Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Amer Fort

Amer Fort is located in Amer (a town with an area of 4 square kilometres (1.5 sq mi)), 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from Jaipur, Rajasthan state, India. It is one of the principal tourist attractions in the Jaipur area, located high on a hill.Amer Fort was built by Raja Man Singh I. Amer Fort is known for its artistic style of Hindu elements. With its large ramparts, series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks the Maota Lake, at its forefront.

Map picture

The aesthetic ambiance of this formidable fort is seen within its walls on a four level layout plan (each with a courtyard) in a well turned out opulent palace complex built with red sandstone and marble consisting of the Diwan-e-Aam or the "Hall of Public Audience", the Diwan-e-Khas or the "Hall of Private Audience", the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace) or Jai Mandir, and the Sukh Niwas where a cool climate is artificially created by winds that blow over the water cascade within the palace. Hence, the Amer Fort is also popularly known as the Amer Palace. The palace was lived in by the Rajput Maharajas and their families. At the entrance to the palace near the fort’s Ganesh Gate, there is also a temple dedicated to Sila Devi, a goddess of the Chaitanya cult which was given to Raja Man Singh when he had defeated the Raja of Jessore, Bengal in 1604. (Jessore is now in Bangladesh).
This fort, along with Jaigarh Fort, located immediately above on the Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) of the same Aravalli range of hills, is considered as one complex, as the two are well connected by a subterranean passage. This passage was meant as an escape route in times of war for the royal family members and others in the Amer Fort to shift to the more redoubtable Jaigarh Fort.
Annual tourist visitation to the Amer Palace in Amer town was reported by the Superintendent of Department of Archaeology and Museums to the Amer Palace as 5000 visitors a day, and 1.4 million visitors were reported during 2007.

Address: Amer, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001
Opened: 1592
Architectural style: Architecture of India
Sunday    8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Monday    8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Tuesday    8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Wednesday    8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Thursday    8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Friday    8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday    8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Phone: 0141 253 0293
Function: Palace

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

World's Largest Pearl


The stone, formed mostly of fluorite mineral, glows green in the dark and in China is prized more highly than diamonds.














The finders took three years to grind the raw gem down to its pearl shape.It has gone on show in Hainan, southern China, to attract buyers and have measurements taken for a world record bid.It is amazing and glows a blue green in the dark,’ remarked one show organiser.‘These pearls are very sought after in China, especially when they are this size.’

News of the £88m pearl follows the appearance of a stone billed as one of the greatest diamonds in the world.The 24.78-carat fancy intense pink gem was described by Sotheby’s as ‘one of the most desirable diamonds ever to come to auction’.

Koh-i-Noor Diamond, a British Crown Jewel



The Koh-i-Noor is a 106 carats diamond which was once the largest diamond in the world. Previously, it has belonged to various rulers in India; today it lies in the hands of the British royal family and is part of the Crown Jewels.Legend says that the diamond is 5000 years old and was referred to in Sanskrit writings as the Syamantaka jewel.But the first document that attests the existence of the Koh-I-Noor dates back to 1526 when the Indian conqueror Babur had it in his possession.

He mentioned that the diamond was owned by the Raja of Gwalior in the 13th century.Kohinoor RulersThe diamond belonged to various Indian and Persian rulers who fought bitter battles throughout history.The Koh-I-Noor was mounted on the Peaccock Throne, the Mughal throne of India. It is said that Shah Jahan, the ruler who commanded the building of the throne and that of the Taj Mahal was imprisoned by his son and he could only ever see the Taj Mahal again through the reflection of the diamond.

Later, Shah’s son, Aurangazeb brought the Koh-I-Noor to the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore. It was robbed from there by Nadir Shah who took the diamond to Persia in 1739, but the diamond found its way back to Punjab in 1813 after the deposed ruler of Afghanistan, Shuja Shah Durrani took it to India and made a deal to surrender the diamond in exchange for help in winning back the Afghan throne.Kohinoor Diamon1The Brits came across the gem when they conquered Punjab in 1849, and Queen Victoria got it in 1851. The stone was then at 186 carats as before this point, the diamond was not cut.

Along with over 2000 other diamonds, the Koh-I-Noor was mounted on the Crown. For a more elaborate history of the diamond, head to our history section.Since getting into British hands, the Koh-I-Noor was used by Queen Victoria, Queen Alexandra (wife of King Edward VII), Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. The diamond is wore only be female members of the British Royal Family.As of today, the Koh-I-Noor is on display in the Tower of London with the Crown Jewels.

Interesting facts

The name means “Mountain of Light” in Persian. It is believed that the name was first used by Nader Shah who took possession of the diamond in 1739. Prior to this date, the name Kohinoor wasn’t used.There is an alleged curse on the Kohinoor that affects males who wear it (but females are immune). Since being in the possession of Queen Victoria, only women wore the diamond.It is believed that the famous Darya-ye Noor diamond is the Kohinoor’s double. The Darya-ye Noor is hosted in Iran and has 182 carats.Both India and Pakistan claim the diamond should be handed by the British back to them.

The Girl Who Must Eat Every 15 Minutes To Stay Alive

21-year-old Lizzie Velasquez weighs just 56 pounds (25 kilos) and has almost zero per cent body fat, but she is not anorexic. The girl fromAustin, Texas, USA, must eat every15 minutes to stay healthy. She's got a rare condition which prevents her from gaining weight even though she eats up to 60 small meals a day. Despite consuming between 5,000 and 8,000 calories daily, the communications student, has never tipped over 4st 3lbs.

article-0-0A3CC3AD000005DC-828_634x529Miss Velasquez's case has fascinated doctors all over the world and she is part of a genetic study run by Professor Abhimanyu Garg, MD, at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Professor Garg and his team now believe Lizzie may have a form of Neonatal Progeroid Syndrome (NPS) whichcauses accelerated ageing, fat loss from the face and body, and tissue degeneration. People with PRS often have triangular and prematurely aged faces with a pointy nose.


Victoria Falls

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Table Mountain South Africa


Table Mountain (Afrikaans: Tafelberg) is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa, and is featured in the Flag of Cape Town and other local government insignia. It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the cableway or hiking to the top. The mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park. The view from the top of Table Mountain has been described as one of the most epic views in Africa