Top Ten Indian Temples

Top Ten Indian Temples

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  1. Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, Madurai
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             Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple is a historic Hindu temple located in the holy city of Madurai in India. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is known here as Sundareswarar or Beautiful Lord, and his consort, Parvati who is known as Meenakshi. The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2,500 year old city of Madurai. The complex houses 14 magnificent Gopurams or towers including two golden Gopurams for the main deities that are elaborately sculptured and painted. The temple is a significant symbol for the Tamil people and has been mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature, though the present structure is believed to have been built in 1600. The tallest temple tower is 51.9 m (170 ft) high.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meenakshi_Sundareswarar_Temple,
  2. Ellora Caves and Kailash Temple

           Ellora is an archaeological site, 29 km (18 mi) North-West of the city of Aurangabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra built by the Rashtrakuta dynasty. It is also known as Elapura (in the Rashtrakuta literature). Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture. The 34 “caves” – actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills. Buddhist, Hindu and Jain rock-cut temples and viharas and mathas were built between the 5th century and 10th century. The 12 Buddhist (caves 1–12), 17 Hindu (caves 13–29) and 5 Jain (caves 30–34) caves, built in proximity, demonstrate the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history.
    Links: Top Ten Rock-Cut Architecture, Top Ten Caves, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellora_Caves,
  3. Ajaṇṭā Caves
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           The Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India are about 300 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BC to about 480 or 650 AD. The caves include paintings and sculptures described by the government Archaeological Survey of India as “the finest surviving examples of Indian art, particularly painting”, which are masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, with figures of the Buddha and depictions of the Jataka tales. The caves were built in two phases starting around the 2nd century BC, with the second group of caves built around 400–650 AD according to older accounts, or all in a brief period of 460 to 480 according to the recent proposals of Walter M. Spink. The site is a protected monument in the care of the Archaeological Survey of India. The caves are 100 km (62 miles) from the Ellora Caves, which contain Hindu and Jain temples as well as Buddhist caves, the last dating from a period similar to Ajanta. The Ajanta caves are cut into the side of a cliff that is on the south side of a U-shaped gorge on the small river Waghora (or Wagura), and although they are now along and above a modern pathway running across the cliff they were originally reached by individual stairs or ladders from the side of the river 35 to 110 feet below. The area was previously heavily forested, and after the site ceased to be used the caves were covered by jungle until accidentally rediscovered in 1819 by a British officer on a hunting party. They are Buddhist monastic buildings, apparently representing a number of distinct “monasteries” or colleges. The caves are numbered 1 to 28 according to their place along the path, beginning at the entrance. Several are unfinished and some barely begun and others are small shrines. Further round the gorge are a number of waterfalls, which when the river is high are audible from outside the caves. The caves form the largest corpus of early Indian wall-painting; other survivals from the area of modern India are very few, though they are related to 5th-century paintings at Sigiriya in Sri Lanka. The elaborate architectural carving in many caves is also very rare, and the style of the many figure sculptures is highly local, found only at a few nearby contemporary sites.
    Links: Top Ten Caves, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajanta_Caves,
  4. Srikalahasti Temple, Andhra Pradesh
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           Srikalahasti Temple is located in the town of Srikalahasti, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is one of the most famous Shiva temples in South India, and is said to be the site where Kannappa, one of the 63 Saivite Nayanars, was ready to offer both his eyes to cover blood flowing from the Siva linga before the Lord Siva stopped him and granted him mukti. Sri Kalahasti temple, situated 36 km away from Tirupati is famous for its Vayu deva temple, which is the only shrine for the God of Wind in India. Constructed in the 12th century by the Chola king, Rajendra Chola, Vayu is incarnated as Lord Shiva and worshipped as Kalahasteeswara.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalahasti_temple,
  5. Konark Sun Temple, India
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    Konark Sun Temple is a 13th century Sun Temple (also known as the Black Pagoda), at Konark, in Orissa. It was constructed from oxidized and weathered ferruginous sandstone by King Narasimhadeva I (1238-1250 AD) of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The temple is an example of Orissan architecture of Ganga dynasty. The temple is one of the most renowned temples in India and is one of the Seven Wonders of India. Legend has it that the temple was constructed by Samba, the son of Lord Krishna. It is said that Samba was afflicted by leprosy, brought about by his father’s curse on him. After 12 years of penance, he was cured by Surya, the Sun God, in whose honor he built the magnificent Konark Sun Temple.
    Links: Top Ten Sun Temples, Top Ten Hindu DeitiesTop 100 SculpturesTop 100 Asian Sculptures, Top Ten RelievesTop Ten Asian Relieveshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konark_Sun_Temple,
  6. Lotus Temple, Delhi
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           The Bahá’í House of Worship in Delhi, India, popularly known as the Lotus Temple due to its flowerlike shape, is a Bahá’í House of Worship and also a prominent attraction in Delhi. It was completed in 1986 and serves as the Mother Temple of the Indian subcontinent. It has won numerous architectural awards and been featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles.
    Links: Top 100 Flowershttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_temple,
  7. Punjab and the Harmandir Sahib (“Golden Temple”)
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           The Harmandir Sahib, also Darbar Sahib, the “Golden Temple,” is a prominent Sikh Gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. It was built by the 5th Sikh guru, Guru Arjan, in the 16th Century. In 1604, Guru Arjun completed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, and installed it in the Gurdwara. There are four doors to get into the Harmandir Sahib, which symbolize the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religions. The present day Gurdwara was rebuilt in 1764 by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia with the help of other Sikh Misls. In the early 19th century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh secured the Punjab region from outside attack and covered the upper floors of the Gurdwara with gold, which gives it its distinctive appearance and its English name.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmandir_Sahib,
  8. Annamalaiyar Temple, Tamilnadu
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           Annamalaiyar Temple is a noted Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located at the bottom of the Annamalai hill in Thiruvannamalai town in Tamilnadu, India. It is the home of Annamalaiyar or Arunachaleswarar (Lord Shiva worshipped as a Shiva Lingam) and Unnamalaiyaal (Apitakuchambaal – Parvati), and is one of the largest temples in India. It occupies a special place in the Saivite realm and is regarded as one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams (one of the five grand temples associated with the five basic elements), associated with the element Fire; the other four being Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara (water), Chidambaram Natarajar (sky), Kanchi Ekambareswara (earth) and Kalahasti Nathar (wind). It is said that the Saivite saint poet Manikkavasagar composed the Tiruvempaavai while at Thiruvannamalai.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annamalaiyar_Temple,
  9. Chidambaram Temple, Tamil Nadu
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           Chidambaram Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the heart of the temple town of Chidambaram, 78 km south of Pondicherry and 60 km north of Karaikal in Cuddalore District, the east-central part of the Tamil Nadu state of southeastern India. The Sangam classics refer to Viduvelvidugu Perumtaccan, respected clan of traditional Vishwakarmas, as being the chief architect of the temple renovation. There have been several renovations in its history, particularly during the days of Pallava/Chola emperors in ancient and pre-medieval periods. In Hindu literature, Chidambaram is one of the five holiest Shiva temples, each representing one of the five natural elements; Chidambaram represents akasha (aether). The other four temples in this category are: Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara (water), Kanchi Ekambareswara (earth), Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswara (fire) and Kalahasti Nathar (wind).
    Links: Sculptures, Top 100 Sculptures, Top 100 Asian Sculptures, Top 100 Indian Sculptures,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chidambaram_Temple, 
  10. Buddhist Pilgrimage of Lumbinī, Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya and Sarnath
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           Lumbinī, “the lovely,” is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Rupandehi district of Nepal. It is the place where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama and where he lived roughly between 623 and 543 BC and founded Buddhism as Gautama Buddha. Lumbini is one of four magnets for pilgrimage that sprang up in places pivotal to the life of the Buddha, the others being at Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya and Sarnath. Lumbini, where the Buddha lived until the age of 29, has a number of temples, including the Mayadevi temple and others under construction. Also located here is the Puskarini or Holy Pond where the Buddha’s mother took the ritual dip prior to his birth and where he, too, had his first bath, as well as the remains of Kapilavastu palace. At other sites near Lumbini, earlier Buddhas were, according to tradition, born, achieved ultimate awakening and finally relinquished earthly form. Bodh Gaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district in the Indian state of Bihar. It is the place where Gautama Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment (Bodhimandala). For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha. Sarnath is the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna. Sarnath is located 13 km north-east of Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh, India. Singhpur, a village one km away from the site, was the birthplace of Shreyansanath, the 11th Tirthankara of Jainism, and a temple dedicated to him, is an important pilgrimage site. Isipatana is mentioned by the Buddha as one of the four places of pilgrimage which his devout followers should visit, if they wanted to visit a place for that reason. It was also the site of the Buddha’s Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, which was his first teaching after attaining enlightenment, in which he taught the four noble truths and the teachings associated with it. Kushinagar is a town and a Nagar Panchayat in Gorakhpur district of Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is an important to Buddhists, as it is the site, where Gautama Buddha attained Parinirvana after his death.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumbinihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarnath, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodh_Gaya, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kushinagar,
  11. Khajuraho Group of Monuments
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    The Khajuraho Group of Monuments in Khajuraho, a town in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, located in Chhatarpur District, about 620 km (385 mi) southeast of New Delhi, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculptures. Between 950 and 1150, the Chandela monarchs built these temples when the Tantric tradition may have been accepted. In the days before the Mughal conquests, when boys lived in hermitages, following brahmacharya until they became men, they could learn about the world and prepare themselves to become householders through examining these sculptures and the worldly desires they depicted. The name Khajuraho, ancient “Kharjuravāhaka,” is derived from the Sanskrit words kharjura = date palm and vāhaka = “one who carries.” Locals living in the Khajuraho village always knew about and kept up the temples as best as they could. They were pointed out to the English in the late 19th century when the jungles had taken a toll on the monuments. In the 19th century, British engineer T.S. Burt arrived in the area, followed by General Alexander Cunningham. Cunningham put Khajuraho on the world map when he explored the site on behalf of the Archaeological Survey of India and described what he found in glowing terms. The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is considered to be one of the “seven wonders” of India.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khajuraho_Group_of_Monuments,
  12. Srisailam Temple, Andhra Pradesh
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           Srisailam is a holy town and mandal, situated in Nallamala Hills of Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located on the banks of River Krishna, about 232 km south of Hyderabad. Bhramaramba Mallikarjunaswamy Temple dedicated to Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy (a form of Shiva) and Devi Bhramaramba (a form of Parvathi) is located here and it is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Srisailam Dam, located about 245 km from Hyderabad and 132 km from Nandyal, is a multipurpose dam has been built across River Krishna and caters to the irrigation and power needs of the state.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srisailam,
  13. Ekambareswarar Temple, Tamil Nadu
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           Ekambareswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in Kanchipuram in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the five major Shiva temples or Pancha Bootha Sthalams (each representing a natural element) representing the element Earth. The other four temples in this category are Thiruvanaikaval Jambukeswara (water), Chidambaram Natarajar (ether), Thiruvannamalai Arunachaleswara (fire) and Kalahasti Nathar (wind). All of the four revered Saivite Saints have sung the glories of this temple. Legend has it that once Parvati was doing tapas under the temple’s ancient Mango Tree. In order to test her devotion Lord Shiva sent fire on her. Goddess Parvati prayed to her brother, Lord Vishnu, for help. In order to save her, he took the Moon from Lord Shiva’s head and showed the rays which then cooled down the tree as well as Parvati. After that, Lord Shiva again sent the river Ganga (Ganges) to disrupt Parvati’s tapas. Parvati devi prayed to Ganga and convinced her that both of them were sisters and so should not harm her. And so Ganga did not disturb her penance after that. Then Parvati made a Shiva Linga out of sand and got united with Lord Shiva. According to another legend, it is believed that Parvati worshipped Shiva in the form of a Prithivi Lingam (or a Lingam improvised out of sand), under a mango tree. Legend has it that the neighboring Vegavati River overflowed and threatened to engulf the Shiva Lingam and that Parvati or Kamakshi embraced the Lingam. Shiva touched by the gesture materialized in person and married her. In this context he is referred to as Tazhuva kuzhainthaar (“He who melted in Her embrace”) in Tamil.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ekambareswarar_Temple,
  14. Kanyakumari Temple, Tamil Nadu
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           Kanyakumari is a town in the state of Tamil Nadu in India, sometimes referred to as Cape Comorin. Located at the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, it is the geographical end of the Indian mainland. The district in Tamil Nadu where the town is located is called Kanyakumari District. The closest major cities are Nagercoil, the administrative headquarters of Kanyakumari District, (22 km) and Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala (85 km). The town is a popular tourist place in India.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanyakumari,
  15. Rameshwaram Temple, Tamil Nadu
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           Rameswaram is a town in Ramanathapuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located on Pamban Island separated from mainland India by the Pamban channel and is about 50 kilometres from Mannar Island, Sri Lanka. Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, is connected to mainland India by the Pamban Bridge. Rameswaram is the terminus of the railway line from Chennai and Madurai. Together with Kashi, it is considered to be one of the holiest places in India to Hindus, and part of the Char Dham pilgrimages. Hence, it is a bustling pilgrim centre. It is situated in the Gulf of Mannar at the very tip of the Indian peninsula. According to legend, this is the place from where Lord Rama built a bridge Ram Setu (also known as Adam’s Bridge) across the sea to Lanka to rescue his consort Sita from her abductor Ravana. Both the Vaishnavites and Shaivites visit this pilgrimage centre which is known as the Varanasi of the south. Ex-president of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, hails from a fishing hamlet called Dhanushkodi situated on this island.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rameshwaram,
  16. Thiruvanaikaval Temple, Tamil Nadu
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           Thiruvanaikaval is a famous Shiva temple in Tiruchirapalli (Trichy), located in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple was built by Kocengannan (Kochenga Chola), one of the Early Cholas, around 1,800 years ago. It is adjacent to the Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam. Thiruvanaikal is one of the five major Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu(Panchabhoota Sthalams) representing the Mahābhūta or five great elements; this temple represents the element of water, or neer in Tamil. The other Panchabhoota Sthalams are located at Chidambaram (sky/ space), Kalahasti (wind), Tiruvannamalai (fire) and Kanchipuram (earth).
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jambukeswarar_Temple,_Thiruvanaikaval,
  17. Sun Temple, Modhera, Gujarat, India
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           The Sun Temple, Modhera, at Modhera in Gujarat, is a temple dedicated to the Hindu Sun-God, Surya. It was built in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty. The Modhera sun temple is situated on the bank of the river Pushpavati, 25 km from Mehsana and 102 km from Ahmedabad.
    Links: Top Ten Sun Temples, Top Ten Columns/Pillars,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Temple,_Modhera,
  18. Tiruchendur Temple, Tamil Nadu
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            Thiruchendur is a panchayat town in Thoothukudi district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This town has a different name called Thirucheer Alaiwai.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiruchendur,
  19. Nellaiappar Temple, Tamil Nadu
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           Nellaiappar Temple is one of the famous Shiva Temples situated at the heart of Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, India.
    Links: Top Ten Pillars/Columns, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nellaiappar_Temple,
  20. Great Living Chola Temples
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    The Great Living Chola Temples are temples built during the Chola rule in the south of India. These temples are the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram. The Peruvudaiyar Kovil, also known as Brihadeeswara Temple, RajaRajeswara Temple and Rajarajeswaram, at Thanjavur in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva and an art of the work achieved by Cholas in Tamil architecture. This is the largest temple in India and one of India’s most prized architectural sites. The Kumbam (Kalasha or Chikharam) (apex or the bulbous structure on the top) of the temple is carved out of a single stone and it weighs around 80 tons. The entire temple structure is made out of granite, the nearest sources of which are close to Tiruchchirapalli, about 60 km to the west of Thanjavur, where the temple is. Gangaikonda Cholapuram was erected as the capital of the Cholas by Rajendra Chola I, the son and successor of Rajaraja Chola, the great Chola who conquered a large area in South India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Sumatra, Kadaram (Kedah in Malaysia) at the beginning of the 11th century AD. It occupies an important place in the history of India. As the capital of the Cholas from about 1025 AD for about 250 years, the city controlled the affairs of entire southern India, from the Tungabhadra in the north to Ceylon in the south and other Southeast Asian countries. The great temple of Siva at this place is next only to the Brihadisvara temple at Thanjavur in its monumental nature and surpasses it in sculptural quality. The Gangaikondaan temple is an architectural and engineering marvel because the shadow of the main tower never falls on the ground throughout the year. Airavatesvara Temple is a Hindu temple of Dravidian architecture located in the town of Darasuram, near Kumbakonam in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This temple, built by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century AD.
    Links: Top Ten Pillars/Columns,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brihadisvara_Temple,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangaikonda_Cholapuram,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airavatesvara_Temple,
  21. Brihadeeswarar Temple
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    Thanjavur is a city in southern India state of Tamil Nadu. Scholars believe the name Thanjavur is derived from Tanjan, a legendary demon in Hindu mythology. While the early history of Thanjavur remains unclear, the city first rose to prominence during the reign of Medieval Cholas when it served as the capital of the empire. After the fall of Cholas, the city was ruled by various dynasties like Pandyas, Vijayanagar Empire, Madurai Nayaks, Thanjavur Nayaks, Thanjavur Marathas and the British Empire. It has been a part of independent India since 1947 and an important center of South Indian religion, art and architecture. The foremost among these, the Brihadeeswara Temple, is located in the center of the city. Thanjavur is also home to Tanjore painting, a painting style unique to the region. The city is an important agricultural center located in the Cauvery Delta and is known as the “Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu.” Roadways are the major means of transportation, while the city also has rail connectivity.  The Peruvudaiyar Kovil, also known as Brihadeeswara Temple, RajaRajeswara Temple and Rajarajeswaram, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva and an art of the work achieved by Cholas in Tamil architecture. This is the largest temple in India and one of India’s most prized architectural sites. The temple stands amidst fortified walls that were probably added in the 16th century. The vimana or (temple tower) is 216 ft. (66 m) high and is among the tallest of its kind in the world. The Kumbam (Kalasha or Chikharam) (apex or the bulbous structure on the top) of the temple weighs around 80 tons. There is a big statue of Nandi (sacred bull), carved out of a single rock, at the entrance measuring about 16 ft. long and 13 ft. high. The entire temple structure is made out of granite, the nearest sources of which are close to Tiruchchirapalli, about 60 km to the west of Thanjavur, where the temple is. Built in 1010 AD by Raja Raja Chola I in Thanjavur, Brihadeeswarar Temple, also popularly known as the ‘Big Temple,’ turned 1000 years old in 2010.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanjavurhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brihadeeswarar_Temple,
  22. Yaganti, Andhra Pradesh
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           Sri Yaganti Uma Maheswara Temple or Yaganti is a temple to Lord Shiva in Kurnool District in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
    Links: Sculptures, Top 100 Sculptures, Top 100 Asian Sculptures, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaganti,
  23. Hampi and Vijayanagara
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    Hampi is a village in northern Karnataka state, India. It is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, it continues to be an important religious center, housing the Virupaksha Temple, as well as several other monuments belonging to the old city. In around 1500 Vijaynagar had 500,000 inhabitants, probably making it the 2nd largest city in the world after Peking-Beijing and twice the then size of Paris.
    Links: Top Ten Columns/Pillars, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hampi, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vijayanagara,
  24. Links: Top Ten Indian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India,

