KOH CHANG ISLAND
Photos by Floris
Koh Chang is one of the islands in Thailand, on the South-East coast where the untouched nature is still the main character. To reach the island takes 5-6 hours from Bangkok and the mass-tourism is unknown, who loves the pure nature he will find his peace here.
A part of the island is nature conservation territory, it is called Mu Koh Chang National Park. Evidence of the former quiet historical times are the few magical temples, just like Wat Khlong Son. Here is a bouquet from the natural and cultural beauties by Floris Photography https://www.instagram.com/florisgone/ who is living there and the best documentary of this magical island.
Dzukou Valley: A Paradise in North East India
photographer, blogger, the "Solobackpacker"
by AVANISH MAURYA
A stunning landscape of rolling hills filled with the mysterious mist, a multi-layered green cover of the bamboo plants, a multi-coloured carpet of the wild flowers and a land of the narrow rivers with crystal clear water crisscrossing each other in the middle, the peaceful and enchanting Dzukou Valley is a visual treat to the wandering souls, perhaps the most graceful 2-days trek in North East India.
Surrounded by the mighty Japfu hill range and hidden by impenetrable forests of the wild Naga land, the trek offers a thrilling adventure– walking in the dense forests, traversing the raging rivers, meandering through the thick bamboo vegetation and living in an isolation away from the maddening crowd of a hectic urban life. Then comes the monsoon season in the month of July, when the wild flowers bloom in the valley. The hidden secret of North East India turned into a picture perfect paradise after the blooming of Dzuoku Lily and that’s why it is also perceived as the “Valley of Flowers of the North-East”.
Ambedkar Memorial Park
It is a public park and memorial in Lucknow, India. The memorial is dedicated to B. R. Ambedkar, the 20th century Indian polymath and the "father of the Indian Constitution".
The entire memorial is built using red sandstone brought from Rajasthan. It is situated in the posh locality of Gomti Nagar, the largest planned residential colony in India. Cost of the memorial is estimated at 7 billion rupees. Its name was changed from Ambedkar Park to Bhimrao Ambedkar memorial in May 2012.
Ramadan Celebration in India
Ramadan is celebrated on a grand scale by Muslims even in India and Iftar parties are quite common in several regions of the country.The main hubs in the country include Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Hyderabad. If you want to witness the true spirit of Ramadan in India, flock to any of these places.
‘Ramadan’ is a holy month for Muslims. They offer prayers and fast during the entire month. Ramzan Eid also known as ‘Eid Al Fitr’ marks the end of the fasting period.It is a spiritual period consisting of additional prayers and acts of charity. It is a time to repent for any sins done and get closer to the Almighty.The end of Ramadan also entails devotees dressed in new clothes, exchanging greetings by saying “Eid Mubarak”, which means “have a blessed Eid”, and distributing sweets.
Mosaddiq Reza Qummi, India
Jama Masjid of Lucknow
The construction of this mosque was started in the year 1839 A.D. by His Majesty King Mohammad Ali Shah Bahadur (3rd King of Oudh) with the intention to surpass the Jama Masjid at Delhi in size, but after his death the mosque was completed by his wife Queen Malika Jahan Sahiba in the year 1845 A.D. Built with "Lakhauri" bricks and plastered with lime, it is decorated with coloured stucco motifs. Standing on a square lofty terrace, it has a rectangular prayer hall, on the west with a magnificent facade of eleven arches. The central one is higher and provided with an unusually high doorway which rises above the roof in a sharply pointed arch decorated in coloured stucco. The prayer hall is surmounted by three pear-shaped high double domes decorated with an inverted lotus on the top and is also flanked by two octagonal four-storeyed tapering minarets on either side, crowned by "Chhatries" on the top. An Imambara known as Imambara Malika Jahan is also situated at the south of this mosque.
