Monday, February 28, 2011

Amazing pictures-City Palace, Udaipur, India

City Palace, Udaipur

Udaipur City Palace is one of the architectural marvels of Rajasthan, located peacefully on the banks of Lake Pichola. This majestic City Palace is the most-visited tourist attraction of Udaipur and often distinguished as the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Initially, Maharana Udai Singh built this superb wonder, but the present form of the Palace is the result of subsequent additions by his successors.

City Palace boasts of the wonderful blend of Medieval, European and Chinese Architecture. The Palace has various towers, domes and arches, which add to the flavor of heritage site. Towering on the banks of Pichola Lake, City Palace is truly a feast to the eyes. City Palace is a marvelous assortment of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. Encircled by fortifications, this imposing Palace is wholly built in granite and marble.

City Palace has several gates that are known as "Pols". 'Bara Pol' (Great Gate) is the main gate to the City Palace complex that will take you to the first courtyard. On passing 'Bara Pol', you will come across a triple arched gate, which is known as 'Tripolia'. Between these two gates, you would see eight marble arches or Toranas, where Kings used to weigh themselves with gold and silver. Besides Tripolia, there is an arena where elephant fights were staged. Across 'Tripolia', you would enter the 'Elephant Gate' or the 'Hathi Pol'.

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City Palace comprises 11 wonderful palaces, which were built by different rulers still they resemble each other. With the sheer glimpse of unique paintings, antique furniture and exquisite glass mirror ornamental tiles work of these palaces, you will get amazed. Manak Mahal (Ruby Palace) has figures of crystal and porcelain. However, Bhim Vilas flaunts a fabulous collection of miniature paintings depicting the real life stories of Radha-Krishna.

The 'Krishna Vilas' is known for the noteworthy album of miniature paintings portraying royal processions, festivals and games of the Maharanas. Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace) is celebrated for its lavish decor while Sheesh Mahal (Palace of mirrors) is known for its breathtaking mirror work. 'Chini Chitrashala' is renowned for its Chinese and Dutch ornamental tiles. 'Dilkusha Mahal' (Palace of Joy) is known for the murals and wall paintings.

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Bada Mahal is the exotic garden palace that stands erect on a 90 feet high natural rock formation. Rang Bhawan is the palace that used to contain royal treasure. There are temples of Lord Krishna, Meera Bai and Shiva, located right to the 'Rang Bhawan'. 'Mor Chowk' has exceptional glass mosaics of peacocks, set in the walls presenting the three seasons of summer, winter and monsoon. 'Laxmi Vilas Chowk' is an art gallery with a distinctive collection of Mewar paintings.

Situated in the premises of City Place complex, Jagdish Temple is the biggest and most beautiful temple of Udaipur. This temple Appeals to the aesthetic sense of the people and we will further discuss it in our other section. You can also trace a Shrine of Dhuni Mata in the complex of City Palace. This part is considered as the oldest part of the Palace where a sage passed his life meditating here.
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In 1974, a part of the City Palace and the 'Zenana Mahal' (Ladies Chamber) have been transformed into a museum. The museum is open for public and we have discussed it in our other section about museums. One can locate some striking paintings in the 'Zenana Mahal' which further leads to Lakshmi Chowk. 'Lakshmi Chowk' is a beautiful white pavilion. In City palace, the most captivating sight can be viewed from the towers and terraces of 'Amar Vilas' from where you can get a breathtaking view of Lake Pichola.

'Amar Vilas' is the highest point of this Palace and has wonderful hanging gardens with fountains, towers and terraces. City Palace is structured in a way that it offers a splendid view of the lake from all its Balconies, cupolas and towers. Unlike the craggy exterior, City Palace has amazing interiors with delicate mirror-work, marble work, murals, wall paintings, silver work, inlay work and surplus of colored glass. The exquisite work of City Palace cannot be bounded in words, so one must visit this palace to capture the real picture of it.
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Greatest historical myths-Marie Antoinette said “Let them eat cake”

Marie Antoinette said “Let them eat cake”

In 1766, Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote of an incident he recalled from some 25 years earlier, in which “a great princess” (name unknown) was told that the country people had no bread. “Then let them eat cake,” she replied. When Rousseau wrote of this, Marie Antoinette was an 11-year-old child in Austria. The French Revolution would not begin for another 23 years. The myth that she spoke these infamous words was probably spread by revolutionary propagandists, to illustrate her cold indifference to the plight of the French people.