Top Ten African Pyramids

Top Ten African Pyramids

  1. The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Egyptian Attractions, Sculptures, Top 100 African Sculptures,
  2. Red Pyramid, Dashur, Egypt

    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Egyptian Attractions,
  3. Bent Pyramid, Egypt
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    The Bent Pyramid is an ancient Egyptian pyramid located at the royal necropolis of Dahshur, approximately 40 km south of Cairo, built under the Old Kingdom Pharaoh Sneferu (c. 2600 BC). A unique example of early pyramid development in Egypt, this was the 2nd pyramid built by Sneferu. The lower part of the pyramid rises from the desert at a 54-degree inclination, but the top section is built at the shallower angle of 43 degrees, lending the pyramid its very obvious “bent” appearance. Archaeologists now believe that the Bent Pyramid represents a transitional form between step-sided and smooth-sided pyramids. It has been suggested that due to the steepness of the original angle of inclination the structure may have begun to show signs of instability during construction, forcing the builders to adopt a shallower angle to avert the structure’s collapse. It is also unique amongst the approximately 90 pyramids to be found in Egypt, in that its original polished limestone outer casing remains largely intact.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bent_pyramid,
  4. Saqqara and the Pyramid of Unas, Egypt

           Saqqara is a vast, ancient burial ground in Egypt, serving as the necropolis for the Ancient Egyptian capital, Memphis. Saqqara features numerous pyramids, including the world famous Step pyramid of Djoser, sometimes referred to as the Step Tomb due to its rectangular base, as well as a number of mastabas (Arabic word meaning ‘bench’). Located some 30 km (19 mi) south of modern-day Cairo, Saqqara covers an area of around 7 by 1.5 km (4.3 by 0.93 mi). At Saqqara, the oldest complete stone building complex known in history was built: Djoser’s step pyramid, built during the 3rd dynasty. Another 16 Egyptian kings built pyramids at Saqqara, which are now in various states of preservation or dilapidation. High officials added private funeral monuments to this necropolis during the entire pharaonic period. It remained an important complex for non-royal burials and cult ceremonies for more than 3,000 years, well into Ptolemaic and Roman times. Contrary to popular belief, the name Saqqara is not derived from the ancient Egyptian funerary god Sokar, but from the Beni Saqqar who are a local Berber tribe. Their name means “Sons of Saqqar.” Since they are not indigenous to the area it would not follow that they would fashion themselves as being born of an ancient Egyptian god whose identity was unknown until the age of archaeology.
    Links: Pyramids, Top Ten Necropolises,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saqqara,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_of_Unas,
  5. Abusir, Egypt