Mosaddiq Reza Qummi, India
Chota Imambara is located in the city of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India. Built as an imambara or a congregation hall for Shia Muslims, by Muhammad Ali Shah, the Nawab of Awadh in 1838, it was to serve as a mausoleum for himself and his mother, who is buried beside him.The significance of Panjetan, the holy five, is once again emphasized here with five main doorways. This Imambara consist of two halls and a Shehnasheen (a platform where the Zarih of Imam Husain is kept.) Zarih is the replica of that protective grill or structure which is kept on the grave of Imam Husain at Karbala, Iraq. The large green and white bordered hall of Azakhana is richly decorated with chandeliers and a good number of crystal glass lamp-stands. In fact, it was for this profuse decoration that the Imambara was referred by European visitors and writers as The Palace of Lights. The exterior is very beautifully decorated with Quranic verses in Islamic calligraphy .
Mosaddiq Reza Qummi, India
An estimated 40,000 Shia devotees from across the state participated in the ‘72 Taboot’ procession depicting the martyrdom of Imam Hussain and his followers. The procession, which started around 4pm, circumambulated the bada imambara and followed by a majlis.the 72 replica coffins were brought out of the Imambara and Zuljinah, the faithful horse of Imam Hussain, was also part of the procession.
Mosaddiq Reza Qummi, India
Sri Lanka - Surfing Paradise of the Indian Ocean
Sri Lanka is not only a beautiful pearl of the Indian ocean, home of magical nature and more thousand-year-old culture but known as one of the best surfing paradise, as well. There are here smaller-bigger gentler wavy waters but the professionals also have their places with huge waves of the ocean where world competitions are often organized also. Here is a little teaser collection of surfing photos from Weligama. The professional surfer in this case is Surf Shan.
Inner Mongolia is known for their well trained and well built horses and the environment, the food and the landscape contribute to animals healthy living.
The team: The salt farmer ladies started working in the salt field as early as 5 am and amazingly there are many labour works are done by ladies in Vietnam.
PRAYAG KUMBH MELA
Photos & text by Vineet Sharma photographer, Varanasi, India
The exact date is determined according to Hindu astrology: the Mela is held when Jupiter is in Taurus and the sun and the moon are in Capricorn. The fair involves ritual bathing at Triveni Sangam, the meeting points of three rivers: the Ganga, the Yamuna and the mythical Sarasvati. The Kumbh Mela in 2013 became the largest religious gathering in the world with almost 120 million visitors. The next one is scheduled for 2025, with an ongoing Ardh Kumbh Mela in 2019.
The Mela is one of the four fairs traditionally recognized as Kumbh Melas. An annual fair, known as Magh Mela, has been held in Allahabad since ancient times (early centuries CE), and is mentioned in the Puranas. However, the earliest mention of a Kumbh Mela at Allahabad occurs only after the mid-19th century. The Prayagwals (local Brahmins of Prayag) are believed to have adopted the kumbhamyth and the 12-year cycle of the Haridwar Kumbh Mela for their annual Magh Mela around this time. Since then, every 12 years, the Magh Mela turns into a Kumbh Mela, and six years after a Kumbh Mela, it turns into an Ardh Kumbh ("Half Kumbh") Mela.
Beyond the tropical beach
Text and photos by Szilvia Szeszler
Palm trees, sun shined ocean beaches, tropical fruits, coffee, smily people – these images flash in for us, Hungarians hearing the country name: Indonesia. But the truth is much more than this: the world’s bigges muslim country is modern with modern fleets of vehicles, giant malls, developed economy.
We Hungarians probably have an incorrect view about Indonesia. We imagine the country as a classical tropical country living int he golden colonial times on the other hand we mainly identify it with the Balinese culture. Indonesia, however, long ago stepped out of those times and of those roles – owning the world’s 12th strongest economy, while the Dutch colonizers tamed tourists. The country is called the country of thousand islands – and so is the culture and its nature, so amazingly colourful.
