majestic mountain full of dense rainforests sloping down to the bay area. Mat Cincang is the oldest mountain in the whole of South East Asia having been formed some 500 million years back and has some of the oldest and stunning rock formations. The mountain range is one of the three UNESCO World Heritage Geoparks of Langkawi and is a top tourist attraction in the region. 

The rainforest in mount Mat Cincang is full of amazing flora & fauna. While you can see gigantic trees in the forest, there are also many different small animals in the jungle. Some of the frequently seen animals include the Macaque Monkeys, Monitor Lizards, giant squirrels etc. You will also see many different bird life here including Golden Brown Eagles, Horbills, bablers and more. 

How to visit Mount Mat Cincang

So how can you explore Mat Cincang Mountain and even reach its peak?  

There are several ways. The most popular is by taking the Cable Car Ride from Oriental village which is located at the foothill of Mount Mat Cingcang in Pantai Kok area. This is one of the steepest cable car rides in the world and will give you a breath taking view on the way including that of the rainforest, the famous Seven Wells Waterfall, islands and the sea. From the peak you get a panoramic view of the island. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Palm Jumeirah - Dubai

The Palm Jumeirah, an artificial island in the shape of a palm tree. It has been created using land reclamation by Nakheel, a company owned by the Dubai government in United Arab Emirates and was designed and developed by HHCP architects. It is one of three islands called the Palm Islands (Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira) which extend into the Persian Gulf, increasing Dubai’s shoreline by a total of 520 kilometres (320 mi). The Palm Jumeirah is the smallest and the original of three Palm Islands under development by Nakheel. It is located on the Jumeirah coastal area of the emirate of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

It consists of a trunk, a crown with 16 fronds, and a surrounding crescent island that forms an 11 kilometre long breakwater. The island is 5 kilometres by 5 kilometres and its total area is larger than 800 football pitches. The crown is connected to the mainland by a 300-metre bridge and the crescent is connected to the top of the palm by a subsea tunnel. Over the next few years, as the tourism phases develop, The Palm Jumeirah Dubai is touted as soon to be one of the world’s premier resorts. The Palm Island is the self-declared ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’. The island doubles the length of the Dubai coastline.

The Palm Jumeirah island features themed hotels, three types of villas namely Signature Villas, Garden Homes and Canal Cove Town Homes, and the exquisite apartment buildings. Built entirely on natural rock and sand, and surrounded by coral reefs, Palm Jumeirah is proving the ideal place to live, invest or enjoy the holiday of a lifetime.

Making of Palm Jumeirah:

The Palm Islands are artificial peninsulas constructed of sand dredged from the bottom of the Persian Gulf by the Belgian company Jan De Nul and the Dutch company Van Oord.

The sand is sprayed by the dredging ships, which are guided by DGPS, onto the required area in a process known as rain-bowing because of the arcs in the air when the sand is sprayed. The outer edge of each Palm’s encircling crescent is a large rock breakwater. The breakwater of the Palm Jumeirah has over seven million tons of rock.

Each rock was placed individually by a crane, signed off by a diver and given a GPS coordinate. The Jan De Nul Group started working on the Palm Jebel Ali in 2002 and had finished by the end of 2006. The reclamation project for the Palm Jebel Ali includes the creation of a four-kilometre-long peninsula, protected by a 200-metre-wide, seventeen-kilometre long circular breakwater.

210,000,000 m3 of rock, sand and limestone were reclaimed (partly originating from the Jebel Ali Entrance Channel dredging works). There are approximately 10,000,000 cubic metres of rocks in the slope protection works.

Amazing Palm Jumeirah:

Palm Jumeirah offers everything you want for a luxurious lifestyle. From a wide range of daytime activities to the breathtaking sunsets, from aquariums to themed-parks, from swimming to water sports, from shopping to amusement, and from restaurants to bars, Palm Jumeirah Dubai is the exceptional place for you. The breathtaking views, miles of beautiful beaches, stunning gardens, swimming pools, spas, the world’s most impressive marinas and a variety of retail outlets, make the Palm Jumeirah one of the world’s most sought-after residential and tourist destinations. Undoubtedly, Palm Jumeirah Dubai can make your dreams become reality.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Monastery of Tatev - Armenia !!