           Abusir, “the House or Temple of Osiris,” is the name given to an Egyptian archaeological locality, specifically, an extensive necropolis of the Old Kingdom period, together with later additions, in the vicinity of the modern capital Cairo. The name is also that of a neighboring village in the Nile Valley, whence the site takes its name. Abusir is located several km north of Saqqara and, like it, served as one of the main elite cemeteries for the ancient Egyptian capital city of Memphis. Several other villages in northern and southern Egypt are named Abusir or Busiri. Abusir is one relatively small segment of the extensive “pyramid field” that extends from north of Giza to below Saqqara, the locality of Abusir took its turn as the focus of the prestigious western burial rites operating out of the then-capital of Memphis during the Old Kingdom 5th Dynasty. As an elite cemetery, neighboring Giza had by then “filled up” with the massive pyramids and other monuments of the 4th Dynasty, leading the 5th Dynasty pharaohs to seek sites elsewhere for their own funerary monuments. Abusir was the origin of the largest find of Old Kingdom papyri to date, the Abusir Papyri. In the late 19th century, a number of Western museums acquired collections of fragmentary papyri from the administrative (temple) records of one Abusir funerary cult, that of king Neferirkare Kakai. This discovery was supplemented in the late 20th century when excavations by a Czech expedition to the site revealed papyri from two other cult complexes, that of the pharaoh Neferefre (also read Raneferef) and for the king’s mother Khentkaus II. The Czech Institute of Egyptology of the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague has been conducting excavations at Abusir since 1976. They are presently directed by Miroslav Bárta. There are considerable catacombs near the ancient town of Busiris. To the south of Busiris one great cemetery appears to have stretched over the plain. The Heptanomite Busiris was in fact a hamlet standing at one extremity of the necropolis of Memphis.
    Links: Top Ten Sun Temples, Top Ten TombsTop Ten Sarcophagi, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abusir,
  6. Meroë, Sudan

           Meroë is the name of an ancient city on the east bank of the Nile about 6 km north-east of the Kabushiya station near Shendi, Sudan, approximately 200 km north-east of Khartoum. Near the site are a group of villages called Bagrawiyah. This city was the capitol of the Kingdom of Kush for several centuries. The Kushitic Kingdom of Meroë gave its name to the Island of Meroë, which was the modern region of Butana, a region bounded by the Nile (from the Atbarah River to Khartoum), the Atbarah, Ethiopia and the Blue Nile. The city of Meroë was on the edge of Butana and there were two other Meroitic cities in Butana, Musawwarat es-Sufra, and Naqa. The site of the city of Meroë is marked by more than 200 pyramids in three groups, of which many are in ruins. They are identified as Nubian pyramids because of their distinctive size and proportions.
    Links: Top Ten Sudanese Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mero%C3%AB,
  7. Jebel Barkal, Sudan

           Jebel Barkal or Gebel Barkal is a very small mountain located some 400 km north of Khartoum, in Karima town in Northern State in Sudan, on a large bend of the Nile River, in the region called Nubia. In 2003, the mountain, together with the historical city of Napata (which sits at its feet), were named World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Around 1450 BC, the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III extended his empire to that region and considered Gebel Barkal its southern limit. There, he campaigned near the city of Napata that, about 300 years later, became the capital of the independent kingdom of Kush. The 25th Dynasty Nubian king Piye later greatly enlarged the New Kingdom Temple of Amun in this city and erected his Year 20 Victory stela within it. The ruins around Gebel Barkal include at least 13 temples and 3 palaces that were first described by European explorers in the 1820’s. In 1862 five inscriptions from the Third Intermediate Period were recovered by an Egyptian officer and transported to the Cairo Museum, but not until 1916 were scientific archeological excavations performed by a joint expedition of Harvard University and the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston. From the 1970’s, explorations continued by teams from the University of Rome La Sapienza and Boston Museum. The larger temples, such as that of Amun, are even today considered sacred to the local population. The mountain is 98 m tall, has a flat top, and apparently was used as a landmark by the traders in the important route between central Africa, Arabia and Egypt, as the point where it was easier to cross the great river.
    Links: Top Ten Sudanese Attractions,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gebel_Barkal_and_the_Sites_of_the_Napatan_Region,
  8. Pyramid of Meidum, Egypt
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           Located about 100 km south of modern Cairo, Meidum or Maidum is the location of a large pyramid, and several large mud-brick mastabas.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meidum,
  9. Mauritian Pyramids
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    Links: Top Ten Mauritian Attractions,
  10. Links: Pyramids, Top Ten Pyramids, 

Top Ten South American Pyramids

Top Ten South American Pyramids

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  1.  Huaca del Sol (Pyramid of the Sun), Peru

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    Links: Top Ten Peruvian Attractions,
  2. Sipan Pyramid, Peru
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    Links: Top Ten Peruvian Attractions,
  3. Cahuachi Pyramids, Peru

    Cahuachi, in Peru, was a major ceremonial center of the Nazca culture, based from 1 AD-500 AD in the coastal area of the Central Andes. It overlooked some of the Nazca lines. The Italian archaeologist Giuseppe Orefici has been excavating at the site for the past few decades. The site contains over 40 mounds topped with adobe structures. The huge architectural complex covers 0.6 sq. miles (1.5 km2). The American archeologist Helaine Silverman has also conducted long term, multi-stage research and written about the full context of Nazca society at Cahuachi, published in a lengthy study in 1993. Scholars once thought the site was the capital of the Nazca state but have determined that the permanent population was quite small. They believe that it was a pilgrimage center, whose population increased greatly in relation to major ceremonial events. New research has suggested that 40 of the mounds were natural hills modified to appear as artificial constructions. Support for the pilgrimage theory comes from archaeological evidence of sparse population at Cahuachi, the spatial patterning of the site, and ethnographic evidence from the Virgin of Yauca pilgrimage in the nearby Ica Valley.
    Links: Top Ten Peruvian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cahuachi,
  4. Túcume Pyramids, Peru
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    Túcume is a pre-Hispanic site in Peru, south of the La Leche River on a plain around La Raya Mountain. It covers an area of over 540 acres (220 ha) and encompassing 26 major pyramids and mounds. The area is referred to as Purgatorio (purgatory) by local people. This site was a major regional center, maybe even the capital of the successive occupations of the area by the Lambayeque/Sican (800-1350 AD), Chimú (1350–1450 AD) and Inca (1450–1532 AD). Local shaman healers (curanderos) invoke power of Tucume and La Raya Mountain in their rituals, and local people fear these sites. Hardly anyone other than healers venture out in this site at night. The plains of Túcume are part of the Lambayeque Valley, the largest valley of the North Coast of Peru. The Lambayeque Valley is the site of scores of natural and man-made waterways and is also a region of about 250 brick pyramids.
    Links: Top Ten Peruvian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C3%BAcume,
  5. Caral Pyramids, Peru
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    Caral, or Caral-Supe, was a large settlement in the Supe Valley, near Supe, Barranca province, Peru, some 200 km north of Lima. Caral is the most ancient city of the Americas, and is a well-studied site of the Caral civilization or Norte Chico civilization.
    Links: Top Ten Peruvian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caral,
  6. San Isidro Pyramid, Peru

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    Links: Top Ten Peruvian Attractions,
  7. Links: Pyramids, Top Ten Pyramids, 

Top Ten North American Pyramids

Top Ten North American Pyramids

  1. Teotihuacán, Mexico

           Teotihuacán is an enormous archaeological site in the Basin of Mexico, just 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, containing some of the largest pyramidal structures built in the pre-Columbian Americas. Apart from the pyramidal structures, Teotihuacan is also known for its large residential complexes, the Avenue of the Dead, and numerous colorful, well-preserved murals. Additionally, Teotihuacan produced a thin orange pottery style that spread through Mesoamerica. The city is thought to have been established around 100 BC and continued to be built until about 250 AD. The city may have lasted until sometime between the 7th and 8th centuries AD. At its zenith, perhaps in the first half of the 1st millennium AD, Teotihuacan was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas, with a population of perhaps 125,000 or more, placing it among the largest cities of the world in this period. Teotihuacan was even home to multi-floor apartment compounds built to accommodate this large population. The civilization and cultural complex associated with the site is also referred to as Teotihuacan or Teotihuacano. Although it is a subject of debate whether Teotihuacan was the center of a state empire, its influence throughout Mesoamerica is well documented; evidence of Teotihuacano presence can be seen at numerous sites in Veracruz and the Maya region. The Aztecs may have been influenced by this city. The ethnicity of the inhabitants of Teotihuacan is also a subject of debate. Possible candidates are the Nahua, Otomi or Totonac ethnic groups. Scholars have also suggested that Teotihuacan was a multiethnic state. The city and the archaeological site are located in what is now the San Juan Teotihuacán municipality in the State of México, Mexico, approximately 40 km (25 mi) northeast of Mexico City. It is the most visited archaeological site in Mexico.
    Links: Pyramids, Museums and Galleries, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teotihuacan,
  2. Chichen Itza, Mexico

           Chichen Itza, “at the mouth of the well of the Itza,” was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya civilization. The archaeological site is located in the municipality of Tinum, in the Mexican state of Yucatán. Chichen Itza was a major focal point in the northern Maya lowlands from the Late Classic (600–900 AD) through the Terminal Classic (800–900) and into the early portion of the Early Postclassic period (900–1200). The site exhibits a multitude of architectural styles, reminiscent of styles seen in central Mexico and of the Puuc and Chenes styles of the northern Maya lowlands. The presence of central Mexican styles was once thought to have been representative of direct migration or even conquest from central Mexico, but most contemporary interpretations view the presence of these non-Maya styles more as the result of cultural diffusion. Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities and it was likely to have been one of the mythical great cities, or Tollans, referred to in later Mesoamerican literature. The city may have had the most diverse population in the Maya world, a factor that could have contributed to the variety of architectural styles at the site. The ruins of Chichen Itza are federal property, and the site’s stewardship is maintained by Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History, INAH). The land under the monuments had been privately-owned until March 29, 2010, when it was purchased by the state of Yucatán. Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico; an estimated 1.2 million tourists visit the ruins every year.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chichen_Itza,
  3. The Great Pyramid of Cholula, Mexico
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    The Great Pyramid of Cholula, also known as Tlachihualtepetl (Nahuatl for “artificial mountain”), is a huge complex located in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico. It is the largest archaeological site of a pyramid (temple) in the New World. The pyramid stands 55 m (180 ft.) above the surrounding plain, and in its final form it measured 400 by 400 m (1,300 by 1,300 ft.). The pyramid is a temple that has traditionally been viewed as having been dedicated to the god Quetzalcoatl. The architectural style of the building was closely linked to that of Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico, although influence from the Gulf Coast is also evident, especially from El Tajín.
    Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pyramid_of_Cholula,
  4. Templo Mayor, Mexico
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    The Templo Mayor was one of the main temples of the Aztecs in their capital city of Tenochtitlan, which is now Mexico City. Its architectural style belongs to the late Postclassic period of Mesoamerica. The temple was called the huei teocalli in the Nahuatl language and dedicated simultaneously to two gods, Huitzilopochtli, god of war and Tlaloc, god of rain and agriculture, each of which had a shrine at the top of the pyramid with separate staircases. The temple, measuring approximately 100 by 80 m (328 by 262 ft.) at its base, dominated a Sacred Precinct. Construction of the first temple began sometime after 1325, and it was rebuilt six times after that. The temple was destroyed by the Spanish in 1521. The modern-day archeological site lies just to the northeast of the Zocalo, or main plaza of Mexico City, on the corner of what are now Seminario and Justo Sierra streets.
    Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templo_Mayor,
  5. Calakmul, Mexico
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    Calakmul is a Maya archaeological site in the Mexican state of Campeche, deep in the jungles of the greater Petén Basin region. It is 35 km (22 mi) from the Guatemalan border. Calakmul was one of the largest and most powerful ancient cities ever uncovered in the Maya lowlands. Calakmul was a major Maya power within the northern Petén region of the Yucatán of southern Mexico. Calakmul administered a large domain marked by the extensive distribution of their emblem glyph of the snake head sign, to be read “Kaan.” Calakmul was the seat of what has been dubbed the Kingdom of the Snake. This Snake Kingdom reigned during most of the Classic period. Calakmul itself is estimated to have had a population of 50,000 people and had governance, at times, over places as far away as 150 km. There are 6,750 ancient structures identified at Calakmul the largest of which is the great pyramid at the site. Structure 2 is over 45 m (148 ft.) high, making it one of the tallest of the Maya pyramids. Four tombs have been located within the pyramid. Like many temples or pyramids within Mesoamerica the pyramid at Calakmul increased in size by building upon the existing temple to reach its current size. The size of the central monumental architecture is approximately 2 square km (0.77 sq mi) and the whole of the site, mostly covered with dense residential structures, is about 20 square km (7.7 sq mi). Throughout the Classic Period, Calakmul maintained an intense rivalry with the major city of Tikal to the south, and the political maneuverings of these two cities have been likened to a struggle between two Maya superpowers.
    Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calakmul,
  6. El Mirador, Guatemala
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    El Mirador is a large pre-Columbian Mayan settlement, located in the north of the modern department of El Petén, Guatemala.
    Links: Top Ten Guatemalan Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Mirador,
  7. Area 51 Pyramid, USA