Arriving into Indonesia is shocking experience: Jakarta, the capital is so grandiose that I found myself lost leaving the airport even when travelled in the town the following days. As the level of the sea here is high, there are not metro lines so everyone tries to reach his office, home by motor cycles, cars so the previously received news about the huge traffic jams were more than true, I myself could experience it. I was impressed by the towering skyscrapers, with little houses at their foot. I was impressed by the tourist attractions, just like the National Museum which owns the richest colleciton of South-East Asia, the amazing national monument, Monas which is a 132 meter tall tower, the second greatest mosque of the world, the Istiqlal Mosque which is unusually modern, made of white marbel and German steel.
Most impressed I was, however in Jakarta by „Little Indonesia” a collection of buildings in all nationalities’ folk styles of Indonesia constructed on a territory of a half town here in Hungary giving a whole day program for me. It was an enthralling cultural shock for me.
My next place of visit was the town of flowers, Bandung, which is only two hours driving – and same time waiting in traffic jam – far from the capital the town where the people of Jakarta also spend their spare time with pleasure. Here is the colonial parliament-styled building of Gedung Sate, „heritage” of Dutch occupation. Inside cultural treasures, mineral and folk dress exhibitions.
I was an enthralling adventure to visit and climb a vulcano at the nearby Tangkuban Parahu National Park, one of the ten active vulcanos. We saw immediately Kawah Ratu from the parking place, as arrived. To Kawah Domas we had to walk, even climb 1200 meters, but well worth it because its 980 degrees water we can boil eggs if want, we could foot soak in its not so hot little lakes or can cover our tired leg sin its healing mud. Amazing tour, amazing adventure to be int he middle of a working vulcano. /to be continued/
Mount Lavinia Beach, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Mount Lavinia beach situated just south of Colombo is the most popular beach on the island among local city dwellers. The beach gets crowded mostly on Sunday evenings. The famous Mount Lavinia resort hotel situated on a small hillock over looking the sea, was the home of the British governor during the time Sri Lanka was a British Colony. Lavinia was his daughter. Mount Lavinia lived became Mount Lavinia.
by Charitha Batuwangala, Sri Lanka
Holi is a popular ancient Hindu
festival, originating from the Indian subcontinent. It is celebrated predominantly in India and Nepal, but has also spread to other areas of Asia and parts of the Western world through the diaspora from the Indian subcontinent. Holi is popularly known as the Indian "festival of spring", the "festival of colours", or the "festival of love".The festival signifies the arrival of spring, the end of winter, the blossoming of love, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships.
The first evening is known as Holika Dahan (burning of demon holika) or Chhoti Holi and the following day as Holi Rangwali. Holi, Dhuleti, Dhulandi or Phagwah. The frolic and fight with colours occurs in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and other musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People visit family, friends and foes to throw coloured powders on each other, laugh and gossip, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks.
by Mosaddiq Reza Qummi, India
Fatima Masumeh Shrine
The Shrine of Fatima Masumeh is located in Qom which is considered by Shia Muslims to be the second most sacred city in Iran after Mashhad. Fatima Masumeh was the sister of the eighth Imam Reza and the daughter of the seventh Imam Musa al-Kadhim. In Shia Islam, women are often revered as saints if they are close relatives to one of the Twelver Imams. Fatima Masumeh is therefore honored as a saint, and her shrine in Qom is
considered one of the most significant Shi'i shrines in Iran. Fatima Masumeh's Shrine has many incredible architecture on each hall and wall. Every year, thousands of Shi'i Muslims travel to Qom to honor Fatima Masumeh and ask her for blessings. Fatima Masumeh's Shrine in Qom is crowded every day of the year with Foreigners, non muslim and Shi'i men, women, and children from all around the world.
by Mosaddiq Reza Qummi, India
Hawa Mahal (English translation: "Palace of Winds" or "Palace of the Breeze") is a palace in Jaipur, India. It is constructed of red and pink sandstone. The palace sits on the edge of the City Palace, Jaipur, and extends to the zenana, or women's chambers. The structure was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh.
