If I were to ask you, what are the things that you want to do before you die? I bet most people will have an endless list. I too have loads of things on my mind, topmost being; going to a world tour, becoming a millionaire obviously, to become famous etc. You too might have the wish to go to some place before you die. Even though we say that the world is a small place but it is just a saying. There are so many places in this world that you should definitely visit in your lifetime. Our life is very short to see all the wonders of this world. Our world has a lot to offer and making a list of the top 10 places is quite difficult. Still I have tried to put up this list with the best of my knowledge including some places out of my own list of the places that I want to visit before I bid farewell to this world.
10. Old city of Jerusalem
The Old City of Jerusalem is one of the places that I want to see before I die, being one of the holiest places on earth. People who have visited the place often describe that when they walked through its streets, they felt like being immersed in history. Old city covers about 1 square kilometer area and is surrounded with walls around it with 11 gates out of which only 7 are open. According to Jewish beliefs, one of the closed gates called the Golden Gate is the one through which the Messiah will enter the city when He comes. This gate was sealed shut during the rule of Suleiman by the Muslims to prevent the coming of the Messiah. The old city is divided into four quarters namely the Jewish quarter, the Christian quarter, the Muslim Quarter and the Armenian quarter based on the ethnic affiliations of the people living there. The place gives you immense opportunities to get to know the history, various traditions, to just get lost in its labyrinth like pathways and gates, etc. It witnesses the route through which Jesus traveled with his cross from the place where he was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate to the place of his crucifixion and burial. Praying at the Wailing Wall called the Kotel ha-Ma’aravi is one of the holiest places for Jews. Also it offers great shopping opportunities in the Arab market.
9. Antelope Canyon, USA
This place you all must have seen once at least in photographs. When I first saw its photograph, I couldn’t believe that such a place exists; it looks like flowing rocks. It is nature’s masterpiece formed by the erosion of Navajo sandstone, primarily due to flash flooding and secondarily due to other sub-aerial processes. It is the most photographed slot canyon in the American southwest especially the Upper Antelope Canyon. It holds attraction for both professional photographers and amateurs with direct sunlight radiating from the upper openings of the canyon. If you too want to visit this spectacular place then you will have to take a guide with you as the place can get flooded with little prior notice and there have been a few casualities because of the flash floods.
8. The Amazon
Being the largest forest in the world this one makes the eighth one in this list. If you are one of those adventurous types, always trying to challenge the nature then this place is definitely for you. With the world’s longest river flowing through it and its abundant species of flora and fauna, this forest has a lot to offer. You will definitely be awed by its breath taking beauty and grandeur. You can visit the local tribes there, go for canoe rides in the creeks, fishing, witness the dazzling beauty of the sunsets, etc. You can also indulge yourself in activities like bird watching, taking a tour of the lush jungle terrain with its countless varieties of plants and learn the medicinal properties of these plants. This forest is accountable for about 20 percent of the world’s oxygen supply.
7. The Stonehenge
The Stonehenge is one of the most mysterious prehistoric monuments and historians and archaeologists are still baffled by how and when it was constructed which is made of about 100 massive upright stones laid in a circular fashion. There is much folklore associated with its existence too. Though the scholars now believe that it was once used as a cemetery but they are still not sure about the other activities that it might have been used for. Neo-druids consider it as a place of religious significance while some say that the stones are healing stones called Giant’s Dance. The heel stone lying just outside the main entrance of the Stonehenge is associated with a folklore saying that the devil himself bought all these stones and cried out that no one will ever know of how they came there, but when a friar replied as that’s what you think, the devil threw the Heel Stone on him and it struck him at his heel and there forth remained stuck in the ground.
6. Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat, which means temple city, is one of the largest religious monuments ever constructed and is also the largest Hindu complex dedicated to god Vishnu. It appears on the national flag of Cambodia and was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century who was devoted to god Vishnu. It encompasses an area of about 500 acres. Angkor Wat shows the classic style of Khmer Architecture. It is surrounded by a moat which is 190 m wide. Its inner walls are decorated with the carvings of many scenes from the Hindu epics the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. One of the most celebrated scenes of the Samudra Manthan is portrayed in its eastern gallery showing 92 asuras and 88 devas using the serpent vasuki to churn the sea under the guidance of Vishnu. The sunrise in Angkor Wat is also a great site to see with its vibrant colours.
5. The Great Barrier Reef
Australia is blessed with the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef system in the Great Barrier Reef. It stretches over 2300 kilometers along the Queensland coast comprising of about 3000 reef systems. It is the world’s biggest single structure that has been made by living organisms. You will be mesmerized by the vibrant colours of the coral reefs. It is one of the seven wonders of the natural world. Did you know it is the only reef on earth that can be seen from space and is even larger than the Great Wall of China? The Great Barrier Reef is also a home to diverse kinds of marine species of which many are endangered like salt water crocodiles, the green sea turtle, clown fish, coral trout, etc. This is a popular destination for scuba divers. But its existence is continuously being threatened by global warming, fishing, pollution, etc.
4. The Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon is the most spectacular of the seven wonders of the natural world. Though how it was formed is still a matter of debate but many believe that it was formed by erosion by water and air that it was carved by the Colorado River itself, along with continental drift, vulcanism and climatic change. Though creationists argue that the Grand Canyon is the evidence of the flood, which occurred during the time of Noah, when the people on earth because of their sins had to face the wrath of God. They say that the Grand Canyon was the washed-out spillway for the Noah’s flood and the canyon was formed quickly and not over millions of years of time as stated by the evolutionists. Also the non existence of any delta that would have been formed if it was formed by a river as stated by the evolutionists as the Colorado River which supposedly had to flow uphill for millions of years for the formation of the canyon supports the creationist’s arguments.
3. The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is said to be visible from the lower orbit of earth though whether it can be seen from space is still a debated assumption. It stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east, to Lop Lake in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia and measures 8850 kilometers. It is made up of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood and other materials to protect the Chinese empire from any intrusions. Its construction began in the fifth century and continued up to 16th century and is one of the most stunning man-made structures.
2. Great Pyramid of Giza
The largest pyramid ever built, the Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the places that you must visit in your lifetime. It is the oldest of the seven wonders of the ancient world and the fact that it is still standing is proof of its splendor. This was built as a tomb by the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu and hence is also known as the pyramid of Khufu. Its construction is just like the other old kingdom pyramids and has three chambers. The pyramid was built to ensure the safe keeping of the pharaoh’s body and all his possessions that according to Egyptian beliefs were required in his afterlife. The pyramid was built in under 30 years and it is still a mystery as to how the people with little technology or tools were able to handle such big stones for its building.
1. Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal is the symbol of love and is famous all over the world for its magnificent beauty and history associated with it. Taj Mahal was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Taj Mahal built entirely of white marble is located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh in India. It is one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture and many argue that its beauty is not surpassed by any other monument. It is a mausoleum that consists of the graves of the queen and the emperor.