    Area 51, first brought to the public’s attention by Las Vegas investigative television journalist George Knapp, has long been a hotbed of UFO speculation and investigations into the likelihood of the secretive desert base being used to reverse-engineer captured alien technology. If true, and there’s strong circumstantial evidence that at least some of the allegations made by Bob Lazar and others that the USAF top-secret test base is hip deep in ET artifacts and technology, then some of that technology must require a charge-up to power the unearthly devices. The Chinese scientists may be on to something. For if the pyramid in Qinghai truly was erected to power up extraterrestrial spacecraft, then the USAF may require something similar when their scientists and engineers reach the stage in the decades-long project to back-engineer unworldly technology that’s allegedly stumped some of the world’s best thinkers for more than two generations. If the USAF reached the stage where they need a massive, alien-designed, power base they would more than likely build a pyramidal structure very much like the one in China. And they have.
    Links: Top Ten Asian Pyramids, Top Ten Chinese Pyramids,
  8. El Tajín, Mexico

           El Tajín is a pre-Columbian archeological site and one of the largest and most important cities of the Classic era of Mesoamerica. A part of the Classic Veracruz culture, El Tajín flourished from 600 to 1200 AD, at which time numerous temples, palaces, ballcourts and pyramids were built. From the time the city fell in 1230 to near the end of the 18th century, no European seems to have known of its existence, until a government inspector chanced upon the Pyramid of the Niches in 1785. The architecture at El Tajín includes the use of decorative niches and cement in forms unknown in the rest of Mesoamerica. Its best-known monument is the Pyramid of the Niches, but other important monuments include the Arroyo Group, the North and South Ballcourts and the palaces of Tajín Chico. In total there have been 17 ballcourts discovered at this site. Since the 1970’s, El Tajin has been the most important archeological site in Veracruz for tourists, attracting over 650,000 visitors a year. It is also the site of the annual Cumbre Tajin Festival, which occurs each March featuring indigenous and foreign cultural events as well as concerts by popular musicians.
    Links: Sculptures, Top 100 North American SculpturesTop 100 Busts, Top Ten Relieves, Top Ten South American Relieves,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Tajin,
  9. Uxmal, Mexico

           Uxmal is an ancient Mayan city of the classical period. Today is one of the most important archaeological sites of Mayan culture, along with those of Chichen Itza and Tikal. It is located in the called Puuc region and is the city most representative of this architectural style. It is located 62 km south of Mérida, capital of Yucatán state in Mexico. Its buildings are noted for their size and decoration. Among them, as well as to other cities in the area, there are built few roads called sacbes. Its buildings are typical of the Puuc style, with smooth low walls that open on ornate friezes based on representations of typical Mayan huts, which are represented by columns (representing the reeds with which were built the walls of the huts) and trapezoidal shapes (representing the thatched roofs), entwined snakes and, in many cases two-headed snakes, masks of the rain god, Chaac with its big noses that represent the rays of the storms, and feathered serpents with open fangs leaving from the same human beings. Also seen in some cities influences of Nahua origin and the follow of the cult of Quetzalcoatl and Tlaloc that were integrated with the original bases of the Puuc tradition. The buildings take advantage of the terrain to gain height and acquire important volumes, include the Pyramid of the Magician, with five levels, and the Governor’s Palace which covers an area of more than 1.200m².
    Links: Pyramids, Top 100 Maskshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Hispanic_Town_of_Uxmal,
  10. Temple of the Inscription, Mexico
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    The Temple of the Inscriptions is the largest Mesoamerican stepped pyramid structure at the pre-Columbian Maya civilization site of Palenque, located in the modern-day state of Chiapas, Mexico. The structure was specifically built as the funerary monument for K’inich Janaab’ Pakal, ajaw or ruler of Palenque in the 7th century whose reign over the polity lasted almost 70 years. Construction of this monument commenced in the last decade of his life, and was completed by his son and successor K’inich Kan B’alam II. Within Palenque, the Temple of the Inscriptions is located in an area known as the Temple of the Inscriptions’ Court and stands at a right angle to the Southeast of the Palace. The Temple of the Inscriptions has been significant in the study of the ancient Maya, owing to the extraordinary sample of hieroglyphic text found on the Inscription Tablets, the impressive sculptural panels on the piers of the building, and the finds inside the tomb of Pakal.
    Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_the_Inscriptions,
  11. Luxor Las Vegas, USA

    Luxor Las Vegas is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. The 30-story hotel, which is operated by MGM Resorts International, features a 120,000 square ft (11,000 square m) casino floor that includes over 2,000 slot machines and 87 table games. It has a new, highly modernized and contemporary design and contains a total of 4,400 rooms, including 442 suites, lining the interior walls of a pyramid style tower and within twin 22-story ziggurat towers that were built as later additions. The hotel is named after the city of Luxor (ancient Thebes) in Egypt. Luxor is the 2nd largest hotel in Las Vegas (the largest being the MGM Grand Las Vegas) and the 3rd largest in the world.
    Links: Top Ten Modern Pyramids, Top Ten Casinos, Top Ten North American Casinos, Top Ten Las Vegas Casinos, Top Ten Vegas Hotels, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxor_Las_Vegas,
  12. Tikal, Guatemala

           Tikal (or Tik’al according to the modern Mayan orthography) is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located in the archaeological region of the Petén Basin in what is now northern Guatemala. Situated in the department of El Petén, the site is part of Guatemala’s Tikal National Park and in 1979 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tikal was the capital of a conquest state that became one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya. Though monumental architecture at the site dates back as far as the 4th century BC, Tikal reached its apogee during the Classic Period (200-900 AD). During this time, the city dominated much of the Maya region politically, economically and militarily, while interacting with areas throughout Mesoamerica such as the great metropolis of Teotihuacan in the distant Valley of Mexico. There is evidence that Tikal was conquered by Teotihuacan in the 4th century AD. Following the end of the Late Classic Period, no new major monuments were built at Tikal and there is evidence that elite palaces were burned. These events were coupled with a gradual population decline, culminating with the site’s abandonment by the end of the 10th century. Tikal is the best understood of any of the large lowland Maya cities, with a long dynastic ruler list, the discovery of the tombs of many of the rulers on this list and the investigation of their monuments, temples and palaces.
    Links: Top Ten Guatemalan Attractions, Top 100 Busts, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tikal,
  13. Comalcalco, Mexican
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    Comalcalco is both a modern-day city located in Comalcalco Municipality about 45 miles (60 km) northwest of Villahermosa in the Mexican state of Tabasco and a Pre-Columbian Maya archaeological site. The literal English translation of “Comalcalco” is “In the house of the comals.” A comal is a pan used to prepare food.
    Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comalcalco,
  14. Caracol, Belize

    Caracol or El Caracol is the name given to a large ancient Maya archaeological site, located in what is now the Cayo District of Belize. It is situated approximately 40 km south of Xunantunich and the town of San Ignacio Cayo, at an elevation of 460 m above sea-level, in the foothills of the Maya Mountains. The site was the most important political center of Lowland Maya during the Classic Period within Belize. In 650 AD, the urban area of Caracol had a radius of approximately 10 km. It covered an area much larger than present-day Belize City (the largest metropolitan area in the country) and supported more than twice the modern city’s population.
    Links: Top Ten Belizean Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caracol,
  15. Lamanai, Belize
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    Lamanai (from Lama’anayin, “submerged crocodile” in Yucatec Maya) is a Mesoamerican archaeological site, and was once a considerably sized city of the Maya civilization, located in the north of Belize, in Orange Walk District. The site’s name is pre-Columbian, recorded by early Spanish missionaries, and documented over a millennium earlier in Maya inscriptions as Lam’an’ain.
    Links: Top Ten Belizean Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamanai,
  16. Tula de Allende, Mexico

           Tula, formally, Tula de Allende, is a town and one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo, in central-eastern Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 305.8 km² (118.07 square mi), and as of 2005, the municipality had a total population of 93,296, with 28,432 in the town. The municipality includes numerous smaller outlying towns, the largest of which are El Llano, San Marcos, and San Miguel Vindho. It comprised one of the 56 defined Zona Metropolitana (ZM), of which Tula has 5 municipios, 184,691 people in 2005 Census, up from 169,901 in 2000 Census covering 592 square km. It is located some 100 km to the north-northwest of Mexico City. It covers part of the southeastern portion of the Pre-Columbian city. Nearby are the remains of the ancient capital city of the Toltecs, also known as “Tula” or as “Tollan.” Usually identified as the Toltec capital around 980 AD, the city was destroyed at some time between 1168 and 1179. Tula became the capital city following Teotihuacan, although it never reached the same size due to competing cities in the area.
    Links: Sculptures, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tula,_Mexico,
  17. Pyramid off the Island of Cozumel, Mexico

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    Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions, Top Ten Underwater Ruins,
  18. Moody Gardens, Galveston, Texas, USA

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    Links: Top Ten Aquariums,
  19. The Muttart Conservatory, Edmonton, Canada

           The Muttart Conservatory is a botanical garden located in the North Saskatchewan river valley, across from downtown Edmonton. The conservatory consists of four glass, pyramid-shaped structures that showcase plants from arid, tropical, and temperate climates, providing a welcome oasis of warmth during winter. The fourth pyramid hosts a theme that changes throughout the year. A donation from the Gladys and Merrill Muttart Foundation provided momentum for the conservatory’s construction, with the remaining monies supplied by the Province of Alberta and the City of Edmonton. The conservatory is staffed and operated by the Edmonton Parks and Recreation Department. The conservatory’s unusual structure, designed by architect Peter Hemingway is composed of four glassed pyramids built around a central service core. The two larger’ pyramids are 660 square m in area, and the two medium-sized ones are 410 square m in size. Three of the pyramids are devoted to displays of plants from the tropical, temperate, and arid regions respectively, the 4th being used for shows that change with the seasons and which feature massed displays of ornamental flowering plants. The Temperate Pavilion houses plants typical of temperate climes, from such zones as the southern Great Lakes, Australia, and even the mountainous areas of Asia. Near the entrance and fed by a stream is a bog area, with white water lilies and parrot’s feather. The bog merges into a woodland with mostly eastern deciduous trees and low shrubs but including redwoods, cedars and pampas grass. Eucalyptus trees and flowering shrubs complement the Australian section. In the woodland floor and alpine section are many tiny flowering plants, some native to Alberta and others from all over the world. The barren, rocky slopes of the Arid Pavilion offer contrast to the other houses. The Tropical Pavilion provides an enormous diversity of species; under a canopy of tall palms, banana and weeping fig are orchids, various hibiscus and the bird of paradise, to mention a few. In a smaller pyramid, the Feature Pavilion offers seasonal displays. Arriving with summer are geraniums, begonias, roses and others. The Muttart Conservatory offers a Horticultural Extension Service, allowing the general public to receive expert help in the diagnoses of the ills of their plants, both indoors and out. The conservatory also teaches courses on the care of plants.
    Links: Top Ten Canadian Attractions, Top Ten Birds, Top Ten Greenhouseshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muttart_Conservatory,
  20. Edmonton City Hall, Canada