The original intent of the lattice design was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life and festivals celebrated in the street below without being seen, since they had to obey the strict rules of "purdah", which forbade them from appearing in public without face coverings. The palace is a five-storey pyramidal shaped monument that rises 50 feet (15 m). The top three floors of the structure have the width of a single room, while the first and second floors have patios in front of them. The front elevation, as seen from the street, is like a honeycomb with small portholes.
by Mosaddiq Reza Qummi, India
Hippies in Varanasi
Varanasi also known as Banaras, is a city on the banks of the Ganges in the Uttar Pradesh state of North India,A major religious hub in India, it is the holiest of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism and Jainism, and played an important role in the development of Buddhism and Ravidassia.Varanasi grew as an important industrial centre, famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture.The Dashashwamedh Ghat is the main and probably the oldest ghat of Varanasi located on the Ganges, close to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
It is believed that Brahma created this ghat to welcome Shiva and sacrificed ten horses during the Dasa-Ashwamedha yajna per-formed there. A group of priests perform "Agni Pooja" (Worship of Fire) daily in the evening at this ghat as a dedication to Shiva, Ganga, Surya (Sun), Agni (Fire), and the entire universe. Special aartis are held on Tuesdays and on religious festivals. the chillum for the hippies, is the reigning deity as puffs of smoke swirl towards the sky. As one moves towards Dashashwamedh from the legendary Assi ghat, Ganga Mahal and Bhadaini ghats serve as the perfect recluse to take in a few puffs while resting atop one of the raised circular platforms around the place.
by Mosaddiq Reza Qummi, India
The Bara Imambara is among the grandest buildings of Lucknow.The architecture of the complex reflects the maturation of ornamented Mughal design, namely the Badshahi Mosque - it is one of the last major projects not incorporating any European elements or the use of iron. The main imambara consists of a large vaulted central chamber containing the tomb of Asaf-ud-Daula. At 50 by 16 meters and over 15 meters tall, it has no beams supporting the ceiling and is one of the largest such arched constructions in the world. The winner was a Delhi architect Kifayatullah, who also lies buried in the main hall of the Imambara.
by Mosaddiq Reza Qummi, India
Asifi Masjid in Lucknow
The Bara Imambara is an imambara complex in Lucknow, India, built by Asaf-ud-Daula, Nawab of Awadh, in 1784. It is also called the Asafi Imambara. Bara means big, and imambara is a sacred hall built for the purpose of Azadari. The Bara Imambara is among the grandest buildings of Lucknow.The Bara Imambara is among the grandest buildings of Lucknow.
Independence Day is annually celebrated on 15th August, as a national holiday in India commemorating the nation's independence from the United Kingdom on 15 August 1947. The UK Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act 1947 transferring legislative sovereignty to the Indian Constituent Assembly. Independence Day, one of the three National holidays in India (the other two being the Republic Day and Mahatma Gandhi's birthday), is observed in all Indian states and union territories.
On 15 August, the prime minister hoists the Indian flag on the ramparts of the historical site Red Fort in Delhi. Twenty-one gun shots are fired in honour of the solemn occasion. The Indian diaspora celebrates Independence Day around the world with parades and pageants, particularly in regions with higher concentrations of Indian immigrants. In some locations, such as New York and other US cities, 15 August has become "India Day" among the diaspora and the local populace. Pageants celebrate "India Day" either on 15 August or an adjoining weekend day. Mosaddiq reza has taken the above photograph of poor street kids on 15 august while he was covering the independence day celebration...
by Mosaddiq Reza Qummi, India
On board the railway staffed entirely by children
The girl in the ticket office looked extraordinarily young – about 10 was my guess. “That will be 700 forints (£2), please,” she said in perfect English.
My Hungarian guide confirmed she was indeed 10 years old. I was in the hills above Budapest and had just bought a ticket for the Children’s Railway. Unsurprisingly, it’s so-called because it’s largely run by children, and has been for several generations; in fact next Wednesday marks the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the construction of the railway on April 11 1948.
