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Top 10 Landmark in Asia

1. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

angkor-wat

Photo : wikimedia.org

Angkor Wat, is among the most famous sites in Cambodia. This ancient structure is the ultimate study in Khmer architecture and defining feature of Cambodia’s cultural tradition. UNESCO calls it ” one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia.” Many visitors get up before dawn to witness the sunrise over Angkor Wat, despite the throngs of fellow tourists. If you decide to participate in this early-morning experience, try to seek out an unclaimed vantage point from which to watch the sun come up in quiet, to take in the moment away from the crowds. Past travelers have warned against visiting during the afternoon hours, as the heat becomes unbearable, but you can easily fill up the entire morning exploring this extensive complex.

2. Taj Mahal, Agra,India

taj-mahal

Photo : thinglink.com

The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum – or tomb and monument – built in the mid-17th Century in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built because of a love story! In 1607, Prince Khurram of the Mughals, at the age of 14, fell in love with a 15 year girl and became engaged. The couple had to wait 5 years for their wedding day, but then had a long and very happy marriage. This beautiful building is regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the world. 1,000 elephants and 22,000 workers were used in its construction, which took over 20 years! The Taj Mahal was built entirely out of white marble, which was brought in from all over India and Asia.

3. Bayon Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia

bayon-temple

Photo : moundbuilders.ws

Angkor Thom was built as a square, the sides of which run exactly north to south and east to west. Standing in the exact center of the walled city, Bayon Temple represents the intersection of heaven and earth.

Bayon is known for its huge stone faces of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, with one facing outward and keeping watch at each compass point. The curious smiling image, thought by many to be a portrait of Jayavarman himself, has been dubbed by some the “Mona Lisa of Southeast Asia.” There are 51 smaller towers surrounding Bayon, each with four faces of its own.

Bayon Temple is surrounded by two long walls bearing an extraordinary collection of bas-relief scenes of legendary and historical events. In all, there are are total of more than 11,000 carved figures over 1.2km of wall. They were probably originally painted and gilded, but this has long since faded.

4. Great Wall, Mutianyu Beijing

great-wall

Photo : grayline.com

Mutianyu is a section of the Great Wall of China located in Huairou County 70 km northeast of central Beijing. The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is connected with Jiankou in the west and Lianhuachi in the east. As one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall, the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs.

First built in the mid-6th century during the Northern Qi, Mutianyu Great Wall is older than the Badaling section of the Great Wall. In the Ming dynasty, under the supervision of General Xu Da, construction of the present wall began on the foundation of the wall of Northern Qi. In 1404, a pass was built in the wall. In 1569, the Mutianyu Great Wall was rebuilt and till today most parts of it are well preserved. The Mutianyu Great Wall has the largest construction scale and best quality among all sections of Great Wall.

5.  Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar

shwedagon

Photo : gbftravelsmyanmar.com

No visit to the Union of Myanmar is complete without a visit to the 2,500 years old Shwedagon Pagoda, which enshrines strands of Buddha’s hair and other holy relics. Located west of the Royal Lake on 114 -acre Singuttara Hill in Yangon, Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred and impressive Buddhist site for the people of the Union of Myanmar. From a humble beginning of 8.2 meters, the Shwedagon Pagoda today stands close to 110 meters. Shwedagon Pagoda is covered with hundreds of gold plates and the top of the stupa is encrusted with 4531 diamonds; the largest of which is a 72 carat diamond. It is clearly one of the wonders of the religious world. Shwedagon Pagoda is a repository of the best in Myanmar heritage – architecture, sculpture and arts. The Shwedagon Pagoda consists hundreds colorful temples, stupas, and statues that reflects the architectural era spanning almost a 2,500 years. To understand this monumental work of art and architecture, visitors will experience an insider’s view of this magnificent symbol of Buddhism to the lives of the Myanmar people.

6. Golden Temple, Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar India

Golden Temple

Photo : worldalldetails.com

The Harmandir Sahib (or Hari Mandir) in Amritsar, Punjab, is the holiest shrine in Sikhism. Previously (and still more commonly) known as the Golden Temple, it was officially renamed Harmandir Sahib in March 2005. The temple (or gurdwara) is a major pilgrimage destination for Sikhs from all over the world, as well as an increasingly popular tourist attraction.