Tatev Monsatry (Tatev) is a masterpiece of confluence of ingenious medieval architecture and fabulous nature of Armenia. There is no doubt, that Tatev is one of the most spectacular tourist attractions on the Planet. Tatev was also widely regarded as one of the most famous spiritual and educational centers of the Middle Ages.

The Monastery of Tatev (Armenian: Տաթև) is a 9th century Armenian monastery located on a large basalt plateau near the Tatev village in Syunik Province in southern Armenia. It stands on a plateau on the edge of the deep gorge of the Orotan (Vorotan) River. It became the bishopric seat of Syunik and played a significant role in the history of the region as a centre for economic, political, spiritual and cultural activity.

In its day the monastery itself had a population of 1,000 and owned 680 villages.  A vast wealth.  It was a huge center of learning, art and culture.  The Tondrakians, a medieval Armenian hippie sect fought the church rule in widespread revolt, including those in villages belonging to Tatev, before finally being stamped out.  In 990AD, King Vasak even burned down Tsuraberd village to end their revolt.

The Sts. Paul and Peter church was built between 895 and 906. An arched hall was added adjacent to the southern wall of the Sts. Paul and Peter in 1043. Soon afterwards, in 1087, the church of St. Mary was added along the northern fortifications. In 1295, the church of St. Gregory, which had been destroyed during an earthquake, was replaced with a new one through the initiative of then Metropolitan Stepanos Orbelian. In 1787, the mausoleum of St. Grigor Tatevatsi was built adjacent to the western wall of the St. Gregory Church and in the end of 19th century a vestibule and bellfry were added at the west entrance of the Sts. Paul and Peter.

The monastery was seriously damaged after an earthquake in 1931, the dome of the Sts. Paul and Peter church and the bell tower were destroyed. In the latter years the Sts. Paul and Peter church was reconstructed, but the bell tower remains destroyed up to today.

Aside from the buildings, the monastery boasts an upright pendulum, known as the Gavazan (staff). This column was built in the tenth century following the completion of the Sts. Paul and Peter church and has survived numerous invasions and earthquakes relatively unscathed.

There is a lot to see at the Tatev Monastery, from churches to tombs to khachkars (cross stones) to medieval living quarters. Undoubtedly, your trip will be full of savory moments not to be forgotten.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Battle at Krugur - Amazing Team work

In the Spring of 2007 what would become one of YouTube's hottest videos was posted, ‘The Battle at Kruger’. The clip, seen 35 million times and counting, captures an amazing predator encounter as lions and a crocodile fight over a buffalo calf in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.

The dramatic eight-minute clip that enthralled the world was filmed by an amateur whilst on safari. It’s the type of encounter that National Geographic filmmakers spend years trying to capture, with unexpected twists and turns of nature. In Autumn 2004, David Budzinski, a supply manager working for Chevron on a safari in Kruger National Park with friend Jason Schlosberg, filmed what could be some of the wildest footage ever seen. We take the men back to Kruger to recount the attack they witnessed.

This is the Battle at Kruger. This is an amazing battle between a pride of lions and a heard of buffalo. When the lions capture the baby buffalo, they think the battle is over - but really it's just begun. An army of buffaloes come back in a mobilized front to take the baby back. For good measure, a couple of crocodiles join the foray, but don't make much of an impact.