           Edmonton’s City Hall was designed by Dub Architects, and completed in 1992. It features two steel and glass pyramids, one 43 m high (ground to peak), on top of a three-story concrete structure. One pyramid provides natural light for the main atrium, the other for the council chambers. The building also features a 200-foot clock tower topped with a 25-bell carillon. Edmonton’s City Hall met with some controversy when it was first announced. The original designs called for the building to be topped with five cones. The cones were meant to pay tribute to the tipis that the First Nations once lived in on the site. The design met with much negative feedback from the public, and was dubbed “the Cone Dome” by the press. Dub Architects then revised their design to replace the cones with the pyramids, with the pyramids designed to be evocative of the Rocky Mountains. The design was received much more warmly by the public, and was dubbed “Pyramid Power” by the press. Located on the eastern edge of the financial district in Edmonton’s downtown, the building is the main feature on Sir Winston Churchill Square. In the winter, the fountain is converted to a skating rink.
    Links: Top Ten Canadian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmonton_City_Hall,
  21. Munks Mount, Illinois, USA

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    Links: Top Ten US Attractions,
  22. Links: Top Ten Pyramids, Top Ten Modern Pyramids,

Top Ten European Pyramids

Top Ten European Pyramids

  1. The Louvre
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    The Musée du Louvre is one of the world’s largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement (district). Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square meters (652,300 square feet). The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace which began as a fortress, whose remnants are still visible, built in the late 12th century under Philip II. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a collection of antique sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons. The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum, to display the nation’s masterpieces. The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801. The size of the collection increased under Napoleon and the museum was renamed the Musée Napoléon. After the defeat of Napoléon at Waterloo, many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and gifts since the Third Republic, except during the two World Wars. As of 2008, the collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.
    Links: Top Ten French Attractions, Top Ten Louvre Works of Art, Top Ten Museums, Top 100 Artifacts, Top 100 Paintings, Top 100 Statues, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Louvre,
  2. Pyramid of Cestius, Italy

           The Pyramid of Cestius is an ancient pyramid in Rome, Italy, near the Porta San Paolo and the Protestant Cemetery. It stands at a fork between two ancient roads, the Via Ostiensis and another road that ran west to the Tiber along the approximate line of the modern Via della Marmorata. Due to its incorporation into the city’s fortifications, it is today one of the best-preserved ancient buildings in Rome.
    Links: Top Ten Italian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_of_Cestius,
  3. Palace (Pyramid) of Peace and Reconciliation, Kazakhstan

           The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation is a building in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. It was designed by the British architects Foster and Partners (lead design). Turkish architects, Tabanlıoğlu Architecture undertook construction information packages for the Foster design and engineers Buro Happold undertook lead structural and services design. The Foster team was led by architects Nigel Dancey, Lee Hallman and Peter Ridley. Sembol Construction undertook a Design and Build contract, and were ultimately responsible for the final details and finishes, some of which varied considerably from the Foster and Tabanlıoğlu (Tabanlioglu) intent. The Pyramid was specially constructed to host the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. A 1,500-seat opera house is built into the lower levels, with auditorium and performance equipment design by Anne Minors Performance Consultants and acoustics by Sound Space Design.
    Links: Top Ten Kazakhstani Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_Peace_and_Reconciliation,
  4. Russian Pyramids
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           These pyramids represent Russian experiments dealing with the pyramidal shape and its relationship to energy, and its impact/relationship with consciousness.
    Links:
  5. Greek Pyramids
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    Greek pyramids, also known as the Pyramids of Argolis, refers to several structures located in the plain of Argolid, Greece. The best known of these is known as the Pyramid of Hellinikon. In the time of the geographer Pausanias it was considered to be a tomb. Twentieth century researchers have suggested other possible uses.
    Links: Top Ten Greek Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_pyramids,
  6. Center of Europe, Lithuania

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    Links: Top Ten Lithuanian Attractions, 
  7. Pyramid Concert Hall, Kazan, Russia

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    Links: Top Ten Russian Attractions, Top Ten Concert Halls,
  8. The Pyramid at Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, Germany
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           Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is a unique landscape park in Kassel, Germany. Art historian Georg Dehio (1850–1932), inspirator of the modern discipline of historic preservation, described the park as “possibly the most grandiose combination of landscape and architecture that the Baroque dared anywhere.” The area of the park is 2.4 square km (590 acres), making it the largest European hillside park, and 2nd largest park on a mountain slope in the world. Construction of the Bergpark, or “mountain park,” began in 1696 at the behest of the Landgraves of Hesse-Kassel and took about 150 years.
    Links: Top Ten German Attractions, Top Ten Parks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergpark_Wilhelmsh%C3%B6he,
  9. Bosnian Pyramids (Hoax)

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  10. Links: Top Ten Pyramids, Top Ten European Attractions, 

Top Ten Asian Pyramids

Top Ten Asian Pyramids

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  1. Xianyang Pyramid, China

           A team of daring Chinese researchers, digging into the ancient mysteries of the origin of their country, have come to the inescapable conclusion that 12,000 years ago an interstellar, supreme alien race used much of the northern and central Chinese regions as massive Earth bases.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions,
  2. Borobudur Temple Compounds (Borobudur Temple, Mendut Temple and Pawon Temple), Indonesia

           Borobudur is a 9th century Mahayana Buddhist monument in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa. The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path circumambulating the monument while ascending to the top through the three levels of Buddhist cosmology, namely Kāmadhātu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness). During the journey the monument guides the pilgrims through a system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the wall and the balustrades. Evidence suggests Borobudur was abandoned following the 14th century decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Java and the Javanese conversion to Islam. Worldwide knowledge of its existence was sparked in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the then British ruler of Java, who was advised of its location by native Indonesians. Borobudur has since been preserved through several restorations. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage; once a year Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument and Borobudur is Indonesia’s single most visited tourist attraction.
    Links: Sculptures, Top 100 Asian Sculptures, Top Ten Indonesian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borobudur,
  3. Pyramid Valley, Bangolre, India
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           Pyramid valley is the biggest pyramid shaped meditation hall in the world, along with being the largest pyramid in Asia. It stands at above 101 feet (31 m). Its base measures 160 ft. (49 m) by 160 ft. (49 m) with the main meditation area spanning 25,600 sq ft. (2,380 m2). It is located 30 km from Banashankari Temple.
    Links: Top Ten Indian Attractions, Top Ten Modern Pyramids, Temples, Top Ten TemplesTop Ten Asian TemplesTop Ten Indian Temples,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tourist_attractions_in_Bangalore,
  4. Western Xia Tombs, China

           Occupying an area of some 50 square km (19 sq mi), the Western Xia tombs at the foot of the Helan Mountains in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of northwestern China includes nine imperial mausoleums and 250 tombs of imperial relatives and officials. This burial complex lies some 40 km (25 mi) westward from capital city of the Western Xia, the Xingqing fu or Xingqing, what is modern-day Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Some 17,000 square m (180,000 sq ft) have so far been excavated, and efforts are underway to secure and preserve the remains of this poorly understood era. The Western Xia dynasty (also known as Tangut Empire), existed between 1038 and 1227, when it was finally conquered by the Mongols under Genghis Khan. The empire was founded by the Tangut ethnic group, about which little is currently known. Of current excavations, only the #3 mausoleum has been adequately excavated and researched. This mausoleum is attributed to Western Xia’s first emperor Jingzong, born Li Yuanhao, (1003-1048), has been determined as a pavilion-tower construction fusing both traditional mausoleum and temple styles with Buddhist characteristics. The Western Xia capital city and the burial complex eluded early 20th century explorers of Central Asia, including Nikolay Kozlov, Aurel Stein and Sven Hedin. During modern times, it was first reported by Wulf-Dieter Graf zu Castell, who recorded the site in an aerial photograph, published in 1938 in book Chinaflug.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions, Top Ten Necropolises, Top Ten Tombshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Xia_tombs,
  5. Thanjavur Temple Pyramid, India
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    Thanjavur, formerly Tanjore, is a city which is the headquarters of the Thanjavur District in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Scholars believe the name Thanjavur is derived from Tanjan, a legendary demon in Hindu mythology. While the early history of Thanjavur remains unclear, the city first rose to prominence during the reign of Medieval Cholas when it served as the capital of the empire. After the fall of Cholas, the city was ruled by various dynasties like Pandyas, Vijayanagar Empire, Madurai Nayaks, Thanjavur Nayaks, Thanjavur Marathas and the British Empire. Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian religion, art, and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples are located in and around Thanjavur. The foremost among these, the Brihadeeswara Temple, is located in the center of the city.
    Links: Top Ten Indian Attractions, Top Ten Indian Temples, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanjavur#Economy,
  6. White Pyramid, China

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    Links: www.world-pyramids.com,
  7. Gurut Pyramid, Indonesia

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    Links: Top Ten Indonesian Attractions,
  8. Bak Sei Cham Krong, Cambodia
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    Links: Top Ten Cambodian Attractions,
  9. Koh Ker Pyramid, Cambodia
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    Koh Ker is a remote archaeological site in northern Cambodia about 120 km (75 mi) away from Siem Reap and the ancient site of Angkor. It is a very jungle filled region that is sparsely populated. More than 180 sanctuaries were found in a protected area of 81 square km (31 sq mi). Only about two dozen monuments can be visited by tourists because most of the sanctuaries are hidden in the forest and the whole area is not fully excavated. Inscriptions mention the location as Lingapua (city of lingams) or Chok Gargyar (“city of glance,” or “iron tree forest”). Under the reign of the kings Jayavarman IV and Harshavarman II Koh Ker was briefly the capital of the whole empire (928–944 AD) boasting an ambitious building program. An enormous water-tank and about 40 temples were constructed under his rule. The most significant temple‑complex, was a double sanctuary (Prasat Thom/Prang), which follows a linear plan and not a concentric one like most of the temples of the Khmer kings. Unparalleled is the seven‑tiered and 36 m (118 ft) high pyramid, which most probably served as state temple of Jayavarman IV, as well as shrines with 2m high lingas. Under Jayavarman IV the style of Koh Ker was developed and the art of sculpture reached a pinnacle. A great variety of wonderful statues were chiseled. Because of its remoteness the site of Koh Ker was plundered many times by looters. Sculptures of Koh Ker can be found not only in different museums but also in private collections, and masterpieces are occasionally found at auctions.
    Links: Top Ten Cambodian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koh_Ker,
  10. Java Pyramid

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  11. Ancient Korean tomb in Ji’an, Northeastern China