Unlike many historical sacred sites, the Golden Temple of Amritsar is still fully alive with religious fervor and sacredness, and visitors are welcomed to join in the experience. Although the building itself has great historical and architectural interest, it is the Golden Temple’s great spiritual meaning for Sikh believers (and others) that is most memorable to visitors. In a country that is exceptionally rich with vibrant devotion, Frommer’s rates the Golden Temple “the most tangible spiritual place in the country.”

7.   Amber (amer) Fort and Palace, Jaipur India

Amber

Photo : http://www.thousandwonders.net/Amer+Fort

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

The Amber Fort was built by ‘Raja Shri Maan Singh JI Saheb’ (Maan Singh I) (December 21, 1550 – July 6, 1614) in 16th century. Man Singh, one of the first war chiefs or the trusted general of the Emperor Akbar. Akbar included him among the ‘Navaratnas’, or the 9 (nava) gems (ratna) of the royal court. Man Singh began the construction of a fortress-palace of white and red sandstone i.e. Amber Fort in 1592. He was the Kacchwaha (Rajput) of King of Amber, a state later known as Jaipur. Nearby he ordered to set a small temple devoted to ‘Sheela Mata’, his patron goddess.

8. Temple of Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho, Bangkok)Thailand

Temple of Reclining Buddha

Photo : paulreiffer.com

Next door to the Grand Palace you’ll find the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho). It’s the largest and oldest wat (temple) in Bangkok and, as the name suggests, is home to the enormous reclining Buddha. You’ll also find many more Buddha images at Wat Pho, which is said to have more statues of the Buddha than any other Bangkok temple.

The Reclining Buddha was crafted to celebrate King Rama III restoration (1824 – 51). At 150 ft (46 m) long and 49 ft (15 m) high it is the largest Buddha image in Thailand. The reclining Buddha is decorated with gold leaf and he is decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay on his eyes and the soles of his feet. The bottoms of the Buddha’s feet are intricately decorated with 108 auspicious scenes in Chinese and Indian styles.

Wat Pho is the birthplace of traditional Thai massage and in 1962 a traditional medicine and massage school was established here. The school is still going strong and you can book massage appointments or apply to study at the school. Its reputation precedes it, so you’ll need to book well ahead to get a massage.

9. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, India

Mehrangarh

Photo : natgeotraveller.in

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur is one of the largest forts in forts. It is also the most magnificent fort in Jodhpur, infact, in the whole Rajasthan. The fort is amongst the popular tourist places in India. It is situated on a 150 m high hill. It was founded by Rao Jodha in 1459. The Mehrangarh Fort can be reached from the city, 5 kms below, through a circular road.

Seven gates have to be crossed to reach the fort. The gates still bear the marks of the various battles fought in the bygone era. Its second gate still stands witness to canon ball hits by attacking armies of Jaipur during wars. One of the gates is Jayapaul, meaning victory. It was built by Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victories over Jaipur and Bikaner armies. Another gate, Fatehpur, again meaning victory, was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh as a celebration for defeating the Mughals.

Other attractions of Mehrangarh Fort, Rajasthan include several palaces inside the fort, with their sprawling and huge courtyards. One of the fort’s palaces, The Moti Mahal or the Pearl Palace, has the royal throne of Jodhpur, the Sringar Chowki. The fort also has galleries, temples, etc. To the left of the Mehrangarh Fort is the Chhatri of a soldier, Kirat Singh Soda. It is the spot where he fell while defending the fort against the armies of Amber.

10. The Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

The Grand Palace

Photo : rahlat.com

Grand Palace was originally the residence of the Thai king. It was built in 1782 and over time was constantly expanded, so today it is a large complex of odd buildings ranging from shiny Buddhist temples to more humble administration buildings. The Thai king and his mother don’t live here, so don’t expect to bump into them. But one you can see here is the famous and very holy Emerald Buddha (Phra Kaew). The statue, which is tiny (66 cm), was taken from Vientiane (now part of Laos) in the 18th century and is actually not made from emerald but jade. Every season, the king changes its robes to bring good weather and fortune to the country.

Know also that there is a dress code with women being required to cover their upper arms and legs down to the thighs and men being required to wear long trousers and at the very least a t-shirt.

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