In the next chapter of this list, we uncover a tall tale about Napoleon, and find out how witches did NOT die, whatever you might have heard…

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Amazing facts-Liu Bolin's amazing camouflage artwork

The invisible man: Liu Bolin's amazing camouflage artwork

At first glance, this may look like a photograph of shelves in a supermarket. But look more closely and you may see a man painstakingly painted to blend in with the colourful background. Chinese artist Liu Bolin has become world renowned for his camouflage art. Liu uses a team of two assistants to paint the camouflage onto him to make him invisible, and each photograph can take up to ten hours to set up. In some cases, Liu has his assistants paint his body and then he remains extremely still until an unsuspecting passer-by happens to walk past.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Interesting facts-Things you didn’t know about your Eyes

Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Eyes


Few people could argue that without our 5 senses life would be pretty dull. All our senses are extremely important but I think if you asked most people which sense would they least like to lose they would probably say their vision. As with most of our abilities, our vision is something that many of us take for granted. If you stop and think for a moment, you will realize that just about everything we do in our day to day life involves our vision. Listed below are the top 10 list of weird and wonderful things you didn’t know about your eyes

10. Everyone needs reading glasses as they get older

This is assuming that you already have perfect distance vision. If you are currently reading this article and are under 40 years of age with perfect distance vision, I can say with absolute certainty that you will need reading glasses at some point in the future. For about 99% of the population the age that you will first start needing reading glasses is between 43 and 50 years old. This is because the lens in your eye slowly loses its focusing ability with age. In order to focus things near to you, your lens has to change from a flat to a more spherical shape and it loses the ability to do this as you get older. As you get to around 45 years old you will start to hold things further away from you to keep them focus.

9. The lens in your eye is quicker than any camera lens

Just behind the pupil sits the eyes natural lens, whose function is to focus on the object you are looking at. Just take a minute to glance around the room and think about how many different distances you are focusing at. Every time you do this, the lens in your eye is instantly changing focus without you even being aware of it! Compare that with a camera lens which takes a few seconds to focus between one distance and another. Just be thankful that the lens in your eye is as quick as it is, otherwise things would be continually going in and out of focus.

8. Your eyes are fully developed by the age of 7 years old

By the age of 7 years old our eyes are fully developed and are physiologically the same as adult’s eyes. It is for this reason that it is vitally important to pick up a lazy eye before we reach this age. The earlier a lazy eye is diagnosed, the greater the chance it will respond to treatment, as the eyes are still developing and capable of an improvement in vision. Beyond 7 years old no amount of treatment will result in any improvement in vision.

7. You blink approximately 15,000 times each day

Blinking is a semi- involuntary function meaning we do it automatically, but can also choose to blink if we so require. Blinking is an extremely important function of your eyes as it helps remove any debris on the surface of your eye, by spreading fresh tears over them. These tears help to nourish your eyes with oxygen and also have important anti bacterial properties. You can think of the function of blinking as being similar to the action of the windscreen wipers on your car, cleaning and removing everything to keep you seeing clearly.

6. Everyone gets cataracts as they get older

People don’t realize that cataracts are just a normal consequence of getting older and everyone gets them at some point in their life. You can think of cataracts as being similar to getting grey hair, in that it is just a normal natural age change. The average age people first get cataracts is about aged 70 years old and by 80 years old you are guaranteed to have cataracts. In the same way that you could not find any aged 80 years old without grey hair, it would be equally impossible to find anyone over 80 years old without cataracts. Cataracts refer to a gradual clouding of the lens in your eye and typically take about ten years from onset to them needing treatment.

5. Diabetes is often first detected during an eye test

People who suffer from type 2 diabetes (the type you develop later in life) are often symptom free, meaning they often don’t even know that they have it. This type of diabetes is commonly picked up during an eye test as it can be seen as tiny hemorrhages from leaking blood vessels at the back of your eye. This certainly is good reason to get your eyes tested regularly.

4. You see with your brain and not your eyes

The function of your eyes is to collect all the required information about the object you are looking at. This information is then passed from your eye to the brain via the optic nerve. It is the brain (visual cortex) where all this information is analyzed to enable you to ‘see’ the object in its finished form. This is not to say that your eyes don’t play an important role as they certainly do.

3. Your eyes can adapt to blind spots in your vision

Certain eye conditions such as Glaucoma and certain general health conditions such as having a stroke, can lead to you developing blind spots in your vision. This would be extremely debilitating if it wasn’t for your brain and your eyes ability to adapt to make these blind spots disappear. It does this by suppressing the blind spot in your affected eye and letting your other good eye ‘fill in the gaps’. It is adaptation like this that makes your eyes so resilient.

2. 20:20 vision is not the best vision you can have

When people hear the phrase 20:20 vision they assume that this is the best vision possible. However this is not true as 20:20 vision refers to what the average adult should be able to see. If you imagine a typical eye test chart the 20:20 vision is probably only the line second from the bottom. The line below it is even smaller than 20:20 vision and would mean you have 20:16 vision. So don’t be so impressed next time someone tells you they have 20:20 vision!

1. Your eyes water when they are dry

I know this might sound crazy but this is one of strange facts about your eyes. Your tears are made up of 3 different components and they are water, mucus and fat. If these 3 components are not in exactly the right quantities, your eyes can become dry as a consequence. Your brain responds to this dryness by producing extra water and hence your eyes water.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Amazing pictures-Human Towers of The Castellers

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Strange facts-A real houseboat

This is actually more of a house ship than it is a house boat. It was built by a Russian guy Nicolai without any plans or sketches. His neighbors call his house: Nicaloi's ark. It is 9 meters high and 14 meters long.