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  12. Links: Pyramids, Top Ten Asian Attractions,

Top Ten Sun Temples

Top Ten Sun Temples

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  1. Konark Sun Temple, India
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           Konark Sun Temple is a 13th century Sun Temple (also known as the Black Pagoda), at Konark, in Orissa. It was constructed from oxidized and weathered ferruginous sandstone by King Narasimhadeva I (1238-1250 AD) of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The temple is an example of Orissan architecture of Ganga dynasty. The temple is one of the most renowned temples in India and is one of the Seven Wonders of India. Legend has it that the temple was constructed by Samba, the son of Lord Krishna. It is said that Samba was afflicted by leprosy, brought about by his father’s curse on him. After 12 years of penance, he was cured by Surya, the Sun God, in whose honor he built the magnificent Konark Sun Temple.
    Links: Top Ten Indian Attractions, Top Ten Indian Temples, Top Ten Hindu Deities, Top 100 Sculptures, Top 100 Asian Sculptures, Top Ten Relieves, Top Ten Asian Relieves, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konark_Sun_Temple,
  2. Baaelbeck Temple, Lebanon
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    Baalbek is a town in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, altitude 1,170 m (3,840 ft), situated east of the Litani River. It is famous for its exquisitely detailed yet monumentally scaled temple ruins of the Roman period, when Baalbek, then known as Heliopolis, was one of the largest sanctuaries in the Empire. It is Lebanon’s greatest Roman treasure, and it can be counted among the wonders of the ancient world, containing some of the largest and best preserved Roman ruins. Towering high above the Beqaa plain, their monumental proportions proclaimed the power and wealth of Imperial Rome. The gods worshiped here, the triad of Jupiter, Venus and Bacchus, were grafted onto the indigenous deities of Hadad, Atargatis and a young male god of fertility. Local influences are also seen in the planning and layout of the temples, which vary from the classic Roman design. Baalbek is home to the annual Baalbeck International Festival. The town is about 85 km (53 mi) northeast of Beirut, and about 75 km (47 mi) north of Damascus. It has a population of approximately 72,000.
    Links: Top Ten Lebanese Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baalbek,
  3. Multan Sun Temple

    Sun Temple of Multan also known as Aditya Sun Temple was an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Surya also called Aditya, which was located in city of Multan, in modern Punjab, Pakistan. The original Sun Temple at Multan is said to have been built by Samba, son of Krishna, to get relief from disease of leprosy. This Sun Temple has been mentioned also by Greek Admiral Skylax, who passed through this area in 515 BC. Multan, earlier known as Kashyapapura, and its temple are also mentioned by Herodotus. Hsuen Tsang is said to have visited this temple in 641 AD and had described the deity made of pure gold with eyes of large red rubies. Gold, silver and gems were abundantly used in its doors, pillars and shikhara. Thousands of Hindus regularly went to Multan to worship Sun God. He is also said to have seen several dancing girls (devadasis) in the temple. He further mentions the deities of Shiva and Buddha were also installed in the temple. After the conquest of Multan by Umayyad Caliphate in 8th Century AD, under Muhammad bin Qasim, the Sun Temple became a source of great income for the Muslim invaders. Muhammad bin Qasim ‘made captive of the custodians of the budd, numbering 6000’ and looted its wealth, sparing the idol – which was made of wood, covered with red leather and two red rubies for its eyes and wearing a gem-studded gold crown- ‘thinking it best to leave the idol where it was, but hanging a piece of cow’s flesh on its neck by way of mockery.’ Later, the temple was also used a bargaining chip to blackmail any Hindu kings heading towards Multan. Whenever an “infidel king” was about to invade, the Muslim ruler would threaten to destroy the idol, which apparently made the “infidel king” withdraw. In the late 10th century, the Ismailis who occupied Multan broke the idol into pieces and killed its priests. The temple is said to have been finally destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1026 AD. The city of Multan may get its name from the Sanskrit name Mulasthana named after location of this Sun Temple. The exact site of Sun Temple of Multan is, however, unknown and subject of debate for researchers.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Temple_of_Multan,
  4. Sun Temple, Modhera, Gujarat, India
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           The Sun Temple, Modhera, at Modhera in Gujarat, is a temple dedicated to the Hindu Sun-God, Surya. It was built in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty. The Modhera sun temple is situated on the bank of the river Pushpavati, 25 km from Mehsana and 102 km from Ahmedabad.
    Links: Top Ten Columns/Pillars, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Temple,_Modhera,
  5. The Vatican, Vatican City
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    Vatican City is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of just over 800. This makes Vatican City the smallest independent state in the world by both area and population. Vatican City was established in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri, on behalf of the Holy See and by Prime Minister Benito Mussolini on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy. Vatican City State is distinct from the Holy See, which dates back to early Christianity and is the main episcopal see of 1.2 billion Latin and Eastern Catholic adherents around the globe. Ordinances of Vatican City are published in Italian; official documents of the Holy See are issued mainly in Latin. The two entities have distinct passports: the Holy See, not being a country, issues only diplomatic and service passports, whereas Vatican City State issues normal passports. In each case very few passports are issued. The Lateran Treaty in 1929, which brought the city-state into existence, spoke of it as a new creation, not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756–1870) that had previously encompassed much of central Italy. Most of this territory was absorbed into the Kingdom of Italy in 1860, and the final portion, namely the city of Rome with Lazio, ten years later, in 1870. Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state, ruled by the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergymen of various national origins. It is the sovereign territory of the Holy See (Sancta Sedes) and the location of the Pope’s residence, referred to as the Apostolic Palace. The Popes have generally resided in the area that in 1929 became Vatican City since the return from Avignon in 1377, but have also at times resided in the Quirinal Palace in Rome and elsewhere. Previously, they resided in the Lateran Palace on the Caelian Hill on the far side of Rome from the Vatican. Emperor Constantine gave this site to Pope Miltiades in 313. The signing of the agreements that established the new state took place in the latter building, giving rise to the name of Lateran Pacts, by which they are known.
    Links: Top Ten Vatican City Attractions, Top Ten Italian Attractions,
  6. Heliopolis

           Heliopolis, the “City of the Sun” or “Eye of the Sun,” was one of the oldest cities of ancient Egypt, located to the north of the apex of the Nile Delta. Heliopolis has been occupied since the Predynastic Period, with extensive building campaigns during the Old and Middle Kingdoms. Today it is mostly destroyed; its temples and other buildings were used for the construction of medieval Cairo. Most information about the ancient city comes from textual sources. Beneath a maze of busy narrow streets of a middle and lower-class district, lie vast hidden remains of ancient Heliopolis about 15 to 20 m down. The site of Heliopolis has now been brought for the most part under cultivation and suburbanization, but some ancient city walls of crude brick can be seen in the fields, a few granite blocks bearing the name of Ramesses II remain, and the position of the great Temple of Re-Atum is marked by the Al-Masalla obelisk. The only surviving remnant of Heliopolis is the Temple of Re-Atum obelisk located in Al-Masalla of the Al-Matariyyah district. It was erected by Senusret I of the Twelfth dynasty, and still stands in its original position. The 68 ft (20.73 m) high red granite obelisk weighs 120 tons (240,000 lbs).
    Links: Top Ten Egyptian Attractions, Top Ten Obelisks,
  7. Sun Temple of Nyserre, Abusir, Egypt

    The Fifth Dynasty was marked by an especially strong devotion to the sun cult, which was based at Heliopolis. The founder of this dynasty, Userkaf started the fashion of attaching sun temples with his mortuary temple and pyramid complexes at Abusir. This practice was followed by most of his Fifth Dynasty successors particularly Sahure and Nyuserre Ini. Only the solar temples of Userkaf and Nyuserre survive today, but Nyuserre’s temple contains a large catalogue of invaluable inscriptions and reliefs from this king’s reign. The city of Abu Gorab is located on the western bank of the Nile, in the pyramid fields of the north. It lies between Abusir and Giza.
    Links: Top Ten Egyptian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_sun_temple,
  8. Palenque Sun Temple, Mexico
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    The Temple of the Cross is the largest and most significant pyramid within a complex of temples at the Maya ruins of Palenque in the state of Chiapas in Mexico. It is located in the south-east corner of the site and consists of three main structures, the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Cross, and the Temple of the Foliated Cross. The temple is a step pyramid containing bas-relief carvings inside. The temple was constructed to commemorate the rise of Chan Bahlum II to the throne after the death of Pacal the Great. The bas-relief carvings reveal Chan Bahlum receiving the great gift from his predecessor. The cross motif found at the complex allude to the names given to the temples, but in reality the cross is a representation to the World Tree that can be found in the center of the world according to Mayan mythology.
    Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_the_Cross_Complex,
  9. Inti Kancha, Cuzco, Peru
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           Qurikancha, originally named Inti Kancha (Quechua inti sun) or Inti Wasi (Quechua for “sun house”), was the most important temple in the Inca Empire, dedicated primarily to Inti, the Sun God. It was one of the most revered temples of the capital city of Cusco. The walls and floors were once covered in sheets of solid gold, and its adjacent courtyard was filled with golden statues. Spanish reports tell of its opulence that was “fabulous beyond belief.” When the Spanish required the Inca to raise a ransom in gold for the life of the leader Atahualpa, most of the gold was collected from Qurikancha. The Spanish colonists built the Church of Santo Domingo on the site, demolishing the temple and using its foundations for the cathedral. Construction took most of a century. This is one of numerous sites where the Spanish incorporated Inca stonework into the structure of a colonial building. Major earthquakes severely damaged the church, but the Inca stone walls, built out of huge, tightly-interlocking blocks of stone, still stand due to their sophisticated stone masonry. Nearby is an underground archaeological museum, which contains numerous interesting pieces, including mummies, textiles, and sacred idols from the site. The site now also includes the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo.
    Links:  Top Ten Peruvian Attractions, Top Ten Incan Gods,
  10. Martand in Jammu, India
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    Martand Sun Temple was dedicated to Surya (Sun) god and is now in ruins. The ruins of the temple are located near Anantnag in Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Martand is another Sanskrit name for Hindu Sun-god. The Martand temple is one of the important archaeological sites of the country. It was built around 500 AD. This temple has the typical Aryan structure as was present in Aryan Kashmir. The Martand temple is situated at Kehribal, 9 km east-north-east of Anantnag and south of Mattan.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martand,
  11. Dakshinaarka Temple in Gaya and Deo Barunark, Bihar, India
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    Gaya is the second largest city of Bihar, India, and it is also the headquarters of Gaya District. Gaya is 100 km south of Patna, the capital city of Bihar. Situated on the banks of the Phalgu (or Niranjana, as mentioned in Ramayana), it is a place sanctified by the Hindu, the Buddhist and the Jain religions. According to legend it is believed that Brahmayoni hill is the location where Buddha taught the Fire Sutta.
    It is surrounded by small rocky hills (Mangla-Gauri, Shringa-Sthan, Ram-Shila and Brahmayoni) by three sides and the river flowing on the fourth (eastern) side. The city has a mix of natural surroundings, age old buildings and narrow bylanes.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaya,_Bihar,
  12. Balaji in Madhya Pradesh and Bhramanya Dev Temple Unao, India
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    The Balaji, a famous and rare sun temple of its own unique architecture, is situated in a very small town Unao of Datia district in Madhya Pradesh. The Balaji temple was built in the pre-historic time by the king of Datia. It is said that, a cow used to go to a particular place to get fed in the outskirts of Unao. The cow every day pours her milk at that particular place. The cow was belong to a person of caste “Kachhi”, the people of this caste generally used to grow vegetables. The owner of cow was not aware of this incident. Once a person of chamar caste saw that the cow is pouring her milk on the earth. The people of this cast have the occupation of assassinating cows. He immediately grabbed the opportunity and assassinated the cow. On the following night, The God Sun comes in the dreams of the king of Datia and told the king to dig him out from the location, where the cow used to pour her milk. Next morning, King called his boys and dug out the place and found a statue of GOD SUN. He built a temple in Unao and established the statue on a brick platform, and as said by the god sun, the owner of that cow has been assigned the Priest. Since then only people belonging to “Kachhi” caste can only sit at the brick platform and offer garlands, prasadas to the deity. While in India, only a person belonging to Brahmin caste can offer worship. The pilgrims and pandas (people belong to Brahmin caste) also take part in the worship of the deity but the main priest is said to be “Kachhi” caste people. The Sun Temple at Unao in Madhya Pradesh is unique in its architecture. The Sun God is the main deity of this temple. The Sun God stands on a brick platform covered with black plates. 21 triangles, representing the 21 phases of the Sun are engraved in the shrine. Here, special worship is offered on Sundays. Local belief is that worshippers find relief from skin ailments at this temple. The deity Balaji is very much famous for curing skin ailments. People from far distant places come and worship the deity. Below the temple, a river Pahooj is also flowing. There are some wells in the river, at the time of summer, people used to have bathe with the water in the wells. It is said that, if you have bathe in river and offer water to deity Balaji, all your incurable skin ailments will be cured within few days. Sunday is considered as the day of deity Balaji (Sun). All the inhabitants of Unao and the surrounding region has enormous faith in the deity and also have felt the power of it.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unao,_Balaji,
  13. Sun Temple at Sri Surya Pahar in Assam
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    Sri Surya Pahar, located about 12 km southeast of Goalpara town and about 136 km northwest of Guwahati, is a significant but relatively unknown archaeological site in Assam, India. The site is centered on the hills (Pahar) of Sri Surya where several rock-cut Shivalingas, votive stupas and the deities of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain pantheon are scattered in an area of about one km. The popular belief is that 99,999 Shiva Lingas were engraved here by Vyasa in order to build up a second Kashi (where there were 1,00000 Shiva Lingas) and once it was one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in the region. A few years ago, some archaeologists unearthed a few Shiva Lingas and a few houses at Sri Surya, findings which confirmed the long-held belief that a thriving civilization held sway around Sri Surya Pahar some centuries ago. The intricate and scientific designs of the houses with artfully designed bricks led some archaeologists even to believe that more unearthing the history of Sri Surya Pahar would change the understanding of the history of ancient Assam and India. Some scholars even referred to the accounts of famous Chinese traveler Huen Tsang to claim that it was Sri Surya Pahar and not Guwahati that was the ancient land of Pragjyotishpur or Pragjyotisha Kingdom, the capital of the Kingdom of Kumar Bhaskara Varman (600-650). Since Sri Surya Pahar is very close to the bank of Brahmaputra river, it might have been an important trade center or seat of administration in the past. Another important significance of Sri Surya Pahar is that it was once a confluence of three religions as evident from the innumerable sculptures and other relics belonging to Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Surya_Pahar,
  14. Suryanaar Temple at Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, India