Taken from a vehicle on the opposite side of the watering hole, the video begins with the herd of buffalo approaching the water, unaware of the lions resting nearby. The lions charge and disperse the herd, picking off a young buffalo and knocking it into the water. While trying to drag the buffalo out of the water, it is grabbed by a pair of crocodiles, who fight strenuously for it before giving up and leaving it to the lions. The lions sit down and prepare to eat, but are quickly surrounded by the reorganized buffalo, who move in and start kicking at the lions. After a battle which includes one lion being tossed through the air, the baby buffalo (who is miraculously still alive) escapes into the herd. The emboldened buffalo chase the remainder of the lions away. It is not known if the youngster survived the ordeal.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Evolution of the Moon

This video was produced by NASA in honor of 1,000 days in orbit by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). It takes viewers through the moon's evolutionary history, and reveals how it came to appear the way it does today. The moon did not always look this way. It likely started as a giant ball of magma formed from the remains of a collision by a Mars-sized object with the Earth about four and a half billion years ago.

After the magma cooled, the moon's crust formed. Then between 4.5 and 4.3 billion years ago, a giant object hit near the moon's South Pole, forming the South Pole-Aitken Basin, one of the two largest proven impact basins in the solar system. This marked the beginning of an era of collisions that would cause large-scale changes to the moon's surface, such as the formation of large basins.

Because the moon had not entirely cooled on the inside, magma began to seep through cracks caused by impacts. Around one billion years ago, it's thought that volcanic activity ended on the near side of the moon as the last of the large impacts made their mark on the surface. Smaller objects continued to batter the moon. Some of the best-known impacts from this period include the Tycho, Copernicus, and Aristarchus craters.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Amazon Jungle - World's Most Unique and Mysterious Forest

The Amazon rainforest, also known as Amazonia, or the Amazon jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America. This basin encompasses seven million square kilometers (1.7 billion acres), of which five and a half million square kilometers (1.4 billion acres) are covered by the rainforest.

 The Amazon represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests, and it comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rainforest in the world. The Amazon rainforest was short-listed in 2008 as a candidate to one of the New7Wonders of Nature by the New Seven Wonders of the World Foundation.

Amazon River
The Amazon Basin is the planets largest reservoir of fresh water. One fifth of all running water on the planet flows through the Amazon

The Amazon River is 6,868 km (4000 miles) long, the same distance as North Cape (Honningsvåg - Norway) to Las Palmas (Canary Islands - Spain), a trip that will take you 4 days and 5 hours if you are traveling by car and don't stop to eat and sleep (Ship from Cadiz to Las Palmas).

Special Things about Amazon Jungle
One hectare in the Amazon rainforest has been calculated to have a value of $6.820 (USD) if intact forest is sustainable harvested for fruits, latex, and timber; $1.000 (USD) if clear-cut for commercial timber (not sustainable harvested); or $148 (USD) if used as cattle pasture. In money, the Amazon rainforest should be worth USD if sustainable harvested or only 2% of that number if used as cattle pasture.

For the global climate (and you) the Amazonian rainforest has a much bigger value. The Amazonian rainforest is estimated to accumulate 0.62 ±0.37 tonnes of carbon per hectare, per annum. Approximately, 300 million tons, but the logging and deforestation of the Amazon produces 200 million tons of CO2 every year, so a sustainable harvesting of the resources in the Amazon would really make a big difference for the global climate.

The Startling Diversity of Life
  • The Amazon is one of the richest areas in the world in animal and plant diversity.
  • There are more plant species in one hectare in Amazon than the whole of Europe.
  • Over 200 species of trees can be found on one hectare in the Amazon region.
  • One tree has been shown to have 72 different species of ants living in it.
  • There are about 30 times more fish species in the Amazon river than in all European rivers.
The diversity and contrast of life in the Amazon rainfores
  • The Amazon Water Lily (Vitoria-Regia) is the biggest flower in the world with a diameter of two meters
  • The caranguejeira spider is bigger than a baseball.
  • One species of monkey weighing 130 grams is about the size of a toothbrush. 
  •  World's Longest Snake of 30meter length was found in amazon jungle only.
Yet, the range of plant and animal species in Amazon remains largely unknown.Scientists estimate that only 40 % of all insect species have so far been identified. Over 30,000 species of plants have been identified so far but another 20, 000 are estimated to remain undiscovered. Only during the 1990's seven species of monkeys, two species of birds and dozens of species of frogs and fish have been discovered.
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