Although it is rather unusual, it has all the comforts of home. There are even sauna and swimming pool on the first floor. In addition, this family is ready for another flood.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Interesting facts-Canada’s longest suspension bridge

Canada’s longest suspension bridge spans 600 feet across the Eagle Canyon and is now open to tourists. It sits 150 feet above the canyon floor and it surpasses the previous record of 200 feet in length, held by the now second longest suspension bridge.


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Monday, February 21, 2011

Conspiracies-Protocols of the learned elders of Zion

‘The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion’ is allegedly an old textual guide addressing novice Jewish Elders on the methods to gain control of world economy and media, ultimately to attain global dominance. Over the years, convincing evidence has been put forth, labeling it as mere propaganda and a hoax.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Interesting facts-Dracula's castle

Dracula Castle, Transylvania

Bran Castle situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Brasov, is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia, on DN73. Commonly known as “Dracula’s Castle” (although it is one among several locations linked to the Dracula legend, including Poienari Castle and Hunyad Castle), it is marketed as the home of the titular character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. There is, however, no evidence that Stoker knew anything about this castle. There is evidence, however, that Vlad Tepes actually did use the castle during his raids into Transylvania.


interesting-factsThe castle is now a museum open to tourists, displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. Tourists can see the interior individually or by a guided tour. At the bottom of the hill is a small open air museum park exhibiting traditional Romanian peasant structures (cottages, barns, etc.) from across the country.

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In 1212, Teutonic Knights built the wooden castle of Dietrichstein as a fortified position in the Burzenland at the entrance to a mountain valley through which traders had travelled for more than a millennium, although it was destroyed in 1242 by the Mongols. The first documented mentioning of Bran Castle is the act issued by Louis I of Hungary on November 19, 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt the privilege to build the stone citadel on their own expense and labor force; the settlement of Bran began to develop nearby. The castle was first used in 1378 in defence against the Ottoman Empire, and later became a customs post on the mountain pass between Transylvania and Wallachia. The castle briefly belonged to Mircea the Elder of Wallachia. Vlad Tepes also used Bran Castle as headquarters for his incursions into Transylvania.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Amazing facts-Trains in Japan

Believe it or not, these photographs are of a train interior in Japan!

With the results looking nicer than most nurseries, the Japanese have taken the idea of ‘child-friendly public transport’ to the next level with these 2 beauties, both designed by Eiji Mitooka. He was the artistic force behind ‘omoden’ (toy train) and ‘ichigo ec’ (strawberry train), a couple of regional trains which travel on a daily basis on the 14.3km Kishigawa line in Japan.

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amazing-factsThe Japanese are intent on making train travel a more comfortable experience for everyone, women and children especially, and the results are incredible.

Both trains contain hundreds of toys, TV screens showing cartoons, immaculately clean wooden flooring and cots for younger children. Call me cynical but I can’t imagine anything like this emerging in India unless it was an attraction at a theme park.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Greatest historical myths-Walt Disney drew Mickey Mouse

Walt Disney drew Mickey Mouse

One of the world’s most famous fictitious characters, Mickey Mouse, is credited to Walt Disney. However, Mickey was the vision of Disney’s number one animator, Ub Iwerks. Disney, never a great artist, would always have trouble drawing the character who made him famous. Fortunately for him, Iwerks was known as the fastest animator in the business. He single-handedly animated Mickey’s first short film, Plane Crazy (1928), in only two weeks. (That’s 700 drawings a day.) But give some credit to Disney - when sound films began later that year, he played Mickey’s voice.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Amazing pictures-Eerie world beneath the Glaciers

Eerie world beneath the Glaciers

These are the amazing pictures from the ‘Ice Man’ – a frosty photographer who is prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to capture the perfect picture. Eric Guth is the real life Jack Frost spending days hiding out in some of the world’s most spectacular glacier caves. The 30-year-old regularly camps for days inside the eerie glaciers which can reach unbelievable temperatures: sometimes as low as 20 degrees below freezing.

And even the constant threat of pneumonia, frostbite and collapsing caves isn’t enough to put this intrepid photographer off. After becoming fascinated with glaciers as a young boy, Eric has spent the last five years tracking down, living in and photographing the mysterious and unknown caves.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bizarre facts-Live Crab Vending Machines in China

Located in the Xinjiekou subway station, in Nanjing, China, this particular vending machine is full of live hairy crabs and crab vinegar, making it available to enjoy seafood on the go.

The quirky food dispenser was installed on the 1st of October, and at first, it surprised even the Chinese. People would stop and stare at the crustaceans inside, and others would even take out their cameras and take photos of them. Business was out to a slow start, with only one hairy crab sold per day, but as people got used to the thought of buying live crabs from a vending machine, the figures jumped to an impressive 200 crabs a day. People noticed they were cheaper than the crabs found at the local food markets, and buying them on their daily commute they also saved precious time.

Depending on size, crabs can be bought for as little as 15 yuan (two dollars). They all seem dead, but their actually just hibernating due to the low temperature in the vending machine.

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