    Kumbakonam is known for its temples and mathas (monasteries). There are around 188 Hindu temples within the municipal limits of Kumbakonam. Apart from these, there several thousand temples around the town thereby giving the town the sobriquets “Temple Town” and “City of temples.” Adi Kumbeswarar Temple is considered to be the oldest Shaiva (the sect of the god Shiva) shrine in the town, believed to be constructed by the Cholas in the 7th century. The Nageswaraswamy Temple has a separate shrine for the Sun god Surya who is believed to have worshipped Shiva at this place. Pilgrims from all parts of India take a holy dip once every 12 years during the Mahamaham festival in the Mahamaham tank. An estimated 2 million pilgrims participated in the festival during the 2004 event. Govinda Dikshitar constructed the 16 mandapams (shrines) and stone steps around this tank.
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  15. Surya Narayana Swamy Temple at Arasavalli in Andhra Pradesh, India
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    Arasavalli is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to the sun god Surya, located near the Srikakulam town of Andhra Pradesh, India. The original name Harshavalli means abode of joy. The temple is believed to have been built in the 7th century AD by the Kalinga rulers Devendra Varma of Orissa. Arasavalli is home to an ancient temple to the Sun (Suryanarayana), which is said to have been built originally by the Kalinga rulers of Orissa around the 7th century AD. Arasavalli is located at Srikakulam near Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Also near Srikakulam are the Mukhalingam temples built in the Orissa temple idiom, and Sree Kurmam bearing a shrine to Vishnu depicting his Kurma avataram. Legend has it that Indra the king of Gods attempted to force his entry into the temple of Koteeshwara, Shiva and was thrown away by the gatekeeper Nandi. Repentful of his arrogance in attempting to force his entry, Indra enshrined Surya the Sun God in a temple and performed worship services, at Arasavalli. A black granite image of Surya about 5 ft in height bearing lotus buds (hence the name Padma Paani), flanked by his consorts Padma, Usha and Chhaaya, on a 7 horse driven chariot is the object of worship here. At the base of the image are the gate keepers Pingala and Danda and the saints Sanaka and Sananda. Surya’s charioteer Aruna (Anoora) is also depicted in the image. The Arasavalli teemple was built by the Eastern Kalinga Kings who ruled over the Kalinga region from the 4th through the 14th century AD. The present structure is largely a result of 18th-century renovations. An image of Indra is also enshrined in this temple.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arasavalli,
  16. Kashmir near Almora in Uttarakhand
  17. Bonus: Gateway of the Sun (Gate of Viracocha), Tiwanaku, Bolivia

    The so-called Gate of the Sun is a megalithic solid stone arch or gateway constructed by the ancient Tiwanaku culture of Bolivia over 1,500 years before the present. It is located near Lake Titicaca at about 3,825 m above sea level near La Paz, Bolivia. The object is approximately 9.8 ft. (3.0 m) tall and 13 ft. (4.0 m) wide, and is constructed from a single piece of stone. The weight is estimated to be 10 tons. When rediscovered by European explorers in the mid-19th century, the megalith was lying horizontally and had a large crack going through it. It currently stands in the same location where it was found, although it is believed that this is not its original location, which remains uncertain. The Gate of the Sun is a valuable monument to the history of art and ancient architecture. Some elements of Tiwanaku iconography spread throughout Peru and parts of Bolivia. Although there have been various modern interpretations of the mysterious inscriptions found on the object, the engravings that decorate the gate are believed to possess astronomical and/or astrological significance and may have served a calendrical purpose.
    Links: Top Ten Bolivian Attractions, Top Ten Gates,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateway_of_the_Sunhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiwanaku,
  18. Links: The Pineal Gland, Sun Gazing, DMT and Om, Top Ten Sun Gods,

Top Ten Underwater Ruins

Top Ten Underwater Ruins

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Underwater ruins have been found all over the world, most famously the ‘lost’ ruins of Atlantis, begging the question, is human “civilization” older than currently understood?

  1. Atlantis
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    Two scientists, Paul Weinzweig and Pauline Zalitzki, working off the coast of Cuba and using a robot submersible, have confirmed that a gigantic city exists at the bottom of the ocean. The site of the ancient city — that includes several sphinxes and at least four giant pyramids plus other structures — amazingly sits within the boundries of the fabled Bermuda Triangle. According to a report by Arclein of Terra Forming Terra, Cuban Subsea Pyramid Complex, the evidence points to the city being simultaneously inundated with rising waters and the land sinking into the sea. This correlates exactly with the Atlantis legend. The disaster may have occurred at the end of the last Ice Age. As the Arctic icecap catastrophically melted it caused sea levels to rise quickly around the world, especially affecting the Northern Hemisphere. Coast lines changed; land was lost; islands (even island continents) disappeared.
    Links: Pyramids, Top Ten Pyramids, Top Ten Caribbean Hotels, Top Ten Bahamas Hotelshttp://www.themindunleashed.org/2013/06/atlantis-found-giant-sphinxes-pyramids.html,
  2. Cleopatra’s Palace, Alexandria, Egypt

           Off the shores of Alexandria, the city of Alexander the Great, lies what is believed to be the ruins of the royal quarters of Cleopatra. A team of marine archaeologists led by Frenchman Franck Goddio made excavations on this ancient city from where Cleopatra, the last queen of the Ptolemies, ruled Egypt. Historians believe this site was submerged by earthquakes and tidal waves more than 1,600 years ago. The excavations concentrated on the submerged island of Antirhodus. Cleopatra is said to have had a palace there. Other discoveries include a well-preserved shipwreck and red granite columns with Greek inscriptions. Two statues were also found and were lifted out of the harbor. One was a priest of the goddess Isis; the other a sphinx whose face is said to represent Cleopatra’s father, King Ptolemy XII. The artifacts were returned to their silent, because the Egyptian Government says it wants to leave most of them in place to create an underwater museum.
    Links: Top Ten Egyptian Attractions,  Top 100 Amazing Similarities/Parallel Anomalies, Top Ten Sphinx Sculptures, http://www.oddee.com/item_96695.aspx,
  3. Herakleion, Egypt

           Herakleion was Egypt’s main port in the time of the pharaohs. Until its rediscovery it was known only through Greek legends and a handful of ancient history books. Researchers believe the city was sent to the bottom of the Mediterranean after an earthquake rocked the region more than 1,000 years ago.
    Links: Top Ten Egyptian Attractions, Top Ten Underwater Sculptures, http://nextrev.blogspot.com/2008/03/underwater-ruins.html,
  4. Pyramid off the Island of Cozumel, Mexico

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    Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions, Pyramids, Top Ten North American Pyramids,
  5. Dwaraka, India

    Dwarka (Dvarka, Dwaraka, or Dvaraka, is a city in Gujarat state in India). Dwarka also known as Dwarawati in Sanskrit literature is rated as one of the seven most ancient cities in the country. The legendary city of Dvaraka was the dwelling place of Lord Krishna. It is believed that due to damage and destruction by the sea, Dvaraka has submerged six times and modern day Dwarka is the 7th such city to be built in the area. According to Hindu legend the god Krishna built a city which was ultimately destroyed by rising sea levels. Now archaeologists and Indian Navy divers are investigating underwater ruins at Dwarka on India’s western coast, said to be Krishna’s city. The new efforts, it is hoped, will settle the debate currently raging over the age and authenticity of the site near the Samudranaraya temple. Divers have collected blocks and samples which will now be dated. Traditional Hindu scholars referencing ancient Hindu scriptures believe the location to be very ancient, originally built many thousands of years ago. Such notions are, of course, vehemently rejected by establishment scientists though they are willing to concede that there is evidence indicating an age of as much as 3,500 years.
    Links: Top Ten Indian Attractions, http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread657629/pg1,
  6. Lost City of the Seven Pagodas, Coast of Mahabalipuram, India

