It is a wonderful world, which is why planning a world tour can be quite a challenge. One is never sure where to go and what to leave behind for the next vacation. Here are three wonders of the world that in my view have to be part of your bucket list. If you are someone who can appreciate ancient architecture embedded in natural beauty such that one is not sure where nature ends and where humanity’s work begins, you surely don’t want to miss them!
The Great Wall of China
To say that the Great Wall of China is ancient is an understatement. Built between the 5th century BC and the 16th century AD, it certainly has an ancient history. It was originally built to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by various nomadic groups. It is a great wonder that extends for 8851 kilometers, out of which about 6200 is the actual construction of the wall and the rest is made up of natural features like trenches, hills, and rivers. While a large part of the wall has been well maintained and renovated over the years, the rest lies in ruins. Many of the well maintained portions lie within the Beijing municipality. Out of these, “North Pass” of Juyongguan pass, known as the Badaling, is a good spot to visit. Another area that is a major tourist attraction is the “West Pass” of Jiayuguan on the western edge of the wall.
John William Burgon, in his poem by the same name, describes Petra as “a rose-red city half as old as time”. Petra, meaning ‘rock’ in Greek, is an ancient city in Jordan. It figures into the Seven Wonders of the World for its rock cut architecture and its water conduits system. Built around the 6th century BC, it was the capital city of the Nabataeans. It lies on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains that has been prone to flash floods. It was the ability of the Nabataeans to control these floods by the use of dams, cisterns, and water conduits that led to the rise of this city in middle of the desert.
The city was originally visited from the South via Saudi Arabia, but today the tourists visit it from the east. The entrance leads steeply down through a narrow gorge called the Siq. The Siq is a natural geological feature formed from a deep split in the sandstone rocks. When you are visiting, do check out the impressive treasury at Petra. The nearest city is Wadi Musa and it hosts a wide range of hotels and restaurants. The site is easily accessible from there.
Chichen Itza is what remains of the once great Mayan civilization. The name is translated as “at the mouth of the well of the Itza.” Itza is the name of an ethnic-lineage group that gained political and economic dominance in the region of the northern peninsula of Mexico. Chichen Itza was a major focal point in the area between the 2nd and the 9th century. The buildings of Chichen Itza are grouped in a series of architectonic sets, and each set was at one time separated from the others by a series of low walls. The three best known of these complexes are the Great North Platform, the Ossario Group, and the Central Group. If you are in Mexico and plan to visit the site, you can stay at the tourist resort of Cancun and take a day trip to Chichen Itza.
The Great Wall of China, Petra, and Chichen Itza are all world famous tourist attractions. Planning a trip to any of them is quite easy, with many tour operators offering package deals. So what are you waiting for?
This article was supplied by Swati Varma.