There had been snowfall overnight and the ground around our starting point, Huvosvolgy, really was deep and crisp and even. We waited on the platform for the train to arrive, stamping our feet in the freezing air. Young boys in smart navy-blue uniforms passed us on the platform. They work on the railway one day in 15, from 7am to around 5pm in winter; it’s a 12-hour day in summer.
The Children’s Railway runs for nearly seven miles (11km), climbing high into the forest and makes six stops. Back in the late Forties it was known as the Pioneer Railway, a project instigated by the Hungarian Communist Party as a means of getting young people from the city to the camps that they ran for two months every summer. Attendance was compulsory and children spent two weeks away from their families, learning about the party.
Our narrow gauge train arrived and we photographed the engine. (They have a steam engine during summer weekends.) All the children who work on the railway are aged between 10 and 14. (The driver is an adult and there are a few adult supervisors.)
Nearly everyone wants to work on the railway, but only a few are chosen. In fact, that’s why it was continued when communism ended: the children love it. They have to be good at their school studies, reliable and well-behaved. They also have to undergo training every weekend for four months before they start.
Our guards Bence (14) and Levi (13) were positively angelic: moving to secondary school when they are 13, not 11 as in the UK, might be a reason for their seemingly childlike demeanour. Our carriage was spotless (“We clean the train,” Bence told me later) with old-fashioned, polished, wooden slatted seats and windows that slid open. When we travelled they were snapped shut to keep out the cold, but mercifully the carriage was heated and toasty warm.
Olivia Greenway, 2018
London to New York in an hour by hypersonic jet? Yes – but not quite yet
telegraph.co.uk - 28 June 2018
They are the questions that have fluttered vaguely on the lips of anyone involved in the air industry ever since Concorde touched down at the end of its final flight on November 26 2003: Where will the next supersonic aircraft come from, and when will it take off for the first time?
Two answers have emerged in the last 24 hours - although, as it stands, the second response is no more than concrete than "at some point in the future, hopefully, with the raising and investment of a lot of money", while the first requires a little clarification.
This is the news that Boeing has unveiled a rendering of its vision of the future. But not a not a supersonic jet such as Concorde, which might be considered a relic in these forward-thinking times of 2018.
This is a theoretical "hypersonic" plane, capable of flying at Mach 5 or above (a speed of around 3,900 miles per hour) - a considerable upgrade on Concorde, which had a maximum capability of Mach 2.04 (nudging 1,354 miles per hour at its fullest throttle).
The Chicago-based aviation giant used the platform of the prestigious annual American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) conference in Atlanta, Georgia, to unveil an image of what it has pithily described as the "first passenger-carrying hypersonic vehicle concept".
Should such an aircraft be designed to Mach 5 specifications, it would be able to zoom between London and New York in just an hour (rather than the current standard seven).
Of course, such speed records are a long way into the future. Boeing itself admits that any such aircraft could only be airborne in "20 or 30 years", depending on the progress of the project - but also insists that such a technological leap is entirely feasible.
"We are excited about the potential of hypersonic technology to connect the world faster than ever before," says Kevin Bowcutt, Boeing's chief scientist of hypersonics.
"Boeing is building upon a foundation of six decades of work designing, developing and flying experimental hypersonic vehicles, which makes us the right company to lead the effort in bringing this technology to market in the future."
The company says that the design could have military as well as commercial applications - and, having raised the curtain on the design in the American south-east, is preparing to showcase the design on British soil, at the Farnborough Air Show, in Hampshire, next month (July 16-22).
How long it would take from London to...
Paris: 4 minutes
Venice: 11 minutes
Athens: 23 minutes
Dubai: 52 minutes
New York: 53 minutes
Tokyo: one hour 31 minutes
Cape Town: one hour 32 minutes
Los Angeles: two hours 14 minutes
Sydney: two hours 42 minutes
Based on Mach 5 speed of 3,900 miles per hour.