           According to popular belief, the famous Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram wasn’t a single temple, but the last of a series of seven temples, six of which had submerged. A major discovery of submerged ruins was made in April of 2002 offshore of Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, South India. The discovery, at depths of 5 to 7 m (15 to 21 ft.) was made by a joint team from the Dorset based Scientific Exploration Society (SES) and marine archaeologists from India’s National Institute of Oceanography (NIO). Investigations at each of the locations revealed stone masonry, remains of walls, square rock cut remains, scattered square and rectangular stone blocks and a big platform with steps leading to it. All these lay amidst the locally occurring geological formations of rocks. Based on what at first sight appears to be a lion figure at location four, the ruins were inferred to be part of a temple complex. The Pallava dynasty, which ruled the region during the 7th century AD, was known to have constructed many such rock-cut, structural temples in Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram.
    Links: http://nextrev.blogspot.com/2008/03/underwater-ruins.html,
  7. Yonaguni, Japan

           In the 1980’s, local divers discovered a striking underwater rock formation off the southernmost point of the island. This so-called Yonaguni Monument has staircase-like terraces with flat sides and sharp corners. Masaaki Kimura, a professor of seismology in University of the Ryukyus and some media believe it is an artificial (or artificially modified) structure engraved or built 2,000 to 3,000 years ago.
    Links: Top Ten Japanese Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yonaguni,
  8. Pavlopetri
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    The city of Pavlopetri, underwater off the coast of southern Laconia in Greece, is about 5000 years old. This underwater site is unique. An entire town is resting underwater, including streets, buildings, courtyards, and tombs. It has at least 15 buildings submerged in three to four meters of water. Pavlopetri was presumably once a thriving harbor town where the inhabitants conducted local and long distance trade throughout the Mediterranean – its sandy and well-protected bay would have been ideal for beaching Bronze Age ships. As such the site offers major new insights into the workings of Mycenaean society. It was discovered in 1967 by Nicholas Flemming and mapped in 1968 by a team of archaeologists from Cambridge.
    Links: Top Ten Greek Attractionshttp://www.messagetoeagle.com/5underwaterruins.php#.Uhb27JIsnVU,
  9. Port Royal, Jamaica

           One of the advantages of marine or nautical archaeology is that, in many instances, catastrophic events send a ship or its cargo to the bottom, freezing a moment in time. A catastrophe that has helped nautical archeologists was the earthquake that destroyed part of the city of Port Royal, Jamaica. Once known as the “Wickedest City on Earth” for its sheer concentration of pirates, prostitutes and rum, Port Royal is now famous for another reason: “It is the only sunk city in the New World,” according to Donny L. Hamilton. Port Royal began its watery journey to the Academy Awards of nautical archeology on the morning of June 7th, 1692, when, in a matter of minutes, a massive earthquake sent nearly 33 acres of the city, buildings, streets, houses and their contents and occupants, careening into Kingston Harbor. Today, that underwater metropolis encompasses roughly 13 acres, at depths ranging from a few inches to 40 feet. In 1981, the Nautical Archaeology Program of Texas A&M University, in cooperation with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), began underwater archaeological investigations of the submerged portion of the 17th century town of Port Royal, Jamaica. Present evidence indicates that while the areas of Port Royal that lay along the edge of the harbor slid and jumbled as they sank, destroying most of the archaeological context, the area investigated by TAMU/INA, located some distance from the harbor, sank vertically, with minimal horizontal disturbance. In contrast to many archaeological sites, the investigation of Port Royal yielded much more than simply trash and discarded items. An unusually large amount of perishable, organic artifacts were recovered, preserved in the oxygen-depleted underwater environment. Together with the vast treasury of complimentary historical documents, the underwater excavations of Port Royal have allowed for a detailed reconstruction of everyday life in an English colonial port city of the late 17th century.
    Links: http://www.oddee.com/item_96695.aspx,
  10. Bimini Road

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  11. Arabian Sea Underwater Cities?
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Ancient Architecture

Ancient Architecture

Mecca

Top Ten Mexican Pyramids

Top Ten Mexican Pyramids

       Mexico is home to some of the most impressive pyramids in the world. Here is a glimpse at some of the best.

  1. The Great Pyramid of Cholula

    The Great Pyramid of Cholula, also known as Tlachihualtepetl (Nahuatl for “artificial mountain”), is a huge complex located in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico. It is the largest archaeological site of a pyramid (temple) in the New World. The pyramid stands 55 m (180 ft) above the surrounding plain, and in its final form it measured 400 by 400 m (1,300 by 1,300 ft). The pyramid is a temple that has traditionally been viewed as having been dedicated to the god Quetzalcoatl. The architectural style of the building was closely linked to that of Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico, although influence from the Gulf Coast is also evident, especially from El Tajín.
    Links: Top Ten South American Pyramids, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pyramid_of_Cholula,
  2. Piramide del Sol

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  3. Piramide de la Luna

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  4. El Castillo, Kukulcan Pyramid, Chichen Itza, Mexico

    Dominating the North Platform of Chichen Itza is the Temple of Kukulkan (a Maya feathered serpent deity similar to the Aztec Quetzalcoatl), usually referred to as El Castillo (“the castle”). This step pyramid stands about 30 m (98 ft.) high and consists of a series of nine square terraces, each approximately 2.57 m (8.4 ft.) high, with a 6 m (20 ft.) high temple upon the summit. The sides of the pyramid are approximately 55.3 m (181 ft.) at the base and rise at an angle of 53°, although that varies slightly for each side. The four faces of the pyramid have protruding stairways that rise at an angle of 45°. The talud walls of each terrace slant at an angle of between 72° and 74°. At the base of the balustrades of the northeastern staircase are carved heads of a serpent. Mesoamerican cultures periodically superimposed larger structures over older ones, and El Castillo is one such example. In the mid 1930’s, the Mexican government sponsored an excavation of El Castillo. After several false starts, they discovered a staircase under the north side of the pyramid. By digging from the top, they found another temple buried below the current one. Inside the temple chamber was a Chac Mool statue and a throne in the shape of Jaguar, painted red and with spots made of inlaid jade. The Mexican government excavated a tunnel from the base of the north staircase, up the earlier pyramid’s stairway to the hidden temple, and opened it to tourists. In 2006, INAH closed the throne room to the public. On the Spring and Autumn equinoxes, in the late afternoon, the northwest corner of the pyramid casts a series of triangular shadows against the western balustrade on the north side that evokes the appearance of a serpent wriggling down the staircase. Some have suggested the effect was an intentional design by the Maya builders to represent the feathered-serpent god Kukulcan.
    Links: Castles, Top Ten North American Castles, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chichen_Itza,
  5. Uxmal Pyramid of the Magician

    The Pyramid of the Magician is a Mesoamerican step pyramid located in the ancient, Pre-Columbian city of Uxmal, Mexico. The structure is also referred to as the Pyramid of the Dwarf, Casa el Adivino, and the Pyramid of the Soothsayer. The pyramid is the tallest and most recognizable structure in Uxmal.
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  6. La Gran Pyramide

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  7. Palenque Structures

           Palenque (Bàak’ in Modern Maya) was a Maya city state in southern Mexico that flourished in the 7th century. The Palenque ruins date back to 100 BC to its fall around 800 AD. After its decline it was absorbed into the jungle, which is made up of cedar, mahogany, and sapodilla trees, but has been excavated and restored and is now a famous archaeological site attracting thousands of visitors. It is located near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas, located about 130 km (81 mi) south of Ciudad del Carmen about 150 m above sea-level. Palenque is a medium-sized site, much smaller than such huge sites as Tikal or Copán, but it contains some of the finest architecture, sculpture, roof comb and bas-relief carvings that the Mayas produced. Much of the history of Palenque has been reconstructed from reading the hieroglyphic inscriptions on the many monuments; historians now have a long sequence of the ruling dynasty of Palenque in the 7th century and extensive knowledge of the city-state’s rivalry with other states such as Calakmul and Toniná. The most famous ruler of Palenque was Pacal the Great whose tomb has been found and excavated in the Temple of the Inscriptions. By 2005, the discovered area covered up to 2.5 square km (1 square mi), but it is estimated that less than 10% of the total area of the city is explored, leaving more than a thousand structures still covered by jungle.
    Links: Top 100 Mayan Artifacts, Relieves and Petroglyphs, Top Ten North American Relieveshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Hispanic_City_and_National_Park_of_Palenque,
  8. El Tajín

           El Tajín is a pre-Columbian archeological site and one of the largest and most important cities of the Classic era of Mesoamerica. A part of the Classic Veracruz culture, El Tajín flourished from 600 to 1200 AD, at which time numerous temples, palaces, ballcourts and pyramids were built. From the time the city fell in 1230 to near the end of the 18th century, no European seems to have known of its existence, until a government inspector chanced upon the Pyramid of the Niches in 1785. The architecture at El Tajín includes the use of decorative niches and cement in forms unknown in the rest of Mesoamerica. Its best-known monument is the Pyramid of the Niches, but other important monuments include the Arroyo Group, the North and South Ballcourts and the palaces of Tajín Chico. In total there have been 17 ballcourts discovered at this site. Since the 1970’s, El Tajin has been the most important archeological site in Veracruz for tourists, attracting over 650,000 visitors a year. It is also the site of the annual Cumbre Tajin Festival, which occurs each March featuring indigenous and foreign cultural events as well as concerts by popular musicians.
    Links: Sculptures, Top 100 North American SculpturesTop 100 Busts, Relieves and Petroglyphs, Top Ten South American Relieveshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Tajin,
  9. Calakmul

           Calakmul is a Maya archaeological site in the Mexican state of Campeche, deep in the jungles of the greater Petén Basin region. It is 35 km (22 mi) from the Guatemalan border. Calakmul was one of the largest and most powerful ancient cities ever uncovered in the Maya lowlands. Calakmul is a modern name, in ancient times the city core was known as Ox Te’ Tuun. Calakmul was a major Maya power within the northern Peten region of the Yucatan of southern Mexico. Calakmul administered a large domain marked by the extensive distribution of their emblem glyph of the snake head sign, to be read “Kaan.” Calakmul was the seat of what has been dubbed the Kingdom of the Snake or Snake Kingdom. This Snake Kingdom reigned during most of the Classic period. Calakmul itself is estimated to have had a population of 50,000 people and had governance, at times, over places as far away as 150 km. There are 6,750 ancient structures identified at Calakmul the largest of which is the great pyramid at the site. Structure 2 is over 45 m (148 ft,) high, making it one of the tallest of the Maya pyramids. Four tombs have been located within the pyramid. Like many temples or pyramids within Mesoamerica the pyramid at Calakmul increased in size by building upon the existing temple to reach its current size. The size of the central monumental architecture is approximately 2 square km (0.77 square mi) and the whole of the site, mostly covered with dense residential structures, is about 20 square km (7.7 square mi). Throughout the Classic Period, Calakmul maintained an intense rivalry with the major city of Tikal to the south, and the political maneuverings of these two cities have been likened to a struggle between two Maya superpowers. Rediscovered from the air by biologist Cyrus L. Lundell of the Mexican Exploitation Chicle Company on December 29, 1931, the find was reported to Sylvanus G. Morley of the Carnegie Institute at Chichen Itza in March 1932. According to Lundell, who named the site, “In Maya, ‘ca’ means ‘two,’ ‘lak’ means ‘adjacent,’ and ‘mul’ signifies any artificial mound or pyramid, so ‘Calakmul’ is the ‘City of the Two Adjacent Pyramids’.”
    Links: Top 100 Mayan Artifacts, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Maya_City_of_Calakmul,_Campeche,
  10. Izapa

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  11. Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions,

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