Who doesn’t like to travel? Moreover, December is the month many plans their vacations. US-based travel website TripAdvisor is renowned among online surfers to plan their international holidays. Let us throw the spotlight on this year’s top global destinations recommended by TripAdvisor.
Most interestingly the topmost destinations is a Hindu Temple situated not in India but Cambodia and Top 8th position go to Islamic structure situated not in an Islamic country but India! Isn’t it interesting to know? Let us explore them…
Top Destination #1: Angkor Wat Temple, Cambodia
King Suryavarman II built Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia as per Khmer architecture. Though it was a temple built for Lord Vishnu God of Hindu Religion, Buddhism domination in Cambodia during 14th or 15th century resulted in the conversion of this temple to Theravada Buddhist temple.
The artworks in this temple depict numerous stories or fables from Hindu epics. The temple also depicts Mount Meru as the abode of Lord Brahma (the god of creation according to Hindu religion). Also, Mount Meru has high respect among Buddhists similar to Himalayan mountains for Hindus.
With respect to the physical structure, Angkor Wat is a temple complex considered to be the largest religious monument in the world, measuring 162.6 hectares or 402 acres
Top Destination #2: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE
A spectacular Mosque dedicated to the public in the year 2007 has become one of the key tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi. Islam followers throng this place for Friday gathering and Eid Prayers.
Travellers across the globe are mesmerized by its interiors that is truly awesome. Most interestingly the structure was built utilizing the services of people across the globe in its construction to spread the message of ‘Uniting the World’. Truly it is a structure built by artists and materials from all parts of the globe.
Top Destination #3: Great Mosque of Cordoba, Spain
This structure in Spain was built originally as a Mosque and was named as Great Mosque of Cordoba but was later converted into a church in the 13th century. It is structured based on Moorish architecture and is considered as one of the most accomplished monuments. The red-and-white arches with decorated pillars are the most attractive aspects for tourists.
Top Destination #4: St. Peter’s Basilica, Italy
An enchanting place of worship for Catholic Christians is St. Peter’s Basilica situated in Italy.
Approximately forty lakh tourists visit this church every year. Christians who visit Rome will definitely come to this church and pray.
It is an Architecture marvel envisioned by great artists Donato Bramante and Michelangelo, who have painted numerous murals. It’s really a delight to eyes with inspiring mosaic carvings and marvelous interior architectural designs.
Top Destination #5: Machu Picchu, Peru
The sun temple in the Sacred Valley called Machu Picchu in South America cannot be skipped by tourists’ coming to Peru in South America. A most interesting aspect of the architecture of this Sun God temple is that on December 22nd sunlight will directly enter the temple’s sanctum sanctorum through windows. The scientific calculations behind such architectural marvels are common among various civilizations across the globe including India where many temples are engineered to allow direct sunlight to god’s abode on a particular day of a year.
Top Destination #6: Taj Mahal, India
Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders’ of the world built using ivory-white marble on the banks of the river Yamuna at a place called Agra in India. It was constructed by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan. Interestingly it was a monument built in memory of his wife Mumtaz. It was completed in the year 1653 and the total built area is 17 hectare (42 acres). Taj Mahal is a place definitely available in the itinerary of Presidents and Prime Ministers of various countries touring India.
Top Destination #7: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, USA
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge built across a 1.6 km strait connecting San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. This 1.6 km strait is popularly known as Golden Gate and thus the name Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge links the American city of San Francisco and California. It is an obviously a place of tourist attraction and is declared as one of the wonders of modern world. This bridge has a unique distinction of being considered as the most photographed bridge in the world and was inaugurated in the year 1937.
Top Destination #8: Big Ben, London, UK
Big Ben is the nickname given to the Great Bell of the clock positioned on a tower called Elizabeth Tower situated in London. The tower containing clock was designed in neo-gothic style architecture by Augustus Pugin in the year 1859. According to a famous horologist Ian Westworth, this clock can be termed as “the prince of timekeepers” as it the biggest, most accurate four-faced striking and chiming clock in the world.
Top Destination #9: The Great Wall of China, Beijing
This marvelous structure is a fruit of various Chinese dynasties’ fortification efforts. The current Great Wall of China was built by Ming Dynasty kings during 1368–1644. According to many surveys, the great wall stretches from a place called Dandong in the east to Lop Lake in the west in form of an arc that roughly demarcates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia.
Friends, Buck up and get your plan ready to travel such exciting places at some point in your lifetime.