UNKNOWN ANCIENT ARCHITECTURAL WONDERS YOU HAVE TO VISIT
Added on: 9th Dec 2016
MEENAKSHI AMMAN TEMPLE, TAMIL NADU, INDIA
The Meenakshi Amman temple in the south-eastern Indian state
of Tamil Nadu is named after Hindu goddess Pavarti’s avatar
Meenakshi. With 14 gopurams (gateway towers adorned
with religious figures) and over 33,000 sculptures inside
the temple, this is easily one of the world’s lesser-known
but most amazing architectural wonders.
LESHAN GIANT BUDDHA, CHINA
The world’s largest carved stone Buddha is in Leshan, China,
at the convergence of three rivers. With fingers alone
measuring 11ft (3.4m) long, the Leshan Giant Buddha is
232ft (71m) high and has 1,021 buns in his hair (used to
drain water off the statue). The monk Hai Tong commissioned
the statue to calm the rivers’ water spirits thought to be
responsible for numerous boat capsizing.
SHEIKH LOTFOLLAH MOSQUE, IRAN
One of the best examples of Safavid-Iranian architecture is on
the eastern side of Isfahan, Iran’s Naghsh-i Jahan Square.
The Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in a unique architectural wonder
in that it has no minarets or courtyard. The reason? It was
originally built for the women of the shah’s harem to worship
whom would reach the prayer hall through a twisted
underground hallway. Tiles on the dome change colour
throughout the day from cream to pink.
CHAND BAORI, RAJASTHAN, INDIA
A wonderful example of mathematics in architecture, India’s
Chand Boari well built in the 10th century, to ensure a more
stable water supply to the mostly-desert region of Rajasthan.
The world’s deepest well, Chand Boari dips 100ft (30m) below
the Earth’s surface and uses 13 levels and a total of 3,500
steps to reach the bottom. Local legends rumour
Chand Boari was built by ghosts in a single night.
Thrown into international pre-eminence due to ISIS’s the
Recent takeover of the city, Palmyra in Syria is (for the moment)
a well-preserved example of the ancient ruins used by
multiple former civilisations. (It may have even been
mentioned in the Hebrew Bible.) The ancient Palmyrenes
were legendary traders, setting up colonies along the
Silk Road and running operations across most of
the Roman Empire.
On the far outskirts of Cusco, Peru, lies Sacsayhuaman: the
ruins of a massive Incan fortress. Less photogenic and
well-known than Machu Picchu, Sacsayhuaman is a feat of
human engineering. Thousands of years later, not even a
sheet of paper can fit between the walls’ stones, the largest
weighing 120 tons that’s about 160 adult cows for just one stone!
GREAT MOSQUE OF DJENNE, MALI
Mali’s Great Mosque in Djenne is truly an architectural wonder.
Built in 1907, the building is the largest mud structure in the
world and one of the best examples of Sudano-Sahelian
architecture. A local festival in April and May sees the locals
coat the entire mosque in clay to protect against cracks
from the scorching North African summers.
COLOSSUS OF RHODES, GREECE
One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the
Colossus of Rhodes was one of the tallest man-made
structures in the ancient world (not standing today).
Two-thirds the size of the Statue of Liberty (but built
2,000 years earlier, that’s pretty awesome), this
architectural wonder of the Greek sun god Helios was
built somewhere on the island of Rhodes in 280 B.C.
The Hittite Empire which dominated southern and eastern
Turkey had its capital at Hattusa in central Turkey.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site played host to the Hittites
until their decline during the Bronze Age and is known for
its two-sphinxes and cuneiform tablets. One tablet is the
earliest known example of a peace treaty; a copy thus
rests at the United Nations headquarters as an example
of international peace.